Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chicks Lookin in My Window

I've seen a robin flying around the front yard lately, and tonight I spotted her nest. Here's a picture of a couple of the chicks on the right, and then mama feeding her babies, hopefully below. Still working on learning how to format this all.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

My Dear,

It dawned on me as I drove home from work how long we've actually been together.

All the days we've spent hand in hand..... the many nights you've been the last face I've seen before sleep..... so many mornings the first to be there to greet my day......

We've shared laughter and frustration. Triumph and heartache.

I've been transfixed by your glow in anticipation of what you'll share next. I've clung to your every word, wondering what surprise you're about to impart. Yet often times, you've brought me only pain and strife.

No matter, you've constantly been the elixir I can't seem to get enough of, though I know I've often consumed too much.

But alas, the realization is upon me, that as I prepare to embark on my journey, I just don't think we'll be able to meet each others' needs.

Maybe our paths will cross again one day down the road. Hopefully we'll remain friends, and share a few more moments of laughter and joy in the next couple of months we'll have together.

Nevertheless, come the end of June, I think we'll be best to say "adieu."

Fare the well, My Dearest Crackberry. I don't think I shall miss you.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What's all the fuss about?

click and see (might need to pause and let it buffer a second for more enjoyable viewing): has a lot of great information on Fly Fishing, especially some great profiles on pioneers of the sport such as Lefty Kreh and Stu Apte, for those whose curiosity might be piqued.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Eat Better!!!

Getting the three bags of clothes together with shirts and pants that are too big for me after my weight loss last year definitely is a nice feeling.

On the flip side, since I didn't keep all of the weight off, I'm in a" tweener" zone that not all of the pants and shorts I bought last summer still fit. I'd hate to get rid of those already, so I'm going to have to focus on getting this weight that returned back off.

I'm certainly much better now at 212-215 than I was where I started at 235-240, but I definitely notice a discernible difference in the way I feel, so I need to focus on shedding some of the extra baggage that I put back on.

That and I'd like to avoid getting rid of all those clothes.

STOP THE PRESSES!!! I just saw the spell check icon on the Blogger tool bar. I'm so excited. How did I miss that?

I missed the redneck wedding yesterday because I was working on the house, didn't realize what time it was until about 1/2 hour before the wedding was to start, and then as soon as I sat down I fell a sleep for a bit. I'd have like to have gone, and was very appreciative of the invitation, but alas, I guess it wasn't meant to be.

Oh, and if you're ever travelling somewhere that takes 2 hours instead of the planned 45 minutes due to traffic and closed highways, at which point, you finally arrive and have to wait until 9 for a 7:30 event due to a bomb threat, just have Bon Jovi touch your hand......TWICE....during "Bad Medicine." Apparently, it magically cures all ills. Glad you had fun, Laura.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Where does all this crap come from?

It seems useful. But I don't use it.

It's wearable. I don't wear it.

It has sentimental value. It's hidden where it doesn't remind me of anything.

What do you do with it all? Where do you start?

I'm pretty sure if I were organized and more tidy in general, I could be dangerous.

side note: I'm not sure why sometimes it seems like people seem to manufacture something in their head to think there's a problem. I'd like to think that sometimes, it's just nice to have things going right for a change. That sometimes, things could just be a little easier. Or maybe I'm the one who's making it up? I don't know, I just can't make sense of it all sometimes.

note to self regarding the side note: Text Messaging isn't conducive to having an actual conversation. Remember that already.

And a few more things....

-Happy 30th tomorrow, Laura. Hope the Bon Jovi front row/on stage experience in Fort Lauderdale tonight is a blast.

-Congrats to Ryan on being accepted to Graduate School.

-Note to self: next time you buy a home, Molly Maid, just sayin, ASSHOLE!

-I guess I know why Lowe's can't trust my measurements, or trust that I know that my house is built on a concrete slab,so there's no rotting floor....but I just want to buy the carpet and have you install it. I don't want to wait another week.

-I suck at self-editing these things. I can read them over three times, and I just read it how it's in my head, and not what's actually on the screen. How do people do it?

