Monday, September 24, 2007

"The Crabby Daddy" Does Monday Night football

Throw my Brain in a hurricane

The title is from a John Prine song and sums up the crazyness that is going on now in Mine and Amy's weekend. The specific song being Please don't bury me. Now if I can just get someone to sing this at my funeral in about 60 years.... when I'm 105...

Amy had a Kidney Stone removed and is recuperating at home... (for now). I would like to thank Airtran for getting off the airline of the devil list. They were able to get me on standby with a checked bag on the 7:11 pm flight from Atlanta to TPA this past Friday rather than wait on my 10:20pm flight. I got to TPA and saw my bag come out on the luggage carousel adn was very impressed that I could check a bag with 2 standby reservations and make my first one and still get my bag on the correct plane.

Saturday started bright and early as Katie had a softball game in the morning and it's about an hour drive south. They did well and she has some new girls on her team who are learning. I took the time after her Game to go get my oil changed at Mobil and put 6 new quarts of Mobil 1 into the expedition. It also got a much needed wash and the sky promptly started pouring down 30 mins after my car wash. I ran Morgan back to the House and she got ready for cheer and then I drove her to cheer and worked on the free wireless a the gym and completed my expenses reports from last. week. After the practice was over at 4:30 I took Morgan to Katie's Birthday party that was in full swing by 5:00pm. I took her and 7 girlfriends to Gelee Beans for a two hour salon visit. Gelee Beans is a kids salon where they can host partied and do manicures and hair designed for the girls. The girls all got different designs for their nails and hair and had a great time. They were having fun... so after paying the tab I headed to Michael's baseball game. He did well but with Winterball they do not keep score... so it's hard to tell who is winning. After the ball game I went to Little Caesar's with Chris and got pizza;s for the girls sleep over. The birthday party all went back to Dana's for a pizza and sleepover Saturday night and I took the boys back to my house for the night.

The boys got a night out at Los Vallartas for dinner Saturday night and we were able to get caught up on the guy stuff.

We got up early Sunday and took doughnuts to the girls and then Michael and I got into our Cub scout uniforms and sold Popcorn in front of Port City Java in. I'm the Den leader for our cub scout den in and the boys all did a great job from 10-noon selling to the walk in traffic. I had 3 of 4 boys on site which was great participation. The 4 boys in our den are very active. I will miss them tonight but they are in good hands for the den meeting with Mrs Gail doing den duties tonight. After the popcorn sales we took the booth back to our pack popcorn sales coordinators house and I got Morgan and Chris and Michael and headed back to my house. I dropped off Morgan and took the boys to Wildwood which is about an hour north to play golf with my dad and Matt.

It rained quite a bit on the way up and we listened to Tampa Bay Buccaneers take apart the St Louis Rams on the way up. We were able to get in 7 holes of golf before the rain came in and it was no longer fun. Bummer because i was only 2 over and hitting the ball well for someone who has not played golf in over 3 months with no practice.

I took the boys back to Dana's and noticed I had traveled over 500 miles and used 2 tanks of gas this weekend. Whew when do I get to go to work???

I did my laundry from last week and packed for this week. Did some grocery shopping for lunches next week and Morgan helped me assemble the next weeks lunches so it will be easy to just grab the pre-packed lunches and head to the bus stop. I also printed my expense report and packed it in the pre-mailer envelope to send to Cary. I drop these off at the airport Post office next to the Tampa airport. The airport is the only local post office that's open 24/7 365... They are never close. I'm still amazed at how many people are up at 5:30am and at the post office at the airport. My reports got to Cary in one day from this post office versus 3-4 from my post office next to my house. Took the trash out and did some house keeping for the cats.

So I'm now at the greatest airport in the world (TPA) adding to my blog. They have FREE wireless here and plenty of power outlets to charge all my stuff. I have downloaded 10 new songs form Itunes with my Avis free downloads. Avis sends you a code for 5 free downloads for every 2 day rental you have with them . They send 10 for a weekly rental. I'm heading to New Orleans this morning and got up at 5:00am to head to the airport.

Should be a fun week as there is lots to do and see and many nice restaurants to report back on.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Mountain Man Meals from The Dillard House

A Little Shaky but this is the Dillard House. The original Dillard house is next door. The Menu changes each day and is also seasonal. I had to purchase a cookbook of course and then decided , the Hot Chow-Chow, Peanut brittle, and Vidalia Onion Relish were must haves as well. This stuff is hard to find back home. Vidalia onions are grown in Vidalia Georgia and are a large sweet white onion great for cooking and making Relish and preserves. Prissy's of Vidalia has some great products. Try the pickled Asparagus in a bloody mary. Man that's some good munchin right there now.... Next week I'm in Nawlins and will report back on the tasty Spicy Hot Pickled Green Beans they put in the Bloody Mary's down in NOWLA like Drago's. Look for the pictures and the postings.
Right now with the end of summer we are still in the fresh veggies season so lots of nice sun ripened tomatoes, corn, squash,
To Quote John Dillard... "We plan menus on a seasonal basis as best Southern cooks have always done. For examples in spring and summer you will find fresh tomatoes, half-runner beans, squash, fried okra, cantaloupe, and fried chicken. In the fall you'll find turnip greens, collards, rutabagas, fried cabbage, and turnips." John Dillard General Manager of the Dillard House.

"The Crabby Daddy" does The Dillard House

Well I survived the commute from Corpus Christi.. Today I worked with an OB/GYN Group in Demorest, GA training the Dr and Nurse Midwife on customizing the Allscripts Healthmatics EHR software. This is the first step to prepare the office for their conversion from paper charts to the Electronic Medical Record which takes place in November.

Nice group, their building is impressive and rest in a mountain setting in the Northern Georgia mountains. These training sessions are long and tiring and I was ready to do a little snooping around in the countryside after we completed work at 5:00pm.

I remembered the Dillard House from my visit here back in 1992 with +Medic Computer systems when I installed the +Medic practice management system in a Family Practice office in Dillard.

The Dillard house has an 80 year tradition of serving "Mountain Man" meals. These are basically all you can eat southern food feasts where one of everything is placed in serving bowls on your table and passed "Family Style" around the table and refills are brought as needed. Make sure you are REALLY hungry before attempting this venture.

