Archive for the ‘It’s all about me’ Category

It’s been a while

Monday, November 28th, 2022

Today marks the second anniversary of Marion’s death. I still miss her. The following meme speaks to me. I succeeded in meeting that goal. I just wish that we’d had more time together; twenty-five years just wasn’t enough.

Well, that was not the best Christmas ever

Sunday, December 26th, 2021

I’ve been in the habit lately of taking one or more daily walks. Usually, it’s one walk of three miles, but sometimes I do more than one walk with shorter distances covered.

Friday (Christmas Eve), I took a one-mile walk in the late morning. Just after 4pm, I decided to take another. Unfortunately, I almost immediately ran afoul of a guy who was walking three dogs: two bulldogs, and one smaller dog I didn’t identify. Or, rather, I ran afoul of one of the dogs. One of the bulldogs was doing its business as I approached, but the small dog approached in what seemed an unfriendly manner. When it did that, the other bulldog pulled its leash out of the guy’s hand. Before I knew what was happening, it had clamped onto my right thigh and knocked me onto my ass.

The guy pulled the dog off me, but the fall had put me into a lot of pain. I was able to stand up after a couple of minutes, with the guy and his wife gushing over how badly they felt, and could they do anything for me. Apart from my back, I didn’t feel bad at all. My jeans were torn where I’d been bitten, but there didn’t seem to be much blood, and I thought it was pretty minor.

I decided the thing to do was to go to an urgent care clinic, so I hobbled back to my car, accompanied by the guy, and headed off to my local urgent care clinic. Unfortunately, they had closed early for the holiday. So, I looked on my map app, and found two more relatively nearby. One was closing at 5, so it would have been problematic getting there and getting processed. The other said it was open until 8, so that’s where I headed. Unfortunately, they had closed at 2 for the holiday.

At that point, I decided that a hospital emergency room was the appropriate next stop. The nearest one north of me was probably closer, but I’d used the ER in the hospital to the south before, so I figured that the paperwork would likely be easier and went there.

By the time I got there, I could tell that I was bleeding more than I had thought. I got processed in and evaluated. The ER doctor wasn’t going to do any scans of my lower back until I said that I actually had more pain from that than the bite. The bite turned out to be a bit more severe than their usual dog bite. She told me they normally don’t stitch up dog bites, but my skin was torn more than usual. I ended up with three stitches on the back of my thigh, and one or two on the front. There are other punctures making a nice impression of the teeth, but only two of them were producing most of the bleeding.

When the scans of my back were finished, I was told that I had a “minor compression fracture” of my L1 vertebra, and it was possible that a small bit had broken off my L3 vertebra. I was also told that there was no interventionist treatment for those, and it would go away on its own.

Christmas dinner the next day went well enough, but between my reduced mobility and the pain I was in, it didn’t go as well as I’d have liked. I pointed my daughter to her (unwrapped) present, and said, “I was planning to wrap it last night, but something came up.” Of course, I’d kept her informed of what happened once I got to the ER, so her response about “something came up” was suitably droll.

So here I am, feeling tired, drug out, and in pain. What surprises me is that I’ve also pretty much lost my appetite – I didn’t have breakfast yesterday, ate less than half my plate for Christmas dinner, which was around 2pm, didn’t have anything for dinner last night. This morning, I didn’t have breakfast again, and forced myself to eat some leftovers around noon. I may not eat again today.

Tomorrow, I have to contact my PCP about a followup, contact the police about the incident (the local police station is closed until tomorrow), and the guy whose dog bit me said that his vet will be open tomorrow, so he can provide me with its rabies vaccination information then. If I don’t get it tomorrow, I’ll probably have to start the rabies shots myself, since the incubation period can be as little as a week, and it’s invariably fatal once symptoms show up, according to the ER doctor.

As I said, not the best Christmas. It could easily have been worse, though. Always count your blessings.


Friday, December 21st, 2018

Ten years ago today, Marion and I arrived in the Galapagos for our first overseas trip together. We had spent a couple of days in Quito ahead of our flight to San Cristobal Island, and we had a good time there.

The Galapagos were incredible. We were on a tour with GAP Adventures (now G Adventures), and spent ten days traveling to five of the islands and seeing the sights. After the tour ended, we spent another few days traveling through Ecuador. A very nice trip. I still have a Panama hat that I bought, along with a couple of shirts, one from the Galapagos Marine Reserve, and the other with Lonesome George embroidered on it.

I’d love to go back, but I doubt that I ever will. I’d probably say more about the trip, but my ISP has changed the interface used to write posts, and I didn’t realize it until started to write this article. I don’t know how to do anything without inserting the HTML manually, and I don’t know where to find things yet.

I’m wishing this YouTube channel had more posts

Monday, August 20th, 2018

I ran across Speech Jammer Storytime a few days ago, and it’s not only fun, it brings back memories. When I was attending the Naval Academy, one of my extracurricular activities was being part of the Brigade Activities Committee, the group that ran skits at pep rallies and pregames.

One particular pep rally skit I remember had me narrating something, with my words amplified and emitted via the loudspeakers mounted on the wings of Bancroft Hall that were on the far side of T-Court from me. There was a noticeable delay between the time I spoke and the time I heard my amplified speech. Because of that, I can really sympathize with this guy:

Still not healthy

Monday, February 19th, 2018

I’m still very hoarse and suffering from a nasty cough, and it’s getting old. I’ve already gone through two bottles of cough and cold medicine so far, as well as prescription flu medicine, cough drops, and a box and a half of Theraflu. I’ve been keeping my house warmer, drowsing much of the day, and not getting a lot of things accomplished.

One thing I’m really missing are the evening history sessions Marion and I had been having – we’d started working our way through Will and Ariel Durant’s ‘The Story of Civilization,’ and we’d been doing it almost every night for three weeks or so when I came down with this. I’d been wanting to read the series for several years, and Marion owns a complete set that she’d never gotten around to reading. We’ve been really enjoying it, along with various digressions that we’ve made. Two interesting facts we’ve run across in these digressions are that Cleopatra, the famous Egyptian ruler, was actually Cleopatra VII, and that there was a ruler (Bulan of Khazaria) who converted his entire country to Judaism after speaking with representatives of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

I can’t wait to get back into it when I have a working voice again – I’ve been learning so much.

Not healthy yet

Wednesday, February 14th, 2018

I think I’m over the flu; my fever broke Friday night. My resting pulse is back down where it should be, as is my temperature.

Unfortunately, I have a nasty lingering cough, and I’ve had laryngitis since Sunday, so I’m certainly still under the weather.

I made French onion soup for dinner Monday. That turned out nicely, and hot soup on a cold night is one of my favorite things. The leftover soup was also pretty good for yesterday’s lunch. Scallops with pesto are in the plans for tonight.

Under the weather

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

I was diagnosed with Type B Influenza Tuesday. Not the really nasty Type A that’s been running around, but this one does offer GI disorders as a benefit. So much for the effectiveness of the flu shot I received. I’d started noticing symptoms Friday evening or Saturday, but I figured it was probably a cold. I got my flu shot earlier this year, so even though I knew this year’s shots weren’t all that effective, I was hoping I would be ok. Developing a fever Tuesday morning changed my mind, so I called for an appointment with my doctor’s office.

I was impressed with how quickly the diagnosis was made. It must be a new type of test, because I don’t remember this happening the last time I had the flu. They “stirred” an extra-long Q-tip deep in my nostrils, agitated it in the liquid in a small test tube, inserted a piece of indicator paper, and waited a couple of minutes. Bingo – instant diagnosis!

So, I’m now on the generic version of Tamiflu, which says it may not be effective on people who’ve had symptoms for more than two days, and whose major side effects include severe headaches and gastric disruption. Like I need more of that.

The one major warning I was given was to keep track of being out of breath, which is currently happening when I exert myself. If I experience it while resting, I’m to call 911, because “those are the people who are dying.”

Good to know.

Ouch. And almost very ouch.

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

The HOA is doing some upgrades in my development. Siding is being replaced where necessary, and everything is going to be repainted. One of the things they’re doing is re-roofing.

