Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Catch 22

So this past week has been quite interesting.  What began as going to Home Depot to buy a few pieces of trim to finish the crown molding in our house turned into a HUGE endeavor that has ultimately turned into purchasing a motorcycle.  The irony about this purchase is the fact we are going on a strict budget to save money and pay off debt and here we are... buying something else to increase our debt.  It's the saying you have to spend money to make money i guess.  Like all financial conversations go, it began with looking ways to save money and pay off debt.  Everything was analyzed.  However, our conversation revolved around one of our biggest expenses every month....Transportation cost aka fuel!

My GTO was has been an awesome car.  Considering it has a 6.0 Liter V8, gas mileage isn't horrible at 18-20 mpg compared to some vehicles but definitely not great.  Recently, I hit the 100,000 milestone on the car.  The car has been quite dependable with all origin parts excluding the radiator, water pump, batteries, tires, and fluids.  That being said, replacing the clutch on the car is a realistic upcoming expense since ive hit 100,000 miles.  Having one of the local shops do the replacement would put us out a little over 1K and leave us without the car for 2 days.  As mechanically inclined as i am, i totally could change it out myself, only 2 days would probably turn into 4 days.

Which brings us to our conversation.  With a trade in value of 6-8K, trading the car in isn't an option.  Seeing as how most new cars start at like 20-30K, even with trading it in, another car payment at 300-400/month would be unavoidable.  Selling it outright, drops us down to 1 vehicle which isn't practical since i work so far away and working 4 days per week would make it extremely hard on my wife being stuck at home.  Having her drop me off at work wouldnt be practical either making 4 trips/ day.  Buying a new car isn't an option because the payment would be high without a decent trade or money down.  Buying used opens us up to the same potential problems particularly if we buy a used car with lots of mileage.  Even a used car with decent mileage wasn't beneficially cheaper vs buying a new vehicle.  Then we came up with the great idea of getting a motorcycle.

Taking the GTO to work 4 days per week was getting quite expensive.  I figured it down to cost per trip and was surprised to find that it cost slight over $10/trip.  Not a huge amount of money but enough for almost 200/month in my car alone.  A definite contributor to our 400-500/month in fuel costs.

In doing a little reseach and we found a decent used motorcycle, a 2009 honda shadow with 32500 miles on it.  Know i know you're probably thinking wow thats a lot of miles for a motorcycle.  We said the same thing.  But as long as you maintain the bike, they can last as longs as cars.  Also, having that amount of miles means the bike was driving and didn't spend months sitting.  The dealer we found it through even offered an extended warrenty of 2 years.  With an estimated 50 mpg, our fuel cost just went down to about $4/trip.  Cutting our fuel cost in half.  Our trip to the dealer branched off into also looking at what is available now.  Lots of research revealed, Honda would be our cheapest option for buying new.  They had a CBR250R sportbike that was also reasonably priced as well.  Being a lighter, smaller engine bike, gas mileage was estimated to be 70mpg.  The cost per trip is now down to $2/trip! Factor in the cost of the bike and insurance and we are still saving money on transportation cost every month.  

And now all the naysayers out there.  Everybody has an opinion!  Motorcycles are too dangerous, nobody ever sees them, i would end up getting killed or hurt.  Just like skydiving is extremely dangerous, the parachute opening hurts, landing is hard, and there is a falling sensation.  Now as an avid cyclist, i know the dangers because i ride on the same roads with a bicycle only going 20-30mph slower than traffic.  I've already got myself preprogrammed to be defensive because i'm always defensive on the bicycle.  The advantage is now, i'm on a level playing field because i can travel the same speeds as the vehicles that are usually passing me.  This also reverts to the reason we got the bike we did.  Upon really examining these two bikes, i noticed something.  The tail light and turn signal positioning are quite different.  In a automobile, both sit approximately 4 feet off the ground.  On the CBR250, they sit about 3 feet off the ground while the Shawdow sits about 2 feet off the ground.  Obviously people aren't looking close to the ground to see your lights which is why most people don't see the motorcyclist.  So we went with the CBR250. 