The Table you see set in this picture is just for one person .... Me. I counted over 11 vegetables or sides and 4 meats. The meats tonight were Country Ham, Roast Beef, Fried Chicken and Baked Chicken. Here is the list of vegetables on the menu tonight. The Menu changes daily and they serve breakfast lunch and dinner. The menu is also seasonal as well. All food is fresh and never canned or frozen. The Veggies... Sliced Fresh Vine Ripe Tomato's (Nice Red Beefsteaks or better boy's not sure didn't ask), Cole Slaw, Creamed Cabbage, Acorn Squash casserole, Yellow Squash Casserole, Lima Beans, Green Beans, Creamed Corn, Potato Casserole, Okra Dressing, Chow Chow, Horseradish sauce, apple butter, Cantaloupe, and honey dew Melons slices, and a basket of Yeast Rolls, Corn Muffin, and fresh biscuits. Wash all this down with Sweet Tea and finish it off with a choice of Chocolate pie, coconut cream pie or strawberry cobbler. HOLY COW. I had the Chocolate pie. Nice homemade crust, the chocolate filling was delicious and very creamy and the meringue on top was tall, firm, and browned nicely. I got to take the leftovers home with me for lunch tomorrow.

The kids went to Athens Y Camp earlier this year which is 15 miles down the road in Tallulah Falls Ga. Home to the Tallulah Falls Gorge. I always like visiting this part of Georgia and plan to come back with the kids either this fall or next summer to camp. The Hampton Inn in Cornelia GA is my hotel. The hotel is about 6 yrs old and has a style I have never seen at a Hampton. They have a courtyard in the middle similar to Embassy Suites but in a smaller scale. The hotel is hard to get to as it's entrance is hidden behind the Holiday Inn Express.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Corpus Christi

Not sure why I do this to myself but I had another early flight today. I got up at 4:15 did the usually morning routine and was out the door by 4:45am. My destination? Corpus Christi Texas. I have not flown Continental in quite some time and today I was giving them a try since they get me to CRP sooner than Southwest would. I had no trouble finding my regular spot on level 5 purple behind the elevators at the remote parking deck at TPA. No usual drivers ether. I often get Coffee he is a great shuttle driver but I have not seen him lately. Checking bags was quick as most have the kiosk now. I had a few minutes to get some laptop time in on the free wifi at TPA. The A gate is where Continental flies out of in TPA and I had not been to the A Concourse in over 3 months or more. I was glad to see they got rid of the big bale of weeds that was hung from the ceiling at the security check point. That always bugged me that hard earned tax payers money funded some jerk-off artist to go pick a bunch of weeds and spray them and bale them and then hang it from the ceiling.

I got to go through the puffers on this trip. Still funny to hear the auto attendant say Air on. Puff, Puff Puff. Doors open please proceed. I got a window seat Bleech.... I slept most of the way to Houston and felt sorry for the nice lady stuck in the middle seat between me and another large man on the aisle who had to hear me snore the whole way. I asked numerous times if my snoring was bothering her and she answered no... So fair warning... I get snore approval I'm lettin it rip baby!!

I landed at IAH and only had a few mins to get to my connection flight. Maybe 25 minutes.. And I had to hoof it from C over to the B concourse and then to the commuter section. I was not familiar with this airport and had to take 2 people movers filled with people not interested in moving, a monorail train to concourse B and then walk a ton down to the commuter aircraft gates. The CRJ flown by Chautauqua seats about 60 or so . I had an aisle seat 12C but the guy in the window seat fidgeted the whole way. So I put on my Bose noise cancelling Quiet Comfort 2 head phones and read the latest book on my list. The 4 hour work week by Tim Ferris.

I got to HOT Corpus Christi at about 10:00AM Central Time 11:00 my time back in the Eastern time zone. Avis rented me their version of a premium car for Corpus Christi... a Toyota Camry... Wow that's definitely on the same level as a Buick Lucerne or a Lincoln Town Car. Grand Dad Cars as my wife would say.

I made it to the practice and got started early at about 11:00am. I was on a follow up visit to a previous Go-live so this was a cake walk. Had lunch at Hu-Dat... An Asian noodle/rice bowl restaurant similar to pie wei. Good stuff !! The afternoon was filled with more training of exciting stuff!!!.

At 5:00pm we decided our brains were mush and to stop for the day. I headed back to the Hilton Garden Inn and Changed into my throwin down clothes. Golf shirt , Shorts and flop-flops and headed to happy hour at La Playa across San Padre Island Drive.

La Playa came highly recommended by the DR's at the Internal Medicine practice. Guaranteed to raise my Lipids if I tried the Stuffed Avocado... so I was in luck Margaritas were on special for $1.95 till 7:00pm. I had an hour. I perused the menu and found out the Stuffed avocados were a meal not an appi... Bummer. Wanted a stuffed Avocado a stuffe Poblano and an enchilada or two with green sauce but they did not offer creat your own platters. The chip guy was the Bomb and had red and green salsa and chips on my spot of the bar 2 seconds after my stool cushion flattened out past comfy and hit pain full. .. Which took 3 seconds.

Chips were good and man the gren salsa was unique... it was almost creamy but it had a decent kick to it. I asked for hotter salsa and there was none to be found.

I ordered the Avocado stuffed with Shrimp. Now this is a quarter of a fresh avocados that is peeled and then shrimp is placed in the cavity and queso Blanca (White Mexican Cheese) is stuffed in and the whole thing is lightly breaded and then deep fried... ( Kinda reminds me of deep fried Mars bars at the State Fair... Do I really need to start deep fat frying my candy bars now. The candy bar alone is not enough I gotta now dip it in batter and deep fry it. Anyway it was good. So was the tortilla soup and the Fish Taco that came on the platter. Yum.. After dinner i headed back to the hotel and got 2 coronas "dressed" for the room and a late night of blogging.

How do you dress a Corona you ask? Take the long neck bottle and rub a lime all around the neck from top to bottom of the neck. Sprinkle Salt on that and THEN open the bottle and shove in a lime. Then you take a napkin and wrap it just so so it looks like a corona shirt. Now you just lick some salt squeeze the lime sip and enjoy... and repeat till the bottle is clear.

