Wednesday, January 30, 2013

2013.01.24 Thursday

Worked from home today, some.  Daytime TV is pretty bland.  The same commercials, same courtroom drama, same medicine ads, same soap operas, same useless content over and over.

Habs came over to work some in the afternoon.  A nice change of pace for him.  This turned into a trip to Torchy's.

Kelc and I watched some more Six Feet Under.

2013.01.23 Wednesday

Another day home, but by myself in the morning.  Honestly, felt a little uncomfortable being without somebody in case something happened, but decided to focus on other things, like the Price is Right.

My mom took a half day at work, showed up around lunchtime to spend the other half of her day fixing up some food and hanging out with me.  Moms are awesome.  Brother showed up to see how things were going.  Everybody got to enjoy the good home cooking.

Watched 3 more episodes of Six Feet Under with Kelc, then bed time.

2013.01.22 Tuesday

Didn't sleep much last night.  Partially kitty, partial chest pain.  This sucks.

Kelc had another day off from work.  Didn't really move around a whole lot.  Watched daytime tv, random naps.  Made some phone calls to set up things with doctors and whatnot.

Had some evening visitors.  Watched Hot Rod with Korey and Lyle.

Started watching Six Feet Under with Kelc.

Another day done.

2013.01.21 Monday

Yet again, not getting much sleep.  Also slightly stressed about this stress test.  Will this cause another "event"?  They suck so much, I fear having to experience that again.

Stress Test Part 1: Heart imaging.  Went down to some area of the hospital where they have big machines that do fancy things.  This one had a table to lay down on, then the table moves up and over towards some plates.  The plates move in within a few inches of the area in question, and take snapshots somehow.  I have no idea how that worked, but apparently that worked.

Stress Test Part 2: Treadmill.  They wheeled me over to a room with a few stations of treadmills and tables.  I got hooked up to a fancy EKG machine that also measured blood pressure and blood oxygen levels.  First we had to wait for a doctor to be present in case something happens, but also to monitor the readings to see if anything is out of whack.  Then we started the test.  Stage 1 was just walking at a slow pace.  Stage 2 was right under what I consider a brisk walk.  Stage 3 is supposed to be like a jog, but my stride was just long enough to be awkward.  I couldn't decide if I wanted to walk with large steps or jog.  I survived those three stages well enough to be pushed to the optional Stage 4, which is more like an actual run.  (Side note: one reason I never really liked treadmills is that I could never find a setting that felt normal, and at this point that is still true.)  This stage was much shorter, but just trying to push my heart up into the intense range to see if anything weird is happening.  Everything worked out ok, except for the fact that I feel malnourished and dehydrated.  After Stage 4, got bumped down to a slow walk pace to relax.  I felt like I was able to catch my breath in a couple minutes, but I could see that my heart rate was still going at 150-160.  I went to sit on the table, and my heart was still going 150.  Nurses chatted with me for a bit, trying to distract me some, but I could hear the beeping and see the number, and I almost started to panic again.  This sucks.

Stress Test Part 3:  Once the heart rate started dipping into the 140s, they decided that was good enough and I need to go chow down on some fat-loaded food.  Why is this part of the test? I have no idea.  They gave me a meal of ham+cheese sandwich with mayo, cashews, ruffles, sugar cookie, and regular milk.  I had a hard time eating again. (By the way, I think it's funny that the hospital considers these foods fat-loaded and heart-stressing.)

Stress Test Part 4: Heart imaging.  They wheeled me back down to the imaging area.  Same machine with plates.  More pictures.  At this point, I'm pretty sleepy.  The table for the machine is more comfortable than the hospital bed I've been stuck in.  I drift in and out of sleep this time around.

Mid day, enjoyed a meal of funky meatloaf and broccoli and mashed potatoes.  I guess it wasn't really that bad, but nothing sounds as appetizing as home-fried bacon.

