Bittersweet start to the day

As I logged on this morning I was torn. Do I feel happy that I raised $750+ for Special Olympics or dread the impending plunge. To share my feelings let's do some math.

Grand Canyon
(Me - my wife Jen)





$760+ for Special Olympics

Now you can see my situation


Polar Plunge Challenge 2

Wow! What a great response! In a little over five hours yesterday the goal of getting $100 in donations was met. Gary McFall has made good on his promise and donated an additional $65 to raise the pledge total above $500.

That went so well in fact that I am issuing another challenge.

Polar Challenge 2
If $750 is raised in pledges I will dress in an outfit put together by my co-workers. The leading candidate outfit is a grass skirt, coconut bra and a dozen leis. There was some mention of body jewels and pink flamingos too.

Unfortunately, for me, there will be a capable photographer on-site to provide lasting memories.

Click here to Pledge Online


Lab Results are in ...

and, are perfectly normal. Apparently, outside of the fact that I have what "some people might call a bit of a weight problem", I am the picture of health. Which means I'll be dead in three months.

He just went to the doctor and got a clean bill of health.

So, party on Wayne, and party on Garth.

Polar Challenge 1 Met!

That was quick. At 8:04AM I was at $330.01 I sent out an update email with the challenge. With a donation of $50.00 1:09PM we reached $445.01!

No wonder there is SO much spam in the world. It works!

Polar Plunge Challenge 1

Gary McFall issued me a challenge awhile back that I nearly lost track of with recent events. If I can raise $100 more in pledges from the total at the time of his challenge (which was $335.01) he would donate an additional $65 to put me one cent over my goal of $500.

Can I reach $435.01? Can we reach $435.01?

Open up those purse strings folks!

Pledge to this effort securely online or give me a call (608) 513-5720 if you want to donate by cash/check.


Reclaimed address

I attempted to login to my health care provider's website the other night, only I had forgotten my password. Luckily they offered to send me an email to the address I had signed up with. Unfortunately, I no longer had access to that email (my first name at my last name).

Until now!

Those following along at home know that I just re-registered Remsik.com and have a shiny new VPS to play with at RimuHosting.com. To make a long story short I remembered my password and logged in that same night. But, now I have my old address back. The first email I received? SPAM. :@

Oh well. Maybe I'll give SpamAssassin a look.


Another new site: Remsik.com

Second verse, same as the first...

Remsik.com has a splash page up. At it's peak it was a place that our family had a blog and could check on birthdays and the like. The plan is to get it back to being a functional family portal.

New site launched: doeet.com

It's less of a site and more of a splash page. Ordered a Virtual Server from RimuHosting.com, bad name/great service and products. (They've got a referral program too.)

The plan is for this to be a rails testbed, subversion repository host and eventually host the TTL Photography site.

For now there is not much publicly available except for the aforementioned splash page.



Link: OBD/OBDII Location

This is one of the most useful auto-based projects available on the internets.

Weber State University is cataloging the location of OBD/OBDII ports AND providing pictures of what they look like!

I was looking for the OBD port to read the codes on our Subaru Forester and after many a google searches:
OBD Port Location
Where is my OBD port
Subaru OBDII port location
Please for the love of jeebus tell me where my OBD port is!

The National OBD Clearinghouse in 30 seconds pointed out my error. I had been looking under the dash when the OBDII port is located just inches below the steering wheel.

None the less, this is a tremendous tool for weekend mechanics and those interested in attempting to diagnose and resolve vehicle computer problems on their own.

Rick: D'oh!

Jen and I stopped over to my brother Rick's house to drop off the car computer reader. We have been having issues with our 2002 Subaru Forester running rough, surging, nearly stalling. The computer didn't return any codes and the minor improvement we saw when we switched from regular unleaded to premium is no longer apparent.

So, after returning the reader we stuck around for lunch and watched the end of The Mummy Returns. That was followed by the death of a TV. Rick was tuning his picture, which had gotten fuzzy, by adjusting knobs accessed by removing the back of his television. We spent about 15 minutes getting the picture to display "just right". Then as he was sliding the parts back into place there was a small puff of smoke and the smell of ozone.

And as my dad taught me, once you let the smoke out of electronics they don't work any more.

Congrats Matt! (aka Version0)

Matt recently started a new gig as Webmaster at North American Lake Management Society.

Among other tasks he is working on a full site redesign. You can see the site before the update at NALMS Website and I'll post when the site update is posted.


Physical delay

I went in for my physical yesterday. Unfortunately the clinic doesn't do the prescribed echocardiogram and that is scheduled for the 31st. The EKG reading that was taken in urgent care a week ago showed no anomalies though. That suggested to my doctor that there was no serious threat. Good news.

If it's all the same I'll feel better after the echo confirms his diagnosis. Talking to Mark's wife he was apparently on medication for high cholesterol etc. The rest of us weren't aware of this and thought this struck him out of the blue. There were warning signs they just weren't in neon or ignored because of his age.


