Monday, February 28, 2011

Sensitivity Training

I'm not one to let my emotions show.
At least I don't THINK I am, especially not the crying sort of emotions.
It has something to do with my childhood I'm sure...
It's not something that I think is shameful or anything, I just tend to hide "involuntary" signs of emotion. I just KNOW that there is some sort of deep-seated psychological issue here...

Anyway, ever since I walked into the vet's office a sobbing mess when Ally passed, it seems my emotions have been on a hair-trigger. If I watch a sad movie, hear a sad song, or read any sad or otherwise heart-string jerking material, I lose it.
Maybe I'm still grieving.

The Vet's office sent us a condolences card when we got back from our trip and I couldn't make it through the first paragraph before I got up and went to the bathroom for a while so no one would see me crying.

Maybe this is some natural form of sensitivity training.

Whoops. Gotta go. Dr. House was just rude to a dying cancer patient on this show. I feel the water works coming on again.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth

This is a common sight around here lately. Abby has already set herself up as Alpha female.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Three Times

We're all still sick, but I think I'm getting a little better. Amy and Tristan, not so much...

I really ready to get over this crap. This is the THIRD time I've been sick this year.
We're almost through Feb...


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 25, 2011


My family and I are The Walking Dead.

We all have the flu. Bleh.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 24, 2011


We just landed in Houston and I am sitting on the plane, waiting for my turn to disembark.

We had a good trip overall, but by my judgement, last year's convention was much better. Of course being healthy is a big plus too.

I think next year, we'll hold off on Vegas and save the money. Also, we learned of another convention that moves from city to city every Jan. Last month it was held in San Antonio! Hating it that we missed it. Next year it's in New Orleans so we might just have to make that one. I venture to say that the prices will be much cheaper PLUS we'll be able to drive. I'm sick of airports.

It's good to be home.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Taking Vegas

While this has been a good trip/vacation/learning experience, the timing couldn't have been much worse.
I, ever the optimist, never mentioned that I had a touch of the flu (far be it from me to say I had a full-on bout of the flu) when we first arrived.

At the beginning of this week, we got a call from home saying that Tristan has come down with the flu, and now Amy has finally succumbed to it.
We just got her all medicined up though, so hopefully that will get her through the rest of this busy day.

Broken foot, sprain ankle, flu, more flu... We have been taking Vegas by storm. Ha!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Meeting Those That Have Been There

Amazingly, we didn't attend any classes today.
We sort of put a theory I had into practice.
While the classes are informative and helpful, I thought it would be a good idea to meet some people and talk shop.
It turned out to be a good idea.
We met a couple from Nevada at a sandwich shop and talked without then for hours. They are wedding photographers that also do high end video. They turned out to be super cool, and like I thought, we learned a ton! Good stuff.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 21, 2011

Laid Back And Trade Showin'

Today has been pretty laid back, but full.
Amy and I imbibed a little last night so weren't in a huge hurry to get to class at 8am, so we just missed that class. Classes go on until 8:30 tonight so nothing missed.

The Trade Show also opened up today to. It's a gadget geek's fantasy land. All kinds of new and innovative photography gear.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Classes all day, and had a great time last night... and I didn't write.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Did I say that the convention classes were starting today? HAHAHA!
They are, in fact, NOT starting today.
I don't get it. Anyway, classes start tomorrow at 12:30. I can't blame anyone but myself, EXCEPT, we're still having a great time. Again, no blood, no foul.

So today, again, we are lounging, going to catch a movie, see some sights, maybe hit the casino a LITTLE, and look for a good buffet.

We went through all the available classes and designed a good schedule for ourselves. Like I said, these platform classes begin tomorrow at 12:30 and go on into the night each day. Another booboo we made is that we are flying out on the 24th, the last day of the convention. There are only two or three classes on that day, but we still want to make them. This MIGHT make us miss our flight, but we think it may be worth it. It's not like I have rush home to make it to work. We'll see, we may be all "classed out" by that time.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Seize The Day... Even If It's Not The Right Day

We did a lot of walking today.
Strangely, the convention, the REAL convention doesn't start until tomorrow. Yesterday turned out to be specialized private classes. Today at 5pm was registration and packet pick-up, which we just did.

We've been having a great time though, lounging around, and checking out the casinos. Lots of lights, bells, and whistles. My foot is kinda killing me, but I'm betting it will be better tomorrow with a little less walking, and a little more sitting in class learning a thing or two about photography.
The Trade Show is going to rock.

