Saturday, August 31, 2013

Black Eyed Dog

It's Saturday and a long holiday weekend.  But it is Petey Porn Day - so that is always a holiday.

 They are always together.  Or almost always. Sophie never leaves Petey out of her sight very often. I wonder what she thinks that he gets walks outside and she does not.

 Mornings are good Petey watching time.  He doesn't do much. It takes a while for the old to wake up.  He's already taken his bottom cushion out of his bed.  I don't know what to do with that boy. 

Peter has a tongue to rival that of Miley Cyrus' .   And he sings better than she does.  But here he is from two weeks ago helping Morty and George "pre-rinse". 

Song by: Nick Drake

Friday, August 30, 2013

Little Fluffy Clouds

I got an email yesterday from a reader who told me that one of the My Music Monday posts where I embed a player, as opposed to using a YouTube video was not working.

Sure enough, I went to the post and the message said 'file missing'.   Hmmmm.

So I went to Opendrive (I won't give them the dignity of linking to them) and sure enough, every file I have ever uploaded and linked my blog to has disappeared.

This kind of happened before, when they changed the linking codes, but at least the files remained. Not so much this time.

I am not even bothering to contact them to see what the deal is or if the issue can be fixed.  I am done with them.

Now, Sean R, a few months back said that Soundcloud would be a better player, or at least sound better. Right now that is the front runner, but does anyone use or recommend any other player that can be embedded into a blog?

Yes, I know Wordpress has some, but they are for WP, which I do not use, so while I appreciate the potential thought, that is a non-starter.

Oh yeah - and it has to be a free service.  I mean, you know I'm not paying for anything.

So once I select and sign-up, I'll eventually rebuild those posts.  It'll be a pain, but it's not like there are tons.

Onward and upward.

Song by:  the Orb ft. Rickie Lee Jones

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Better Days

I would like to write about something other than my head, but I've been quite limited in activities as of late.  Dog walks and vet appointments are my big outings.

I don't really see myself as an expert on Syria or MLK.  There are others who have better insight into that stuff than little ole me.

Just a quick update and I'm out.

I woke up yesterday relatively pain-free.  1-2 on the pain scale. Right now, to me, that is "relatively pain-free".

I made it 12 hours with out any shooting pains.....and even then I only had two.

This makes me cautiously optimistic that I'm on the healing track.  It doesn't do anything for my sense of well-being that we know the cause of this, but first things first.  I've been wildly unproductive with bouts of inability to do much of anything.

As you can see, Sophie has been my caregiver during the day. She has not held that nasty vet appointment against me at all.  Actually, I could barely get her off my chest at all yesterday.

I won't say this is the last update, but hopefully it will be the last for a while.....and if things progress in a positive way, why yak about it.  If I end up in major pain again, you'll hear about it, because misery loves company.

Song by:  Guy Clark

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fat Lady Sings

Poor Sophie.

She had her annual check up yesterday.  Granted, she's not an outdoor cat and doesn't really get into things, so "annual" might be a false statement.  It may have been years since she's seen the vet.

As a kitten she was there for a few colds and a mandatory declawing  - the vet's insistence, not ours.

But after Tovah had passed, there was no exchange of kitty sneezes and such. Now that we have Petey, we felt better about having her checked and making sure all was right with her world.

And one lady was NOT happy to go to the vet.

That was just the first 'meow' in the car.  There were many many more to come.  And  a lot of hissing just getting her into the carrier.  710 can do this going forward.  I don't like this part of being a dad.

Sophie really was a champ, once we got her to get out of the carrier (read: dumping it on it's side so she had no choice to slide out).

They offered her string cheese on a tongue depressor just to nibble on, but she wasn't having any of that shit. I figured I would pay for this later.

She got her shots, they checked her poo, eyes, teeth, ears and paws.  All good.  Overall she is healthy but.....

As you see, she got weighed.  The poor girl is, well, Rubenesque.

Today she starts on a diet.  We currently free feed her - just put food in her bowl once a day, sometimes she eats, sometimes no.  She never clears a bowl.  Ever.

But we will limiting her to 230 calories per day - or 115 twice per day.  It will take months for her to lose weight, but the doc says that is how it should be with cats.

So far I'm not catching hell for taking her to the vet - I assumed she'd punish me. However, with limiting her food, who knows what the reaction will be.

I bet she tries to eat my face at night.

Song by:  Foster & Lloyd

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

....I just wish that day were yesterday.

Sorry guys, no real post today.  I'll give you a brief update on my aching head.

I hovered around a 3 on the pain scale most of the day. That is about as low as it ever gets.  The doc had me re-establish the numbers, as she thinks anything above a 7 should get you to a doctor or hospital.

Fine - I can recaliber the scale.

