I can add "cleaned a carburetor" to lists of things I've done.

The scooter repair is coming along slowly.  For those that don't know, the ladies bought two scooters a few years ago.  They rode them a little but haven't since we moved last year.  We agreed that I could assume ownership of one of them if I got it titled and licensed and running.

So I started by trying to get it to run first.  I'm trying to schedule motorcycle safety classes as well so I can get a class M license, but the next few weeks are really full.  I've been driving the other scooter for now because it works.  The kids are able to take the bus to and from school which means no one has to drive them.  That coupled with the scooter also means I don't need to borrow a car or bum a ride to the bus stop.

Both scooters need work, but each new problem is another crash course in maintenance and restoration.  I'm just glad one is running for now so I don't feel stressed trying to get the other running.  However, the other one is a little more stable at higher speeds, which means if I really wanted to, I could take it to work.  I probably wouldn't push it on the highway, but I could take some bigger streets into town and then if I wanted to go out after I could without needing a lift or going back up north to get a car.

So it's offering a lot of freedom.  It's a little hard sometimes to realize I'm 40 and don't own my own car, but that's the way life has taken me.  I don't want for much and I'm pretty happy.  I realized yesterday as I was listening to some techno, drinking coffee and pulling apart the guts of a scooter that life could be worse.


First Pep Rally

Rowan played in her first pep rally this week.  Here's a playlist of the songs they played.  I'm actually a little shocked at the level of talent from 6th to 7th grade.  They sound half time bowl game ready...almost.

Link goodness.

Don't go crazy.


Bigger Nerd Than Me?

Originally uploaded by xadrian.
I flew up to Colorado this last weekend for my cousin's wedding. I basically flew into the worst week of rain and flooding the state has seen in at least 50 years, maybe longer.

Their wedding was supposed to take place in Lyons, CO, which is north of Boulder. However, the town was basically washed away after a large part of the Front Range got 15 inches of water in about 3 days. The town (along with a large part of Boulder) had to be evacuated.

Some of my family were the last ones to leave after the rehearsal dinner.

Luckily they were able to move the entire event to a fancy hotel in Broomfield. From a non-particpant's eyes, the entire thing seemed to go off without a hitch. The ceremony was short, there was beer and wine to drink, the food was good and everyone seemed to be in pretty good spirits.

Well, everyone but myself and my mom. I didn't think going to a wedding would be a good idea, all things considered, but I thought enough time had past and I'd be okay. It hadn't, I wasn't. I didn't make a scene or anything, but it was just a bummer and I couldn't even force myself to be happy for them. (Which is just selfish and mean of me. I really like them both.)

My mom was also not doing well. Her husband recently went through surgery to remove cancer and his recovery has been slow. Not to mention they didn't get it all and now they're weighing options on what to do next. She was also not very upbeat.

We left after cake.

Luckily I got to stay with my brother and he and his wife were happy just to hang out. My flight got in late, but we went to a karaoke bar anyway and had a lot of fun. We talked comics and sci-fi and Lego and art. It was very nice. I flew out the next morning.

My brother is likely a bigger geek than I am. He stayed in comics longer and as you can see from these photos, he still collects all manner of toy. I'm frankly a little envious of it and have vowed to begin a collection of my own. I don't know I never have. And as he said, "These are the things I wanted as a kid but never got." Now we're grown ups, we can get whatever toy we can find.

I don't know what I'd do with it all, but just looking at all these shelves makes me happy. There are worse things you can do with money. (Better too I'm sure, but at this point who am I kidding?)

So it was a good trip overall. I didn't get to spend much time doing anything, but that wasn't the point. I'll go back up eventually and I'm sure they'll all visit Texas at some point.

I hope Lyons recovers.

Carry on.



I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when an image about sent me into a panic attack.  (I won't post it here, I'm even hesitant to use this one.)  NPR posted a story in which researchers at the Centre for Brain Science at the university of Essex decided to tackle why clusters of holes gave some people such an averse reaction.

Trypophobia isn't an actual phobia as designated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  However, the definition leads one to believe that it could be.  A phobia is an irrational fear of something and the sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid it.  Trypophobia then could be catagorized as a repulsion.  It's not something you would go out of your way to avoid like a tall building or speaking in public.  Then again, you don't go looking for spiders, they tend to find you.

What the illustrated to me, however, is that there are more people than I'd thought who "suffer" from this interesting repulsion.  (Do yourself a favor, don't Google images for "trypophobia."  And if you do, I'll wait until you get back from ruining your day.)  Sharing the NPR article, a friend immediately replied saying she wanted to tell me she had the same reaction, but she had to scroll the offending image out of site before she could type the response.

Turns out, there are a lot of people who have this reaction, but the thinking is also that if you don't immediately have it (by viewing just one image or seeing one thing in nature) then repeated viewing will give it to you.  I've always had it.  I have nightmares in which the pores on my face and arms becomes enlarged.  This happened long before I knew about this categorized reaction.  In fact, the first time I was really aware of it consciously was while watching Plymptoons on MTV way back in the day.  I don't remember if it was Liquid Television that ran it, but whatever it was shocked me.

The weird thing is, it's not clusters of spots.  I'm okay with polka-dotes.  And oddly I have no problem with honeycombs or even wasps nests or aerated ground.  It just seems like clustered holes, maybe with the probability of things coming out of them that tends to send my skin crawling.  The article posted made it seem that it's a latent fear of things that are poisonous.  We may have run into animals marked this way or plants that looked like this.  All I know is seeing lotus seeds make me want to reach back to between my shoulder blades and scratch really hard.

There is a positive angle to this, however.  I think now I want to make a group of "phobia" designs for shirts or stickers.  I think having cute cartoons with your given fear on a shirt would be a great conversation starter.  It might help you get over your fears as well by confronting them.  I don't know how I'm going to ever get past this.  *shiver*

I hope you all have a good day now.  Carry on.


Two Years Ago

Originally uploaded by xadrian.
Clair reminded us that yesterday was the two year anniversary of Cheryl and my divorce. We'd already been out of the relationship for a few years and were still happily with the kids and our significant others. And why one relationship went forward successfully, the other did not.

I still think this is a great family. It's unusual and people might have to get used to it when they first find out, but none of us are degenerates. We aren't super commune hippies or anything way off grid. We're just people with jobs and kids. We're in school, we pay bills, go to dinner, spend too much on groceries that don't last, have fears about the future. We go on diets, exercise, fix things around the house, go out with friends, own pets, watch TV, just like everyone else.

I've seen other families and I think with a couple exceptions, I'd pick this one over all of them. I'm glad they are who they are. They've been my safe place and my support team. Even if I were to leave, I know they'd have my back and welcome me into their homes where ever that may be.

It's been a long couple of years and I've cherished each day. I'm excited to see what this family turns into.