The next day I had the great pleasure of meeting a coworker how was in town and trained this client on the Practice management side of the software. The Dr's myself and the coworker went to lunch at Utopia's... Nice Asian fusion restaurant . I had the Shrimp wrap kyoto with Aeoli. Nice and spicy and they even had Sweet potato fries too!. Well my flight was at 2:30 and it was now 1:15 and that left little time to mess around. So I hightailed it to Valero and filled the rental up and headed back to the airport which was a 20 min drive. Visions of missing this flight were dancing in front of me. The weird thing is they have a security guard at the rental return who makes you pop the trunk and looks in the trunk... Guess they are checking for Illegals or something. Weird. I parked the car and hustled inside did the return and check a bag. Security was bus with 5 people it still took almost 10 mins to screen 5 people. The Main screen on the x-ray was like putting her right eyeball on the screen and moving it around to find some contraband. Guess at these border states they have to be vigilant. I made the commuter and got an aisle with no window occupant. YEAH!!. Made it to IAH in Houston in about 30 mins and it was a good thing because I had 30 mins to make my connection. (What's up with that Continental??) And I swear it was the longest connection I have ever had. I had to go from one end of the airport to the other. No lie. Gate C84 to E19... I made the 737-300 at gate E and had seat 23C.. An Aisle in the 3-3 configuration... I was sweating like a pick and obviously it was noticable because the Flight attendant got me an ice water and a hand towel.

MAn was I impressed. Never have I had such great service... Tony was his name and he was full of Hustle... unlike your normal I'm to sexy and busy to serve you Stewardesses they have at Delta or Airtran or American, or Northwest.... Need i go on? Tony was THE BOMB and he is getting a letter on his behalf at Continental. I hit ATL right after a thunderstorm and got my Buick Lucerne... (ATL knows a Premium car now don't they) and headed out for the 2 hour drive to Demorest. I had a conf call to listen to from 8:30 till .... so after the usually phone calls and test messages to the wife and kids I dialed in and prepared myself. This call lasted 1.5 hours. I actually stopped and ate dinner while the call was going on... Listening the whole time... I even finished dinner and got back in the car and drove for 15 more mins before the call was over... Thankfully so because cell service diede just after that.... Which means GPS navigation dies too. Bummer... Que the Deliverance song... Lost in Northern GA mountains...

I made it safely to the Hampton Inn after trying to check in to the Holiday Inn express first by mistake. They Share Driveways....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fellow baseball parent from 2 yrs ago

Aspen and "The Crabby Daddy" ... Our sons were on the same Baseball team 2 yrs ago.

A pilot and a ski resort

Jayson from the Red Baron Pizza Squadron and Aspen.

What a long strange trip it's been!!

Man this past weekend was one big whirlwind. Queue the Grateful Dead Song Now...

I left Athens on Friday about 12:30PM and had "Plenty" of time to make it to ATL airport with my flight leaving at 3:oopm.

Of course the highways' and drivers of Atlanta had other things in mind. It took me till 2:00 to get to the Rental care drop off for Avis due to a traffic backup. I used to be smart enough to drive the rental to the bag drop and check my bag and THEN drop off the rental but I of course pick this day to forget that. I had the 3:00 flight going to RDU (Raleigh) to join Amy and the Ex-Misys crew for a Misys reunion weekend at Rudino's rooftop grill.

I get to the ATL curbside and find out the Airtran (Which is Latin for Airline of the Devil) does not allow you to curbside check a checked bag at 45 mins prior to the flight. OF course this is a drop dead time so even when I try at 44 mins prior to the flight it tells me no. I ask customer service what I should do. They recommend (In indiscernible English.... )I need to start booking a later flight... No friggin way I exclaim!! So I try the outside curb check but the little bastards have thought of everything and do not allow that either. Definitely the LAST time I fly this airline EVER....

So I re-book for a 5:00pm flight that gets me in at 6:30pm. Not too bad I can be fashionably late... (Which means I don't give a crap if I'm late in man speak).

So I proceed to the C concourse to catch my airplane of the devil spawn. If you have never been to the C concourse in Atlanta's airport it is the main concourse for Airtan. This must also mean it is the concourse for Non-drinkers/dull non-partiers as there is only one bar on the whole Damn concourse. It's buried behind the food court and is called Paschal's La Carousel Bar. Hmm a little goofy for me all those Carousel horses... I have been here before,.. I remember they Do NOT offer the double shot for $2.00 more so I set myself up for disappointment. I do remember the bar tenders Tim and Kirby... Both were working that day. Of course there is a huge line waiting to sit at the bar and I of course get the corner seat which was all that was left.

My neighbor next too me promptly adds anyone who sits on the corner buys a round. I reply. Dang looks like everyone has a full glass. He likes this as much as I do so we hit it off. Kirby is very busy filling drinks from the wait staff.... but takes time to pour a STIFF Jack and Coke and It's so strong I feel I'm at a club... I look over the menu and remember this place is run by the 2 Paschal brothers. Robert and Jim they made millions providing the catering services at the ATL airport. They have a Nawlins theme to their menu.

So it's the Gumbo and I'm very pleased. Granted gumbo at an airport bar is a risk but it was very good. Just the right amount of rice and nice dark muddy broth and crawfish with nice spicy andouille sausage slices. Added a little hot sauce and it was the Bomb.!! Not as good as The Sauce Boss from Tallahassee... but good. (Sauce Boss adds Chicken, Shrimp, Oysters , Okra and Zucchini... makes it much better.

Kirby is now just "flavoring" my drink with Diet Coke.

The guy to my left leaves so I move down opening the corner seat. A new guy sits down and we promptly pull the corner guy buys routine... He Laughs it off and I notice he is wearing a bomber jacket. Kinda odd since it is the summer and its hot and rainy.

I find out that Jayson is a Pilot for the Red Baron Flight Crew Sponsored by Schwan's Foods and they do flight shows at the Gasparilla parade in Tampa... (Small World). I of course ask Jayson if he can get me tickets to the Parade and he is confirming this. COOL!! He is also headed to RDU and is on my flight. IF you have ever been in an airport bar it's always a good feeling knowing other people next to you are on the same flight.