Then there is the issue of gear.  The majority of people injured in a motorcycle accident are due to lack of protective equipment.  Being in Florida, helmets are not mandatory.  Riding with a helmet and some people make fun of you, riding with a full face helmet and they really make fun of you.  But yet these are the same people that complain when they get hit by bugs in the face.  I'll forgo the taste of love bugs, and the impact of the rain i'll occasionally hit on the way home and go with the full protection of a full face helmet.  By the way, rain sucks when your exposed and traveling at a high rate of speed.  Believe me i know i've made a few skydives in the rain and it hurts.  NOT FUN!  As for further protection, i'm all about full protective gear and make fun of me if you will, my jacket is bright yellow.  No mistaking me.  Call me new, call me inexperienced, make fun of me all you.  I don't care.  Instead I'm looking forward to a long time of riding pleasure as safely as i can be.   

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Since, miss Addie is now 2 years old (hard to believe) i'm drawn to reflecting on things that have happened.  Being a new parent, the stress of everything, and lots of sleepless nights can really take a toll on you.  Nothing was more evident than one night when i got up to feed our daughter.  Honestly, i don't remember if it was one of those times where i worked the night before or not, nor do i remember when exactly it was.  But i do remember what happened...

I took on the responsibility of giving miss Addie a bath that night.  Something that i don't usually do since i worked nights at that time.  Miss Addie loves baths and showers so it's always enjoyable for both parties.  While getting her dressed, i had this funny feeling i was totally forgetting something.  That's funny because everyday i leave for work, i have that same feeling i totally missed something important to pass on report or even some sort of paperwork that i needed to fill out that wasn't.  So i dismissed it.  After all what's the worst that could happen.  At that time, we would bring her into our bedroom to feed her in the middle of the night because it was so much easier.  So 0'dark thirty arrived, and it's feeding time.  I took on the responsibility to get up with her at this time.  In my drunken sleeping state i managed to get Adelyn and her bottle and headed back to our bed.  After getting back into a comfortable position to begin feeding Adelyn, i realized i'm going to have to change her onesie because her diaper soaked through again.  Then it hit me.  LITERALLY.  The wet spot became a river all down my side.  My thoughts go back to when i got Adelyn dressed earlier that night.  I was looking at her and realized i was totally forgetting something....something important.... And now i know what it was... a diaper!  Now if you haven't had kids you'd probably freak out about now.  Most parents would just be like " least it isn't poop."  Being a nurse, i'm thinking, "well at least it's sterile."

Since this little mishap has occurred, i can honestly say i haven't missed a diaper yet!  All in all the only damage was a little extra laundry and a shower.  I leave you with a cute picture of miss Adelyn recently...


So we got a new greyhound.  We named him Ralph because Adelyn's favorite movie is Wreck it Ralph.  We've been talking about getting another greyhound since we got Moby.  But since it has been quite busy attempting to raise Adelyn, we held off on getting another one right away.  But a quick ride down to north fort myers and we found ourselves at the same adoption kennel we went to 3 years ago.  Moby even tagged along to potentially met a new buddy.  Since Moby is so huge, we wanted to get a much smaller one.  The females are usually smaller and we managed to see one that was almost the same markings as Moby.  Moby seemed to like her as well.  In fact he attempted to mount her almost immediately.  However, Donna recommended that another boy would be a better option due to Adelyn.  After looking at a few, we came to Ralph aka "Gunsmoke."  Now Ralph is a beautiful fawn colored greyhound.  He acted just like Moby when he was brought out.  He immediately leaned on us and gave us kisses, something Moby never does.

Upon bringing him home, we determined Moby and Ralph are completely different.  Ralph is a thief, a hoarder, and a bully.  In the first few days, Ralph found his bag of food picked it up and dragged it to his bed.  I guess he figured it was his so why not keep it with his stuff.

The other night my wife and i were watching tv sitting on the floor in our bedroom.  Low and behold in walks Ralph with a stuffed animal in his mouth carrying it to his crate all nonchalant.  The funny thing about it is the fact all the stuffed animals are in the kids bedroom across the house.  So he had to sneak into their bedrooms, search around, grab an animal and head back to the crate.  As for being a bully, you can see how skinny he is.  He has snarled and growled at Moby a few times.  Mainly because food was involved and he hasn't realized that we won't deprive him of it.  

Ralph also raced in 60 races.  Unfortunately, he didn't win any.  Moby on the other hand is a racing dropout and never raced.  This became very evident when we take the two for a walk.  Moby is huffing and puffing a 1/4 mile down the road and needs to stop and pee or poo every 100 yards.  Ralph just keeps on walking.  In fact Ralph has been out to a 1.5 miles without slowing us down.  Attempting to walk Moby that distance would result in us practically dragging him home.  So it just proves if you want to walk and run with a greyhound... get one fresh off the track!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


Okay so it's been awhile since the last time i posted anything.  I'm attempting a return into this blogging thing so i can post interesting things that have and will come up in my life.  Just to give you an update, the last two years have been quite interesting.  My wife and I have managed to survive the upbringing of our extremely challenging daughter.  And by survive i mean barely.  Almost all sleepless nights, extreme fuzziness, food allergies, mental breakdowns, and never ending crying and screaming has and continues to be our norm.  However, we are making progress.  The other day, Adelyn was evaluated for a potential speech delay and sure enough we have a developmental delay.  OT will be here in a week or two to really establish what type and how to better assist Adelyn in overcoming this challenge.  Thanks to my wife who has been there the entire time, we've determined that she has a sensitivity issue that may be the root cause of all of this.  We've tried pretty much anything and everything.  Some things have worked, some things haven't.  I will say something as simple as position in the crib when we set her down at night can have a huge impact on how everyone sleeps.  Hopefully, we are on the downslope of the challenging times and increased communication will be able to help make things more easier for the both of us.  Knowing that things are moving to enable her to communicate more is a huge relief.  

As for our family, we have been to Disney quite a few times.  This has become our new norm.  In fact, we have been enough times to warrant an annual pass for each and every one of us.  Pin trading has become one of our favorite things to do at the parks.  Needless to say, it has also become part of our lives.  Who knew how cool some of these disney pins could be.  Also who knew what type of money people are willing to pay for these pins as well... more to come on that one later.  Being a Florida resident and being close to Disney has it's advantage.  Close enough to go for a day or two, far enough away to miss the crowds.  Beside traveling up to Virginia a few times, we really haven't been anywhere else interesting lately.  We've rescued another greyhound because one just wasn't enough.  In fact we named him Ralph in regards one of Adelyn's favorite movie "Wreck it Ralph."  More to come on Ralph in the next few posts.  

As for work, i've switched to days.  I can honestly say, it's been so much easier.  I'm not as tired all the time switching back and forth, and my days off i can actually feel productive without having to go home and waste most of the day sleeping.  Getting up early on the other hand is totally for the birds but i've managed.  As for work itself, things have been quite interesting.  I feel like i'm working for the government.  Oh wait...I am.  After all, sequestration was their excuse to completely cut out our vacation time for 4 months, forgo on increasing our all ready lousy 401K match, and eliminate the "market adjustment" aka raises promised to us at the beginning of the year.  I very thankful that i actually have a job at this time, but wow.  After all it's takes me two months to acquire a one day vacation.  

I'm sure i've missed a few things that have happened in the last 2 years.  As they come to me i'll be sure to write about them.  Until next time....

Monday, October 24, 2011

I see...DEAD people....or not.

So our story begins with moving into our new unit about 1 year ago.  The down fall to this new unit is the person that designed it wasn't nor ever has been someone that actually does patient care.  In our unit, three rooms are particularly close to the nurses station, rooms 4, 5, and 6.  Naturally, being able to see the patients is very important when the patients aren't doing the greatest. Usually we use these rooms for the the sicker patients so we can keep an eye on them.  Recently, things have gotten quite extreme with room 4.  Since i work in Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unite, or CVICU, most of are patients need heart surgery one way or another.  Usually most of the patients have issues prior and surgery is scheduled.  However, every once in a while we have those emergent patients that have a cardiac arrest at home and end up here.  A few of these patients have ended up in room 4 simply being the room was open and close to the nurses station.  Granted because of their condition, they didn't always make it.  Now since we opened the unit, the so called death toll in that room started to climb.  Granted this isn't the only room that somebody has passed away in.  In fact in looking back at the books, there has been only 2 more persons that passed away in that room compared to say room 6.  However, after the fourth person passed away in that room our staff started going crazy. 

Day shift nurses started it saying the room is haunted and there is a ghost in that room.  One of our surgeons totally fed off that and declared that room unsuitable for his patients.  As things started to escalate, the hospital chaplain was summoned to bless the room and pray over that room.  This all occurred on day shift.  Our night shift nurses were in complete awe regarding these whole entire shenanigans.  Night shift realized that half of all the patients that passed away in that room did so after being found unresponsive after cardiac arrest, who knows how long they had been down and miraculously were brought back to life never to fully awaken.  Never mind the fact it wasn't like these patients walked into this room and passed away.  These patients were totally critically ill prior to arriving in the room.  The final draw came when on the patients passed away in the OR and was supposed to come back to this room.  Never mind the fact the patient had never entered the room, but since their name was supposed to come to the room, Room 4 was closed.  No more patients to that room for the duration of the summer.  Since the chaplain's blessing obliviously didn't work, Day shift nurses and the surgeon decided to broaden their abilities.  Now they were turning to the Catholic church looking for a priest to do an exorcism of the room or in the room, or whatever they were trying to do.  I'm just sitting back watching all these people getting worked up over this room when nobody is looking at what type of patients are included.  Totally entertaining.

After the so called summer vacation and exorcism, Room 4 is back in business as usual.  Since then nothing weird has happened.  Haven't seen a staff member walk into the room and suddenly disappear or anything, but i keep looking and waiting. 

More to come soon....

Monday, October 17, 2011

And the Parenting Begins...

Wow, It's been a while since i've gotten a chance to post anything in almost like 4 months.  I'm blaming it on new parenting brain.  After all if my wife can use pregnancy brain, i'm going to use parenting brain.  So to begin, things have been quite interesting being a new parent.  And the fact my beautiful wife is almost like a new parent as well, it's been quite an experience raising our little fusspot.  She totally has a new nickname around our house as "McFussy."  It partially isn't her fault.  After all she developed a milk allergy, so we had to place her on the gold formula nutramagin.  And by gold, i mean it totally comes in a gold can that only lasts like 3 days and costs more than it does to fill up my car with gas for 2 weeks.  If that isn't the worst part, she totally developed colic.  So our first 2 months was nothing but sleepless nights and days, crying, and throwing up.  The only relief we got was when company came down.  For some magical reason, she was absolutely amazing whenever anybody else was here.  The second they left, McFussy returned with a vengence.  To make matters worse, i now had to return to work.  In a way i was the lucky one that got relief from all the crying by going to work.  Then again i would rather change a poopy baby diaper than a huge 300lb person that has stool dripping off the bed.  Or even worse, having to FLOAT to another unit.  The thought still makes me shudder.   As for McFussy, she as slowely gotten better throughtout the course of the last 3 months.  Some days are better than others and she still has days where she totally has bad days.  Thankfully i have a very awesome wife and mother who has gotten her on a schedule and has been attending to her needs night and day.  Working nights has a slight dissadvantage of requiring me to sleep during the day so i'm not much help, but has the advantage of allowing me to take care of McFussy at night when i'm not overly exhausted from working.  I have been picking up the slack by totally being the one that manages the food around the house.  Even this has been a little challenging because my wife has totally gone to the extreme to even change her diet so milk isn't crossing from her body into her breastmilk.  Just proves we will do anything for our children.  

