Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It has been a week. Where does the time go?

First, running. Yes, I am making time to sneak in a few runs. Even enough to put a very slight lead over the FAT MAN! I ran Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday last week. Nothing farther than 4 miles but I have now re-established a four day running routine. This week I have run Monday. Did not run Tuesday for assorted reasons, none of which is a good excuse other than Susan and MAC had to run for a while so I was watching E who is 8 years old and not quite at that point where you can trust a child so I stayed in with her. My modified schedule has me running tonight, Friday night and Saturday (or Sunday).

So I've been married for 2 weeks and 4 days. As expected, it has been a trip. A few things done and many more to get accomplished. Finally got the plumbing problems fixed . . . let's just say that the 30" diameter red oak that is invading the drain line will have to go next year. I have finally got "my" room sort of settled though it still needs painting. The baby blue fit what was formerly E's room but tends to make the male gender feel a little . . . unmanly. Gonna paint that sucker over the Christmas holidays. I have moved out a few extraneous things from MY room-the air hockey table is out. The sofa and end table have been rearranged for maximum TV watching. I have moved out the 27 inch console TV and replaced it with my 43 inch Sony HD flat screen from my other house (men, insert grunting sounds here). We have also dumped Charter and I have moved my DirecTV service to Susan's house . . . no charge. Very cool. I have also been fighting with Bellsouth. Sorry if any of the readers work for ATT or Bellsouth but I have to say that I am livid. It seems that my ID cannot be reused when I cancel my internet service and go under Susan's ID. Yes, I can create a second mailbox and account with Susan as primary but I am not allowed to reuse my jhambham@bellsouth. The other choice would be for Susan to cancel and change her ID but then I get stuck with a "relocation" fee. I guess I'll end up just canceling my internet service with Bellsouth and just use a webmail account. I have set up another address . . . . I will send out a notice to everyone in my address book of the change. Feel free to use either for now but you may as well change over to gmail and get used to using it.

Let's see . . . what else??? Oh yeah, it seems that there has been rash of break-ins in my neighborhood and in Susan's community. The thing about it is that both our communities are very nice communities with traditionally very low crime rates. Don't know if it's the fact that it is Christmas time or that times have gotten hard enough to drive the low life scum of our society into nicer environs. In any case, we have now enabled the security system at Susan's house AND we are installing a safe. As I told the sheriff in my community, if I catch someone in my house and they don't haul ass, somebody is leaving in the horizontal position. He gave me the thumbs up but cautioned me the culprit needs to be in the house and not shot in the back. Cool.

Another thing . . . I need to rename and refurb the "my hot girlfriend" blog. I'm open for suggestions.

a) eliminate that blog altogether and just keeping personal stuff on this blog.


b) keep my blog here for runners only and move the personal stuff to the renamed blog.

I will be posting wedding photos by the weekend.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

A brief aside

Yes, those of you anxiously awaiting to hear about the remainder of my first week as a married man must stand to the back of the line.

Running. Relative to the first week of marriage-next to nada. A couple of miles here and there and that was it. However, I did run 2 on Monday afternoon and 3 this afternoon. Have to get back in the groove, you know.

Okay. It seems I've been tagged by Amy ( to list SIX (6) things that make me happy. I've been thinking about it for a while and this is actually tougher than it sounds. I guess I am a simpleton because there are lots of things that make me happy. However, if you're talking about deep, deep down inside, the things that I wouldn't trade, I think I can narrow it down somewhat. I am also taking Amy's advice as well (you'll have to read her blog to see what she said to me). Thanks Amy . . . I never would have thought of that!!!!!

1. My new life with Susan. She is a nurturer by nature so she's always ready to serve. That is not why I am here. I am also a serving person and I guess that sort of makes up disgusting in the fact that we are trying to do things for each other. I cannot imagine her not being in my life. I love her.

2. My new life with Susan's girls. I know, I know . . . that is two things that technically fall in the same category but it is somewhat different. Mind you, I was in my mid 40s before I even got exposed to being around kids for longer than a few minutes. I never really had the paternal instinct . . . until now. I find myself being stepdad to two daughters-12 and 8. Lovely girls and each has certain attributes from their mom-some good and some, well, not quite so good but all in all great girls. I never realized how meaningful a hug, a kiss, or holding hands with a child could be. Wouldn't trade it for the world.