Afternoon rolled around. Results from the stress test and various cardiograms showed that nothing is glaringly wrong.  They are setting me up with a heart monitor, but released me to go home.

Rode home with Kelc.  Feeling bad, but tolerable.  I think now that a good factor in this is psychological.  Thinking about possible terrible outcomes doesn't really do me any good.  I have to actively focus on relaxing and clearing out anything causing stress.

2013.01.20 Sunday

Arrived at the hospital to climb into a bed.  Had three more people try to get an artery sample.  My arms have been stuck many times by this point.

They put me on some remote monitors, so if my heart starts to do something weird they can see it.  My chest ached all night, so I didn't get much sleep.  Kelc spent the night and powered through on a mini bed.

Woke up to more blood samples.  Didn't have much of an appetite for breakfast, but they brought me eggs, bacon, coffee, juice, and a muffin.

Mid morning, a lady came by with a fancy ultrasound machine. Normally these are used to look at the womb.  When looking at the heart, they call them Echo-cardiograms. To get a good picture, they have to jab the probe in between ribs.  It's not comfortable, but compared to everything else it was cakewalk.

Early afternoon, a cardiologist stopped by.  He only looked at the electro-cardiograms.  Everything looks "normal".  They weren't able to capture the event actually happening, so no definitive explanation of what caused the racing heart.  One theory: remnant flu symptoms and not fully recovering.  Another theory: extra wiring in the heart causing a type of feedback loop of electrical impulses.  Another theory: this is all a dream.

Family visited.  Kelc went home to get some time with Kitty, rest, recharge.

At some times throughout the day, lunch and dinner were served. I really didn't have an appetite, and felt like my heart could start racing at any moment, but I tried to eat something.  I'm probably going to lose weight from this visit.

Doctors came by in the evening to say that I'm not allowed to eat or drink after dinner, definitely not after midnight.  Gotta get some rest for a stress test in the morning.

2013.01.19 Saturday

Woke up to some texts from my parents about a day trip to some property in the family.  Sounds like fun, so I got up, got dressed, and drank a cup of coffee while playing some games.

Here's where things took a weird turn.

I started feeling funny.  My chest felt funky (it had been for the past few days, but I attributed that to phlegm remnants from the flu).  When I checked my heart rate, sure enough it was cruising along at something like 160bpm.  This was quite alarming, so I kind of started panicking.  Probably didn't help at all.  I started pacing around the house and trying to focus on calm, deep breaths to bring the heart into check, all while waiting for my parents to arrive to pick me up.

When they arrived, I explained that I wasn't feeling well and we should hang out for a bit to see what is happening.  In the meantime I hooked up my running heart rate monitor to keep an eye on the rate.  Took me about an hour to come down to a normal pace.  While we were chatting and waiting around, my dad received a text from a family relative explaining that they had other plans for the day, so we wouldn't be able to get through the gates to the property anyways.

Decided to ride over with my parents to their house.  Spent the day there, ate some soup and watched TV.  Heart doing fine.

Went to Salsas for dinner.  Everything going fine until the conclusion of the meal.  My heart started pounding again.  Wtf.  My parents and I both agreed that this isn't normal, and that we should probably get to a clinic. Luckily there is a clinic not that far down the road...oh but closes early on weekends.  Fffffffff...

At this point, I'm riding around town with a heart rate monitor beeping between 180-185, my limbs are going numb, and I think I'm dying.

Ended up in the Emergency room.  Numerous doctors/nurses poked and prodded things into my arms, put stickers on my chest, and told me their names.  Everything happened so fast, hard to really remember what happened when.  Eventually they pumped some sort of full-body sedative into a vein.  Things started calming down, except for the heart rate.  The highest they captured my heart rate was at 165.  When I left, I was still pumping around 130.  Chest ached a lot.

They decided to send me over to another hospital where they have cardiologists.  That means...Ambulance ride.

2013.01.18 Friday

A day off.  Cleaned up some around the house, then installed a keyboard drawer.  By itself it doesn't really sound that difficult, but really was kinda challenging since I had to hold up everything while drilling and screwing from under the desk.

Spent a good chunk of the day playing games, dealing with paperwork, cleaning, and playing with kitty.

Cooked up some sausage for dinner and watched some TV.

2013.01.17 Thursday

Distracted morning.  Not great for productivity, but that's part of the beast that is working.

The gang settled on Texas Rib Kings for lunch.  Good choice.  Lots of delicious food, reasonably priced.

Finished up the day, headed home.  Ready for the weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013.01.16 Wednesday (Bacon Rum Ball Recipe)

Trying Chai tea for breakfast.  Interesting, different.

Went out to Taco Bell for lunch.  Meh.

Other than that, pretty regular day.  To spice things up, I'm going to post a little write-up about the bacon rum balls that I prepared over the December Holidays.



  • 2.5 cups vanilla wafers (processed into crumbs)
  • 1.0 cups confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1.0 cups bacon bits (not fake stuff)
  • 0.25 cups rum (plus/minus some)
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Creating the dry mix:

  • Prepare batches of vanilla wafer crumbs with a food processor.  The finer the better.  Place in moderately sized mixing bowl
  • Add confectioners sugar to mixing bowl.
  • Add cocoa powder to mixing bowl.

Creating the bacon bits:
For the bacon bits, I actually had some bacon already fried up that I was able to use, but I still ended up needing to fry some more.  The bacon actually chops up better if you slightly over-cook it; it looks dry, but not burnt, after letting the pieces sit to drip and cool off.
Smaller batches of bacon slices works best. The food processor will get greasy and slimy looking.  Mmm fatty.
I have never tried pre-made bacon bits, but I would guess their taste is inferior in this recipe due to the already inferior taste before cooking. (I'm picky about bacon.)

Bringing things together:
Add the bacon bits to the dry mix, then mix with a spoon. At this point, the greasy bacon bits will likely make clumps with the dry mix.  I put this mixture back into the food processor to blend; this made the dry mix much more uniform.
Add the maple syrup
Add the rum

At this point, you should have a mixture that is almost like a dough.  The goal is a mix that is close to the consistency of peanut butter, for ball forming.
If the mix is very wet / soupy: sprinkle confectioners sugar to dry things up.
If the mix is slightly too wet: wait for the mix to evaporate some alcohol / soak up liquid.
If the mix is too dry: add more alcohol (yay).

Prepare a small dish of confectioners sugar near your end tray.  This will be used to roll the rum balls around on.  Sugar-coating the balls helps them not stick to each other, and also dries things a bit to make it easier to handle, almost like a seal.

The Messy Mess:
Use a spoon to grab consistent sizes of dough, roll into a ball shape, then roll in your sugar dish, then place in tray. (Repeat this until mixing bowl is empty.)

And now, the pictures.


The dry mix (wafer, sugar, cocoa)
Adding the bacon :-)

The "clumps" from the greasy bacon. (Re-mix this)
Adding the wet ingredients gives this

The final product.  Delicious.

Bonus pic: If you have leftover bacon, make some chocolate-covered bacon.

2013.01.15 Tuesday

Gloomy and wet this morning.  This year has been that way so far, but somehow we are still in drought.

Habs, Mark and I went to CoCo's for lunch.  Made sure to make others jealous of our outing.

Left work late but found the keys to my car.  Quick drive over to C+E's to give back the air mattress.

Leftovers dinner. Grocery shopping.  Sportsnight.

2013.01.14 Monday

Back to work, but not feeling great.  Took the indirect way home due to a shooting closing down some roads.  What is going on in the world.

Got my hair cut.  Always nice to get a massage out of it.

Looks like we have a new guest staying with us.  Her name is Kitty.

