Birthday and Many Things

So yesterday was my birthday.  And that of a lot of other people, now up to a total of seven on that day in my calendar.  That may be the largest number on one day.  (Pauses to check, because he’s such a geek, finds that it’s tied with July 28, but no other day has more than five so far.)

It would have pretty much sucked - well, it did - apart from getting a car, and a substantial donation.

My left knee, and to some degree my thigh, have been killing me beyond all reason.  It may or may not be connected to gout, which had been quiet recently until today, when I seem to have a minor touch of it in my right foot.  Nothing like it was.  The knees have bothered me before, over the years, and can be sort of twisted easily, or hurt by kneeling on a hard surface, or standing in place too long (I tend to need to sit, or move around extensively, after sufficiently long food prep, for instance).  This has been unusual, and tough to keep away because of the kids and the need for activity that stresses it.

Ironically, sitting in this chair tends to bother it, while taking a walk tends to help it.  Stairs?  Excruciating, once it’s flared up, bordering on impossible.

That was making me extra cranky.  Part of today it was better, but we have kids and stuff.  They are pretty much a guarantee I can’t take it easy on the thing, and Valerie managed to add a bit of back to the mix yesterday by doing a backward somersault off my lap and being prevented from landing on her head.

Speaking of Valerie, she needs to learn to tell us when she’s bleeding, rather than being fascinated by the artistic possibilities.  Keeping a bandage on would be good, too, once Dr. Dad has ruined her fun.

So yeah, a car.  My aunt got this silver/gray 1994 Buick Century with 86k miles on it in 2003 at a good price.  She drove it to 174k miles, replaced it yesterday, and brought it to us.

She seriously downplayed its condition and overstated its degree of foibles, I think.  It’s beautiful, body looking at least as good as he one on the ill-fated van of the same model year.  The foibles are things like a fan blade on the AC being broken, so you have to turn it off and back on strategically.  I seldom use AC, even in a vehicle that has it.  The trunk apparently can leak some in heavy rain.  There can be a little trick to opening the rear doors.  There are rear doors!  And room for three carseats, of which they left an extra, a spare of my mother’s, in the car.  It uses a quart between oil changes, and she keeps it to 65 on the highway.  We’d mainly use it on local roads, very limited driving to places we’d need to go together.

The trick now is to be able to afford to register it.  That’s a tough one.  My aunt is getting the form to declare it a gift and save us the sales tax, so that will help.

I’ve always been particularly fond of my mother’s sister, who is only 17 years older than me, but this is just amazing and a huge surprise.

Anyway, I parked it where we’d been parking the truck, moving the truck up into the main part of the driveway.  We’d been using two spots deep in the driveway, then hogging a third, spare spot with the Sentra.  That wasn’t considered a favorable spot due to the mulberries, and really neither is at least one of the others.

Today I got home from dropping off a trickle of rent to the landlord, ran into the gal upstairs, and she had moved her car so we could have our other space back, having seen that we got a second car.  The very same day, they swapped his truck for something better, very nice.  Funny how things synchronize that way.

I was amazed, as I figured we’d lost that spot fair and square.  The spot we’d hogged with the old Sentra has a trailer in it now, which works out perfectly.  They can be funny sometimes, in their youthfulness, but once again, the people upstairs are great.

What else?

I ended up doing a lot of dishes and cleaning.  I took Valerie on errands with me, to the post office, Benny’s, the bank, and Stop & Shop, where her bladder almost made it through the entire lengthy trek.  I was threatening to make myself birthday brownies, with a mix on hand, but never did get around to it.

That would have been no fun for Deb.  On the off chance stuff bad for the baby translates into breast milk, she’s been off the likely suspects, bringing them back until it’s just eggs and dairy.  She ate a single egg, in a sandwich with ham.  He got rashy the next day.  It’s back off eggs long enough to let him clear up and test it again.  It could have been random environmental, or something stray he ate courtesy of the girls.  He also tried pear, and while there’s room to wonder, that’s one of the least likely problem foods.  I’ll give him more this weekend and see, maybe.

I did splurge on flour tortillas, so we had chicken burritos for supper.  That was popular.  He’s had seasoned chicken since we started reintroducing stuff, but I cooked a little chicken by itself for Henry, just salt and a little pepper.  He loves chicken.

For that I pulled out a tiny frying pan I never use, big enough to fry a single egg, and now I want to use it again and own more like it.  It’s stainless steel with a thick copper bottom.  Yeah, I needed more oil than I am used to using, because the second I turned on the burner, it seemed, the pan was sizzling hot and the meat wanted to stick to it.  But oh, it cooked so nice.  I think I’m in love.

And hey, the non-stick pans are starting to lose their mojo.  They end up with a spot in the center, where the heat focuses, that the coating loses its ungrip.  Once that gets serious, you may as well have a traditional pan.  The really bad one is Deb’s deep frying pan with a glass cover, which gets used constantly.  I wouldn’t mind having more than one of those, including a larger version, if I were outfitting the kitchen more completely.

What else?

Today was better.  Overnight was weird, in that I was up most of the night, but during that time the knee was better, after a couple hours of sleep.  The very best thing for it is to lay down a certain way on the bed.  I can coddle it some laying on, say, the floor, but the bed is better, and then sleeping while it rests is better still.  It got worse again as the day progressed, but it does that.  While it may be nauseating at times today, last night I experienced a revelation of understanding how someone can pass out in response to pain.

Ibuprofen is shooting up the “must buy some” list.

I have an interview Tuesday in Needham.  That’s a Good Thing.  Same former colleague who landed me the main interview Monday got me another, but this time it’s his own employer, for a 2 - 3 month contract supporting a new software rollout.  Beyond that there hasn’t been much activity, besides a ton of additions in LinkedIn and correspondence stemming from that, including with my last manager from VB support, who was awesome.

I did up the root of elhide.com to be a resume links and simple supporting text page, to give it the shortest possible URL without setting up a new domain.  Plus elhide.com is more memorable than, say, gphmo.com.  Which stems from when I was going to setup a new business as “Geek Practitioners.” The HMO in this case, besides a play on the medical theme, stood for “home, mobile, office.”

Still have to do a blogging-oriented resume.  Still have to retrofit the blogs with “hire me” sidebar sections prominent.  Still working on the odds and ends side work, but that’s going a little slower than expected.

Anyway, off to bed, I guess.  Wanted to do a post for the day and talk about the birthday and the car and such.  Got delayed and now it’s after midnight, but oh well.

Posted by on 04/05 at 03:23 AM
  1. Happy birthday - a couple of days late, but it’s the sentiment that counts right?

    Maybe getting the car from your aunt is the start of a turn around for you guys, I’m thinking positive for you!

    Posted by bogie  on  04/05  at  10:18 AM  from 
  2. belated birthday greets!
    sorry things have been so rough lately. there’s far too much of that going around.
    and congrats on the wheels. hopefully the new auto insurance regs that kicked in on april 1 will translate to savings for you.
    tell everyone i said hi smile

    Posted by FroynLaven  on  04/05  at  01:58 PM  from  3rd rock
  3. Happy Birthday!!  Sounds like about as much fun as ours… that’s cool about the car!  I had an old Buick before my current car and really liked it.

    Posted by Beth  on  04/05  at  04:04 PM  from 
  4. Happy belated birthday!

    Buy the car for $1. Saves on taxes for both sides. Make sure to do some kind of receipt - we had someone at the DMV ask for a proof of sale, like the signed title wasn’t enough.

    Posted by jen  on  04/05  at  06:23 PM  from  Northern Virginia
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