I'm joined on my right by a blond who looks VERY Familiar. Jayson and I end up talking to her and turns out her son and my son were on the same Baseball team 2 years ago. (Really small world now)

Jayson and I end up catching the flight to Raleigh ... which was 2 hours late. So I arrive at about 9:00. I make it to Rudino's after getting the Explorer Rental car from Avis. We have a great time and it's great seeing old friends. Checkout Amy's blog for details and pic's We stayed at the Embassy Suite's across from the Crabtree Mall. Where "The Crabby Daddy" Shops... I did The Limited Too and Justice to get plenty of Girl Stuff for my oldest Daughter's 11th Birthday coming up.

We had a GREAT bunch at Tir Na Nog Irish Pub in downtown Raleigh. Really nice and they have a Blood Mary Bar where you can make your own Bloody Mary. We were exhausted after all the fun and collapsed on the flight home. Really happy to be home for 24 hours before I head out to Corpus Christi.

Here is the pic of my pretty pink shopping bag from Limited Too....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Athens Go-Live Southern Food for Lunch at last!

Well the Windridge Family practice in Athens Georgia went live today on Allscripts Healthmatics EHR. They did a great job and even sent a few e-prescriptions today. We also had a few e-prescribe refills which was exciting.

The best news however was that I got to get my southern meal after all. I convinced the group at the office to all go to Peaches fine foods for Lunch. We all car pooled to Peaches fine foods and this place is something.

We were about 11 strong and when that many people come in to a place it usually provides some chaos. They serve cafeteria style so this was pretty fast for our group. They serve a meat and 2 vegetable lunch and it's all southern food. The Meats today we could pick from: Hamburger Steak with Gravy, Fried Chicken, Lemon chicken or pork chop.

I got the Hamburger steak on White rice with gravy. My sides? Mac and Cheese and Turnip greens of course. I also got the sweet tea and some Sweet potato puddin for dessert ( Sweet Potato pie where we come from). The food was great they had young girls who would take your tray and carry it to the table for you and then they would fetch tea or lemonade for you when you needed a refill. Nothin like a step and fetchit for dinner (Lunch for you and me.... and dinner here is supper)

We were all able to sit together which was great. They also had Bruce's hot peppered vinegar and hot sauce on the table... which were perfect on the turnip greens. They also had Green Beans (did not look as good as Miss Ruth's ) Lima beans and Yams. The sweet tea was good and not too sweet.

I would rate this a little higher than Weaver D's for setup speed of service and size to accomodate larger parties. Weaver D's did have yummy Broccoli Casserole and collards that were really good. Weaver also makes his own hot peppered vinegar and it is much better than Bruce's (Sorry Bruce's Louisiana peppered vinegar) and Weaver also has a great cookbook I highly recommend..... But I think I had a much better experience at Peaches than at Weaver D's. Peaches is much faster on the service line and they really get you through the line fast. Dr Earhart also filled me in that the owner of Peache's the dude working the register was a former Georgia Linebacker back in the early 90's.

When we got back at the office we all needed a nap.... but it was great!

I just did Applebee's next door tonight for dinner and watched the WVU-MD game on the big screen. They had a ton of Plasma TV's for an Applebee's.

Can't wait to head to Raleigh for the Misys reunion tomorrow. Worked at Misys for 13 years and that's where I met Amy. We should have fun and it's always good to see old friends from Misys.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Harry Bissett's

Second day in Athens and the client here is doing great. When I came onsite they were already documenting in the EMR. This was a great sign as I needed a break this week. I still have not gotten my results from the MRI I took Friday at Tower Lois and it's really bugging me. I keep calling the Dr and no MRI report. They can;t seem to figure out why. Amy keeps calling me to see if I have anything and again she seems more worried than me. I'm looking forward to a nice southern meal or some soul food tonight to forget my troubles with the spleen.

So I drive around for one and a half hours and not a single southern soul food restaurant was open again. Chondell's was closed. Wilson's food for the soul was closed... so was momma's kitchen and Peaches fine foods and a few other places. So I drove down town and looked for some excitement. As I walked the down town area I noticed how much this small town had to offer in the downtown area as far as restaurants.

I walked up to DePalma's and perused the menu. Looked like some good Italian dishes but I was looking for more creativity. So I walked down to the old stand by Harry Bisett's . HB is Athens version of New Orleans cuisine. I ate here last time I was in Athens.

I sat at the bar and noticed no daily specials that jumped out and screamed order me. So I went with the HB oyster sampler 6 Rockefeller and 6 Bienville oysters. They were pretty good but the spinach was a little dry and stringy and I did not notice any Pernod on the Rockefeller.... The Rockefeller at Florida Seafood in Cocoa beach were much better. They however did not compare at all to the Grilled Oysters appi at Drago's in New Orleans in the Hilton Riverside.

I figured the Chicken Rochambeau sounded like it was worth a try since there was no Red Fish or any other soft white meat grilled fish (grouper etc.) I could order with the crawfish etouffe ladled on top... (This is my Favorite but hard to find unless you are in Nawlins. ) Pat's of
Henderson in Lake Charles Louisiana has the best out side of Nawlins. I'll tell you about the best inside of Nawlins later this month.

So what is Chicken Rochambeau you ask? a Breast of chicken lightly breaded and fried and then served on grilled Ham with a Marchand de Vin sauce on top of the ham with the chicken on top of that and then Bearnaise over the top. I got the side of Jambalaya and the cucumber salad. The Jambalaya was good but could have been a little more on the spicy side. The cucumber salad was just Julienne cucumbers with red peppers, onions and carrots marinated in vinegar. could have used a little white balsamic and some salt pepper and a dash of hot sauce or Bruce's hot peppered vinegar to give it a little kick.

Parking is a real bummer in downtown Athens. I headed back to the Hotel and decided to blog a little .

The Hotel in Athens I'm staying at is the Hampton Inn. They are under renovation and the weird thing was how different the soda machines are from one floor to the next.

