No soda, no peace

Ever since I was young and discovered the carbonated goodness that is soda, I’ve been hooked. For most of my life I almost exclusively drank Mt Dew. No milk, no water, no juice–just Mt Dew. On average I figure I consumed about a 2-liter bottle per day. That’s an average, people. I must have continued on that path for about 25 years. Then about 12 years ago or so, a nurse friend of mine convinced me to give up Mt. Dew. So I switched to diet root beer and diet Pepsi.

Tomorrow is March 1st and also a Sunday which is what I consider to be the first day of a week. As I tend to  see things like that as an auspicious congruence I’ve decided to give up all soda for the month of March.

I’ll pause for your collective gasps of shock and surprise.

Anyway, I figure the fist week is going to be the hardest. I don’t think it’s going to be the caffeine withdrawal that gets to me. Root beer doesn’t have any caffeine and that’s what I drink most of the time. It does however have the previously mentioned carbonated goodness. And yes, I know all about the Soda Stream and other home-made soda appliances. The problem is our area’s water is crap and I have serious doubts about these home appliances replicating the sweet, bubbly sensation of actual soda. It’s also the habit of ordering soda that I’m going to have to break.

I’m going to try sticking to water for the most part. Juice, milk, etc are all still options. If I get really desparate I may even try… coffee. ::shudder::

How to remove old servers from Notes open dialog

Taken from Kenio’s blog  and put here because the memory is the second thing to go.

How to remove unwanted Domino Server name from Open Application dialog

Kenio Carvalho  6 November 2014 10:25:08

I never bothered with the names of servers that appeared in Open Application Dialog Application until now.

A customer ask how to remove the server names but without loose the desktop.dsk.

After a search on the subject i found a solution.

1 – Download the desktool utility from IBM and put the file on the Notes program directory
2 – Shutdown the Notes client.
3 – Create a script to delete the files. It is a txt file with the following :

Delete ServerName/Organization

If you want to delete several servers create several lines with the server names.

4 – Run the command  dsktool [filename ] -I  -R

Back to Back to Back

A lot has happened in the last several months. My fitness plans have been completely derailed. It’s not like I’ve been Spartan about it anyway but even the little bit that I had been trying to do became too painful. Let me go back to the beginning.

Several years ago I started to notice that sometimes, not all the time, my leg would sort of fall asleep if I had been standing or walking on concrete for extended periods of time (thank you Lotusphere). Since my extended standing periods didn’t happen all that often it was easy to deal with. Somewhere around the same time period or a little later, I also noticed occasional sciatica in one of my legs. Then that also seemed to go away.

Y’know, this would have been easier to sum up if I’d kept up with the journaling. Oh irony, thou art a fickle bitch.

Fast forward to about six months ago, the sciatic pain comes back and starts to get really bad. So bad that it was part of the reason I sold my beloved Jeep and haven’t ridden my motorcycle but a couple times this year. It became increasingly more difficult to get my daily steps via my FitBit. It’s now bilateral and I’ve occasionally lost motor control in one of my legs. Just for an instant, but still. Scary.

To make a long story short I went to the doctor who got me an x-ray and then an MRI. They found some arthritis and  spinal stenosis with a pinched L4 nerve.  So now I’m starting physical therapy twice a week and trying to do the daily homework they’ve assigned. It’s a lot of core work, which apparently I’m sorely lacking, and self-massage. Get your mind out of the gutter, it’s using a racquet ball to do deep pressure massage.

It’s only been a few days so there’s no noticeable difference yet. I’d just like to get back to being able to walk like a normal person. Maybe even run again.




Sadly I did not reach my running goal for last year of 365 miles. I did 48.1 miles in 2013. That’s the lowest amount of mileage in a calendar year that I’ve ever done since I started keeping track. Am I sad or depressed about not reaching my goal? Not really. It is what it is. I will recycle that goal for 2014 though. (Already got 1 mile in 2014. Go me!)

I generally try not to dwell on the past. Which is probably why I’m a lousy blogger. Once an event is done I’m usually kind of over it.

In the interest of a yearly wrap up though I’ll try to list some of the things that I remember from this past year.

  • Had some testosterone issues at the beginning of the year. Those seem to have worked themselves out as I (very, very) slowly continue to lose weight and build muscle.
  • Did not use the video camera I got nearly as much as I thought I would.
  • Stopped wearing the zero drop dress shoes because they made my heels bleed.
  • Made my annual pilgrimage to Orlando in January to ride Harley’s with my mates. Unfortunately that weekend we tragically lost one of our own on the ride. I still think of him every time I see a motorcycle. R.I.P. Kenneth Kajaerbye.
  • My son graduated from high school and then started college in the Fall.
  • Started fixing up the house by landscaping the front yard, painting trim, and replacing lights.
  • Spent a wonderful week on an island in Maine in August. Learned a lot about boats (they need GAS to go!) and got to shoot a lot of different types of firearms.
  • Started writing to a penpal (with a PEN and PAPER and everything!) in TX as an excuse to use a new fountain pen. If anyone else wants to commit to putting pen to paper once or twice a month, let me know. I’d love to be writing regular letters.
  • Attended the wedding of two of my dearest friends. They asked me to be one of their unofficial photographers so I spent a lot of time doing that. I loved getting to play around with my camera more but I wish I could have also exercised my neglected social skills more.
  • Spent a long weekend in Historic Colonial Williamsburg with my wife’s family and got to play with my camera some more.

All in all it was a decent enough year but I’m really hoping 2014 will be much, much better.

A Lost Art

Last week I posted this to Twitter:

I’ve always been a big fan of writing instruments, as well as watches, clocks, stationery, etc. (I must have worked at some kind of office supply store in a previous life.) I used to use a feather quill and inkpot for um, missives of a romantic nature but have long since lost track of that stuff.

Fast forward to last June and TheWife and I, along with our NJ friends John and Lisa, were at the Mountain Heritage Craft Festival in WV. Among the dozens of vendors were two pen makers. Now I’m not talking about representatives of Mont Blanc or Waterman setting up a table in a field to shill their, albeit high quality, mass produced instruments. I’m talking about individual craftsmen who hand create beautiful works of scripting art one at a time. I found a very nice ballpoint pen (shown in the Twitter picture link above) and convinced TheWife to get it for me for Father’s Day.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the post-cap (I don’t know that there is an actual name for it but it’s the silver part at the bottom of the pen where you post the cap while writing) had come off and I had lost the internal parts of it. Since the pen maker lives about an hour away, I contacted him and made an appointment to visit his shop so he could repair my pen. While I was there I found a fountain pen he made using the same type of wood, stain, and hardware as my current ballpoint.

Naturally, I bought it. ;-)

Finally owning a real fountain pen has inspired me to try and physically write more. Longhand. Cursive. Squiggly chicken scratchings. Yeah, my handwriting has seriously degraded since high school. I also noticed my hand started cramping after a paragraph. So while maintaining my lightning fast hunt & peck typing speed, I’m also trying to work those penmanship muscles.

Part of this new workout regime is going to be sending holiday cards. So if you would like a card and don’t normally receive one from us, or you’ve moved in the last year, feel free to email me your snail mail address at

(Caveat: Most of my cards are of the Merry Christmas variety. If you’d like a card and prefer a “Happy Holidays” card, please let me know. I’m happy to send your preferred holiday greeting. I believe the communication is more important than forcing my belief in a jolly, old, elf with hoarding issues.)

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