Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Update Time

The last few weeks/months has been an adventure. Let me summarize:
Easter Sunday (April 12,2009): wake up at 3:30 with the most intense pain of my life. A short twelve hours later, I gave birth to a 1.8mm kidney stone. I've named him Bastard, since he only has one parent. Please do not send gifts - I washed Bastard down the sink because I was tired of his attitude.

Mother's day weekend (Friday May 8, just four weeks later): wake up at about 5:00am, with the same feeling having returned. This time I had someone else drive me to the emergency room. (thank God for the Krumm's; they are the best neighbors ever). Sometime Sunday afternoon -after three days of labor- I gave birth to Bastard's 3mm brother. I didn't name him. I just flushed him. Good riddance.

The scans and xrays (those things are expensive) showed I had only two stones, and those are both gone. Hopefully I'm done with that experience.

This last Saturday I woke up to excruciating pain (amazing adjective to use considering I've had two kidney stones) in my hand. Went back to the ER - they love me there - was in surgery by 10 for an infection in my hand that had gotten out of control in a few hours.

My hand hurts from typing, so I'll finish the story later.

Monday, February 2, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I was recently tagged on Facebook. I thought I'd post these random things here also.

1. I once shot 64 in a golf tournament. That’s 8 under par. It was incredibly easy. The hole seemed as big as a barrel, so every putt dropped. Once in a lifetime score, at least for me.
2. I once shot 29 on nine holes, at Luana Hills Country Club in Hawaii. This was my back nine: par, birdie, eagle, birdie, birdie, birdie, par, birdie, par.
3. When I load paper into the printer, I have to make sure that the new paper goes under the old paper. It wouldn’t be fair for the new paper to go on top. The old paper would feel left out and unused.
4. People who refuse to put shopping carts into the parking lot corrals the right way shouldn’t be allowed to shop. How hard is it to take an extra 20 steps and put the cart away? And put it in straight? My OCD tendencies (no, I’m not diagnosed) can’t walk by the corral without straightening the carts.
5. I’ve only owned 3 vehicles my entire life. I got a 1966 Volkswagen Bug when I was 14. I had it until 3 years ago. I bought a 1989 Ford Ranger with 25,000 miles on it. I sold it a year ago with 230,000 miles. Now I own a 1995 Ford Ranger. I wonder how long it will last.
6. I am an award winning Photographer, having won multiple ribbons in the Twin Falls County Fair. However, that streak is probably over. I was so disappointed in last year’s judging, I won’t be entering any photographs this year. I’m pretty sure the judges had never actually seen a photograph before the fair.
7. I am President-Elect of the Idaho School Counselor Association Conference. In July of this year I will officially be President. It was a landslide win when I ran for office. I ran unopposed.
8. As of my last count, I own 471 things, which includes: 2 forks (yes, only 2), 2 dogs, 1 truck, 1 house, a couch, and 11 pairs of socks.
9. I was featured on “The Story with Dick Gordon,” a American Public Media syndicated radio show.
10. I did NOT watch the Superbowl. I don’t own a TV (see #8).
11. I know I should, but I don’t know how to “deep clean” the bathroom. It’s lucky to get a bleach bath once in a while.
12. I love to play online poker on Full Tilt Poker, play chips only. Starting with the free 1000 chips, my bank is currently at 1.1 million.
13. Photography is my passion. I’m not really artistic or creative in any other way.
14. I can recite the alphabet backwards, as quickly as Bruce James. And to take his challenge of a more useless talent, I can sing the alphabet backwards.
15. The kids at school usually call me Mr. M. The Younger kids (1st or 2nd grade) find out that my “real name” is McNaught, they think they’ve discovered some secret.
16. At the end of February, I’ll be speaking at the Washington School Counselor Association conference in Seattle.
17. Since I couldn’t find anything that worked for me, I developed a spreadsheet to track my school counseling activities. I copyrighted the spreadsheet, and have been sharing it with school counselors across the country (hence, #16).
18. I dream every night, and usually remember most of my dreams. I’ve rarely had a week go by without flying in a dream. It always seems so easy in the dream that I wake up wondering why I can’t do it in real life. I dream about one group of friends more than any other: my elementary school friends from Overland Park, Kansas. Although I haven’t had any contact with them in more than 30 years, I dream about them all the time. Especially Ann Rinella.
19. Some part of me really wants to BASE Jump off the Perrine Bridge.
20. I find most issues to be gray, not black and white.
21. I had my first girlfriend when I was 7. She was an older “woman;” I think she was 9. Ellen lived up the street from me in Oakland, New Jersey. We used to hide behind the bushes and decide if we were going to “short kiss or long kiss.” The long ones lasted as much as 5 seconds. Her best friend, who’s name I can’t remember, married us in Ellen’s backyard. Since I was the son of a minister, I told her what words to say. “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of these trees and bushes …”
22. I think voting in the Presidential election in Idaho is meaningless. If I vote Republican, it’s like adding one more grain of sand to a beach. If I vote Democrat, it’s like taking one grain of sand away from the beach. Either way, the beach is still there and dominates the landscape.
23. I’m 42 years old and I’ve never had a cavity.
24. Before I graduated from high school in Hillsboro, Oregon, and before they built the new hospital, I had been in every bed in the emergency room.
25. My middle name is Cecil. I’m named after both my grandfathers. Cecil is my mom’s dad’s middle name, and my dad’s dad’s first name.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Reader Shout Out

