ready to rumble

I got all my pre-op done today so all is go for a 5 AM arrival to the hospital Wednesday morning.

Last night I didn't sleep more than 3 hours. I guess nerves set in because I have watched the procedure on Youtube a few times.

It is not a big deal if it's not me. However, real surgery always looks messy, bloody, and traumatic.

Yesterday I had a few doubts because I was moving pretty well. A few minutes later, mid step, I doubled over in pain out of now where.

Another thing I am learning is sometimes I get great pain relief from pain pills, and others times they are duds. When I get the right pill at the right time I feel human again.

So, I am ready for this to be over.


I've truly been enjoying the extra time forced upon me just going slow. I am the type of guy who plows ahead on everything and slowing down has been refreshing.

My newly gained olfactory senses whether temporary or long term have been pleasant on my slow walks to the barn. I can smell rain, animals, outdoors, flowers all very intensely.

The extra time with Gigi has been a pleasure for me....she is a great person. I know I must be driving her crazy.

Hopefully today we can get this surgery scheduled in stone and hopefully this week. This pain is most unpleasant.

This Is My Greeting Party in Heaven

Redneck Luck

Rednecks always seem to be down on their luck. They are always broke, usually a lot of drama, a chronic illness, and always a broken down car about to be repossessed.

My lawn tractor died just yesterday. Oh it can be fixed, but it is just a pain in the ass (figuratively). Riding it was a pain in the ass literally, but I did it slow and easy until the belt came off. I decided to call it quits and have John Deer come out, pick it up and service the whole thing and return it as good as new in a week or so.

My transmission on my truck went out as you recall. $3800 later I have what is for me a new ride ready for another 300,000 miles. When I got in the truck the battery was dead as Ned's Ass. I felt so redneck. I managed to haul out the generator with a 12 volt trickle charger and got it started.

Upon a visit to Autozone to test the battery it was discovered that the connectors were very dirty. He took mercy on the old man with the cane and cleaned it up so the battery works just fine.

I am spending a decent time in bed which is where I should be. Occasionally I drift off to a pleasant nap. Yesterday I rolled over on my beloved iPad and cracked the screen. Another reinforcing redneck moment.

I did have an old screen protector (too late) that came with an old Otterbox case. The cracks are very fine but still in place. I applied the screen protector to decrease the likelihood that the glass will splinter. So for now the iPad is flawed cosmetically and noting more. Still, it is like a facial scar on a pretty woman.

And I am still chronically a redneck should be.

Fortunately I am not broke.

Hopefully on Monday I can get this surgery scheduled and get on with my healing.

This is Interesting

My injury continues to progress daily and I find the whole experience fascinating. I guess I can say that because I am looking from a prospective where I expect a repair and good recovery.

I use a cane to take weight off my right leg. It is necessary otherwise I would double over in pain when I walk.

The meds help dealing, but the mind does its own tricks to cope.

The pain changes location throughout the day and it changes from a burning, to stabbing, to just old throbbing with no movement.

I went grocery shopping and was tempted to use the electric scooter. I managed just fine but it was exhausting.

One of the biggest insights is how pain consumes so much energy both physically and emotionally. I have a greater appreciation for the journey my wife has traveled.

There is a problem

I blew out a disc.

L4 and L5 spinal cord compression. It can be fixed surgically and I have elected to get it fixed cause it hurts like hell. It is not a huge deal like Gigi's but I'm going to be down and recovering for about 6 weeks.

This is the full shot with turds and back fat showing up nicely in the front and back.

Otherwise I have a very nice spine he said.

From How to Get Rich Slowly

This is dead on in my opinion. Especially 5 and 6.

1. Underearners have a high tolerance for low pay

“High earners make darn sure they’re well compensated for their time and work,” Stanny writes. “But it rarely dawns on (or appeals to) an underearner to set her sights on a higher salary.”

As I read this, I thought to myself, I wouldn’t say I have a high tolerance for low pay, but I have tolerated it in the past.

I tolerated it because I felt I had to pay my dues. Low pay never lasted long, as, after a while, I began to suspect I was worth more only to discover that, indeed, I was.

