Thursday January 6, 2005 11:32 PM

The sun is rising over the dawn of a new year.

2004 is over. The events and deeds of that year have been concluded and the book is closed.

The book of 2005 is now being written. From now until next December 31, what happens will be written in this book alone. What might it hold?

While no man writes even his own book without influence from others, each man can be the author of his life if he so chooses. Let me exhort each reader here to write the best book of 2005 they can.

I hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season.

My New Year's Eve was a little not so hot.

Ruth and the boys went to Aunt Rupie's house to hang out till midnight and then bang pots on the front porch as is our tradition. I stayed home and dozed on the couch feeling a little under the weather from the hacking cough I'd had for a couple of weeks but which I thought was going away.

Saturday Ruth took the boys to hang out at her folks' house cause I didn't feel better. I spent New Year's day in the recliner under a blanket feeling crummy. At least there was some decent junk on TV, because pretty much all I did was lay there, refill my water glass, visit the bathroom, and change channels. That's about all I had the steam for.

About 6pm Ruth called and wondered if I felt up to having her come get me to go to the Chinese restaurant with her folks. I thought I did so she came to get me and the six of us (her folks, her, me, and the boys) had a pretty good time. By the time we got home, I was glad of it, though. I was done in and pretty much ready for bed.

I felt even worse Sunday morning and Ruth and the boys went to church without me. I was still in bed when they got home. The boys were pretty good that afternoon which was good cause I felt horrible. All I wanted to do was sit in the recliner and breathe carefully to avoid painful coughs and sip water to hydrate my mouth which was dried out from breathing through it. That was when Ruth told me I was going to the doctor Monday and I didn't argue.

I don't remember what Ruth and the kids had for lunch, but I had about 6 slices of toast. I was feeling slightly better and had the energy to eat, but I did it more to fight the nausea from the sides of my stomach rubbing than from any sensation of hunger. I was still unable to talk without coughing so Grandpa Roger had to be content talking to everybody but me on the phone that afternoon.

Monday morning Ruth not only got me set up with a new doctor, but got me an appointment at 11:30 am! I was delighted- as delighted as I could be feeling as horrible as I can remember feeling. I asked her to make me some toast to keep the sides of my stomach apart, but I couldn't even finish one piece. I wasn't troubled by the coughing so much at that point as the weakness, achiness, and just awfulness of how I felt- well, in addition to the fact that though the coughing wasn't as painful I was still coughing up green stuff and blowing it out my nose at a truly disgusting rate. I felt sorry for the people who saw me snarfing and hawking in a most repulsive manner, but there was nothing I could do about it.

It was a long extremely unpleasant wait till it was time to see the doctor, but it was a quick and to the point visit and I felt like a load had been lifted off me (mentally only, of course) when he said he'd write me a prescription of an antibiotic as powerful as the IV I'd get if I were in the hospital for pneumonia for two reasons: 1 I wasn't going to be in the hospital for pneumonia (which I had feared might happen) and 2 this thing would soon be getting better.

My ordeal wasn't quite over since I had been referred to go get a chest x-ray, but I felt a little better knowing that I'd be able to go home soon and that Ruth would get me some powerful medicine to start getting me straightened out.

And that's pretty much what happened. Ruth took me home, went to get my medicine and when she brought it back to me I took my pills and a swig of the cough suppressant with codeine which made me feel almost instantaneously 80% better.

Isaiah wanted to hang out at Rupie's that night and Ruth needed to go to the store for some stuff and took Gideon with her. While she was gone, I began to get dizzy- and dizzier and dizzier until I began to get queasy. Then all of a sudden- I sprinted to the can and was amazed to discover how much was in my stomach after eating part of a piece of toast that morning. I discovered just how much was in me cause it wasn't in me anymore. I felt much much better after I hurled, though. All the benefits the cough medicine gave me were still with me, and the antibiotic was making me stronger so I felt pretty good, really.

When Ruth got home I told her about it and told her I'd be OK while she went to her folks house. So she took Gideon and left.

I was OK, too. Just fine except for the codeine cycle repeating itself 5 times between when I'd taken it at 3:30 and about 8 when I barfed the last time. After that I felt fine and enjoyed a Lee Van Cleef DVD which was part of a set I think Ruth got me for my birthday.

The doctor had written me a note for Tuesday and Wednesday. I felt better, but my strength hadn't fully returned. Two days of rest, however, had me pretty well fixed up and I was able to return to work today, eager to resume my duties (honest, really- stop laughing).

I really did want to get something accomplished at work today, but that was not to be the case. No health problems for me, but my PC bit the dust. The screen was locked up when I got there and after trying everything I could imagine, I hit the power button to reboot it.

I didn't want to do that because last time I did, it didn't want to restart. Waiting a while and having our PC support guy put his Fonzarelli touch on it, the thing finally came back to life but that was when he told me that several of the new computers had been doing the same thing.

It was therefore with some trepidation that I took the abovementioned fateful step. And fateful it was. No amount of technomancy would prompt it back to life and I spent the day doing- zero. I couldn't even effectively goof off since my PC was gone, taken to the IT room in hopes of getting a warranty power supply as fast as possible, and I couldn't surf.

I did for a while, though, on a clunky old piece of junk PC in a kind of forgotten backwater storage cubicle. I checked my email via the web and checked my everyday pages, but other than that I mostly sat in my cube and stared at space. There wasn't much else to do since all my files were local on my PC.

At least the day didn't drag too badly. I really was amazed because I expected it to seem like forever, but it wasn't bad. I hope it's fixed tomorrow or I may just have to bust out and sit there reading a library book all day. Not that this would be a bad thing, I would just kind of hate for the wrong people to see me doing it. Of course, when I told my boss about my computer this morning he just sighed and said "charge the day to overhead" but even though I am officially cleared to slack, I don't want it to look like I'm reveling in it too much, if you know what I mean.

Now you are up to date on the past few days anyway.

Of course, there's a great big gaping hole between the last few days and the last post here, but I have been sick y'know...

Seriously, with the advent of the new year it's time to turn over a new leaf and return to an undertaking that has been important to me (and others) in the past and renew my commitment to UHF and the other web endeavors related to it.

It's also a time to examine myself, my family, and our lives and to try to figure out how to make things more like what I want them to be.

Hopefully my priorities, motivation, and diligence will be up to the task and next year instead of whining about being sick I'll be telling you all of my marvelous year of success.

See there, Dad- I told you I'd write a UHF today!