Life goes on

Yesterday was my first day back at work. It wasn't very productive but, I was there. Still not operating near 100% and as of this morning seem to have picked up cold-like symptoms.

I skipped out on the MadisonRails: Code and Coffee last night as I was adjusting back to a work-day schedule that didn't involve waking up at 9am and napping whenever I felt the need. Jen had a couple tests to take at school which left me time to hang out at Chris' house until 7:30. After that we grabbed a bite to eat and stopped at my parents' house to pick-up a plant my mom was holding for me.

After talking to my parents last night I learned that the period from onset to death of Mark's enlarged heart condition was "years". A promising sign for the rest of us as there are treatments for the condition if it is detected early.

We left my Parent's house at 10:30pm, so much for easing back into things.

Mom and Dad worked with Tiffany to finish the Thank You cards for people that signed in at either the wake or the funeral. They sent out over 300 cards. Knowing that most people signed in once per family etc there were likely closer to 600 than 200.


Back to work...

For just the second time this year I am headed back to work today. Between Mark's passing and my illness I've sat out six full work days.

I called and talked to my boss yesterday, asked if I could have off on Monday to take my parents to the airport. She said that was fine, although it is a State holiday and I shouldn't have come into work anyway. Hey, I'm not used to getting MLK off, OK? She let me know ahead of time that there were a couple cards there for me.

Is it the weekend yet?


Putting things in perspective ...

Pale Blue Dot

Amazing turnout ...

As I mentioned in my previous post I was in the receiving line at the wake last night. There is no estimate I can give (outside of more than 200 and probably less than 600) but, the line quickly stretched out to the door and outside the funeral home.

We have a large family 5 boys and 2 girls (oldest and yougest). And each had a number of individual supporters. As well as Mark's co-workers from his current and past couple jobs. Folks from the racetrack, Friends of the family that we hadn't seen in literally 20 years. The turnout was really amazing.

Mark was far from perfect but, standing in that line I got a much better sense of who he was in the time between family gatherings. Hindsight being what it is you wish you would have spent more time with him and his family. It's a wonderful gift to be given that realization and the opportunity to spend time with my remaining family.

Rough night ...

It's 3:46 am. I decided to get up and stay up as opposed to trying to sleep the few minutes between trips to the porcelain goddess.

Mark's wake was from 3-6pm tonight. I spent the majority of the night in the receiving line. I am no longer used to standing in one spot for three hours. In a previous life doing manual labor 12 hours was not uncommon. The evening left me sore and we stopped just down the road to get a bite to eat. After moving about 1/4 speed to and from the car and exhibiting other unmentionable symptoms I asked Jen to take me to urgent care.

The wait was too long. We got there at quarter after seven and were told we could have an 8:30pm appointment. After symptoms started to multiply we were moved up in the queue.

After blood-work an EKG reading and other tests that didn't include having my temperature taken we were leaving a a little past 9 with a prescription for a couple Vicodin. Those only stayed in my system for an hour or so.

That leaves me sitting here typing on my blog at nigh 4:00am in the morning, starving and afraid to eat. My trusty saltines and a bottle of water nothing more than decoration on my desk.


Schedule of events

Saturday - Jen and Jim are hosting a get together at their house food and drink to be served at 5pm, 321 Burl Oak Dr in De Forest, WI. Open to anyone.

Sunday - Wake will be at Gunderson Funeral Home on the East side of Madison from 3PM - 6PM.

Monday - Funeral services will also be at Gunderson on Monday at 1:30. Reception afterward to be held at VFW Post 7591 on Cottage Grove Rd.


The funeral home received the death certificate. It listed "enlarged heart due to coronary disease" as the cause.

From what I understand this means that what most likely happened was something like this. The heart detected there was too much blood in his heart and tried to counteract that situation by slowing down the blood supply. Creating a scenario where there was not enough blood to allow the body function.

The condition has a number of causes and the exact cause in Mark is not known. Doctors encouraged the rest of the adult family members to have check-ups and ask to be checked for this condition.

Given the fact that my Grandfather, Father, and Brother have all been diagnosed with heart conditions in the past two years it's probably something we should look into.

full obit published

Here's a link to the full obit:


A small version was availvable on Madison.com yesterday.


An update, of sorts.

We don't have much more in the way of information about what happened to Mark.

My parents flew back from Florida last night. Jen, my sister Samantha and Mark's oldest boy Andrew drove down to pick them up at O'Hare. This is the second year in a row that they were back in Florida for less than a week and had to come back to deal with the death of a family member. Last year my mother's mother passed.

Jen and I came home and collapsed at 1:30 AM, 21+ hours after being shocked awake yesterday.

Arrangements were being attended to this morning. We'll know dates/times late this afternoon.