Sunday, November 01, 2015

Good Bye, My Friend

On Oct 12th, a coworker and friend passed away in Las Vegas. Kim was there on vacation. He got the Sunday morning and passed away in his sleep Sunday night/Monday morning. He was just 61.

When I found out it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was in the office and another co-worker, T, was bugging me to come down to the other end of the aisle where a few other people were standing around. I was in a team meeting and told T that I couldn't right now but would be down in a few minutes. T kept insisting. He then told me that Kim was dead. I was like "What the fuck a you talking about?". T said he was dead. I told T to shut the fuck up and then looked at one of the other guys standing there. This guy is a higher up dude that is in our aisle every so often, usually to hit the candy jar up. The look on his face told me T was not kidding around. I sat down in my chair in shock. The rest of the day passed in a blur.

For whatever reason, the building folks like to put Kim and his team near wherever I was. Sometimes across the aisle, sometimes a few cubes down. We have sat near each other for over 10 years.

In the two weeks since he died, going into the office seems weird. Every morning around 8:30 a few of us would walk down to the lunchroom to refill our water mugs. Kim would stroll down to my end of the aisle as ask "Are you ready for some water, young lady?" Sometimes it was just the two of us, sometime 3-4 of us would wander down there, chit chatting. We would go out the door on that side of the building and walk outside back to our side of the building.

Every so often, at lunchtime, a few of us would head to Menards to stock up on peanuts, or Penzey's to get whatever the free spice was in that month's catalog coupon. It will be strange to not have him go with us. He would give me shit (well deserved) whenever I would change purses and leave my badge in the purse that was at home. Since he got there earlier than I did, I would bug him to come and let me in the building.

I'm going to miss getting the good building gossip, hearing about his weekend at his cottage, shooting the shot about the Brewers or Packers.

Good bye, my friend. I'm going to miss you.

Monday, October 26, 2015

I Took a Walk

With the days getting shorter and the air getting cooler, I wanted to get out and explore a new trail that recently opened up near my house. After work today, I grabbed Boomer and we headed out.

Map of the Nojoshing Trail

Boomer and I walked up the street about .75 miles to get to one of the trail heads on the corner of Packard and Lake Dr. The first part of the trail is thru the meadow area. It is a paved trail that make access easy.

We soon came to the first split and headed off on to the trail that heads north and back to the woods. This part is all wood chips but was wide and easy to walk. Boomer had lots of fun exploring and smelling all the smells.

Boomer is having fun in the woods

Once we got to the woods the trail was nothing more than a path that meandered thru the woods. There were signs a couple times that pointed you in the right direction and most of trail was flanked by old trees and branches to make sure you didn't stray off course. This section was so pretty. One side was along the cemetery back in Seminary Woods. I wasn't sure how far it was to get back out of the woods so I didn't go over there to explore. Maybe next time when I know I will have more daylight. Boomer loved this section. I'm not sure what he was rooting around for in the leave piles. The trail in the woods made a big circle so soon we were back out to the wood chip trail in the meadow.

We headed back and took the path that came up behind the new Civic Center. That part was also paved and made it easy for people with disabilities to get around and enjoy. From there it was all neighborhood streets back home.

I want to venture out on the trail again when I know I will have more daylight hours to explore.

Looking from the path towards the woods

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Beginning?

I got an email today from Stat Counter telling me to update their code on my blog so that I can include mobile devices in my blog stats. I have pretty much ignored this blog for the past 10 months or so. Not sure why. Every so often I have things that happen in my life and would like a way to talk about them in a place that is not facebook or Twitter. But life gets in the way and the next thing you know it is a week or two later. I also realized that I have had this blog for almost 10 years. My how my life has changed in those 10 years.

Today was a day of downs and ups. Nothing huge or earth shattering but still important to me, none the less.

I've been working towards getting my BJCP certification. This is the standard used for judging beer. A friend from MN had recommended it to me a couple years ago as a way to become a better brewer. After attending the Home Brewers conference this past summer, I decided that this was something I would like to pursue further. The Beer Barons, a local home brew club, offer a series of classes that prepare you to take the exam. How it works is that you take classes or self study and you take an entrance exam. This first exam is pass/fail and not scored. You have one hour to answer 200 questions. They questions are true/false or multiple choice. It covers a wide range of topics from styles to brewing to judging. It is open book and I took advantage of that. What I didn't account for is how fast that hour would pass. At first I was going thru and answering each question. Then I realized that time was getting a bit low. So I started answering the ones I could easily do and skipped the rest hoping to come back to them. This worked ok as I was able to at least see all 200 questions. Next thing I knew I had 2 minutes left and panic set in. I started to go back and just guess on the true/false ones. Hoping I could squeak by somehow. In the end I only ended up answering 126 questions and failed the exam. But I now know what I need to focus more on for the next time I take it. I also know that for the next time to go thru them all once quickly and then go back and answer the harder ones. Time management is very important.

I was off today and took Boomer for a longer walk this after noon. It was nice out and he had some extra energy to burn off. We were walking at a pretty good clip so I decided to see how or even if I could run again. After tearing my plantaris tendon in my calf a little over three weeks ago, I have been slowly getting back to walking normal and not limping. I have always been active and this forced rest period  has been difficult on my both mentally and physically. So I started to run. I took one step, then two steps and then ten and felt no pain. I was super slow and found myself heel striking but I was running! I ended up running a little over two blocks. This left me feeling so happy. Maybe I will try a little further tomorrow.