3. Like my tagger, Amy, I am a little bit anal retentive. That being said, I am very happy when a plan falls into place. There is nothing better than thinking through an objective, plotting and planning (and maybe doing a spreadsheet as well!), and executing a plan. Doesn't matter the objective . . . just achieve something that you created. Of course, we runners love to schedule and plan our runs, whether a 10k or a marathon. Nothing like knowing your splits before you run them!!!

4. Hard work. I know, sounds stupid but it does make me happy. I'll have to give my parents the credit for this one. They were not slave drivers but they led by example. I learned so much from them both and I find myself applying lessons from my childhood into everyday things. I am always so shocked when I hear guys talking about sleeping until lunch, sitting around watching ballgames all day, just goofing off on the weekends. HERESY!!!! I realize that there are times for playing and fun but I am so happy when I have a weekend of work planned (#3 above) and can get up early on a Saturday morning and work until dinner time. Very satisfying.

5. Friends. I don't mean aquiantances. I mean REAL friends. The kind that will do anything for you and you'll do anything for them. The kind of folks you can call up at a moments notice and have them meet you at the hospital or invite them to dinner and you know that they'll be there. Priceless.

6. Breakfast at my parents. Yep, simple. Of course you haven't been there so don't be so quick to blow this one off. I promise that if you ever come to visit me, I'll include you on an excursion to my parents' house for the MONSTER BRUNCH. How many ways can you eat pork???? just ask my parents. Nothing better than sitting around the table for a couple of hours, eating and sharing stories. Hmmmmm . . . maybe it's the company and not the breakfast?

There you have it. Six things that make me happy.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Part II - if I were a toilet

Okay . . . didn't mean to leave you hanging.

I'll see if I can quickly recap the remainder of my first week as a married man.

Sunday, after having breakfast at Embassay Suites with Susan's sister's family, we headed home. Well, we headed to Susan's home which is now my surrogate home. We spent the remainder of the day just chilling out. MAC had to go to the church that afternoon to help deliver food but other than that, we just hung around.

Monday. First day back at work. Everyone was surprised to see me. They all assumed that we were honeymooning. Incorrecto, fish face! We decided to hit the ground running. We are going to Disney (the Orlando flavor) for 4 days the week before Christmas . . . we're calling that the "kid honeymoon". Our actual honeymoon is going to be spring break. Susan and I are heading to Vegas and plan on going to all the local sights, including Grand Canyon. We'll be in touch with Phil to discuss hiking opportunities later!

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were fairly uneventful with the exception of suspicious behavior exhibited by the toilets. Hmmmmmm . . . wonder what that bubbling is all about. Monday afternoon the toilets decided to rebel. I mean think about it . . . if you were a toilet would you let people put their butts all over you without kicking up some kind of fuss? Anyway, they weren't exactly backing up; they just weren't draining. Being handy, I decided that this fell within my realm of "do-ability". All toilets slow to drain. Tubs and showers slow to drain. Has to be one of several things-clogged main line going to the septic tank (yes, the kingdom, for all it's glory, does not have a sewer system), or a blocked vent (possible bird nest, wasp nest, skunk . . . whatever decided to get down in there). Or it could be more serious . . . like a full septic tank or damaged field lines.

Okay, let's think it through. Susan said the tank was last pumped in spring of 2006, so it is highly unlikely that is the problem. I've seen field line problems before. Usually, this kind of problem is evidenced by soggy ground with the putrid odor of sewage (poopy for the commoner out there reading this). Again, the field line area is dry as a bone so I moved that possibility down the list. Okay . . . vent or drain to the septic tank. Easy to eliminate the vent-climb up on the roof with a flash light and do a visual exam. DANG!!! Vents were clear so that meant it was highly likely that there is something in the line between the house and the tank. Since the problem started rather quickly, my guess was that is was some kind of clog and not necessarily tree roots. Maybe one of the girls flushed a doll or a toothbrush or some other inanimate object that couldn't quite find it's way all the way down to the tank. Not a problem!!! I can handle this!

Tuesday at lunch I ran to (cheap, unsolicited plug) Home Depot to rent a power snake. Yes . . . A POWER TOOL (men can insert loud grunting sound here. Maybe even open a beer). I didn't really need the super duper one . . . one hundred feet of 5/8" cable with SIX (count them) cutting heads. No . . . . not that tough a job. I'll take the 75 foot of 1/2" cable with four cutting heads and slightly smaller motor. That should get the job done! Nothing makes you feel more manly than loading a POWER TOOL on the truck and grunting all the way home watching all the jealous men driving past my truck knowing that I was about to . . . . . . play in poop with a POWER TOOL!!!!!