But the fact that I was rationalizing this made me feel uneasy about what was to come.

2. They underestimate their worth

Stanny points out that “women, in particular, have a tendency to undervalue themselves.” She uses various university studies to support her argument. In those studies, women consistently paid themselves less than men did for doing the same task. Psychologists call it the “depressed entitlement effect,” saying that, subconsciously or otherwise, minorities devalue themselves.

When I decided to become a freelance writer, for example, I assumed it wouldn’t be a very lucrative career. And even now, in the back of my head, there’s the stigma that writers should be poor.

Stanny points out that you shouldn’t put a limit on what you think you should be making. Within reason; she admits that there are certain fields where six figures aren’t possible (though she says it’s still possible to earn more). “Women accept lower wages because they presume they must deserve less,” Stanny writes.

Although I’d like to think that “women” is interchangeable with “writers” in my situation, the point is, perhaps I underestimate my worth.

I hear people talk about what they’re “worth” a lot. My old, practical philosophy is that you’re only worth what someone is willing to pay you. But that philosophy is evolving. It’s not just about how much you’re paid, but how much you can offer.

3. They’re willing to work for free

“Underearners regularly give away their time, knowledge and skills for nothing. They’ll work at no charge without thinking twice. Most of the time, it’s so ingrained they aren’t even conscious they’re doing it.”

Stanny’s not just talking about directly working for free, but also the indirect work we often don’t think to bill. She cites an example of a woman who was offered to speak at a women’s finance event — for free. She refused, unless they agreed to pay her.

“It’s not right to ask women to have economic empowerment and not practice it themselves,” the woman argued. Stanny added that the woman did occasionally do things pro bono.

“…those are choices I make, not obligations.”

I found it significant that Stanny used the term “pro bono” in place of “free” when describing work that the woman chose. I also wondered how the woman determined what was a choice and what was an obligation.

I’ve written about how I’ve done work for free, because when I was switching careers, every bit of advice I read suggested that you may have to work for free or next-to-nothing in the beginning in order to build a portfolio.

So yes, I was willing to work for free. Am I doomed to be an underearner?

4. They’re lousy negotiators

“Underearners are reluctant to ask for more,” Stanny writes. “…Underearners hold back simply because they’re too scared. ‘What if I raise my prices, and they laugh in my face,’ said Annie, a bookbinder.”

I’ll admit, I’m scared to negotiate. Even at flea markets, I have a hard time asking for the mutually understood discount. But I’m not afraid of being laughed at; my fear is a fiscal one. What if they don’t consider me for future projects? What if they decide to hire someone else altogether? These are the understandable doubts that run through my head, but perhaps I’m devaluing myself.

While reading this, I felt a little disappointed in myself. But Stanny had some encouraging and empowering words:

“It’s hard for most women in all income brackets to demand more. High earners might not like it (and they rarely do), but they do it. That’s how these six-figure women got where they are. They do what they are afraid to do.”

5. They practice reverse snobbery

Hate rich people? Then you might be an underearner. I harbor no ill will toward the rich, but I am admittedly kind of a frugal snob. When I see a $100,000 car, I roll my eyes. And that’s not very nice of me. Many underearners equate money with limitations, so they grow to become resentful of it. Stanny believes this is indicative of someone resigned to earning less.

“Just about every underearner I’ve met believes real wealth comes at too high a price. … The irony is that few people work harder or obsess more about money — or rather, the lack of it — than underearners do.”

6. They believe in the nobility of poverty

“At the same time underearners are spurning the wealthy, they are singing their own praises for surviving on so little.”

Despite my financial situation, in the back of my mind, I still have an impoverished mind-set that’s no longer doing me much good. I’ve been trying to rise above the notion that poverty gives you access to all sorts of qualities wealth can’t.

“…many underearners genuinely believe money is tainted, materialism is bad, and there’s something virtuous about surviving on a shoestring,” Stanny explains. “According to this line of reasoning, they are much better people for rejecting financial gain.”

While I still believe in the value of frugality, I do see her point. You can overdo it. You might spend too much energy on a false sense of virtue instead of realizing your earning potential. You might put forth a little less effort to earn more, because, in the back of your mind, you equate wealth with materialism and vice.