The MGM Signature Hotel we're staying at is giving us comped tickets to one of several shows. I think we're going to see Cirque Du Soleil's "Ka".
Any of you guy's ever seen it?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Trials Of Travel

So. I didn't write yesterday, but I gotta tell ya, the day was a doozy.

We woke up at 5:30am to get ready for our 7:30am flight out of Houston to Vegas.

We were running a little behind, but when I saw the relatively short security line, I knew that we shouldn't have any problem making it to the gate on time.

The night before, I had gone through my laptop/camera bag and cleared out anything that wasn't absolutely necessary to cut down on weight, and remove questionable security items. One time I got stopped at security for having a pair of snips in my bag, a common phoneman tool. I told them to just throw them away, apologized profusely and I was on my way.
Anyway, While clearing my bag, I told Amy to clear her bag.
She rolled her eyes.

Back to the story, we're in the short security line, I'm hobbling through, and when they wave me through the sensor, they pull me over to powder test my hands and walking cast. No big deal, I figured they would make me take it off, but they didn't. That's when I looked up at Amy who was ahead of me. She was looking back at me with fear, no, terror in her eyes. She mouthed the words "Oh my God!"
That's when I saw the security guy that was checking her laptop bag pull out a small black case.
Do you want to know what was in that case?

Last Christmas, my good ol' brother-in-law got gifts for everyone. The gift he got for my son was a pair of Nun-chucks aaaaaaand a Ninja throwing star. A martial arts weapon. An illegal to carry in Texas martial arts weapon!
I watched as Amy was escorted away with several TSA agents.

So, I stand back watching as they question her, they photograph the deadly ninja weapon, and I overhear them say that because it is an illegal weapon, they have to call HPD. I have a seat on the bench next to where they are holding Amy... I can see the that she is trying to remain calm as she explains the situation, how the deadly ninja throwing star weapon of mass destruction was placed in the bag by our son, and she didn't even know it was there. I can see that at any moment, she's going to lose it.
So I sort of step in, and confirm to the agents that I am her husband and that she is telling the truth, then I turn to Amy and begin to comfort her, "Amy I TOLD you to check your stupid bag!! GOD!! What is wrong with you?!? You ALWAYS think that I'm going overboard, and yet here we are!" haha kidding, I didn't do all that until later.

So the cops get there, and they say that they have to call the District Attorney to see where to go from here since it is an illegal Ninja throwing star mystical weapon of mass destruction and psychological warfare.
The female cop is not too nice...
We've now missed our flight.
I am unhappy.
Amy is unhappy.
It's going to be a great trip.
The cop comes back to us and says that the DA doesn't want to press charges, but the TSA will probably be sending us a letter within 30 days that will notify us of a fine. It is important that we respond immediately to this letter.
We're being fined??
How much will the fine be?
Well, sir, it can be up to $10,000.
When I regained conciseness, I think I may have cried a little when she finished her statement: ...but you're probably looking at something like $1,000 since this a first time offense.
I held up my useless ticket and said, "You know what? I don't even want to go to Vegas anymore. Take me home."
We didn't go home.
After missing the first "stand-by" flight, we managed to get on the next one. The kind airport employee saw my leg, and beautiful locks of curly red hair and put us at the front of the line. hehe We finally made it to Vegas at around 2pm or so, and we were happy again.
Amy called TSA PR group, and they told her that there MAY be only a nasty letter coming, but no fine. Then again it may be about $250, so, I guess that's not so bad. Maybe I can win that much at the Blackjack table, then, "no blood, no foul".



Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I just finished playing here at church.

I've been walking around in my "walking cast" all day today. It hurts, tired I guess, but it's all good. I'm ready for Vegas.
I bought a cane at Walgreens, but when I tried it while wearing regular shoes, it didn't seem to help. Slowed me down, in fact.
Imma be rockin' the walking cast. Yeah.

We took Abby to the vet for some shots and a general check up. She did well, but is sore now.
We were in the same room, on the same table where we last saw Allie alive. I couldn't help but think about her. Miss her...

Oh yeah! Today is our 15th wedding anniversary!
Thank you, thank you.
I almost forgot!! I've been aware of it for the past couple of months, but I get right up to the day and almost lose it. Nice.

I am thoroughly in love with this woman.