This morning, as I was crossing the parking lot to my car, I stepped on a nail. It was an inch or so long, with a large enough head to let it point straight up like a caltrop. Luckily for me, I felt it and was able to unweight my foot quickly enough to prevent it penetrating the bottom of my foot. If I hadn’t been so quick, I’d probably have had to remove the nail before I could get my shoe off, and that would have been a problem.

I was wearing shoes with thick rubber soles today, and I had to use a pair of pliers to remove the nail. It would not have been fun to try to get the nail out if it had been embedded half an inch or so into the bottom of my foot.

I’m a little more cautious (paranoid?) crossing the parking lot now – the workmen are likely to be here for another couple of weeks.

Blood and books

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Yesterday, I had a growth cut off my nose. I had thought it was a wen, but I appear to have been wrong. I’d been referred to a dermatologist, because the techs in my doctor’s office felt that they couldn’t deal with it without causing a significant scar.

The appointment was in the middle of the afternoon, so I went back to work afterward. Unfortunately, it bled enough that the bandaid they put over it was useless. When I got home, I pulled it off, which wasn’t hard because the blood had undermined the adhesive. I cleaned my nose and put a new bandaid on.

Tonight, I had dance classes – samba and west coast swing. I perspired so much in class that the new bandaid came off. Not fun. I’ll put another one on before I go to bed, to reduce the chance of bleeding on my pillowcase, but I’m not sure how long I should expect it to last.

Prior to the samba class, the instructor was teasing one of the women about a book she was reading. During class, I asked her about it (we switch off every few minutes, so every man dances with every woman), and she mentioned that it was a story called “The Lottery.” Apparently not the Shirley Jackson story by that name, because she mentioned that one separately. I told her that my favorite Shirley Jackson story was “One Ordinary Day, With Peanuts.” She hadn’t heard of it. I guess she’ll have the fun of reading it for the first time.

Star Trek Significant Date

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast episode of Star Trek. I would have posted about it last night, but my evening was otherwise occupied – I had two hours of dance classes, and when I came out, I discovered that my car had a flat tire. I pulled out the spare, removed the lug nuts and jacked up the car, then found out that the tire wouldn’t come off.

I ended up getting home late after having to wait for an AAA service truck. According to the driver, who used a rubber mallet to break the wheel loose, it’s a design flaw of my vehicle that the wheels “rust into place” if they’re undisturbed long enough. I’d plan on keeping a rubber mallet in the car for the remaining wheels, but my mechanic told me this morning that I need new tires before the winter snows, so those wheels will come off next week, anyway.

I guess I should have done this post during lunch yesterday in order to have it posted on time. Ah, well.

So, as I mentioned, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the first time Star Trek was broadcast. Many people don’t remember how much trouble there was getting the episodes produced and keeping it on the air. NBC didn’t really know what to do with it, and nobody was confident that the show would be a success. Gene Roddenberry even wrote lyrics (that were never used) to the Star Trek theme music, just so that he’d get half of any royalties. When Alexander Courage, the composer, confronted him about this, which reduced his royalty payments by half, Roddenberry told him, “I have to get money somewhere. I’m sure not going to make it on the profits from Star Trek.” So much for foresight.

As for NBC’s support of the series, I remember an anecdote from one of the books about the early days of the series that highlighted the troubles they had with the props department – for one scene on an alien planet, Roddenberry asked the props department for an alien plant. Props sent up a potted plant of the sort you would find in an office. Roddenberry sent it back, and told them he wanted an alien plant. They sent up another normal potted plant. The cycle repeated another time or two, at which point Roddenberry uprooted the plant, turned it upside down, shoved it back into the pot, and told them, “That’s an alien plant!”

The show also had trouble finding an audience – NBC cancelled it after the second season, and it was saved through a massive letter-writing campaign instigated by the Star Trek fan clubs. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to save it that way the second time NBC cancelled the series, so the “five year mission” only made it for three seasons.

I never got to see all of the original series until it was in syndication, which is when it actually became really popular. CBS had the series, The Wild, Wild West, on opposite Star Trek, and it was the viewing choice of one of my brothers. As we only had one television for the entire family (things were different back then), we’d alternate which show we watched based on who wanted to watch which show. He was better than I was at persuading our sisters to support his choice.

There may still be an episode or two from the original series that I’ve not seen – I think The Tholian Web is probably one of them.