put money in your idle hole

I went home this past weekend for a couple of days. My spirits have been so down for the past couple of months, and not being able to be at home for most of this time has made it worse. Getting to cook some meals and hang out with welfy is just what I needed.

So I'm back in Birmingham again doing a whole lot of nothing on modified duty. I basically spend 16-17 hours a day sitting in front of my laptop. It's getting really old, really fast. I'm a bit discouraged by the slow-down in my recovery. I seemed to be surpassing everyone's expectations and I had set myself the goal of trying to be able to return to full-duty work by the end of this week, but for the past several days I haven't noticed much change. I'm beginning to think returning to work by the end of the week isn't a realistic expectation. It's still really sore and not very stable. Two more weeks of this is going to be HARD.

My roommate, Burt Denver, is going home today and won't be back until next Monday, so I'll have the room all to myself for nearly a week. I'll probably spend most of the week/weekend watching basketball tournament games, catching-up on some of my TV shows, and making mixes.

A few of you folks have photo galleries on my web space. A couple of weeks ago, Dreamhost moved my account to a new server and it caused a number of them to stop working, including my own. Today I got with support and the issue has been resolved, if you even noticed in the first place.

For some reason, Semagic has decided it doesn't want to work any more.

a'bouncing on the bed springs trying to get to know you well

It's 72 degrees and sunny in Birmingham today. At least the weather is nice. I've been "working" since 7:30 this morning. Aside from a trip to physical therapy this morning, all I've done is sit in front of my laptop all day. I have to stay here in Birmingham on modified duty to receive my worker's compensation benefits. Alabama law allows for me to paid at 66 2/3rds of my regular wages. While this is nice, it really won't take care of my obligations for very long and I am eager to get back to full duty as quickly as possible.

They have me going to physical therapy 3 times per week, in addition to having some exercises to do throughout the day. I'm told that a high ankle sprain can take up to 8 weeks to fully heal. The hopes of the doctor is that in 3 weeks I can be recovered enough, in conjunction with a lace-up, removable support inside my work boot, to perform my normal duties. I'm shooting for two weeks. I heal rather quickly and already the physical therapists have been surprised with how fast I'm healing in terms of range of motion and strength.

I have a roommate bunking with me here at the Hornady Arms. He looks like a younger Burt Reynolds with the personality of John Denver. We'll call him Burt Denver. Burt hurt (and he's curt but has a tendency to blurt) his shoulder 2 days before Christmas and went home for the past couple of months. Still not fully recovered, he's here getting some physical therapy and hoping to be released to return to work on the 16th. We're both sitting here in the lobby of the terminal at a table with our laptops. All weekend he watched a shit-load of movies. He has an old work-boot box filled with DVDs sitting on the dresser in our room. There's some Steven Seagal movie sitting right in the front of it staring at me every morning when I'm getting dressed. The other day he was watching Shane. He snores really really loudly, too. There aren't many reasons to be thankful for having poor hearing, but this is one of them. Oh yeah, and for those of you that actually went back and re-read my entry about my orientation with Hornady a year ago, you might be interested to know that I saw Willie Nelson today at the the terminal. We said hello and talked for a little bit.

I was told that Hornady will pay for a round-trip bus ticket for me to go home if I want, on weekends. It only costs ~$60 more to fly it round trip, so I've already booked a flight out of here next Friday afternoon and plan to take a day off and come back Monday night. It'll be good to get home. I've only been home twice since my birthday at the end of January and both of those times welfy was so busy with her play that it felt like we never got to see each other. This weekend will be filled with lots and lots of hanging out with my best friend and wife. That's a pretty good combination to have, folks. Besides, it's the closest I can get to being home for the greatest holiday of the year. I wasn't able to be home for last month's holiday, but I did hold up my end of the bargain by sending Welf flowers at work the Friday before.

I have this huge craving for huevos rancheros but can't find a Mexican diner anywhere around here that's open for breakfast. Unless I find one this week, I may try my hand at making a ranchero sauce this weekend and fixing them at home.
back dat ass up

they shoot'n hoops

So Louisville swept Syracuse in the Big East. You can bet any coach who has to face Syracuse in the post-season will be analyzing the game film from those two games. Rick Pitino is Patton to Jim Boeheim's Rommel: you magnificent bastard, I read your book! Pitino apparently knows how to exploit Boeheim's 2-3 zone, something hardly anyone else has been able to do, and held the Orange to only 44% field goal completion. Of course, the big key to exploiting the 2-3 was pretty simple: the Cards took 40 3-point shots and hit 12 of them.