I'm on the 5th floor (top floor) I always try to stay on the top floor... I just like being higher I guess. This is also the no-smoking floor but the Soda machine would not take one dollar bills. The Sodas are .75 cents ... love college towns and the low prices but there is only Diet Pepsi on the 5th floor. Took the elevator to the 4th floor and the bill reader took my bill and promptly spit it back at me. So I rubbed it on the machine to get the creases out like I have seen other people do and it did not work. I noticed they had Diet Pepsi and Diet Mountain Dew in this machine... but no luck so down to the 3rd floor in my pajamas and flip flops to get my soda. Jackpot !! 3rd floor had a working bill reader and it took my bills rejected by the 4th and 5th floor machines... guess the 3rd floor is into high risk soda sales... the 3rd floor also had more diet soda.... Diet Pepsi, Diet Dr Pepper and Diet Mountain dew. So I splurged and got a diet Mt Dew and a Diet Dr Pepper and hit the 5th floor for some heavy blogging and late night IMing of friends.

10:30 I fell asleep. My wife woke me at 12:00 and I talked for a little bit and then went back to sleep. Ding got an IM from a friend and IM'd with them from 12:30 till 1:50pm. Back to sleep again.

Hope I can find some Good Southern food tomorrow. Time is running out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

6 Years later

Well today is the 6th anniversary of 9/11. Unfortunately I have an early flight this morning at 7:00AM. I figured the airport at TPA would be a nightmare so I woke at 4:20 did the morning routine and left a little earlier than normal. I got to the airport parking deck about 5:35. Of course there was a nice vacant spot for me on the 5th floor behind the purple elevators.
My favorite spot in the remote garage always an open spot for me on the 5th floor behind the purple elevators... Of course if you are reading this go to the 6th floor or the gold elevators and leave my 5th floor purple spots alone!! :-)

Good thing too as the Gold elevator people had to wait for the next shuttle bus as the beauty of the purple elevators is obviously getting around. OF course there was one exception ... a Fella... that was as they say light in the loafers who crashed through the bus doors when the driver opened them a crack to let everyone at the gold stop know the bus behind him was going to get them because he was full. This guy crashed the door with 3 carry-on bags and a guitar and said ... "I don't mind standing" Of course he had to stand in front of me and place all his crap in front of my luggage in the rack. What a dork. Never ceases to amaze me with how rude and narcissistic people can be. Of course he was in the way the whole ride to the terminal and made everyone wait 30 seconds while he gathered all of his "Carry-on" Hope they make him check 2 of them... :-)

Lovin the FREE wifi internet that TPA (Tampa Airport) provides. I'm confuddeld as to why.... Yes confuddeld... Confused and puzzled/Muddled well you get the point... As to why few other airport provide free wifi. Yeah Yeah Starbucks had free wifi... blah blah blah.... Over roasted coffee and overpriced.... as far as I'm concerned.
But there have been only 2 or three airports that have provided free Internet that I can recall. Everyone else charges 9.99 per day. Hate that. Tampa and Fort Wayne Indiana go figure...

Anyway. back to 9/11.. The airport was fairly light for traffic at 5:30AM... ( Imagine that) My flight is set for 7:00AM to ATL (Atlanta). I had to change seats at the check in kiosk because some dweeb decided she had to have the window seat next to my aisle seat on a friggin 2-3-2 airplane seating chart with over 67 available seats. Guess she has to look out dah window cause she never been in an aih-pane before.... I moved to the aisle across so I can get a look at this nut case. She looked like a feminazi liberal... Why can't I e er get an aspiring Pamela Anderson as a seat mate...???

The fly ass Delta coochie just announced we will board in five minutes. Of course they use this weird boarding zone method. I'm in Zone five which means good luck getting overhead. So I still have a few minutes before having to shut down the laptop and board.

Security was light too as not much traffic at 5:50 am either. I did notice about twice as many TSA agents standing around and a few more highly secure red vested Aramark agents. Yeah black slacks white shirt and a Red Aramark Vest and I be a photo ID checker momma... Hope they have all been vetted for background checks ... Wonder if that background includes their previous 20 years in Mexico??

Well my bag made it through. Did not leave my contraband toothpaste or other surprise liquid in my carry-on this time.

Well as I sit here I can't help reflecting back on that day 6 years ago. I worked for the Purple M&M and got an email from a co-worker that a plane had crashed into the world trade center. I of course went home to work from home and put Fox news on and saw the second plane hit live. It was freaky. We all thought it was a small private plane the first one that hit. It was just too surreal to see a full fledged bigass Boeing go straight into the tower and leave a shadow of an airplane hole in the side of the tower.

I of course would have preferred to spend this day in Cancun like I did on the one year anniversary. Which was also my 40th birthday week extravaganza.

Happy birthday to Miss Ruth. She was born on 9/11/1907 she would have been 100 today. I really miss you Miss Ruth and hope you are having a blast wherever you are. I'm going to go have a nice southern meal tonight in honor of you. Hope they have green beans made just the way you did them. I can still smell the wonderful aroma now.

Gotta close the laptop will beef this up once I get to the Hotel in Athens.

I'm taking Windridge Family practice live on Allscripts Healthmatics EMR this week. Should be fun. One MD and one PA at the practice with 2 nurses. Piece of cake. Look forward to the Misys reunion this weekend in Raleigh. Well they just called Zone 1.

Love you Mom and Dad and Family and Kids and Amy. Chat with you later tonight. !!

That last line was in case the plane went down. Thankfully it did not. When I showed up at the practice I was surprised to see that the Dr the PA and the nurses were already documenting in the EMR and were printing prescriptions etc. If you are in the EMR business this is a very positive sign and you know you have a VERY easy week of training and Go-Live support ahead of you. The stress level has gone form 9 to 1. The front office is already scanning paper charts and the nurses have entered historical summaries for the next days patients. Woo Hoo this is hot. Man I'm a good trainer... (Sorry could not resist). So I did some clean up tasks and trained on faxing, printing and did a 3 hour session from 3pm to 6pm with the Doctor the Physicians assistant (PA) and the nursing staff. It's such a pleasure to full teach each screen as the students already have the basic screen navigation down and now I can show them the cool stuff that I never get to show or I show and they never retain.

I went back to the Hampton Inn Athens on Broad street and checked in at about 6:15pm. This hotel is under renovation and they are about $90.00 per night. Not too bad but I remember when Hampton Inns were $65.00 to $75.00 per night and now they are routinely $100.00 or more now. This hotel has free wifi and it's a five story hotel. the rooms still have the old decor and they need a renovation in the worst way. I can only imagine the hard partying that goes down in these rooms on GA Bulldog football weekends.