She amazes me with her resourcefulness, competitiveness, and cutting wit.
There is probably no one else on this planet who will argue with me about who has the lowest cholesterol. Haha
She is kind, and loving, and caring. She takes care of me when I am well and when I am broken down.
I am wildly in love with her...
The Vegas trip is going to be our celebration, so, see you at the party!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I spent most of today organizing folders and files on my computer and backup drives.
It's amazing how fast this stuff can get away from you. Amy and I REALLY need to develop a better system for archiving photo sessions. I got a lot done, but have a lot left to do. I'm just glad I actually have the time to do it now.

I didn't use my crutches at all today. The pain is manageable. That's a good sign. Just two more days until Vegas!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 14, 2011

Crutches, And Canes, And Cuddles, Oh My!

At around 6 this morning, I noticed that my ankle had FINALLY stopped hurting. It was nice for about two hours.
That's when Layla decided to go bounding across the bed and landed all of her 70 lbs right on top of my foot.
Yeah, I screamed. Heck of a way to wake up.
So it's hurting again, but at least it's not all red and feverish looking.

I'm hoping it will have mended enough by Thursday for me to use a cane. It will be much easier than wrestling with crutches on the plane, also no wear and tear under my arms.
We're still on for Vegas, but I dunno, it's going to involve a LOT of walking. I wonder if I could rent crutches once I get there? Haha.

Layla is FINALLY starting to accept Abby. I think she was grieving for most of yesterday, despondent, and unengaged.
Later that night, however, she began to give Abby a little attention, and finally squirmed her way into a cuddle when they were both tuckered out on the couch.

Everything is going to be all right.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Man, my ankle is still killing me.
Its gone through several different color changes over the past few days, green, blue, purple, gray, now red. I guess it's inflammation. I've been taking lots of Ibuprofen, but it just seems to be playing catch-up.

Oh, I didn't write yesterday... so this is it.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Repost, circa March 2006

Today, we drove back home to Houston.
Allie really is gone. This fact struck me when I first woke up this morning, but the pain, I noticed, had abated a bit.

We've been talking on and off about her, looking at old pictures, and just remembering the good times, and the crazy times with her.
It feels different around the house. Something is missing...

I found this old JournalSpace entry I wrote about her back in '06. I can't believe that was almost 5 years ago...
I'll go ahead and repost it since I don't really feel like writing today.

A Rescue Story
posted 03/22/06
JournalSpace- Ashlar

This is my child, one of my children anyways. Buttercup.

We found her at a Boxer rescue agency here in Houston.
They said they found her wandering around in an old neighborhood trying to find shelter from the rain. She was extremely malnourished and neglected. She was probably just deserted or dropped off by her previous owner. We think she had been beaten as well.
In those early days, she would always shrink away from an outstretched hand no matter how kind the person might be. If you came in the room carrying anything like a broom, mop, or even a box, she would cower away to the other side of the room watching your intentions with a honed sense of self-preservation.

I remember when we first met her.
We went to the sponsor's house to have a look after researching her on the internet. She came out of her kennel fast, made a couple of sprinting loops around the room, and came to rest on top of my son licking his face in a frenzy. We were hooked. After filling out the adoption paperwork, I carried her in my arms to the truck and we began our life together. She had a new name before we got home. Allie.

She has been with us now for over four years and I can truly say, she is the best dog I have ever had the pleasure of owning. Actually, to use the word 'own' does not describe our relationship very well. She is a member of our family. My mother-in-law has currently won over her affections by cooking REAL gravy to pour over her dog food anytime she wants it. A spoiling grandmother true to form.

Although she still pulls her head back a little when you reach to pet her, and still takes on a worried look when it's time to sweep, she has acclimated quite well and become very protective of her new home and family.
Everyone should have a friend like this one.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Rest In Peace, Allie

Today has been a rough day.

That's the understatement of the year.
This morning, at 11:40am, we took our Boxer, Allie, to the vet for her final sleep. Amy and I were with her the entire time, talking to her and comforting her.
She went peacefully, and without fear.

Allie was a "Rescue Boxer" that came into our lives about 9 years ago. At the time, we thought she was about 2 years old, but later found that she had been closer to 4.
This made her approximately 13 years old, which is a ripe old age for a Boxer.

I remember how we loved her from the moment we first saw her.
When we arrived at the "foster home", she bolted out of her kennel door to greet us.
We stood there gawking as she ran into the room and tackled Tristan, who fell to the floor laughing while she kissed him about the face and neck.