7. They’re subtle self-saboteurs

Stanny argues underearners unwittingly set themselves up for failure:

“…applying for work they’re not qualified for, creating problems with coworkers, procrastinating or leaving projects unfinished, hopping from one job to another, always stopping just short of reaching their goals. The common thread is their propensity to be scattered, distracted and unfocused.”

She adds that underearners always seek out a scapegoat or a savior rather than take responsibility for their own behavior.

8. They’re codependent

“There’s a fine line between loyal employee or devoted wife and sacrificial lamb,” Stanny writes.

Indeed, when it comes to work, I often find myself volunteering to bear the brunt of the load. Of course, employers come to expect this after a while, and this eventually leads to resentment, which Stanny predicts:

“Subjugating our needs for the sake of others inevitably leads to resentment, depression, burnout and breakdown.”

I still believe in workplace gratitude, but I’m reconsidering my level of service. I do tend to tiptoe the boundary between loyal and sacrificial.

9. They live in financial chaos

Finally, Stanny makes the point that underearners are “more likely to be in debt, have smaller savings, fewer (if any) investments, and little idea where their money goes.”

While I’m debt-free and handling my finances well, there was a quote in this section that stood out to me. Stanny interviewed financial counselor Mikelann Valterr, who described the psychology behind debt:

“Debt is about giving your energy away … it cuts off our options, giving the illusion there’s enough because when the money runs out, you can just whip out a credit card and continue spending. You never have to confront head-on that you aren’t making enough. Which is why people use debt. It keeps you from confronting your fear of success, making hard decisions about how to earn more, and experiencing the discomfort when life becomes more expansive.”

It takes courage to get out of debt, Stanny says.

And really, it takes courage to overcome any of the traits on her list. Negotiating, not always volunteering, letting go of some of my past philosophies — it’s overwhelming and a little scary to consider all of this.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

I Can't Help But Laugh

I've Fallen! And I Can't Get Up!

I was feeling a bit better this morning so I walked out to do some light chores and feed the livestock.

Suddenly, my right leg collapsed and I was able to grab a deck railing to break my fall. I scraped my wrist pretty good too.

Shit I tells ya.

I go to the doc this PM and see what the MRI reveals.

Cedie - pronounced Sadie

My baby girl with blue eyes is getting old, but she keeps plugging along. Spring has brought her back to life.

I hope she is around many more Springs.

Here's The Deal

I visited the spine doctor after I reached the point of barely being able to walk. The pain is excruciating.

The doctor thinks it is a pinched nerve in L1/S1 and it caused all kinds of pain in my right leg and buttocks. Killer fanny pain I tell ya.

For two days I have been taking a delightful pain cocktail that produces a pleasant medical buzz and relieves pain to the point that I can walk.

Even more impressive I have been taking steroids that is reducing inflammation. Overall I am better able to tolerate.

Today I will lie low and stay in the bed.

A major side effect of this all is I can smell like anyone else. I have a very dull sense of smell but something I am taking is making this sense keen again. I smell dogs, cats, chickens, horses, is amazing. I am taking it all in.

Last night I had an MRI and will have the results Friday at 2.

Meanwhile, my activity is on hold. Move less and I don't hurt. Move much and I do hurt.

Watching Masterpiece Theater with the Mrs. ESPN or NFL channel didn't make the cut.

Sports Injury

I found out today that what I attributed to a mild sports injury is in fact a bulging disc.

Think back two weeks ago....harp music playing....I was set to go to The Masters, and reached down to pick up a beer cooler, when I felt a snap...and some pain. That qualified as a sports injury for sure.

Two weeks later I am worse. So I get an X-ray this morning and low and behold my soon to be 57 year old L5/S1 is about worn out. Actually this is typical for a geezer my age.

But my constant activity has aggravated the area and cause major pain in my ass...literally.

I had a few adjustments and was told I needed inactivity, rest, and keep my back straight. This should allow the inflammation to subside.

Ain't I pitiful?

A Great Day

Planting time around the fun deck.

Flowers here.

