Diagnosis: Herniated Disc

A while ago I hurt my back. I was lifting at the gym and felt something go in my back. I went to the chiropractor and got back on my feet, but never getting back to 100%. About a month ago I had an MRI done on my back and found out I have a protrusion, or herniated disc of my very last disc in my back (the one that sits between the last vertebrae and your tail bone), which is one step below a ruptured disc.

So what happens if I rupture it? Well, there are a number of things they can do, which are all bad and all involve surgery on my back. For now the doctor told me to avoid lifting heavy objects and high impact exercise.

In other news, I’m heading to Whistler snowboarding this weekend. Hopefully, I won’t be heading home on a stretcher.


31,803 is the number of emails I recently imported from various old archives the other day. Every single email from October 16th, 2000 until present day, minus the emails from September of 2003 until November of 2004 that were lost in a hard drive crash.

So why keep around all of my email? Well, it’s like a log of my entire life. Want to know what I was doing on November 14th, 2001?

  1. My friend Walter sent me a picture of a girl flashing the fans at Wrigley Field
  2. My friend Dave sent me an email through his newly created nationwide dial-up network
  3. My friend Josh scored a 33% on the geek test
  4. My friend Jeremy decided to move back from Italy
  5. Aaron and I had a debate about the merits of qmail and DJB’s software
  6. I fixed a bug in the build form for Care2.com along with working on the spotlight rotator
  7. I discovered ORDER BY RAND() in MySQL
  8. My server, zebulon, had been up 119 days

See, that’s why I keep my email. Now, what should I do with all of this information? I’ve been pondering about putting it up in blog format one day at a time in a somewhat raw format. I’d change the names, etc., but I think it would be interesting. Thoughts?

Karma 4 5, Joe 0

When it rains, it pours.

  1. Doesn’t look like I’ll be going to Cold Play since the tickets are with a friend who’s no longer talking to me.
  2. Roommate troubles.
  3. I accidentally spilled an entire drink onto Dana’s laptop rendering it completely broken.
  4. My flight back from San Diego was diverted to Portland. At 1AM this morning we departed for Seattle’s airport. I arrived home around 5AM.
  5. My phone died the day before I was supposed to leave. The replacement phone arrived today and does not work either (not to mention it’s the wrong color). I bought a complete turd of a phone as a replacement for now, which is killing me.

I’m exhausted and completely drained from the last week or so. Thankfully I have a ton of bathroom work and a small contract job staring me in the face. Not. On the bright side the two California Burritos I brought back from San Diego survived the trip and are currently awaiting me eating them.

Breaking the silence

It is with a great amount of sadness that I am announcing that Lauren and I are ending our marriage. In early September Lauren moved out of our condo in Seattle into her own apartment. I’m not going to go into specifics as it’s a rather personal matter. What I can say is that the split is amicable and that we are still on speaking terms.

So what now? Well, once the legalities are finished Lauren will no doubt get her CPA and go on to be highly successful. I, on the other hand, will continue to work at Enotes, live in Seattle and continue with my plans for world domination. You’re probably wondering what the hell I’ve been doing for the last few months as well. In no particular order …

  1. With Lauren gone and an empty room in the condo collecting dust I put up an ad on craigslist for a roommate. I had a few responses, all females oddly enough, and ended up with a crazy girl from New Zealand who will be known on this site as Kiwi. All is going well and she’s even been nice enough to put up with my current bathroom renovations.
  2. I bought a LandRover Discovery Series II for snowboarding and trips to Home Depot.
  3. John and I have been spending a day each weekend snowboarding at Crystal Mountain in Washington.
  4. In early December I went to Las Vegas for one of my fraternity brother’s bachelor parties. Don’t ask for details as they’re quite hazy.
  5. For Christmas I flew home to Michigan to surprise my mom for Christmas. Needless to say she was rather shocked to come home one day and find me sitting in the living room. I miss good home cooking.
  6. For New Year’s I went over to Brad’s place for food, good beer and great conversation. As usual it was a great time.
  7. My current project is renovating my bathroom. I’m done with the tiling for the most part. Pictures will ensue.

My plans now are to focus on me for a while. I’m going to do some traveling, finish working on my condo and set up the entertainment system I’ve been slowly putting together for the last month or so.

Life will go on.

New Year's Resolution

  1. Travel to two new continents.
  2. Lose the last 20 pounds lingering around my waste.

Regarding the first resolution I’ve started researching both destinations along with gear. As for destinations I’ve decided on visiting Europe and Asia. In Europe I’m hoping to visit Amsterdam and Prague with the possibility of Rome. In Asia I plan on visiting Dubai. As with any travels, especially international travel, much planning will go into these trips. I’ve targeted May or Jun for my Europe trip and next fall for my Dubai trip. I’ve started researching airfare, places to stay and required gear. Thus far below is what I have so far.

  1. Get a passport.
  2. Unlock my Motorola RAZR V3.
  3. Research and purchase international SIM card(s).
  4. Purchase a large back pack with enough room for gear, clothes, maps and some food. Preferably have a CamelPak built in.
  5. Purchase a Palm Pilot with Bluetooth and WiFi. Additionally, purchase translation software and a Bluetooth GPS unit with European maps.
  6. Research health insurance coverage in Europe and, if needed, purchase trip insurance.
  7. Purchase a new digital camera.