We knew she was the one.

It took several months to get her to a healthy weight.
When we first got her, she was an emaciated skeleton.
I guess it was for this reason that I didn't get TOO upset when she would eat an entire plate of stacked, raw chicken breasts ready for the grill. She did that several times before I learned: No food was safe from her long reach. You had to hide it in the microwave or oven. She was quick.
She slept in our bed almost the entire time we had her, up until about a year ago when her hips got too bad to jump up.

And that was the beginning of the end, her hips, her knees, incontinence, and finally, her mind.
She just couldn't get around anymore and the vet said it well:
"You gave her a warm, loving home for most of her life. Her body was just tired and she was ready to go to sleep. This is the right thing to do".

We needed to hear that, although I already knew it to be true.
This vet was a little different in procedure too. While Amy and I stood by Allie, the vet gave her a sedative first so that she was super relaxed and lay down before they administered the anesthesia.
And then she slept...

It was odd, I noticed through my sobbing, when the vet listened for a heartbeat, found none and said "she's gone", I FELT that she was no longer there. It was easier to say goodbye and take my hands away.

Later that afternoon, we drove her body to Madisonville and buried her at the back of my in-laws property. Some boys from around the neighborhood helped out since I couldn't do anything with my broken foot.
They wouldn't accept payment...

Allie was by far the best dog we've ever had. We will never forget her, and she will be sorely missed.

Rest in Peace, Allie girl.
We love you.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 10, 2011


My ankle has really been bothering me today.
I don't know if it's the weather which has been in the 20s, or if I just did too much yesterday.
My mother in law gave me a muscle relaxer, bad idea, and it knocked me out for pretty much the entire day. I don't do well with drugs.
I prefer ibuprofen to Vicadin.

At any rate, I'll be taking it a little easier. Yesterday, I did a chest workout, was up and down the stairs a lot, and played at church.
Today: nothing.

I've got rehearsal in an hour. I'll do that, then off to bed again.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I didn't write and I really don't have an excuse with all the time off I've been indulging in.

I'll do better. Ha.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On Chill

I spent most of the day in my studio today.
Oh what fun it is! I'm working on my masterpiece. Ok, so I hate to call anything a "masterpiece", because that means the pinnacle, the best you can do, but I want to ALWAYS be growing and refining and becoming a better musician.

Anyway, it's a pretty cool tune, and marks another beginning. It's been over a year since I've recorded anything on YouTube.
I'm definitely getting back into it since I won't be at work for a while.
I absolutely love YouTube. One of my videos has been viewed over 183,000 times! I just want my next video to do better than that, and I THINK that it will.

I visited the Orthopedist yesterday. Good news all around:
I DON'T need surgery.
I got a walking cast which I don't have to keep on all the time.
I MAY be able to get back on a bike in 4 weeks, elliptical in 8 weeks, and some cautious running soon after that.
I can probably start swimming again, and do any sort of lifting that doesn't require my right foot by next week... of course, I'll be in Vegas...
I will also be off work for at least 2 months. ::tear::

Yup, pretty good news all around.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 7, 2011

Appointments And Showers

There's something to be said about not having to go to work on a Monday.

There's ALSO something to be said about being able to get around on your own unasisted. Amy SO wants to give me a sponge bath and spoon feed me pudding, but I am just not the type to be catered to.
I guess I am what they call a "bad patient"... ok, maybe I'm ok with a sponge bath or two.

I have an appointment with the Orthopedist at 3 today.
I'm anxious to see what kind of cast I'm going to be stuck with for the next several weeks. It would be nice if it was something I could take off every now and then. I took the temporary splint off this morning to get cleaned up before they put the (hopefully not) permanent cast on. It was a one-legged hoppy, skippy shower, but I managed.

Watched "The Town" this morning too. GOOD movie.

Later, gators.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Meet Abby

Today, after service, we all rode out to south Houston.
Last night in our online search for a new boxer puppy, we came across a little beaut that we couldn't resist.

Meet Abby

WE loved her at first sight, however, Allie and Layla weren't so easily won over.
They were highly distressed when we got home with Abby. It was kind of funny, kind of annoying, but they're coming around. Abby is unfazed by the old dog's cool welcome.
When she was sleepy, she slept.

Today is a good day.