Watched some Sportsnight, cooked up chicken and mac+cheese dinner, then called it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

2013.01.13 Sunday

Breakfast, showered, relaxed.  I was worried that being away from the group would make things disconnected or disjoint, but everything worked out.  Also had the benefit of not having to wait turns for the shower.

Played the Batman Returns 3-d board game, with Danny DeVito as the penguin.  I almost destroyed Gotham with my reckless rolling of the dice.  I should stick to Wii games.

Grilled up alligator.

A group of people left for a movie that a handful were not interested in.  I wasn't interested. Played more games, then watched a couple Dr. Who episodes. That sounds like more fun than a movie to me.

Late home, watched an episode of Sportsnight just to wind down a bit.

2013.01.12 Saturday

Gathered up everybody, then headed over to Ihop.  Placed our order then... the power went out.  Oh cool.  Guess we won't be having a group lunch after all.  Quick drive over to Lenny's for subs.

Watched some football.  Played games, listened to music.

Took a detour to HEB for goods to consume.

Matt made some awesome lasagna dishes.  Some with aligator, some with eggplant.

Watched the Dark Knight Rises for the second time.

Quick drive over to the hotel room for a comfortable slumber.

2013.01.11 Friday

Finally, a vb day.  Played a few really good games, then chatted about how fun politics are and how well the economy is chugging along.

Home, took care of a few things.  Stopped by my sister's/bro-in-law's place to pick up an air mattress.

Off to BCS.

2013.01.10 Thursday

La Azteca for lunch. Delicious choice by intern.  Good job intern.

Mostly normal day. I'll let your imagination take this one.

2013.01.09 Wednesday

Rainy.  And more Rainy.  Supposedly we have flash flood watches in effect, but we are still in drought conditions, so no fire.

Picked up my new eye-wear.  Weird.  It's going to take me a while to get adjusted.

2013.01.07 Monday

Back to work.  More people are actually here.

Lunch outing to Costco.  No bikes, but hotdogs are still deliciously cheap.

Drawer sliders game in, installation was a breeze.

Watched the National Championship game.  I hope everybody understands the value of being in a conference to assist in comparing teams.  Let us not forget this waste of multiple hours. Please.

Played games and did some accounting, then bed time.

2013.01.08 Tuesday

Interesting day at work.  Split that up by a trip to Popeyes for the special deal.

Tried to leave early, but left on time.  Quick pit-stop at the eye place.  I'm a few days away from seeing the world from a new perspective.

Ate some food, played a few games, then hopped over to trivia.  We got second place, score!

Home, bed.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013.01.06 Sunday

Watched some more football.  Feels weird to have two days of NFL.  Set up a sweet bracket to keep track of the playoffs.

Met up with R+M at Thundercloud for food.  They just got back from a vacation.  Sounds awesome.

Did a tiny bit more tidying around the house.

R+M visited to talk some about their vacation and see Kelc.

Late night grocery run.  Can you believe they ran out of bananas?  THAT IS BANANAS.

Winding down for the work week.

2013.01.05 Saturday

Playoffs have begun.  I spent a good chunk of my day watching that and doing small things around the house.  Probably played some games somewhere in there too.

Worked a bit on "the room".  Simple day, but productive.

2013.01.04 Friday

Woke up and performed my own oil change, but it started raining in the middle of it.  Sucks to be wet and cold and crawling under a car.  I think that is a cue for me to look into some other solutions....

Next up in the day: helping Habs with stage two of his sink project.  Went to Home Depot for a few more parts, stopped by Stuffed for some etoufee.  Not quite as good as Little Deli, but still darn good.

Made some leaps and bounds with the sink.  Hit a bit of snag when started getting caulk all over when some clamps weren't fitting right.  We made it work.  Mark came over, we had (jersey attitude) pizza, watched some of the cotton bowl, and finished up sink stuff.

2013.01.03 Thursday

Wrapped up the work week.  Yeah that's right, 1st day was a virtual Monday and 2nd day was a virtual Friday.  Score.