It's been interesting adapting to life with a little one that can't feed themselves, walk, talk, or really do anything more than being a bump on the log.  Things definitely take much longer.  The simple trip to the grocery store now involves feed the baby, burp her, change the babies clothes that she just spit up on, set her down to change your shirt that she spit up on, pick her up to place in car seat "explosion heard."  Now change her diaper, change her clothes again from the massive blowout, put the dog in the crate, put the baby in the car seat, grab the diaper bag, load the car up with stroller, diaper bag, 5 sets of bottles, 10 pacifiers, 2 sets of clothes, 15 diapers, a box of wipes, car seat, run inside for keys left on kitchen counter, run outside, place pacifier in mouth, forgot wallet, run back inside, run outside, still crying change different pacifier, nope doesn't work still crying, say screw it maybe she'll stop crying when the car starts moving.  Start heading down the road, nope still crying now screaming.  Ten minutes later arrive at the grocery store.  Still crying, trying to remember what i came here for....oh yeah....milk.  Get the stroller out, load up the stroller, place another pacifier in her mouth,  YEAH this one works from the car to the entrance.  Screaming now, wondering why the milk is all the way in the back of the store?  Didn't they have parents in mind when they designed these stores? Grab the milk...left the wallet in the car, place the milk back, push the baby back out to the car, grab the wallet, head back in grab the milk pay.  Load up the car again and drive home screaming all the way home.  Pull into the driveway, the crying has stopped, the baby is finally asleep.  God totally has a sense of humor....

It does have quite a humbling affect when you remind yourself at one point and time you were just like this and now you have all this knowledge.  It really does prove that evolution doesn't exist.  First off if we totally evolved from monkeys as survival of the fittest, how come as humans we actually transgressed by being the only animal on this entire planet that can't do anything really for the first year?  Even monkeys have the strength to hold onto their mothers not long after being born. And even if it's suggested that well they age faster, why would the law of physics totally slow down the aging process for humans and make us develop slower and not anything else?  And the most important question if we developed from monkey why are there still monkeys?  Food for thought.

Anyways i'll try and update more often now that my life has become a little less crazy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Gotta love a walk...drag

So tonight we decided to go out for a little walk seeing as how the humidity was down and the temperature is quite tolerable.  So we asked Moby if he wanted to go and of course he was extremely exicited.  After all he's a greyhound and used to running at 45 mph around the track.  Granted, they only do one lap around the track per race and usually only race once maybe twice per week.  So for everybody that thinks greyhounds are hyper dogs and need lots of exercise keep on reading.  Stacey took Adelyn in the stoller and walked around the block, while i wanted a little more excercise decided to run around the block with our couch potato.  He was very excited and ran with a happy gallop that kept up to my much slower pace.  We of course had to stop on the way for him to relieve his bowels and bladder.  No big deal.  As we came around our block, now it's approximately 1/2 mile around the block, he was starting to wear down quickly.  I figured i could keep running around and catch up to my wife.  I should have turned around and headed back the way we came to catch back up to her.  After passing the house, Moby had lost almost all energy and was barely keeping up to my rather slow jog.  I had to even encourage him to keep on coming.  About halfway around the block i realized i should have retraced my steps.  I was in a slow walk, the leash was stretched straight out behind me and he was sniffing around to trying to produce some sort of bladder sweat in order to get me to stop for just a second.  I was seriously considering having to run home and get the element to pick him up.  Surprisingly he made it around the second time even though by the end of it was walking very slowly and was practically dragging Moby.  A full 1 mile walk.  After drinking a full bowl of water he totally passed out on our bed. After we got everything cleaned up, he took to the couch where he totally has passed out ever since.  Tongue hanging out very similar to this pic of him and totally incapacitated.  Usually he gets up and follows us when we both leave the room because he is so codependent.  However, tonight that is not the case.  He is so exhausted we could leave the house for the night and would still find him in the same spot in the morning.  He'll be like that for the next two days.  That's about how long it takes hime to recover from a walk.  Which is why 1, most greyhounds only run once or twice a week and 2, moby was a drop out.  So Moby has two speeds in life.  45mph and 0.  More to come...