Think Inside the Box

All my (adult) life I’ve dreamed of finding a quality box wine. It just makes more sense, as it allows lower product and shipping costs as well as an open storage time of a month or more. Lo and behold, this past month I have been thinking (and drinking) inside the box.


More on that surgery

Here are some events in my life that were worse than the experience of this past week: malaria, spinal meningitis, spinal fusion, staff infection in my heel bone, 3 of my 6 reconstructive foot surgeries. I’m pretty sure something just got displaced from my top 10 bad experiences list… somewhere around number 7.

And it wasn’t on account of the pain, though there was that. As it turns out, I cannot sleep if I’m not breathing through my nose. Most nights passed in a blur of pain and confusion broken up by 15 to 30 minute intervals of sleep. I think I maxed at about 1.5 hours of sleep for the first 6 nights following the sinus surgery on the 14th.

Briefly, I had my septum relocated, my inferior turbinates shaved (not hair but flesh), and a general roto-rooter job done on my sinuses to reshape them, clear impediments, and open them up. But all that was really quite manageable, except I couldn’t breath through my nose. It turns out a tasteless world of no sleep is no fun.

I did have exceptional support. As Tricia mentioned, I convalesced for the first 3 days and 2 nights at my parents, which was a tremendous boon. I came home to a wonderful welcome and more wonderful care from Tricia.

And yesterday, I got my nose back. Here’s what they pulled out after removing some stitches (they were stitched together through the septum)… and after cleaning them up (they were gross).



The removal procedure was uncomfortable but manageable. What came next as I had my sinuses cleaned out with a suction shall not be mentioned, but I ended up taking as many narcotics yesterday following the procedure as I had taken the previous few days. I had Nicolas along to watch, so I got to show him Daddy being tough, no whining or complaining, just a tear leaking out of the eye that felt like it was being sucked back into my skull as I sat perfectly still in the chair.

Anyway, I slept for six glorious hours last night, and am breathing more freely now than I did before the surgery in spite of the ongoing bleeding and post-surgery congestion. Thanks to everyone for their prayers and concerns.

Car Audio

I bought a used Acura TL back in November of 2004 when the head gasket gave out on my 12 year old Acura Legend (for the second time… had already footed an insane bill once to repair the same thing). I immediately took apart the dash, put in an adapter that converted the CD changer input to a couple of RCA audio jacks which I then ran through the dash into a little cubby/storage slot. After adding a gooseneck PDA holder, I had an iPod-ready car.

For my birthday in January of 2005, I got a set of Polk Audio DB6500s on the cheap off eBay and installed them myself. This involved taking the doors apart, cutting out portions of the doors, and yes, sticking a knife in my leg. For the next year I had fantastic audio in the car minus any bass whatsoever. The car had come with a subwoofer, but it was horrific, so I disconnected it. Great music sans bass. Until my next birthday.

For my birthday in January of 2006, I got an Infinity Basslink, a self-contained small profile 10-inch subwoofer and amp combo thingy (again, courtesy the fine folks at eBay). This time I had Best Buy do the install, and they did a great job. Since then I’ve been enjoying a wonderful audio “experience” as I motor around town. The subwoofer takes up very little room in the trunk and provides a terrific sound, though it is designed more for quality rather than quantity. I can’t entertain neighboring cars with heavy beats.

I really do recommend the approach of putting a solid pair of tweeters and mids up front coupled with a subwoofer. I mostly fade out the back speakers so they are inaudible in the front seats and just provide a bit more sound in the rear seats. You end up with a great shape to the music and by putting all the sound in front it maximizes the illusion of the bass originating from up front as well.

So how was YOUR day??

Does the mental image of Jay standing on the kitchen floor in his skivvies, at 6:30am this morning, watching in disbelief as water pours out of the ceiling above him bring a teensy bit of humor into your day?

That is how our day started…’s always something around here.

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Today my sweet husband spent more time thinking about me than himself, despite the fact that it is his special day. He got up early with the kids, allowing me a rare morning of sleeping late, which was WONDERFUL!! This afternoon I got out for a couple hours sans children to do some errands and some fun window shopping. What a treat.

At the last minute, upon the Birthday Boy’s suggestion, we managed to garner a couple of lovely babysitters who facilitated a night out for us: dinner and a movie, so we finally saw Narnia. We thought the movie was incredibly well done and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sadly, we did not deem it appropriate fare for any of the youngsters in our household at this time, so they shall have to wait and enjoy it in another year, or two, or three….

Well, again, Happy Birthday to Jay. We love you very much!!


I’ve always appreciated an orderly living environment (so long as the word “always” is taken to mean “always as a post-adolescent and adult”), but actual cleaning has never captured my attention quite as strongly. I can remember a time in college, as I was shopping at Wal-mart in preparation for my first semester living off campus (that being my 9th and final semester), I ran into a few friends from college. All of these friends were of the female persuasion. So I ask them to look over what I’ve got in the cart and tell me if I’m forgetting anything crucial to apartment living. Approximately 8 tenths of a second later, one of them pipes up and says, “Well, you don’t have a toilet bowl cleaner.” To which I smoothly replied, “Yeah, but I’m only going to be there for 6 months.”

For whatever reason, however, I’ve always wanted a clean garage. Oh, it’s always been organized and kept up, but how do you get rid of all those dead bugs and such that clutter the corners in behind stuff? Enter my new Shop-Vac. Last week, inspiration struck and I headed down to Harbor Freight Tools (which, if you’ve never seen one, has fantastic prices on tools and other cool stuff that belong in a garage) and bought a discontinued 1.5 HP wet/dry Shop-Vac for a song. Though sick as a dog, I have been out in that garage every opportunity since vacuuming, and today I finished.

Absolutely amazing. For the first time in my 10 years of home ownership, I have a clean garage. Not simply organized and swept, but actually clean (or as clean as bare concrete which houses two automobiles can get). I was tempted to set up a folding chair and write this entry from the garage, but it was getting a bit chilly. But let me promise you that prior to Mr. SV I’d have had no such urges.

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Today is Jay’s 34th birthday. What a blessing to have the joy of celebrating yet another birthday with him. Jay, you are a dear husband and a loving father. How thankful we are to have you in our lives! We all love you so very much.