In the afternoon I took Petey on his walk and lo and behold about one-third of the way into it, pain crept to a 6 then a 7 - easily.  But nothing I could do but try to get him through his walk.

I love that dog, but he thwarted my entire walk. He opted not to - or at least not fast.  Our normal 35 minute walk took one hour and ten minutes.  And the killer, he didn't even drop a deuce.

By the time I got home, I was a full-fledged 8.

Fuck the doctor, I took pain med and went and put my head on pillows.  Within another two hours I was back to a 4 or so.  Only then did Petey want to out in the yard and cop a squat.  At least Sophie tended to me.

Dinner didn't really happen. I started to prep it and stopped. 710 kindly finished, but I was so nauseated that I took a few bites and went to the couch.  I am forcing fluids though.  I don't know why. 

It was too late for me to call my neurologist so I will do that first thing in this morning.  ...and no, the emergency department on a Monday is horrid.  FYI - it is the busiest day in all EDs.  People wait all weekend to see their doc, can't get in and then go to the ED for treatment. Wait times are doubled - easily.

So we are on day 457 11 of this trip through hell.  Honestly, I will try to keep these to a minimum.

Oh look there - I did get a post.  Honest, I was going to just say 'no post today' and leave it be, but I can't stop myself.

Song by:  Warren Zevon

Monday, August 26, 2013

My Music Monday

Maybe I'm being defiant about this head-achey thing.  Yeah, I've had down-time with it, which has been grand, but as I type this, the ache is running on high gear.

Yayy me.

So you'd think I'd be selecting Olivia Newton-John's "Have You Never Been Mellow" just to soothe the soul.  But I'm not - hence the defiant nature. the way, Pet does an awesome cover of "Mellow".  Maybe I'll post that next week.

No, this song has been playing in my head lately, so I broke it out, listened to it and remembered how much I like it.

Queens of the Stone Age's "No One Knows" from 2003. How can this song be 10 years old?

Besides just being a good rocking song, I love to see Dave Grohl behind the drum kit.  He is a great band leader for the Foo Fighters, but the man does know how to drum and I miss that about him some times.

I also think the guitarist / vocalist, Josh Homme is kind of hot.  What?  Just me?

It is a great song to work out to, be it lifting or on the treadmill. It gets me moving.

"No One Knows" doesn't really make my headache better or worse, but one would think that a harder rock song would make your head pound.  I have found no rhyme or reason that sets off my worse spells. ....but it ain't Queens of the Stone Age.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Tell Me Where it Hurts

I know "they" say things fall apart at 50, but really ?? - starting on day three?

Do you know what is more frustrating than people not listening to you as you speak?  Doctors not listening to you as you speak - with your fucking medical history.

Friday, I finally had to break down and see a doctor about my head aching (which is different than a 'headache').  Nurse on Call was adamant (not Adam Ant) that they get me an appointment 'within the next four hours' or I was to proceed to an emergency department.

Then they proceeded to schedule me for an appointment six and one-half hours later.

Since I had the frickin' headache (sorry - aching head) for seven days, I thought 2.5 hours longer past their recommendation wouldn't kill me.......probably.  Since you're reading this - SPOILER ALERT:  I didn't die.

Going the ED (it is not just a room!), I would have waited four hours just to be seen and then they still would have referred me out to Neurology.  I know how the system works.

Nurse on Call was great with their phone triage, very very detailed, which they put in my electronic health record.

I truly pity the folk who don't have a healthcare background and how they get through not only the system, but can talk to and process what medical "professionals" communicate.

My headache (sorry - aching head) was left sided, the same side my sensitivity to my arm is located, the same side I have Impingement Syndrome in my shoulder and the same side I had my spontaneous hearing loss 15 months ago.

The doc (or nurse) never asked if I changed anything in my routine, but I was smart enough to let them know of one - I'll get to that.  But all leads up to a bigger picture.

As for that pity thing, that was not meant to be a slam on anyone - as I think I was on my fourth iteration of process before I started to put a few things together to explain this coherently to the doc and team.  Almost all for naught.

Anyways, two weeks ago I started taking Niacin for my ongoing tinnitus, which seems to be louder lately.  It's not clinically proven to work, but it didn't interact with anything I was already on and the side effects were minimal (as it turns out 3-5% people get headaches - I know now!).

First off, the doc was very very nice.  She (I know, a girl doctor - who knew?) and was committed to having me pain-free before I left. A lofty goal and not one I shared.....I'm a realist / fatalist.

But I had her stumped. We went through my full clinical history once again, along with the triage information I gave the Nurse on Call hours earlier. I know they look for discrepancies in information, so I sucked it up.

However, when I said how the on-set of the ache came on, some wheels started to come off. I said it started as pressure, no pain, in the back of my head, which I felt when I coughed once or twice.  "So you had a mild cold...."