Have you traveled abroad? If so, what would you add to the list? I’m especially curious to hear from people who have traveled to the Eastern Bloc and the Middle East. I’m also extremely interested in what I should put on my list of sights to see and what I can safely ignore. Where should I stay? I hear hostels are the way to go for the most part in Europe. I had a friend tell me that the party hostels in Barcelona he stayed in were the best in the world. My highest priority when choosing the gear above was mobility. I don’t plan on taking a laptop for both mobility and security reasons (I don’t want it getting stolen in a hostel). That’s also my reasoning behind purchasing a backpack and not taking a suitcase. I also plan on taking an analog notebook to write down directions, numbers, notes, etc.

As for the second goal, I’ve been slowly working my way down to 200 pounds from 265 pounds for the last 1.5 years. I’ve got a diet and exercise plan that works for me, it’s just a matter of focusing on it. I’ve also managed to change my eating habits to the point where when I quit dieting I’m able to maintain my weight. This is, obviously, the easier and less expensive of my two new resolutions.

I am SO going home …

Holy shit …

I’m waiting at the airport for my plane to board and my liver is officially on strike. This last week in Michigan was a total success! I started the week out celebrating Marnie’s wedding, which went well and I hope nothing but the best for them.

Tuesday and the first half of Wednesday was spent in N. Michigan visiting my mom and dad, which went well. My dad is still getting used to his new job and it seems to be going well. My mom made “chicken zigafoos” for dinner, which was great. I forget how much homemade mash potatoes make me feel better. Mmmmmm ….

I spent Wednesday night out with Josh and happened upon a few fraternity brothers of mine. Thursday Josh and I went out. Friday I went out with my brothers and then Saturday I went out with my fraternity brothers … again. Rough.

Overall, the trip home was a total success. I saw old friends, family and met a few new friends. I’m definitely looking forward to getting home though. I plan on hitting up the Seahawk’s game with Brad when I get back. I’ll post more after I’ve slept some.

Congradulations In Order!

First off, congrats to my father who recently was promoted at work. He’ll be doing a lot more paper work and managerial stuff from the sounds of it and, most likely, some more traveling to make sure various plans are up and running. He works for East Jordan Iron Works. Who are they and what do they make? Next time you’re walking over a manhole cover look for “EJIW” stamped on it – they make about 50% of the United States’ sewage components.

Next up is Lauren Lynn, who is my best friend’s little sister. I’ve known Lauren since she was six or seven and she’s grown up to be quite the singer. She recently won the American 1 Teen Idol competition and will be heading back to compete in the American Idol competition. Good luck Lauren!

I studied today

I did something today that I didn’t think I’d ever do again – I studied for a test. I’m scheduled to take the GMAT on July, 15th. A few days ago I picked up a few books that cover the GMAT and spend about an hour today looking over the first two chapters.

I’m getting somewhat anxious over the whole idea of going back to school, but it’s also exciting. I hated school in undergrad, but I’m excited to go to school this time. I think this is mainly because of the fact that undergrad is comprised of, mostly, mediocre teachers, students and course materials. This time around I imagine it being differently. The University of Washington’s MBA program is ranked 18th in the nation. I envision great teachers who have hands on experience and students that actually want to be there. Should be fun.

Anyone have an extra $50,000 USD laying around they’d like to lend me?

Back to School

Lauren and I have both been looking into going back to school. I’ve thought about a ton of different options. I’ve thought about a law degree, an MBA and a Master’s in Computer Science, but I think I’ve finally figured out which program would suit me best. The University of Washington has a Technology Management MBA, which is a regular MBA geared towards professionals (I use “professionals” here lightly as I still work in shorts and flip-flops).

Better yet, if you choose to focus on Information Systems you can continue for two more quarters and get another Master’s; a Master of Science in Information Systems. So, in just two years, I can have two master’s degrees.

This also opens up the possibilities of getting one of two doctorates. I could get one in either business or information systems. Of course, I’d only do that if I decided to get tenure at some college or something like that. At any rate I’ll know more in a few days when I go check out the information sessions.

RPU – Random Personal Update

So, Joe, what have you been up to? Well, other than mourning the loss of my RAID array, I’ve been working some late hours. I’ve been working on a small side project, which has led to some late hours. I’m also working on preparing for a major site revamp at enotes.com. At this very moment I’m cleaning up an old web server in preparation of turning it into a replication server.

Lauren and I have decided to start taking Chinese this fall at one of the local community colleges. My motives for this differ from hers. We both want to learn Chinese before our anticipated trip to the 2008 Summer Olympics. I also want to learn Chinese because 20% of the world speaks Chinese and I fully expect that China will quickly join the ranks of “Super Power” along with the United States within the next 20 years or so.

We have also been looking into what it is involved with migrating to another country. I’m not sure it would be a permanent move, but both of us are extremely interested in living abroad for a few years. Top on our list is Australia, which would avoid the whole language barrier. It’s all very tentative and wouldn’t happen for another five years or so, but it’s exciting to think about.