I researched Soul food and southern food restaurants from the room and found the Tuesday night in Athens is not that exciting. this website has some great reviews and links... Most soul and southern food restaurants in Athens close at 6:00pm on Monday and Tuesday??? What up whid dat??? So I wanted Peaches Southern food but it was closed. Weaver D's was closed. Wilson's Soul Food was closed I got a inkling that Chondell's might be open so I hopped in the car and drove there. Not easy to find. CLOSED... So I was out of options. So I started driving around and spotted the Hilltop Grille. Looked like a yuppie fern bar. I checked the menu as I was on a mission to get Green Beans for Miss Ruth's Birthday celebration.... No such luck but they did have Collard Green... Ding Ding Ding... We are getting close to southern soul food which I just call home cooking.... So I figured I would try it. Being alone and on business I did what most business travelers traveling alone do and I went to the Bar to eat.

The Braves were kicking the snot out of the Mets. I perused the menu and decided on a cup of crawfish gumbo. 8ozs vs 14 ozs for the bowl. Jenna the bartender rings me up and not 2 minutes later a piping hot BOWL of crawfish gumbo appears for me. Jenna promised me she rang in a cup but she will only charge me for a cup. $4.00 vs $5.00 hope they can spare that... extra dollar profit... As I'm eating the gumbo which is great... I asked for some hot sauce. I had the choice of Texas Pete or Tabasco. I asked if they had any Habanero and of course I got a no. This is the South so hot sauce is on the mild side.

Great Gumbo by the way nice seasoning and texture and the ingredients were all uniformly sliced or chopped. No big hunks in other words. Sausage was slightly spicy... which was great. Roux was nice and well caramelized. Nice dirty dark brown color. The menu offered the usual Caesar, House and and Iceberg wedge salads with crumbled Blue cheese. LOVE the iceberg wedge. I often ask if they can chop it for me so it's easier to eat and nice and tossed for me so I don't have to work so hard when the salad arrives. The menu had the prerequisite Steaks and seafood and pasta entrees... I noticed a chopped steak with mashed potatoes and sauteed onions and mushrooms. Ding Ding we have a winner for a southern meal. I asked if I could substitute the Salad for Collard greens and this was fine as far as Jenna was concerned... so I had my Quasi Southern meal to Share with Miss Ruth on her Birthday. The chopped steak was not bad... It had a hard crust for some reason??? Maybe the grill cook left it too long on one side and it got crusty on the grill. IT was hard to cut with a fork which is not a good sign on a chopped steak., The mashed potatoes were good but about 30 minutes past their prime. The Collard Greens were good but there were large crunchy stems which means a white boy cooked them.. and did not cook them long enough. They were not gritty which is always good and you can get them not gritty by washing them 4-5 times to get rid of the sand and dirt they are grown in. Tasted like they were boiled in Wateer with a bullion cube or 2 added. Salt pepper and some fat back.

I had my Southern style hot sauce to soak the Collards in and Jenna even had the Chef whip me up some gravy on the side. Can you believe they served a chopped steak with mushrooms and onions without gravy??? Even Outback back Steakhouse has gotten this dish right.

The Gravy hit the spot and I relished each bite thinking of Rudie (Miss Ruth) and how much I missed her cooking and her sweet smile. No desert as I'm watching the waist line.

Well that does it for me have a great one Miss Ruth Love you and look forward to next September 11th and celebrating your birthday. Take care and goodnight

Monday, September 10, 2007

A New Year for the Den

Well we I had the first den meeting for the WEBLOS den tonight. It was great seeing all the familiar faces of the boys from last year when we were a bear den. Same boys and Same moms. What's up with the dad's? Anyway we got started off with the communicator activity pin achievements and everyone seemed excited about the scheduled campouts. Can't wait to see them all earn their eagle scout one day.

More to come tomorrow as I have an early flight tomorrow.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Football Sunday

Well it's finally football sunday. The wife is at church being a greeter... Wings and beer are at a sports bar... now that I can be a greeter at.... +:-)

Tampa Bay Bucs lost to the Seahags.. Washington won over Miami.

My Cougars of BYU lost to UCLA... even though they wiped the floor of the Rose bowl using the UCLA defense as Bar Keepers Friend with their BYU offense as a rag. It was too hard to overcome the 2 turnovers for touchdowns. They lost by 10 points 27-17...

I was able to get caught up on laundry and posting to my blog today. Hoping to hear about my MRI results before I take my trip to Athens GA on Tuesday.

Per Mark my bro-in-law a call to GOD is a local call in Athens GA. I'm going to check and see if GOD is even listed in the phone book. I'm betting it's an unlisted number in Athens. And as we say back in Provo.... Call all you want the line's busy, he's talking to Bronco Mendenhall the coach at BYU about next week's game. =:-o

Looking forward to another dinner at Harry Bisetts and a few other local hangouts in Athens. I'll be sure to post the reviews and the outrageous travel stories.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Invasion of Ft Desoto

Today Morgan's Cheerleading team invaded Ft Desoto PArk. I made sure we had plenty of shade and brought the First up pop-up shade along. $79.88 at Wal-Mart. Can't beat it.

Of course everyone flocked to it... so make sure you set up your chairs first and use a few coolers to block out traffic and keep people to one side.

It was hot and the water was nice. The sand is very smooth once you get out a few feet. I have never been to the east beach .. I usually go to the Western beach. The East beach is more like being on a large lake since it is on Tampa Bay were the bay passes under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. I of course had to mention to Amy that there have been a number of people who have jumped off and died. Police offeicers often report cars that are stopped on the side with no occupants . They find the bodies washed up days later. They used to have a jumper pool. Still amazed at how many people still do it. the Western beach is full of Kite Surfers

Ft Desoto was named a #1 Beach at it was most likely the western beach that garneded this award.

Well back to more fun stuff. The picnic was great! However when I came back to my Shady spot there was a large hump of sand resembling a volcano and my daughter was in a chair watching. I asked if she said it was ok to do that and she replied no she tried to stop them.