I have been under Susan's house many times doing assorted manly things and in my ventures in the itty bitty crawl space I had noticed that there were no cleanouts in the waste lines. For those of you who do not know what I am talking about, most homes, as required by plumbing code, have to have a pipe that connects to the main drain with a removable plug so you can do what I was wanting to do . . . run an ELECTRICALLY POWERED TOOL INTO THE MUCK AND FILTH of the sewer the line. However, Susan's house ain't got no stinking cleanout. CRAP!!! No pun intended. I could try to snake it from the vent on the roof but that would shorten my snake (again, no pun intended) and I didn't want to get the tool on the roof. An alternate path of entry is easily achievable-take up a toilet and snake through the closet hub (the pipe where the toilet sends all the goody through the floor). No problem. This is still within my realm of my manlihood.

Turn off water. Flush. Try to dip out any reaming water in the bowl. Loosen up the closet (another name for toilet) bolts. Disconnet the water supply. Give it bump and a yank and up she comes! I put an old towel in the tub and lifted the toilet over into the tub. Okay . . . I have a hole in which to now put my snake (more grunting and beer sips by the manly readers here). Move the POWER TOOL into position adjacent to the hole, plug it up, bump the foot pedal to make sure it's working. Yep . . . . good to go! I put a smaller head on the snake for exploratory purposes and started feeding the cable into the pipe. The first couple of feet are no problem-straight pipe with no obstructions . . . . at least that's two feet of pipe that is not the problem. Okay fist bend and the snake makes the turn with no problem. I continue pushing the cable down, down into the darkness of the 4 inch sewer line. Okay another bump and some resistance . . . . another fitting. A slight turn and twist and the snake is free and I continue pushing. Another 18 inches or so of cable and then it stops. Hmmm . . . must be a 90 degree sweep and the snake is having trouble turning it. Back it up and jam it again. Still, dead end. Okay . . . I know the problem-I don't LOOK like a plumber. I pull my pants down slightly so there is some butt crack showing. I also wipe some of the dirty toilet wax on my arms for effect.

Now the snake and pipe will think I belong and we will all become one. Give it another quick hard jam. CRAP . . . . no luck. Back it up and go again. I twist and turn the snake and give it some POWER. It's just banging and not moving. I know I am not into the main line yet. I only have about 6 or 7 feet of cable fed off the reel. I spend the next 30 minutes trying to get the snake to move further down the line but it won't budge.

I gave up. Yes, I gave up. I pulled the snake out of the hole and back onto the reel. I pulled up my pants and I drug the stinking thing outside, pulled out about 10 feet of cable and chloroxed it and hosed it off and loaded it back on my truck. My manlihood has been tested and I have failed. I go back to the bathroom and reset the toilet, hook it up, test it out and everything is operating as before. I run to Susan's bathroom to take a quick shower but first I have to exercise what is left of my manlihood. I flush the toilet and WHOOSH!!!! Water is running everywhere. What the heck is going on? I look behind the toilet and there is a big hunk of china laying on the floor with water running out of it. I quickly turn off the water and realize what happened. My POWER SNAKE ended up making a wrong turn. There must have been a cross in the main line where the back to back toilets are instead of sanitary fittings and the snake went into the other bathroom and up the toilet where it seems all my banging ended up breaking the toilet. Lovely.

After dinner, I ran the snake back to Home Depot, my problem unresolved and my manhood greatly damaged. However, now I get to buy a new toilet. A middle of the line toilet with elongated bowl (every man likes the elongated bowls ladies . . . . you may want to consider buying one for your man for Christmas) and 2 inches taller. awwwwww . . . nice high seat with elongated bowl. Almost worth all the trouble for comfort. I haul it home and it's 9 ish by now so I put it off until Wednesday afternoon.

The office generally empties out Wed afternoon around 1:00 the day before Thanksgiving so I have plenty of time to get home and replace the broken one. The lines are draining slow and are somewhat functional but I still have a plumbing problem. I replace the toilet with no problem and we eat a Thanksgiving eve meal with the girls since their dad gets them over Thanksgiving. Susan and I decide to go to my de facto home in Eagle Point where the toilets flush.

Out of time. Now you'll have to wait for Part III . . . . .