No. No I didn't.

It was 06:00 and I was just doing old man morning noises and routines - not a cold. But for the rest of the appointment she kept referring to "my cold" - which each time I had to tell her "NO,  I did not and do not have".  But you can't unring a bell - and for her, that bell had been gonged.  I finally gave up.

We went through a battery of neurological tests, from walking, reflexes, eye tracking, strength, pokes, tickles, orthostatic vitals - you name it.

Let me tell you, if asked to do a field sobriety test, I don't know I could touch my nose with my fingers when drunk. I didn't do so well sober and we know how big that honker is!  The Hubble can see it from space....without magnification.  That walking heel to toe in a straight line test wasn't much better - though I suggest not doing it in Birkenstocks.

Since I do have the shoulder thing, the doc would have guessed it was a pinched nerve, "but I'm watching you move your neck and shoulders and you are not limited any way in your mobility, so it's most likely not that.".   Ruled (probably) one thing out.  I axed if it could be sinus related but she said not from where I was saying the pain centered, so two things ruled out.

It was the pain on the exterior of the head that really stymied her.  Her and me both.  We did determine the pain was emanating from the C2 and C3 area - but mostly the former.

We opted not to do an MRI at this time, since I had one 15 months ago and the results were fine.

While we agreed to stop the Niacin, but she didn't want to wait to see if that worked (her wanting pain to stop now, not later).  So we opted for a three day course of steroids (oh, I hope I grow big big strong muscles and maintain them by Monday evening - though I'll never play major league baseball again) and another drug which she gave me by the pharmaceutical name, which turns out to be an anti-depressant.

Mind you, I'm cranky a lot of my life, but not depressed, but it is also used for neuropathic pain.

Being on it might make me depressed, as I am supposed stay out of the sun and cut out alcohol for the time I'm on it.  Good thing it is only for 2-3 weeks.  Had I started a week earlier, my reunion with friends would have been a disaster.

The steroid can increase my appetite, so just to be sure, I played it safe and made sure we had pudding, potato chips and the like in the house. If I'm gonna have a side effect, I'm gonna make it work to my advantage.

So if the headache (sorry, aching head) goes away in the next two to three weeks, I can stop the medications. If it doesn't then we'll regroup.

Oh - and I'm also not to take pain meds during this time to avoid having the pain "rebound".

I'd like to say I'm hopeful, but I'm a realist / fatalist.  By the time I got to the doctor, I just kind of assumed this would probably be with me for life. Then I thought how much it sucks for people who have chronic pain and if moving to Washington or Oregon for assisted suicide would be the answer.

Maybe it's a good thing they gave me an anti-depressant.

...and this is my 3000th post.  Yikes.

Song by: Garbage

Saturday, August 24, 2013

One and One Make Five

I was about to call this the Hounds of Love (pt 2), but figured I could find a title with 'five' in it.  ...and I did.  I'm nothing if not resourceful.....and a music library with about 16,000 songs.

Last week's Petey Porn Day only had three beagles.  Dang, they were cute, no?

But I also knew that on Saturday of last week that two other beagles (girls!!!!) would be joining the pack.


As Petey Porn Day goes - it is never going to be bigger than this. Ever.

Emma and Lizzie joined the brood and as expected, everyone got along famously.

If getting three beags to pose is impossible, five is out of the question.  NEVER. GOING. TO. HAPPEN.

With all the activity, Petey was still new to the group. The other four have spent lots of time together. But every the gracious host - Morty treated Petey with special care.  And by that I mean giving him food and picking him up for hugs.

Pete might look a little distressed, but I can tell you he didn't mind at all and gave Morty kisses.  He likes everyone.  He LOVES Mort.

...which had nothing to do (honest) the bacon I'm sure that got snuck to him.

Petey was also the recipient of two half bagels and part of a piece of pizza.  These were not given, but stolen.

Anyways - more of the five beagles.

Petey is on the far left. Then (I think I'm right) Emma, Logan, Lizzie and Skeeter. 

Not the entire bunch trying to get a squirrel.  My fave part of this is Morty coming out because he heard a 'new' bark.  Yes, it was Petey (right side of the tree).   One must need earplugs for a fox hunt.  Lord. 

 Getting sub-standard treats from the lady behind Morty. "FIVE?" she said. ...yet she had five treats. 

But my fave was coming back to pick up 710 - and all the dogs were in the house. It was killing me with cuteness.  Only 9 seconds in length, yet 3 seconds too long for Vine. 

Song by:  the Pet Shop Boys  (how appropriate!)

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Coast

Sorry, I'm having one of those days.  I'm coasting. What can I say.

It's been one of those weeks.  It was a tough re-entry after last weekend.  I enjoy my friends so much and we don't do a get together often, so there was a little sadness upon return.