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, February 5, 2011

These Are The Breaks

So there's the break. It's at the end of the 5th metatarsal. I just learned that today. I'm still not sure how to classify the break, but here's what I think it is: an avulsion (Jones fracture), it's probably going to need surgery. They would reinforce the bone with a screw.
The upside of surgery is that it will heal much faster(6-8weeks) than on it's own(6-18weeks), and will be less prone to re-injury... not that I plan on playing any more frakkin' basketball in the foreseeable future.

Moving on...

Today was Tristan's birthday. He is now,
oh em gee, 14 years old!

He had a few friends over last night, and today we just kind of focused the day around him. We got him a nice card, and in the card was a coupon for a new Boxer puppy!
He was super happy, as are Amy and I.

See, here's the deal, our older Boxer Allie is just about at the end of the line, she's approximately 12-13 years old, very old for a Boxer... She is almost unable to walk because of the arthritis in her back legs and hips, without medication she is incontinent, and her mental state is very deteriorated, according to the vet. While we try to mitigate her pain, she just doesn't seem happy or comfortable anymore...
It's going to be a hard, hard business saying our goodbyes for the last time...
BUT, the new puppy will absolutely soften the blow. We'll definitely get her in the next week or two, before Allie passes.
It will also be good for our other Boxer, Layla, who is only 3 years old, and was more or less raised by Allie.
So, how have you guys coped with the loss of a pet? Are we going about it in the best way?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 4, 2011

Me And My Stupid Foot

This morning, there was a thin layer of ice on everything, but I got up and went to the gym anyway. It's only two miles from the house.
I wanted to do the Spin class at 5:15, however, when I GOT there, there were only 3 cars in the parking lot.

Spin was cancelled. One of my training buddies came in and suggested we just play basketball.
I don't play basketball so I said "sure".

We really didn't play basketball, we ended up doing a bunch of drills, which I have to admit was a good workout.
That's when I decided it would be fun to show off my prowess with a hackeysack on the basketball.

Everything was going great after 9 or 10 kicks, but then it started getting away from me. I went after it and leaped to get that last kick off the wall. When I came down, my right foot just folded underneath to the inside.
I heard several cracks and pops as I crashed to the floor in excruciating pain. Many curses and swears spewed forth from my mouth. Haha
I knew I had messed it up. The first thing that ran through my mind was:
This is really going to put a damper on my training.
Then I thought about our trip to Vegas in a couple weeks.
Anyway, my friend came running over and said it was definitely sprain. The swelling was almost instantaneous.

After sitting there for a while with an ice pack on it, I finally decided to go home. I managed to drive veeeeery slowly. I didn't want to leave my Jeep at the gym.
Amy and I went to the ER Minor Care place and got X-rays and all that good stuff.
My ankle is sprain, and my foot is broken. Lovely.

It's in a splint now, but I'll get a cast at the orthodontist next week.
I keep trying to figure out a way to keep training. Not being able to swim is going to suck... I guess I can work upper body at home, maybe figure out some upper leg exercises, some way to get my heart rate to a cardio level. I bet there are some good ideas online...

On the PLUS side: I won't be at work until the cast comes off. That means a lot of free time to make music, and videos, and write! Outstanding.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Storm Shmorm

Didn't write last night because I was getting ready for the huge Winter Storm. Ha!!!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'd Rather Be Playing Music

Today was not a fun day to work outside. Too cold, man. I'm not really cut out for temps below 40 degrees. Haha
I can't imagine working outside in negative degree weather. Miserable.

Had a good jam tonight at service. I'm new to this band so it's still coming together, but I can tell right now, the drummer and I really click. He has a very good feel and knows how to stay in the pocket. I foresee good things comic out of this group.
Music is FUN again.
Not playing the same "show" 4 times per weekend helps. My chops are actually getting better, AND I feel like doing some recording.

Got a good 2 kilometer swim in this morning. I was pretty tired after. I've been away from the water for too long. Gotta build back up to that 2.5 mile make again. Maybe in a few weeks.

Ok, 'nite.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Crazy Cold

It's gotten a little chilly around here.
When I drove to the gym this morning, it was 65. When I left the gym, it was 43.
I think it's somewhere in the low 30s and dropping right now. Some reports say we'll get into teens tonight.
But still, it's NOTHING compared to what some of you guys are seeing. I have never experienced, nor do I think I even fully understand -38! Brrrrrrrrr... Welcome to Siberia!

Me and some friends goof nuts at rehearsal:


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone