Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Spring Break!

It's finally here and boy did I need it. I stayed at my last teaching job too long and it damn near ruined my career. I think if I had fallen assbackwards into my current job after relocating to Colorado, things would be different. But, this year, I've battled more and more health issues that I'm sure are related to stress. I still fight my neck day in and day out. I had shingles and I'm still not in the clear on something else (which I go in for more testing at the end of April). I'd be lying if I said there weren't times where I considered quitting my current job. My principals know it. I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to be here though. I know they want me back next year so we'll see how things go then. My self confidence seems to be growing more and more each day and I'm not sure what the hell else I'd do to pay for slightly less than 23% of the bills around this house and I have to keep Heather in the lifestyle that she has grown accustomed to living in since hooking up with me. Truth be told, I'm the lucky one in the relationship and I know it. 

My eyesight is getting worse in my old age so on Monday, we had a date with the eye doctor. Heather bought me new glasses. 

Today I went back out to the river. While driving out of town, I passed this bitchin' T-Bird. Sometimes I wish we could move to the beach and own an old convertible. It would be great to have a bunch of fly rods hanging out the back of it on the way to the water.

I fished for 6 hours today and was exhausted afterwards. This was during a lunch break. Once in a while I get email and texts on the water but never this time of year because they shut the towers down. So I was alarmed when my buddy Scott texted me today and I got it. I sent this to him to ask how work was going on his end but, in reality, I was the one who was working. I got owned today. Things just wouldn't go my way. I'm a bit of a snob. Generally, my policy is that I don't fish "fishy" water. I only cast to fish that I can see, that are big, and that are feeding. I tend to cover a lot of water. For some reason, every fish I spotted today was very big and they were that way because of where they were hidden. Super hard drifts that were deep with some crazy ass hydraulic thrown in for added challenge. I ended up hooking three of them and they all broke off. I worked one for an hour and made at least a dozen fly changes. I was worked over. And humbled. Today was the first time that a DOW official rode up to me on horseback to check my license. I half hoped I didn't have it on me and that he would take all my gear.

Not sure where I will go tomorrow. Stay tuned. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mustache 2.0

This morning I made an important life decision whilst shaving in the bathroom (sorry you ran out of hot water in the shower Heather but this was quite a debacle). I decided to leave a mustache to go with the always present, under the lip, triangle. I had been pondering this for about a week and pulled the trigger this morning. Now I know that some find the mustache to be silly. Even hipster doofus. Allow me to explain (not that I feel as if I have to justify what's on my upper lip to anyone).

About 2 weeks ago, I found myself in my classroom with a few of my students. Now...I really do enjoy working with all of them but I do have one in particular that simply fascinates me. I damn near spent 4 days straight with him at 6th grade camp this year (1:1 situation). For obvious reasons, I won't go into grave detail but I will say that this particular student has a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. As such, things like social communication (joint attention, turn taking during conversation, and eye contact) are all things that we work on every day. I am constantly trying to stretch him and support the rest of his teachers in doing the same. He's come a looong way and in the last month, I've begun to see a change.

For some reason on this particular day (don't judge me) I decided it would be a good idea to draw a mustache on the inside of my finger with a Sharpie. Then I thought it would be a better idea to put said finger up to my lip and raise my eyebrows at this student. I was stunned when he laughed and maintained eye contact. Then he made farting noises with his mouth and we both laughed. The rest of that day as we would walk around the school, he would stop teachers that weren't even his (I'm sure he didn't know them) and tell me to show them my finger. He really wanted me to put it up to my lip but that's a lot to ask. I would do it and he would laugh and laugh. Later that day, I held my finger up to his nose and he looked in the mirror and thought it was a riot. He said he was growing to grown one. Then he wanted to walk around the school and find more people and show them. Each time, I would put my finger up to his lip and he would make a face and say, "Hmmmmmmmm." And then laugh uncontrollably. This went on for days. Then he started doing more things that amazed me. We sat in my office and he started playing peek a boo with me behind a backpack that was on a table. And he would laugh and laugh. There was more but I'm sure it's not as encouraging for you as it is for me so I won't bore you with the details.

His mother happened to be out of town but I talk frequently with her and was letting her know how I was corrupting her child. She returned home last weekend. This student checks in with me every morning because it's part of his routine. Months ago he would simply stand there and I would do all the talking. Now he enters the class, says good morning, greets other teachers and I try to have 3-4 verbal exchanges with him while maintaining eye contact. On Monday he enters my office (always with a stack of books/binders) and he's trying to hold them all in one hand which is not working out and I can see a yard sale in the future. With his other hand he is trying desperately to unzip his hoodie. He always wears this hoodie zipped up so I was curious as to what was going on. As he got closer I said,  "Hey buddy...what's up? Are you hot and trying to get that thing off?" Then I grabbed his books because he didn't answer but he had this smirk on his face. He unzips his hoodie, pulls it open and reveals to me a t shirt that has a giant hand on it with the index finger extended. On the finger was a mustache. We laughed hard and he hugged me. I almost cried. His mom had gotten it for him after we spoke while she was out of town. This is huge for a student with this disability. Since then something has clicked. I have witnessed him be more social with others. It's amazing to see and even better to be a part of it.

So...I'm on Spring Break and won't see my little buddy until next week. So...I'm going to grow a mustache for him. If having hair on my upper lip will continue to make him stretch socially then hair on my upper lip I shall have. Oh don't worry...I'll be posting updates. I've had short lived mustaches before but they usually don't last long. If only I still had my van. That would really complete the look.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Cafe Update

It's been a bit since I've done anything with the cafe project but I got a little bit done recently. First off, I decided to pull the rotor, paint it and then get all kinds of OCD on the front wheel in terms of cleanliness. Rotor all taped up and ready for paint. 

Wheel all cleaned up and polished. Rotor turned out great and looks fantastic.

About a week ago I got home from work and found a box on the front porch. I knew it was the tank. The body work on the tank proved to be a bit harder than I was capable of. I threw in the towel and walked away from it. One of the guys on an older CB forum that I belong to sent me a message and offered to help with the tank so I took him up on it and shipped it off to his shop in Virginia. He did an amazing job on the knee dents which is the area I was really having a hard time with.

I noticed a few areas where the filler that I had applied was cracking and became concerned. A few days later, I saw another area bubbling up and got really concerned. Then I got mad. This is the right side of the tank where I obviously did something wrong. At this pout, I was faced with either getting a new tank or going back down to bare metal and starting from square one. I spoke with my buddy in Virginia and he wanted me to ship it back to him. So...the tank left again yesterday. It's getting blasted back to bare metal and he will re-work it all. I'm super thankful that he's got some time on his hands and enjoys doing body work.

Today I had some time and got down in the garage for a while. I went OCD on the rear wheel but it's a bear to clean because the hub is so big and the spokes are so short. It's really hard to get in there unless you have tiny little hands which I do not. I ended up pulling the left side motor cover. It looks like hell and I've been trying to figure out what to do with it. So I started sanding the old clear coat off and working on the deep scratches.

I used 40, 60, 100, 220, 300, 400, and am now up to 500. Im not sure if I'm going to go brushed or mirror finish with a buffing wheel yet. Ultimately, I'd like the bike to have black hubs and rims and some black on the motor but I think I want some of the aluminum on the motor to be polished. So...I've still got a lot of work to do here. Taking XTR single speed cranks to mirror finish was a hell of a lot easier.