Kentucky's half court offense is looking a little better in the past couple of games. Of course we're talking about conference punching bag teams like Georgia and Florida. Not that Billy Donovan can't coach his way to a big win from time to time; the Gators put away Tennessee just a couple of games ago and very nearly did it in Rupp today. You have to wonder if Donovan is regretting his decision to stay in Gainesville rather and turning down the Kentucky job - not once, but twice - since it seems possible this will be his 3rd straight trip to the NIT after winning those back-to-back national titles. I understand all his reasons for staying at Florida, with teenage kids well-established in their lives there and not wanting to uproot them, but there has to be a part of him that wonders what it'd be like to sitting where Coach Cal is right now.
back dat ass up

easy money

I've arrived in Birmingham at the company terminal. The safety director Wolf (who you may recall did my orientation when I started with the company a year ago) met with me for a few minutes then showed me to my accommodations. They have a small room with two beds in it for housing drivers in situations like these rather than incurring the cost of a motel. I'm told that I will have a roommate by tonight or tomorrow, another injured driver who's coming to stay at the terminal.

He told me that, until I'm better, I will just sit in the terminal office for 8 hours a day and get paid for 8 hours per day. They'll utilize me if they need me for something, otherwise I can do whatever I want. I asked if they had much light-duty work around here and he said no, and that I'll probably just be sitting around most of the time and suggested I bring a book. I guess I'll take the laptop with me and goof off online all day. I'll be just like a real office worker! Tomorrow morning I have to go see their doctor and get evaluated and might be given some physical therapy in an attempt to speed along my healing.

Maybe sometime over the weekend I'll take a bunch of photos around the Birmingham terminal for a photo entry like the days of yore. But for now, all you get is a photo of my gnarly ankle.

It's feeling much better today. I can even get around without the crutches, but I still use them to keep the weight off and let it heal properly.

the one where soop gets all emo and shit

In my earlier entry of woe, I mentioned my funk, without going into all the specifics. As I reflect more and more on it, I realize it's been building for a while. It probably goes back as far as my wedding anniversary back in November. It was overshadowed by a phone call from my dad about my mom's cancer diagnosis. Frankly this put a pall on the holiday season. Thanksgiving felt tense and everyone was grilling mom about the details of her health and impending operation. Christmas was directly effected since the operation to remove her kidney occurred on Christmas Eve, which I spent all day in the hospital, then all night in a car to make it to Western PA for the wedding of welfy's mom the day after Christmas. Stress meters were flying off the charts the week and emotions ran high.

Then in mid January Welf got her role in the play, which was a joyous event and I'm very proud of her for it. It required so much of her time, though, that I began to feel increasingly lonely and isolated on the road. Welf and I typically talk on the on the phone 1-2 times a day, correspond by text and email, or chat on IM. All of a sudden there was little to none of that and it dragged on for 6 weeks. There would be an osasis in the middle of it though: my upcoming milestone birthday and a wonderful weekend spent with my ador(ing)(able) wife.

At the end of January I turned 40. While this fact alone probably isn't really any big deal to me, the fact that it occurred in this brewing shit-storm makes it bear down on me more than it otherwise might have. On my birthday I scheduled a doctor's appointment. The results of the blood tests I had done were given to me a week later, necessitating a massive change to the way I eat, live, and think. Suddenly I was counting calories, denying myself things I enjoy, and consuming a lot of things that tasted like shit to me. This sudden loss of caffeine in my diet was causing me to have trouble remaining alert behind the wheel. On the Monday before Valentine's Day (that next Sunday) in an act of desperation to remain a alert, I did something I hadn't done in 15 months - I bought a pack of cigarettes. It got me through the remainder of my long haul that night and I didn't buy another when it was gone the next day.

Then a few days later, I discovered on Friday I wasn't going to make it home for the weekend and was going to miss Valentine's Day with Welf. I bought a couple of packs of cigarettes in anticipation of sitting around in the truck all weekend with nothing to do. Then I found out I was going to Newark, NJ however and it would afford me the opportunity to do something I loved; visit New York City. I got all excited making plans and thinking about the things I would do with two days to kill in the city. I could see old friends and soak in the atmosphere. A few hours later, I got another phone call from my dad. My 89 year old grandfather had passed away that morning.