Flowers there.

Flowers infused every where.

Pool is open.

Hanging baskets.

Masters looking Azalea.

I love Spring.

Good Times

It is nice to have a spare car when the other is in the shop.

The Jeep made its seasonal appearance yesterday at The Quarry. I had a great dive but did have some equipment issues of my own cause.

I had a dump valve get stuck open which kept me from filling my air bladder for trim and I sunk. So I began to sink rapidly.

As a backup I filled some air into my dry suit. It worked but it was clumsy.

I struggled through the 40 minute dive just fine but it definitely was a learning dive.

Preparation Time

Lots of good games and I like the time slots. Monday Night Football is a pain in the ass but it is electric. Also the 4 PM game late in the season is always a winner.

The San Francisco game could be in my sights. Then I could go over and visit with The Bondos.

Okay, I am thinking grilled BBQ chicken for Seattle, definitely Flank Steak for St Louis, I need to think about the Giants. Derm Dogs in the preseason.

My Mellow Has Been Harshed

It has been a rather stressful week for me. Tax week always leaves me mentally exhausted not only for my own taxes, but the stress of providing tax information on the fly for others trying to meet the deadline. 

This coming off Masters weekend which is physically exhausting, and the end of NBA season adds a bit of "I don't give a shit" to the whole mix.

Currently outside we have about 1/3 inch of packed powder pollen with dangling canker worms that will bite, the little bastards.  

And so, a very long weekend was planned for some R and R with the Mrs. and the kids via the travel trailer and Jekyll Island.

About an hour out under full load with the trailer in tow that I knew something was bad wrong with the truck. It turns out that after 299,295 miles of faithful service, the old transmission gave up the ghost.

Ouch! That is in the upper $3000's and close to $4,000 for a new one.  Damn that is real money.

Fortunately we managed to bring the rig back into port with a very bad "cooked" tranny.

Today, the Jeep gets a needed spring cleaning cause I need something to drive.  

© 2013 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at

When We First Moved Out Here

That's me and Gigi trying to figure out how to rid ourselves of a few zombie children we found on the property. We kept the dog.

Good Times

Looking like good times ahead.

I love grilling. I am even taking a griddle that fits on my grill. I have my pool, backup electricity, little red wagon, cooler, and chairs.

Good times are surely to follow.

If you guess where I am going you will win a virtual hot dog.

The Other Side of my Hand

Not as wrinkled as the back of my hand but strong ridges just the same. My wedding band has years of wear.

I like my hand.

Oh....that is grass from Augusta National. Hahahaha.

Hot Chicks

The spring chicks are in!

Two sleeping their life away.

A nice group shot. 12 Rhode Island Reds just 2 days old.

Carly and Ludwig watching over the flock.

Eggs from this batch will be coming about Labor day.

Food and Logistics

Payday, Snickers, Moon Pies, M&Ms, peanuts, potato chips, cheese crackers with peanut butter, egg salad sandwich, pimento cheese sandwich, BBQ sandwich, roast chicken sandwich, chicken wrap sandwich, fruits, ice tea, cola, diet cola, beer, lite beer, imported beer. That is the menu.

Beer is $3. A Sandwich is $1.50. Food and beverage are cheap and good.

The Bathrooms.

This is an art. Guys are full of beer with full bladders and are coming in hot like a shot up plane comes into an aircraft carrier. We need relief and we need it fast.

One steps into a line that is maybe 120 feet long. Suddenly you realize it moves quickly. Before you know it you are entering a state of the art male bathroom facility.

Two rows of opposing facilities are presented with pee traffic control agents on both lanes. They star barking vacancies and directing "patrons" to vacant slots. Cleaning staff stands all around so the room is clean and spotless.

The place smells good and one gets immediate relief.

On the way out one holds their hands under a sanitizer sprayer and one is back in business.

The NFL could learn from this.

Location:The Masters

Final thoughts on The Masters

I get my tickets every 4 to 5 years from a client who has had the rights since 1962. I never know if I will go again because she is old and may die before the next Masters.

Masters tickets are not at all expensive, just difficult to obtain. These tickets are $250 for 4 days or about $62 a day....peanuts for a world sporting event.