Later into the evening, headed over to Hab-house to begin stage one of his sink project.  Project goal: replace the entire sink area with new stuff.  Today's goal: disconnect things, remove old parts.  Made some progress with that, then stopped by home depot for a few parts.

2013.01.02 Wednesday

Well, I did not sleep well at all last night.  Very much in a daze.  I probably wasted some shower water by staring off into space.

I usually try to stay out of politics because it's really hard to have an opinion without seeming like you are on one side.  This whole "fiscal cliff" (I really hate that term) was really something both parties agreed upon to force compromises.  Well, I'd like to say that I'm disappointed in both parties.  Senators and Representatives, it is your job to serve the people that elected you, and also find ways to make it work even when you don't get your way.  Doing nothing is cowardly.  Stop being chicken and adding delays.  Also, media needs to tone down this constant barage of catastrophe-of-the-week.

Overall, pretty good day.  Weird being back to work.

2013.01.01 Tuesday

I'm probably going to make a few typos on the post titles until my fingers re-learn how to type out the year.  Started the day off preparing a batch of black-eyed peas.  Supposed to be good luck.  Also, I make em tasty with bacon making its way into the recipe.

Cleaned up the kitchen, mopped around the house, and cleaned up some holiday decorations.  It's nice to be able to move around without feeling like crap.  I watched some IASIP and football while doing the "chores". Hooray for being able to move around.

Left for a late lunch to my parent's place.  I shared my lucky peas, they shared some chili.  Good collaborative meal.

Back home, did a tidbit of cleanup, then played some games.

Later on in the evening, decided I should put some effort into the extra bedroom, right now is a "junk room". Well, whenever I look at the stuff it doesn't really seem like junk, but rather piles of things I'd like to put some attention to... eventually.  It's more like a fun room when you really dig in to the boxes.  I think the space will get better when I start finding "homes" for the stuff.  Like my tools... they are spread out and have no home.  Suggestions?

Kelc arrived home after working too many hours over the course of a handful of days.  We watched some Sportsnight, then I turned in.

2012.12.31 Monday

Feeling better today, but not the greatest.  Watched some IASIP, and did things around the house.  It pretty much sucks that my holiday time is going towards recovering from whatever bug is going around.

Finished off the year by getting dressed up and heading over to a NYE gathering hosted by my sister and bro-in-law.  Crazy fun.  I might feel like sh*t, but I look like the sh*t.  Classy.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2012.12.30 Sunday

Another recovery day.  Still feeling like crap.  Accomplished nothing, unless watching tv, sleeping, and monitoring a fever counts as something.  Last night I woke up really cold and wet from sweating out a strong fever session.  Hopefully that'll do it.

Spent most of the day watching football.  Apparently there was a Steelers game on (Kelc left to go watch some of it) but NONE of the networks even mentioned it.  I had to look up the final score online. Probably because both teams didn't matter at all in the playoff picture.  Better luck next time?

2012.12.29 Saturday

Feeling like absolute crap today. That looks like this:  |crap|

Didn't really accomplish much.  Took some medications and played some games to get my mind off how crappy everything feels.  Starting to get into THPS and TF2 more.

2012.12.28 Friday

Ran a few errands with Hasbro because he likes to plan reasons to get out of the house.  I am feeling more stuffed up from whatever bug is going around.

Beat Portal 2; that was kinda quick, but good.

Feeling worse and worse every day. Decided to push through to the party.  Worth it.

2012.12.27 Thursday

Cooked up some coffee with the new grind insert.  Super cool.

Didn't really do much today.  Pretty sure I'm getting sick from whatever Kelc had.

Ray and Marisa came over for a quick hang out and chat session.

Watched Dark Knight Rises with Ray and Habs.  Me thinks I will have to watch this one again.

Home late.

2012.12.26 Wednesday

Woke up confused.  Packed up my stuff and went home.  Somehow Kelc left before me and I arrived at home first.