-I miss my dogs. Yes, Kari, I miss you too. A lot. But I miss my dogs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

OHHHHHH the frustration.... a bit easier to manage these days. The daily grind that frustrated me immensely for the last year, most notably at work, can still have it's moments. It's a lot easier to brush off now knowing that I'm at peace with my decision, but I still have a hard time letting some of it go because I want everything to go as well as possible at work for those who will continue on after I've gone.

I started with my company the summer prior to graduating, and after graduating in December, 98, hit the Rose Bowl for a Badger win, drove home, and was right to work on January 4 , 1999. For the past 10 years, it's consumed the better part of my existence.

I'm going to push as hard as I can to make every transition as smooth as possible for all involved, but going from 175 people in our plant to about 40 in a less than a year has been very difficult for all involved.

That said, I had a nice night out on the patio at Big Shotz Tavern with my friends Ann and Steve. Was a beautiful summer night here in NC. Steve recently took a job in Santa Fe, NM, so it's been hard on them both, along with their daughter Jaime. I understand their feeling knowing that my long distance relationship with Kari (which is less than a year old compared to their 18 or so) can be so tough, and they're a very close knit unit.

Fortunately after a few months, they're finally under contract on their house, so it looks like they should be reunited for good soon after Jaime wraps up her fifth grade school year. I'm looking forward to the chance to stop through to visit them on my way back east from Idaho in September.

Getting ready to work on the house this weekend, and I get to drop in on a self-declared "redneck wedding" tomorrow afternoon. Stay tuned....should be fun.


The Banner photo is indeed a Craig Reagor original. I artfully cropped it though, so I thought it became a team effort. Haha. Only joking.

I do need to be taking more photos myself though, and I intend to rectify that in short order. And the reason that I didn't note it was Craig's photo in one of the corners is because my photo editing experience extends to MS Paint, which doesn't really even quailfy as experience, so that's that.

One of the many things I'm excited for in Idaho is the chance to learn about the area, fishing, and photography from some very accomplished people. Craig's been my fishing and photography mentor for the past 10 years, but this will be the first time that I'll have a significant chunk of time to focus on it all at once. Craig's usually out there for 6-8 weeks in the summer.

Flip Pallot is out there for about the same amount of time as well. Flip's also an avid photographer, and his angling prowess probably doesn't even need mention. It's a great opportunity for me to pick up all the knowledge I can.

As for the lay of the land, Sid's been roaming that countryside all of his life. I've heard he may actually be part elk, so when he told me that he was excited that we'd have a chance to go out and "explore some new areas" the first couple of weeks that I get out there, I know that I'll be hitting a handful of pristine areas that few human feet have ever touched before....and I bet the trout will be hungry.

Every time I talk to Sid, he also reminds me how great their snow has been this winter, which usually translates to great water levels and great fishing when summer rolls around. I know he's pumped, so how can't I be? He's got a few end of July dates available at the lodge still, so people should jump on them while they can.

I'm getting chills just thinking about it all.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sneaking Suspicion

Apparently, the ladies in my office were wary that something was up a few weeks ago when I started talking about the fact that I'd been planting flowers and bushes in the yard. Kari helped me pick the bushes and sugested the layout, and luckily I got some good help with cleaning out the fiver year overgrowth that I'd left. A little maintenance will go a long way, I learned there. Won't make that mistake again.

Starting to fill in nicely if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Birthday Weekend

I feel like I've got so much to say now that I've got this started, but I almost don't know where to begin, so I guess I'll just start with a little about the past week and see where it flows.

I went home for the first time since the beginning of December, which was great. It finally thawed out enough for me to make the trip. I've become really soft as it pertains to the cold weather since moving south.

Started out up in Madison on Friday night to see my friends Ryan and Megan, which is always fun. Megan made some shredded beef sandwiches for a birthday dinner which were great. It was nice to hang out for a while and just shoot the shit. Ryan and I keep in touch pretty well, but there's nothing like just sitting back with a few cocktails and really having the opportunity to talk.

Saturday, I woke up and headed down to Chicago to see my family. It was the first time that both my sisters, Laura and Janis were all in the same place with my parents for a long time, so it was nice for us all to be togther. Of course, I didn't actually get to see them until we got to the Seder at my Nana's apartment that evening, as they had to take in the Cubs game Saturday afternoon and then suffered the joys of Chicago's non-winter season, Road Construction Season, as they tried to make it north. But, when we finally did all get together, along with some aunts, uncles and cousins, we enjoyed a nice meal and a lot of laughs.