On Saturday, the night before, we stay in a hotel and watch the last few hours at the bar surrounded by people who have traveled from all over the world to see this event.

On the way out, I steal a few blades of grass from the active playing field on number 9. Real Augusta National grass. So fine.

Finally, this is us in the gallery watching the event. Again, cameras are not allowed so I drew this, but it looks real.

I'm Back!

Long days at The Masters have consumed my time. My family was glad to see me.


I spend the day at Augusta National. They don't allow cameras so I had to draw me standing in nature with a beer.

Wonderful I tells ya.

I have This

I own this configuration but mainly use the griddle. Now I have a use for the entire configuration.

High production sliders. Cook the onions on the inside while cranking out the tiny burgers and buns on the perimeter.

This just might be a good preseason tailgate item.

What a Weekend

I was busy and the weather was perfect. So I went diving. Superb visibility and a darn good non eventful dive.

Then I came home and cut the grass. It is looking pretty darn good I must say.

Then it was time to settle in for some college basketball and a few beers.

Some wings would go well with his so I whooped up a batch of wings. Man they were tasty.

Then I kicked off my shoes and Cedie joined me in the screen room to peck corn and watch the game. (Pecking corn is when I pretend to be awake and my head falls. I recover, then nod off again and my head drops again over and over in a slow motion corn pecking action. Pecking corn is one of my favorite activities.)

The following day was just as busy. Toward late afternoon I decided to make Scuba Sliders.

Caramelized onions in garlic and garlic oil, sliced pickles, 2 ounce beef patty, toasted bun, and a squirt of ball park mustard. Pure heaven.

I call them scuba sliders because I am the boss of this blog and I can call them whatever I want to.

Goings on Here

Pizza, dogs, shade for summer, and new tires. Starting to thinking about The Masters too. I will be at the final round next Sunday.

The Science of Tailgate

During the offseason I think a lot about tailgating and food ideas and food prep.

The underlying theme is I want food fresh off the grill. The exception would be an item like BBQ that takes 14 hours. I that case I try and keep it hot until serving.

So the issue that has been burning in my soul lately is how can I increase wing production and not sacrifice quality or taste. I think I have figured it out.

The way I cook mine is to season them in garlic olive oil and add seasoning or a rub. Then each wing is seared, then set aside to smoke for about 40 minutes at 300 degrees.

The searing part is very labor intensive but necessary. How can I do this faster?

Then I literally run out of grill real-estate once I have seared 10 pounds of wings. On big game days we will blow through 10 pounds in no time. How do I get more real-estate?

Yesterday I bought a small propane powered blow torch. You see where I'm going with this. Image 3 racks full of up to 20 pounds of wings ready to be seared. I blow torch the bitches to get and efficient and fast sear. I think this could work.

The I drop three racks of wings in my smoker, not the grill. The smoker should give the capacity I need.

I should end up with seared and hot smoked wing in the same time with twice the production.

Experimental cooking begins today.

Two Things

Someone gave me this box of Disappoint Mints.

Damn my fingernails look so clean.

Free Your Apple Device

Just for today...if you own an Apple ISO device my request is to strip it down naked. Feel the smooth curves, the slick glass, the anodized aluminum. It is art. 

Admire the form, see it glisten. It is art in your hand. 

Go ahead and touch the smooth Apple logo on the was meant for this. 

So thin, so powerful, so beautiful.

© 2013 wReggie’s I’m Always Mentally on Vacation. These Terms and Conditions of Use apply to you when you view, access or otherwise use the blog located at (the “blog”). Terms and Conditions can be found at


Like any good sports venue, there comes a time when it is necessary for upgrades. My screenroom is one year old and very outdated by most NFL standards. So, I decided to do some upgrades. I do hope the state and city will kick in a few hundred dollars like the big guys do when they upgarde a stadium.

What we have now are new air handlers up front to keep the breeze going during the warm preseason. This is in addition to the overhead ceiling fan and the propane heater installed last winter. Truly state of the art.

Also notice the curtains on the driveway side. This will provide privacy from unexpected guests.