The Whistler's Dream

Everybody needs a dream...
Mine is to go to Oklahoma and play whistles for The Pioneer Woman. (Having been invited, not in a "creepy stalker" kind of way, for the record.) Heck, I'd play in a pup tent in the backyard for the joy of the cows and critters. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Everybody needs a dream...

Random Fluffy Foto!

Random Fluffy Foto!
Writing in bed, and Beka editing by ear. Really. The ear typed some letters. Really.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

A bit of an update...

It's been too long since I wrote anything - sorry! Although I know that the world doesn't revolve around reading this thing, still - I try to make sure I blog more than Hannah, and as of late she's ahead of me. *how embarrassing...* Anyway, not much to say...

We're nearing the big hurdle with Vicki and that many-headed beast known as Datatel, the four-lettered... She got a little window into my world last night, being up most of the night working on some final pieces or something. Sorry - I know that my wife works her well-sculpted tushy off on this stuff, but actually discribing what the heck she's doing is like trying to speak Chinese. I do it badly, with no actual meaning whatsoever...

I've picked up a little part-time work (thanks, Dodd!) for CBH Ministries as a recording engineer for Down Gilead Lane. And, along the way, I've learned some bits about another audio editing system, and observed just how much I don't know about using my voice expressively. The cast members are amazing, and a joy to work with. Aside from the extra income, it's a fun experience. Even got to go in and read some lines in my Gus voice (ask for a demo sometime - he doesn't translate well to the written word...) which I sincerely hope will hit the cutting room floor. Gus is alright - he's kind of an old man character, but a bit over the top for real life. But to do him in a room with other real, honest-to-goodness actors was something else altogether. Whew... True radio people may know how to read and talk on the air, but I'll be the first to admit that we don't know doo-dah about radio drama. It's a whole other skill set, and amazing to observe.

No news on when the new trike gets here... sigh. Hopefully before family camp at the end of July.

Weight-wise, I've gained quite a bit back. I know it's a number of factors right now, and that it will change soon. We'll get back to progress, but some stuff has to clear out first. That will happen...

Off to life - have a fun holiday weekend!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday Morning

I've discovered one of my favorite things about Sunday Morning - the view of the city... Odd?... Well, hear me out.

Sunday morning, we get up pretty early (6:30 today, since I had a little trouble sleeping), to be to church by 8am to practice with the worship band, and our service starts at 9am. So we rise, do the typical morning thing, head off, and take College to the expressway downtown. This takes us down the hill to the river and the 196/131 Junction. (When you hear Kevin or JohnnyB talking about downtown at The Junction, that's the place...) And there is my favorite view of the city, at my favorite time to view it. It's quiet, not much traffic, and when the sun is out, it's shining from behind us down over the buildings, the churches, the houses, and washing everything in a beautiful golden light.

And I associate that view with what follows - going to church, lifting up praises, fellowshiping with brothers and sisters, being taught from the Word. And I anticipate that day where, to quote a great song, "We shall stand in the Golden City, in the new Jerusalem..."

Have a blessed sabbath!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

My ULTRA CUTE Nieces!!!

Keeping up with Hannah and her nephew pics... here's Cal & his lovely nieces. From L to R: Kara, Adrianna & Kassandra. All three are sweeties, and make their uncle smile when they give him a hug! They all know me as Weird Uncle Cal, and we laugh about that one a lot. :-)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

"How's it going?"

"How's it going?"

Isn't it amazing how often we ask that question, with no intention of actually waiting around for an answer? I've actually had folks that were going one direction on skates, while I was going the other direction on my bike, say "how's it going?" So, I say, "Wellnotbadallthingsconsideredalthoughmykneesarestillgivingmefits..." Too late. They're gone. :-)

I've tried to banish that phrase from my file of Pithy Things To Say When One Is Trying To Exchange Pleasantries But Not Commit To An Extended Dialogue... So, if we should meet, and I should ask the dreaded (but important!) question, know this dear reader - I'd really like to know, I am interested, and will take the time to actually listen to the answer. :-)

My friend Jenelle is a master at this... if she should happen by my office, and ask "how's it going?", I know that not only does she actually want an answer, but she doesn't mind if the answer is more than one short paragraph, even single spaced... :-)

As for me, it's all good. Have my second counseling appointment tomorrow, and am actually looking forward to it. :-) We've changed my depression medication as well (dang - got to remember to stop at the pharmacy and get it...) so we'll see how that goes. And, I'm meeting with my boss this afternoon to try and get a better picture of my job responsibilities, so that I can get a handle on what things I'm actually supposed to do around here, instead of guessing (as I have as of late). My weight has increased slightly, but as these other things start to get addressed, more energy will be available for that challenge, so we'll get back to the downward trend. And, riding my bike is heaven, although I had a flat tire last night and couldn't ride. :-( Vicki was willing to take it down to the shop this morning, since I was out the door early, and hopefully it'll be ready for tonight. All in all, not bad.