Sunday was mostly lounging around until we went to the Seder for my dad's side of the family, which was much more enjoyable than expected. Probably best to leave it at that. There are some cousins on that side of the family who I do enjoy seeing, and I'll hopefully try to stay more connected with them than I have in the past, because they really are good people. I also realized that I was one the only male under 40 in the room who still carries the Dickman name,and only two that we could think of out of the family. The "X" chromosome is strong in our clan. No unspoken pressure there. But honestly, who could think of a more rewarding experience than being tortured with the Dickman surname by a bunch of 1st graders as a kid, right? so I'd hate to not have a son to enjoy that with one day.

Anyhow, I've already chronicled most of Monday, which if you haven't seen yet, you can read here. Janis flew back to Denver Monday morning where she's a teacher. She works with elementary aged special needs and behaviorally challenged students, which I have tremendous respect for, because I don't know how she does it day in and day out. She deserves a medal, probably quadruple the salary, and should be very proud of all her hard work. I know I'm proud of her. It's not to say I'm not proud of Laura, but who brags about lawyers anymore, right?

Monday night I had a phenomenal birthday dinner with my parents. We might not have kept 100% Kosher for Passover with our Bob Chinn's Garlic Rolls, Lobster Tail, and Lamb Chops, but hey, when it's birthday time and you only get to Chicago a handful of times a year these days, it's almost sacrelegious not to eat Bob Chinn's.

Finally, I got one final treat with lunch at Blackbird on Tuesday, where a good family friend, Stepahnie Reagor Serota is one of the cooks (Larry advised us that she refuses to refer to herself as a chef in her fledgling career, but she's very talented) during the lunch hour. My friend and boss, Michael Danch (also Stephie's cousin) and our friend Larry (Stephie's husband) generously treated for my birthday, and Stephie took great care of us. We started with three appetizers, a quail egg wrapped in chicken skin, a scallop dish, and a pork based dish which were all prepared by Stephie and all exquisite. I'd try to describe them in more detail, but I wouldn't do them justice.

My main course was a Boulliabaisse with Scallops, Shrimp, Clams and Mussels. It was Incredible. Anyone in the area who'd like to treat him/herself to an extra special lunch should definitely aim to hit Blackbird.

Anyhow, flew home last night, way more relaxed than I've been in as long as I can remember, and made my way back to the plant this morning. Being a newbie to this journal thing, I'm a bit tuckered out, so we'll leave that to tackle tomorrow. Besides, my laundry beckons.

Be well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Here we go.....

I've been thinking about starting this blog for a bit now, so I figure I'll just jump right off with the decision that ultimately led to the creation of this blog:

I announced to my bosses yesterday, April 21, 2008, that I intend to leave my current position as General Manager of our North Carolina manufacturing facility effective June 27, 2008. As I wind down my responsibilities over the next few months, I'll be charting my journey out to Soda Springs, Idaho, to spend the summer fishing and working with my friend Sid Davis at the Trail Creek Lodge. I’m extremely excited for the opportunity.

After the summer, I plan to move to Jacksonville, FL, with the primary intention of spending more than 4 days a month with my wonderful and beautiful girlfriend, Kari.

In the meantime, I’ve got a lot of work to do to get my house ready to sell. I’ve been working on it for a while now, but I’ve got some finishing touches to get done to hopefully have it on the market in a few weeks.

As for my employment once I arrive to Jacksonville, that’s still a bit up in the air, but I'm confident that I'll land on my feet no matter what. I've got an incredibly loving and supportive family and girlfriend, and a great group of friends, who really are more of an extended family, which makes me rich already. I'll find a way to make money.

I figured this blog would be a good way for me to keep in touch with my family and friends, since we typically get up to "the phone booth" only once a day out there, but I also thought it would be fun to chronicle this adventure. I plan to try to update this at least a few days a week if not daily to say hello, and share my progress and my thoughts as I go. Hopefully, you'll continue to check it out, and share it with anyone you think might find it interesting.