I have to give a personal shout-out to two readers of this blog.

Laurie, who recently commented about being inspired to simplify her life. I'm so glad you found something helpful Laurie.

Kamala, my cousin. After putting up my year-end update, I found out Kamala spent a couple of hours reading. I realized, she must have read the whole blog! Now that's determination. Thanks Kam.

My Documents

First, let me apologize the person I'm stealing this from. I found it somewhere during an internet search. I have no idea where I found, otherwise I would give them credit.

I've been looking for a better way to organize "My Documents" (on my laptop). I had one "My Documents" folder, which is organized, like one filing cabinet. But inside that, way too much disorganization. Nothing made much sense.

Here's the new system, a five folder system.

Folder Zero: Inbox
This is the place for all new files. The key is, everything is cleared out of the inbox at the end of the day. The reason it is folder zero? It's not a real folder, not a place to store anything.

Folder One: Action
This folder is used for anything that needs something done to it: quick edit, rename, send to a friend, etc.

Folder Two: Incubate
I use this one for anything that requires more thought, or something that needs action, but I'm not going to work on it anytime soon. I have some presentations I am working on (although I don't work on them daily), some ideas for papers, projects, etc.

Folder Three: Current Projects
Self-explanatory folder. Right now, there are only 12 things in this folder. When I finish them, they'll move to Action, or folder 4.

Folder Four: Archive
Everything that doesn't fit in one of the other folders, goes here. Obviously, I still want to be able to find things in this folder. The organization of this folder is dynamic, changing often.

Now I actually have more than just five folders in "My Documents." I also have a folder named "Wendell School District." I keep all my work related documents there. I has the same folders and organization under it: Inbox, Action, Incubate, Current Projects, and Archive.

Is this the perfect system? Probably not, but it'll do for now.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What's In Store for 2009?

As the year changes, I like to look back on the previous year, and forward to the next.
What happened last year that was productive? How can I continue that?

What happened last year that was a waste of time and energy? How can I replace that?

Where do I want to be a year from today?
Who do I want to be a year from today?

My 500 Things
Although I've reached that goal, I can see that the process is not complete. I don't have a number in mind anymore. To set one at this point would be ... ... ... pointless? irrelevant? meaningless? arbitrary? futile? I don't know what word I want there.

It seems that the number has become less important than the process and the meaning. 500 was a good starting point. It forced some "sacrifice" and some sincere examination of importance, use and meaning of the things I own. Now, that process has become habit. I often look at the things sitting on my desk, or in my bookshelf, and think, "Now why do I have that? Oh yes, I remember."

It also forces me to look at purchases. Before I buy something I scrutinize the purpose of the purchase.

In 7th grade English at Wendell Middle School, Heather Annis (the teacher) had the kids write biographies of their grandparents. Some kids either didn't have grandparents, or didn't have access to them. Other adults were brought in as surrogate grandparents. I got to be the surrogate grandfather for two kids. It was very fun.

One of the kids quoted me as saying, "When I die, I hope the clothes I'm wearing are my only possessions."

I think that pretty much sums up the goal from here.