So, dear friends, how's it going?... :-)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Knees? What knees? (weekly weigh-in)

Too much uncontrolled eating this week - gained 6 pounds. Am I discouraged? No...

I've mentioned before that I'm finally realizing that more has to be put into place in my life in order to keep on the path and get to my goal. Dr. Osborne asked today if I'd consider bariatric surgery - but I'm just not ready for that. I still believe that if I get my head together and get my life in order, that I can do this thing without the surgery. The surgery is the right choice for some folks, but I don't think I'm one of them. It's a matter of, am I willing to put things into place to be able to avoid the surgery? Can I get that goal so firm and real in my mind that it will override a whole lifetime of destructive behavior? Don't know yet, but I'm working on it. :-)

Riding the bike is helping - almost too much. :-) My knees are letting me know in no uncertain terms that they'd prefer it if I would lighten up on them a tad. I mean, going the length and back of Riverside Park twice in the last 24 hours (make it thrice, if I can get a ride in tonight) is a little much for them to handle. I've told them to stuff a sock in it, drink some Biofreeze, and get on with it. We'll see who wins that arguement. All I can say is that riding is theraputic on a number of levels, and I'm not gonna stop if I don't have to.

Amanda says that next, I'll be wearing leather. Hmmm... big ol' jacket with 'BigCal' across the back. Nice... :-D Might be a little much for the recumbent, but who knows?...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A glimpse of the new trike

This is similar to what my new trike will look like. The wheels will be slightly larger, with fenders, and with a basket on the back. And it'll be blue, like this one. Sweet!

This is a ReBike

Mine is red, but otherwise this is what a ReBike looks like. Not a bad bike, and way fun to ride! Let me know if you'd like to experience what recumbent riding feels like, and we'll work something out. :-)

"That was totally WICKED!!!!"

Gold star time again - can you identify the quote in the subject line? Answers at next posting...

The ReBike rides again! We got it back from the shop today, where they had done a great tune-up to the ol' beauty. This is my original recumbent, and will become Vicki's bike when my new trike is finished. So, to take it for a test drive, I rode it back from lunch.

Now, I've not been on a bike in at least three years. And, since then, my knees have gone from bad to tofu. So, I had no idea if I'd even be able to ride. And, wasn't sure if I could handle the disappointment if I couldn't. Cycling has always been one of my favorite things - there is no feeling like zipping along on a bike. Granted, I can't go all that fast, but even at my pace, it's like nothing else I ever do. Using my chair gives me a little taste of that freedom, but it's just not the same as being on a bike.

Wow. No issues with my knees, since the recumbent design makes all the strain of cycling a moot point. Just fast, and fun. My ReBike isn't a particularly speedy bike - it's pretty heavy, and has the turning radius of an aircraft carrier, but it still cruises right along on the sidewalks on campus.

Can't wait to see what it does on the bike path at the park. So, to summarize:

"That was totally WICKED!!!" :-)

Watch your back, as you walk on the CU campus - a fast-moving high-mass object might be coming up on your '6'... :-)

Yee Haw. Now, let's have the rain let up, so I can hit the park tonight! :-D The ReBike Rides Again!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A little creativity now and then...

"A little nonsense now and then, is relished by the wisest men..." - Willy Wonka

I've been trying to figure out how to kick start creativity. It's kind of like trying to get the lawnmower running after it's been sitting in the garage all fall/winter/spring. Only, you can take the lawnmower to someone who knows more about it than you do. If God had made us with circuits that could be taken out and upgraded, that would be a lot easier...

I haven't had the time in months to be in a creative mode. Toonz takes up most of my time and energy during its season, so getting back to a more relaxed, creative life is a bit of a puzzle. But, a little creativity every day (even if the result is crap), might spark something. :-) Something in the studio, playing a whistle, playing around on the keyboard - anything but the normal stuff for work is fair game. So, we'll see if that helps re-awaken what has been sitting dormant in the garage, waiting for summer.

Oooh! That was poetic! There might be hope after all!!! :-D

Thursday, June 09, 2005

In Memorial...

Learned of the passing of a man whose name won't mean very much to most of you. But, his name looms large in the world of whistles. Glenn Schultz passed away yesterday. He was a master whistlesmith, a poet, a fine player, and a generous man with his knowledge. He leaves a legacy of others whom he taught his craft to, and his instruments, which continue to sound his "voice" in the musical world. His Thin Weasel whistles are some of the finest wooden whistles in the world, and he brought that craftsmanship to a more affordable level with his PVC Water Weasels. Such an artist was he, that the "cheaper" whistles still bear the quality and rich sound of his wooden ones.