Just in case you're missing the trend here, my emotions keep getting yanked from one end of the spectrum to the other. The holidays, a time of family and fun, even more so with the proverbial blessed event of a wedding, overshadowed by my mom's cancer/surgery. Welf's achievement in community theater filling me with pride, admiration, and happiness dulled by the adjustment of having less access to her and increasing loneliness. The disappointment of not making it home for Valentine's Day temporarily abated by the prospect of going to NYC then finding out my grandfather passed away. It's this constant swing that is so frustrating, because it seems that each blow just hits harder and drags me lower.

My grandfather was more than just the grand patriarch of my family, he is also my name sake. He's Gordon Lincoln Teachey, Sr., my dad is Jr. and I'm the third. My eldest son is the 4th. The silver lining of me being stuck on the road in nearby Baltimore was that I could make it to Richmond, VA where he lived and be with my family. Hornady even let me drive the truck down there. Welf however wasn't able to make it to Virginia. The opening of the play was only a week away. So I spent Valentine's Day with family at my step-grandmother's house and the night drinking a bottle of wine and smoking cigarettes with my brothers. The visitation was on Monday and the funeral followed on Tuesday. That night, I was back on the road.

I did make it home the following weekend for Welf's play which was nice, even if I didn't get see her much since she had performances all weekend, and I was gone again that Sunday night. I bought a carton of cigarettes on my way out of town. Which brings us up to the point where I wrote my entry of woe. Things just don't seem to be getting any better. When I was smoker before a carton used to last me a couple of weeks as I was a rather light smoker. I went through that carton in about 6 days, which just adds to me feeling like shit about myself. Being back on the road and alone was the last place I wanted to be, and welfy was being great about offering long-distance comfort and assurance with promises of a forth-coming weekend together where I could be triple spoiled.

Yeah, I didn't make it home last weekend. I was stuck on the road yet again; an 8.8. earthquake in Chile, Kentucky losing to Tennessee, surely these are the end fucking times.

Then yesterday, I lost my balance while tarping my load in the rain and fell from the deck of my trailer. I managed to spin myself around and land feet first, but I came down hard on my right foot. I tried to walk it off but it got increasingly worse and I couldn't put any weight on it. I hadn't gotten the bungees on the tarps yet and couldn't finish it. I called Hornady to let them know I'd injured myself and that I needed to go get an X-ray to make sure I hadn't broken my ankle. I broke my left ankle several years ago and the pain I was in now was nothing like then, so I was pretty sure I hadn't.

This happened yesterday in Prosperity, South Carolina. It doesn't get any more fucking ironic than that, folks. I told them I was pretty confident I could drive myself to Columbia, SC for the X-rays. They arranged for another drive with an empty trailer to take my load off of my hands and finished bungeeing it up. He got there a couple of hours later and I drove into the city 45 minutes away. I was correct in my confidence and driving wasn't bad. If it had been my left ankle there's no way I could've mashed the clutch, but being the right, I only had to apply pressure to the fuel and brake pedals. Most of it was highway anyway, so I could use cruise control for most of it.

Thankfully it's not broken, it's only a bad "high ankle" sprain. I have crutches and a splint and need to stay off of it for 7 days. I told Hornady this morning that despite the work release, I feel like I could do some light-duty work. I can drive, but there's no way I can climb around on loads and do the other labor necessary in flatbed trucking. They're having me deadhead to Birmingham where I'll be for the next week or so, doing whatever odd tasks they can find for me. I'm not sure what the compensation will be, and I'm sure it won't be much, but it'll be better than taking a week off without pay or having to waste my vacation time to keep the bills paid. Obviously, this means I wont' get home yet again this weekend and it doesn't exactly bode well for next weekend either.

I wonder what the universe has in store for me next week?
back dat ass up

ahhh, the eve of March Madness

So Kentucky and Kansas both lost yesterday. Both teams seem to struggle on the road and that will probably prove fatal for both teams in the national tournament. What's worse is that it's becoming apparent that Kentucky really has no half-court game. They're great in transition, great rebounders, and great on defense, but they simply don't perform consistently in a half-court set.

Some question Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim's stubborn use of the 2-3 zone and find it archaic in modern basketball and the 3-point shot, but his squad gets the job done. With the exception of Pitt, they've beaten every single Big East powerhouse and haven't lost a road game all year. They're good in transition but more importantly, have a solid half-court game yielding them the best field goal percentage in the country. They're averaging 52% for the year. 52%. No other ranked team has an average over 50%. And they're doing that in the Big East against teams like Villanova and Georgetown. They absolutely crushed Villanova yesterday and had 6 players scoring in the double digits and +60% field goal completion. Far and away they're the best team in the country, and have been since January, but have had to take a back seat to a few teams with better W-L records. My guess is that come Monday, Syracuse will be the #1 team in the land and for my money are the team to beat for the tournament.

you didn't have to shake it, but you did

I really need to get my head out of my ass. Last night I picked-up a pre-loaded trailer of construction supplies in Greenville, AL to take to a job site near Knoxville, TN. It didn't needed to be tarped which was awesome. So what did I do? Left my tarps on the empty trailer I dropped and never transferred them over to the new trailer. Now I'm 350 miles away from the closest Hornady terminal with no tarps. They'll either have to find me a load that doesn't need tarping and get me back down south, which might be tough from them to do. Or they'll deadhead me back down to Birmingham, miles I won't get paid for. I'm such a moron.