I asked them why don't you go dig in the sun and make a sand castle. They replied "It's hot in the sun it's nice and cool here". I asked them to please stop and one replied we are not stopping until it is as tall as Kylie. I looked at the smallest girl in the group and said hey come here Kylie.

I then had her stand in the deepest pit that had been dug to fund the volcano and measured her head to the top of the mound. Look! I said mission accomplished it's as tall as Kylie. That influenced 3 of the 6 to leave. The little girl turned to me and said... "But I'm not Kylie" I replied "Well your Kylie from now on as far as I'm concerned". She seemed confused but left so that was effective and I only had 2 more diggers to go. I decided a dip in the water was in order to cool me off before I lost it. So I told the girls.. "I'm going in the water when I get back make sure this is flattened out". I left for the cool dip and they of course continued to dig.

I noticed from the water that my wife had shown up and she was letting some of the girls have it from the look on her face and how she was stomping around the canopy... I decided maybe I should head back and mitigate the destruction of the volcano. As I was walking up onto the beach the group decided that moving the canopy 12 feet closer to the ocean was the best solution. It was as it left the ugly mound in the back in broad daylight (Hot Sun) and the crowd of young misfits soon scattered. Leaving there shovels of course.

I'm thinking to myself now why does this place did not allow Alcohol???... I could use a beer or a shot right now. Well the day was fun and relaxing and I got to float for an hour or so in the soothing salt water. I need to find a way to do this more often.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pin cushion

The Second MRI was today. I woke up at 6:00 and showered etc and made the trek down to Tower On Lois. Unfortunately the Dr wanted to use the same MRI as the first MRI to get a consistent read with the same machine and tech and blah blah blah. you know the story. So I arrive at 7:10 am and of course the office is not open yet. 15 mins of AM Tampa bay on 970 WFLA as I wait for the people at Tower to arrive. It takes till 7:45 Grrr for them to show up. I'm of course the only person standing out side. The lady opens the door and When I walk in she asks me to fill out the same damn paperwork I have filled out at 3 different Tower Center. (Aren't they connected via the same database yet? ) I'm luck enough to have been here before so I'm granted a pass on the Patient information form ... However they can't find my script just yet. It was a last minute rush job scheduled by my smoking hot Nurse Practitioner Melissa at the Oncologist office. The front desk lady at tower said she would check the fax server ... Yeah it was there!!. I still had to fill out the same dumb questionnaire on why I'm having it done since my "Chart" was not pulled yet. (great time to mention I work for a company that sells EHR software Allscripts) Being a radiology site I was curious why they didn't use Radman.

We''ll they are happy enough to get me going on the MRI so you move to the changing room ... Small cubbie with a curtain and a bench with a locking drawer and tell you to take off your short leave your underwear on and t-shirt on and get a gown on. I of course had the same issue as last time with the "Gown" They suck and you can't tie them so you just walk down the hall holding the back together. I enter the room and Matt is there the same tech from last time. He of course recognizes me and asks why I'm back so soon. I go through the whole Dr wants to make sure the first MRI was read properly since all other tests thus far do not point to the Radiologists DX of Lymphoma or to see if it is in the spleen only, right now. (She also mentioned a bone marrow biopsy)

They want to see if the "Lesion" has grown I mention to Matt. He gave this puzzled look and said "They think it would grow enough to show the difference on an MRI taked 10 days ago?" Made me wonder how accurate these tests were at that point... So being a veteran of an MRI 10 days ago I hopped on the table and got ready for the IV. Matt attempted to get an IV started on my left elbow... No luck. He mentioned something about scar tissue and the IV needle bouncing off it. I of course had to let him know that The past 3 weeks had seen my elbows giving blood 7 or 8 times. So I could understand why there would be scar tissue... Maybe even a few old needles from the previous blood letting. I let him know the left Elbow was fine and he said nah... I'll try the hand first. (Never had an IV in the hand before.... Boy was I in store for a nice surprise...) So he proceeded to try the back of my left hand and tied the Tourniquet and started slapping the back of my left hand to get a good vein. He tried one and it was more than a little prick that he promised. Felt like someone had shoved a dart in my hand.. Now I used to be very competitive in darts in Washington DC back in the 80's and I've had darts in the back of my hand before... Of course much alcohol was consumed prior to the dart mishap.... I prefer the 2 pitchers of beer warm up prior to the dart in the back of the hand.

I mentioned my preferred prep of 2 pitchers of beer to Matt who chuckled and mentioned it may have helped since I was so dehydrated. I of course had to defend myself and let him know that the prep for the MRI clearly stated nothing by mouth after midnight. Matt let me know that was not 100% accurate as far as techs go... they just need an empty stomach 3 hours prior. So I could have woken up at 4:00 and chugged 6 beers..!!! Great now he tells me... Matt tries one more time on my left hand ...(were at 3 now) and they are getting worse because he not only shoves the needle in ... he also has to pull back and forth on it and shove it around to try to hit a vein. I think it drained Matt of his confidence as he went to get Gail the Nurse. Now Gail goes to the right elbow ..No Luck back of right hand twice... no luck.

Matt and Gail are trying both hands now... I have both wrists with tourniquets on and they are both just smacking away on my hands... At this point I asked if they were also a day spa because the hand massage was feeling good and did they do pedicures. Matt mentioned something about only having to go to the feet for an IV once in his career and he avoids it at all costs. I asked if I could still book a full body massage after the MRI. A few chuckles but they were determined to start an IV in my well dehydrated body. I thought back and realized nothing by mouth since about 9:00pm the previous night and I was at the football game in the stands sweating like a soon to be stuck pig..... Its going to be a long hard morning at Tower... I'm not even in the tube yet... That was my main concern when I drove down... You know the dreaded tube time. I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't ask for a Valium like my manager at work suggested... (Who is a nurse by the way)

So no luck on my hands on either side and it really is starting to hurt now. I'm trying to keep from jumping and reacting so I go to feet wiggles. Gail at this point tried to curry a few sympathy points by letting me know she was an IV Guinea pig for the new Nuclear Med tech at the Habana office. I said the young Blond female student from Tampa Tech... She said yeah .. I let her know she was watching while they started an IV last week on me with one poke... I kept mentioning that it has always taken one stick and mentioned that my daughter had had to get 6 sticks when she was 3 and it nearly killed me so I know how she felt now... Poor little girl having to go through that much pain with no blood given.