I'm privileged to play four of Glenn's PVC whistles, including one of the few Ab whistles he made. (I suspect it was the first one as well, since he told me he had to do the calculations before he made it. :-) He was a great whistlesmith, and a great guy. His emails always made me smile.

Thanks for the music, Glenn - I'll remember you when I play.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Things are moving along

Well, we are almost done with the fast. Actually, I'm pretty well done with it. The results were nowhere near what I was hoping for, but I've learned a lot over the journey. I know now that the next part of the path can't come from the fast. It has to come from something else. A change of my mind. A change of my life. The other pieces have to fall into place for me to reach my goal.

So, to that end, I'll be starting counseling in a week or so. Time to get some stuff sorted out in the ol' upper room. I'm not really looking forward to it, but I'm convinced that it's necessary.

And, exercise is becoming more and more of a priority. We're trying to get in a walk every day, and when my new bike gets here, that will increase my activity.

Did he say NEW BIKE???

Yup. Found a trike on eBay. Asked the builder some questions about it, and got some great answers. So, I'm sending him my measurements, and he's going to build the trike to my size and weight. For $800. In the meantime, my ReBike is heading down to the cycle shop up the street to get some TLC. When the trike arrives, Vicki will be riding the ReBike.

So, it's all good. I may not have reached my goal, or even come close, but I have made some choices that will help me stay on the path. And, even if it takes a couple of years, I will stay on the path, moving ever-so-slowly forward, until I reach the goal.

Which is pretty much what every follower of Christ is to do, right? :-)

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Not five in a row, but what a weekend!

Well, we didn't make it to the park either Friday or Saturday, although if the weather allows, we'll get in a walk Monday morning...

But we did have a great time at Festival! I haven't been to Festival in years - not since I did some storytelling there years ago. But, since I couldn't even think about walking that far, we stopped going. That changed Sunday afternoon. :-)

We made it all the way up to food booth #1 (which I'd never done - always just hung around Calder Plaza), checked out some music at the City Stage, roamed the art tents on the Plaza, bought a set of beautiful drawings of the boardwalk and pier at Grand Haven, and sampled the holy grail of Festival food - Saigon Sate. Lovely pork (or some sort of meat - don't ask any questions, just enjoy...) marinated, grilled, and served up on a skewer. Yummmmmmm!!!

We spent a couple of hours in the sunshine and heat, and just as I was locking up the car and walking up the front steps, the heavens opened and delivered up the thunderstorm we'd been warned about all afternoon. Felt sad for the folks still down at Festival who were probably running for cover, but also thanked the Lord for His graciousness - He gave us a lovely afternoon, and made sure that we were home and dry before the rain, rather than trying to slog through it in the wheelchair.

Lovely day, yummy food, and the company of my beloved Vicki. The kind of thing that brings refreshment to the spirit. :-) Really, isn't that what our day of rest is for? :-) (runs quickly, before a debate about observing the Sabbath breaks out...)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

And then there were four... (weekly weigh-in)

Lost a bit over a pound this week, which is good. We're starting to turn it around, and get over the plateau. Waiting for a call back from the counselor to get started with that.

So, I hear you ask, did you make it to the park?


We did indeed go for a walk last night, with Hannah. Well, I watched them walk... fast... far ahead of me. :-) As for me, I did it on foot instead of the chair, and it went pretty well, although near the end of the return trip, I wasn't sure I'd make it back to the car. Vicki, being the amazing beloved one that she is ran to the car, got out my chair, and rolled it back to me. Then, Hannah & Vicki decided to kick it into warp drive, and ran whilst pushing the chair. WoooHooo!!! "I'm the king of the world!!!!!!"

Wonderful, even when my legs were giving out on me. Now, will they make it to day five? Tune in tomorrow, same Bat-Time, same Bat-Channel!! :-)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Three days in a row!

OK - an hour on Monday, just about an hour on Tuesday, and 40 minutes on Wednesday. Can the Olsons actually make it to walk (and wheel) at the park every day this week? Stay tuned to find out!

Yup - we've actually made it every day so far. We are just loving our time getting out and moving. We're even making plans to get up way early tomorrow morning, just to make sure we get a walk in to start the day.

We'll see what the scale says tomorrow - I've been moving, but also eating a bit more than I should. So, we'll see.

I'm really really anxious to get a trike. Or at least to get my bike fixed and see if it will work for now. It would be amazing to cruise through the park, and be able to actually use my arms the next day. TVM, I don't know how you do it each day. One thing is for sure - I don't ever want to arm wrestle you!

Blessings, friends! Get out and enjoy the great weather, for certainly it won't last. This is Michigan, after all... :-)