Did a few things around the house, then went to run a few errands.

Met up at Torchy's for some food.

Played some TF2, and Portal 2 (finally).

2012.12.25 Tuesday

Woke up late compared to everybody else.  Kelc kept me awake all night with coughing fits.  YES, I am a scrooge.  I also got some undeserved presents.

Played a multitude of games, snacked on snacks, mealed on meals.

Watched some Sportsnight, then off to bed.  Merry Holiday.

2012.12.24 Monday

Didn't really do much this morning.

Met up about midday for a gift exchange with family.  I went a little crazy with the gift wrapping, mostly for the purpose of making it harder to figure out what is inside.  Part of that is because I'm not creative enough to come up with gift ideas on my own, and the other part is because I like seeing the confused looks.

Starting to feel a sore throat take hold.  I wonder who could have given me that.  Made a quick trip home to swap some items, then out to Kelc's lakehouse to spend some quality time with her relatives.

2012.12.23 Sunday

Brain woke me up, couldn't go back to sleep.

Cooked up some breakfast and cleaned up some of the kitchen.

Played some TF2.  Mostly took it easy all day.

2012.12.22 Saturday

Woke up to a phone call.  Plans changing and I have to wake up earlier. *grumble grumble*

Slept some on the way to h-town.  Better than having to drive.

Ate food, played games, ate food, played games, napped, ate food... gooood times.  Food coma is good once in a while.

Wrapped up things with the family, and started the trip home.  We took a slightly longer route to see some sights.

Arrived home around 1:30am, not bad.

2012.12.21 Friday

Braced for the end of the world.  NOT.  Or did I?

Took care of some wrapping, ran some errands.

Spent the evening finishing a project and cooking up some goodies for tomorrow.  MOAR BACON RUM BALLS PLZ.

2012.12.20 Thursday

Quite productive today.  Trying to wrap up the year.  What better way to do that than an End of year lunch meeting.

Finished up the day with some depressing news that the interview didn't go so well.  I can blame that on my lack of preparation and being groggy in the morning.  Who knows, maybe things will come back around when we get back from break.

Made a late evening trip to Flying Saucer.  Intern and long-lost-coworker were in town and willing to celebrate.  Fun was had, even though it was quite cold outside.  Oh and the frozen yogurt place decided it was best to close shop for the night.  Go figure; not everybody gets a "virtual friday" every other week.

Home, snoozer.

2012.12.19 Wednesday

Hectic day at work, but fun.  Weirdly enough, felt really long even though I stayed busy.

Did some shopping for items related to future events.  If you can't figure that one out, send me a message.

2012.12.18 Tuesday

Made it to work early.  Why you might ask? Well I'll tell you.  I had a phone interview for an semi-internal/semi-external position doing some work that is extremely similar to work I have already done.  Neat.  I've been out of the interview scene so long, I forgot how to sell myself.

Today was the annual "Holiday Graze".  A time of year when fellow coworkers come together in a sort of potluck, and everybody gets stuff and feels groggy all day.  Totally worth it.  This year my contributions were bacon rum balls and chocolate covered bacon.  The rum was pretty weak, I'll have to work on that next time.

Ended up working later than expected, probably because of the sluggishness from the graze. (Still worth it)

After work, stopped by the eye glasses place.  Started learning some info that I've never really had to bother with before.

Stopped by the mall for watch repair.  The girl working there was polite, but a tad askew.  I of course made things more awkward, totally my style.  The mall was actually quite busy, carolers singing something, children crying, the usual.

2012.12.17 Monday

Drove solo, pretty boring.  Had a fun lunch talking about FPGAs.  Not much else happening this day.

2012.12.16 Sunday

Following up a non-paleo day with some moderate non-paleo-ness.

Cleaned up more of the office area.  Cooked up some bacon, bacon fried potato chips, mashed potatoes with bacon.  Seems like a trend...

Watched some football, shopped for groceries, more football, sleep.