ETA: Another driver is bringing me up a set of tarps from Birmingham on his way to Pennsylvania. Today is pretty much a lost cause though. I'm sure I'll be sittin here in Knoxville until tomorrow morning.
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I haven't been myself this week, which is understandable - all things considered. I've cried enough for one fucking week to last me the next several years. I do appreciate everyone's e-sympathies, but I'm not pandering for more, hence the commenting turned off. I know that all this, too, shall pass. I just feel so listless and I'm tired of feeling this way, but I haven't found a way out of this funk yet. I kept a brave face for family and friends so I could get through what should've been a completely blissfull weekend all the way around. It's hard to revel in the happiness of other people's lives when you feel like you're in the midst of your own personal little shit storm. So it's easier to disconnect a little rather than rain on everyone's parade. Now I'm on the road and alone again, left to wallow in my own thoughts for hours on end and for days at a time. Right now, it's the last place I want to be.

should I filter this crap?

We have a cheap bathroom scale at home of questionable accuracy. With that considerable grain of salt, I've lost in the neighborhood of 8 pounds when compared to what the doctor said I weighed two weeks ago. Basically all I've done is cut the vast majority of soda from my diet and been a little more mindful of what I eat, at the same time, I still eat the occasional McDonald's cheeseburger (I've eaten there three times this week) but buffer it with low fat/cal/carb sandwiches and salads at other times.

Not that I'm trying to necessarily lose weight in my quest for lower triglycerides/cholesterol, but it will likely be a pleasant side effect. I could stand to lose 25-30 lbs. and look much more svelte. With all of this muscle I've put on the past year, I might even start to look ripped.

I got into Frankfort around 3 this morning. I had an appointment with an oral surgeon at 9:15 this morning, but after not actually making it to bed until 4:30am, I blew it off and got some sleep. This afternoon I'm going to visit with my old pal aloneinky for a while in Lexington, visit my kids as well, and then probably spend the latter part of the night with a bottle of wine.

My ever talented welfy has a lead role in a community theater production which opens tonight. I will be going with a large group of our combined families tomorrow night, so I'll be largely left to my own devices this evening, and for the weekend in general.

(no subject)

Some of you may have noticed that I briefly posted about going to NYC this weekend then removed it. That's because I found out that my grandfather passed away yesterday. It turns out that being layed over in Baltimore all this time was a blessing in disguise. He lived in Richmond, VA and my company is going to allow me to take the truck down there and be with my family for the funeral. I had actually thought about stopping in Richmond on my way through there Wednesday but decided not to because I wanted to give myself plenty of time to get into Maryland with the blizzard. In hindsight, with the customer being closed on Thursday anyway, I could've spent some time with him in those last couple of days he had. Talk about feeling like shit. Hindsight being what it is, I'm trying not to be too hard myself for that.

I am thankful that wefly and I made the trip to see him last Labor Day Weekend and that she got a chance to meet him. That weekend Granddaddy had seemed mostly bitter and resigned. It's understandable I suppose. I can't even imagine what it must be like to be 89 and still have a sharpness of mind like he had but a continuously deteriorating body due to advanced age; being hard of hearing and blind in one eye, plus severely limited mobility. It has to take itss toll on the psyche. He spent most of the weekend either napping or watching the Game Show network, unable or uninterested in trying to engage us. On the Sunday of that weekend, however, he stubbornly crept onto the back porch with his walker and sat with us and his wife Lucy and joined in the conversation. He even laughed a few times, that distinctive laugh of his that I had been missing. After a while he said, "Who wants ice cream?" We all soon piled into the car and went for ice cream down the street at Bruester's. That day would end up being my final memory of him, and probably the one that will always come to mind first when I think of him: the four of us in a car on a beautiful Virginia Sunday afternoon, him sitting in the passenger seat with the dog in his lap while we went for ice cream.

I love you Grandaddy, and I'll miss you.