Well Gail goes and gets a special needle designed to get in a deep vein and trys that on my right elbow to no luck. It was deep too... Matt at this point finds a promising one on the back of my left hand. It proceeds to disappear when he gets the IV kit ready. He goes back to smacking and finds one in the middle of my hand. Tries it.... no... luck. I start praying please Lord let these two get a good IV from my dehydrated body in one more stick. Well it worked because Matt got a good IV in in only 2 sticks... Yes I asked for one stick.... but we can't always get what we want right?

So yeah... 45 mins later and 10-11 needle holes later I get to get shoved in a tube and be claustrophobic for 45 mins. I had Matt put the headphones on Smooth Jazz WSJT 94.1 to calm me down. He seemed to like that ... (Guess he is a jazz guy too)

OK so IV flowing, headphones pumping jazz and I'm now strapped down to the table and shoved into the tube. I hear Matt on the head phones telling me it will be quick maybe 15 mins. And we start. I start thinking back to how many times I had one stick for blood and how I only have had 3 iv's that I can remember and they were all in the past 2 weeks. :Matt says ok deep breath and hold it. The machine goes crazy with all these loud sounds for about 30 seconds and I can then exhale.... I also think back to when my brother Bubba and I used to make what we called Pygmy darts....

To make one of these little terrors .... you take the end of a shoe string and clip it off and get a sewing needle and thread it though the middle.. Then you put it in a straw and voila!! Pygmy dart.!! They were fun at school for a few days then we got caught... So Bubba and I took to pygmy dart battles against each other at home. He was especially envious of my large dart made from sneaker shoe laces and a large sewing needle. He was even more impressed with the sting it made when I shot him in the back with it... He of course had to pull it out and yell run for your life boy.... And I complied... I tore across the living room and he nailed me on the back of my right hand... Aha! That's why the pain seemed vaguely familiar.... I had a pygmy dart in the back of my hand too. I reminded myself to tell Matt the tech...this story.

Matt tells me to take a deep breath and hold it.... More noise. This goes on for 30 mins... I knew it was not going to take 15.... Wonder if I can still get Gail to give me a massage??

Anyway the process was soon over and I walked out with about 6 band-aids on me and the people in the waiting room all freaked when they saw me. I looked at them and said... Yeah your next.... and the IV chick is new...That was little mean I guess... But what the heck.

I of course had to reward my self with a breakfast at Chick-Fil-A... Which does serve breakfast now... Thanks to my loving wife for letting me know that. I of course had to argue that they don't serve breakfast about 7 yrs ago when we were in Raleigh and happened to pass one at that exact moment and Amy said... "So why are all those cars in the drive through at 8:00am?" I let her know they were getting a good spot for the lunch rush.... =:-)
(Good comeback with such little time to prep you have to admit)

Well the lady at Chick-Fil-A freaked on me when she saw all of the band-aids... She proceeded to wash her hands 5 times with hand sanitizing gel while she waited for the second opportunity to get a little skin to skin contact on me with the final pass though of my bag-o-breakfast.

The day was definitely looking up from that point on... Let me tell yah.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The First Football Game

Well I just want to let everyone know how excited and proud I am of the latest football prodigy in the family. My oldest son Chris had his JV game tonight and he even saw some action on a few plays. He made me proud holding his own against those guys on the front line. He played right guard and was the only one to block on his downs it seemed. I'm looking forward to seeing more of his games and 4 years of High School Football... His buddy Christian was also active and the Game started out with some real excitement for a JV game.

The opening Kick-off was something to witness. Christian was on the receiving team and played on the front line. As soon as the kicker kicked the ball, Christian made a B-Line for the kicker. He proceeded to Wrap him up and throw him on the ground. Wow what a nice play...Only problem... The kicker did not have the ball of course. So penalty for what.... holding I guess ?? when you tackle a kicker? It was a riot and I could just hear the coach telling him 30 seconds earlier...
"Son I want you to take that kicker out you hear me?!! That kicker should be out of the picture.. no where near the play!!.. That's your assignment!!" OF course he forgot to add that you should knock him over not tackle him. So the ensuing kickoffs went about the same and the kicker finally got wise and started running away from him after 4 or 5 kick-offs. A few were in circles in the middle of the field and I could hear the kicker screaming "Get away from me"

It brought back so many memories of my youth... Doing the practices and lifting the weights and boiling a mouth piece till it's soft and making your imprint with gritted teeth, going to the pep rally and wearing the "Game Jersey" and all the girls paying attention to you in class... Friends promising to come to the game and cheer for you... Then the time comes where you start the pregame prep... pre-game meal.. the pregame rituals and superstitions, getting dressed for the game and feeling like nothing could hold you back... You get all pumped up and take the field with a pure adrenaline rush.... Of course I then proceed to stand on the sidelines and never get in on more than 4 or 5 plays that first game... I wondered for a week how the game would have been different had I played more and why didn't the coach put me in because I was pumped.... It's tough being a freshman especially when you are 2 years younger than the "average" freshman.

I graduated when I was 16 and have always wished I had done the normal path to graduation at 18 upon looking back at my experiences. Dating would have been much easier at 16 in high school rather than trying to date 19 year old college freshmen... That's for sure.

Well my Cougars of BYU won their opener... Guess I may need to pay attention to them this season as 2 winning seasons have brought them from the cellar of the Mountain West Conference.. Which according to my wife is still not a real conference compared to the SEC..

I had my birthday yesterday and enjoyed all of the attention I got from the Family. Everyone was calling to see how I was doing.

I've been working from home the past 2 weeks but am getting primed for a return to the road. I'll make sure to post all of my favorite Airport hangouts and restaurant reviews from the road. The Birthday dinner was at Sam Seltzer's ... Which was a new one on me. I had never been and had heard it was not that good. I was surprised at the quality of the food not bad. The Ribs were good and the Prime Rib as excellent. The Martini glasses were too small for my liking and they seemed to have a hole in the bottom of the glass.

Well I have an MRI first thing tomorrow so I'm heading to bed in order to get my full nights sleep. I'll keep everyone posted on the results and explain in detail the reason in a future post.