So I have nothing drafted or crafted.  I want not to touch the Bradley / Chelsea Manning scenario.  I get his need and want but I don't care who he is, I don't see why I should have to help foot the bill for his reassignment.  Well - I guess I touched that.

Anyhoo......Saturday is normally Petey Porn Day, so I'll just do Sophie Smut Day today.  A quick four photos....and we're done.

An outtake from this month's 12 of 12. 

Sophie is a cuddle monster.

..but for some odd reason she likes sleep up against any of the ottomans with her back legs pressed into them. 

Here is the monster part of her cuddle.  She loves to show affection....and then she bit my nose. 

If Sophie is a 'coasting day',  I'll take that any day of the week. 

Song by:  Courtyard Hounds

Thursday, August 22, 2013


We had a grand time in Columbus this last weekend....headache non-withstanding.

Yes, you hear me talk about my "email group" often and have even seen visits from four-fifths of us.  It is rare you hear that we are all physically together as a collective. the Borg.

I would say most weekdays we all exchange a few emails. Some days, depending on the event, it might be dozens.  This has gone on for years and years.  Normally we do take weekends off.  Still it is great to be in touch with a group of friends for 25-28 years. (I've known Jon longer, hence the stretch in years.)

While I certainly hope not to take my friends for granted, isn't it odd how to a degree we do. Not in that traditional sense, but the way that we assume things will always be the same and that we will always be there.

But they are not, and we are not.

Time moves on - and we have too. We stay in touch almost daily, but we are a little spread out geographically and it make it hard to all be together.  ...and when we were all in one place, we didn't do a great job documenting that togetherness, other than our memories.

In those, let's say 25 years, I can think of (and find) only three pictures where all five of us exist.  ...and one of those was taken this last weekend.  Well actually, multiple were taken this weekend (thank digital phone cameras!).

Still three pics of five people over a quarter century?  That's bullshit.

But when you hang out as often as we did, I don't believe any of us thought we needed to capture it on film. We were in our 20's and would always have 'this'.

Silly silly us.

Oh, but yes, all five of us were together for almost three days this last weekend. It was divine.  Of course, we had stories of the past, but we talked about the now - even mundane things, like we would have any other time.  The gathering was a non-event event.  In certain ways, that is how it should be. Just five folks and their significant others hanging - eating and drinking.

Of course, the weekend allegedly revolved around my birthday, but I'm hoping that was just an excuse (though I did get 9/10 of a cake out of the deal - don't ask) since who needs the attention.  The cake yes, but not the attention.

It is hard to believe that it's been since 2002 since we've all been together.  Morty and I have seen Jon once or twice since, but the others have not.  It's even been eight years since just the boys got together - and yes, no pictures.  WTF.

Since none of us is Ponce de Leon, we're not getting any younger.  It is time to make these visits count - and I think we did.

I don't mean to give Jon a big(ger) head, or to demean the rest of the group, but the vibe is slightly different when all of us are together - like a jigsaw puzzle.  Sure if you had four-fifths of that puzzle you could guess what the image would be, but it is not the same as being complete.  ...and no, I'm not going all Jerry McGuire on you.

Anyways, I'm hoping we will make more of an effort.  It is unfair to ask Jon to always come to Ohio, but the other four live here (three in Columbus).  I think it would be nice to meet elsewhere, but that involves more eating out and less just 'hang time'.  We'll work it out.  I just have to believe.

As for those three pictures - eh, just for shits and giggles, I'll post them here.

1988.  Holiday Party at Jon's apartment.  For the life of me, I couldn't tell you who took this picture. 

2002.  Sorry, it is a picture of a picture.  I am sure somewhere I have the original digital image, but lord knows where. 

Meredith had coloured her hair outside at Morty's the day before.  1,000 of worms died when the colour was rinsed out. Seriously, whatever was in the product brought worms up from the depths of the earth.  Poor poor worms.  

Ugh - I was a bit heavier back in 2002 and using a faux tropical shirt to cover it up - unsuccessfully I might add.

2013.   Not a bad looking bunch of chaps and chapettes. 

710 took 11 pictures.  11 !!!!  Not his fault, but none were perfect.  Eyes closed on one or more of us, or bad angles.  This might be the best of the bunch unless someone knows ye olde photsohppe. 

It's frustrating (in a good way) that Jon (the man is still wearing a J Crew shirt he bought 20 yrs ago!) and Morty look so much the same. Age has been kinder to them than to me - though oddly, I like how I look now than I did back in 2002.   ..and oy, that Frankenstein monster head I had in 1988.  WTF!

Of course the girls look fine too.  Maybe aging isn't such a bad thing. 

Hopefully we don't have to wait another decade for the next group picture. 

Song by: the Pat Metheny Group

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

I Bought a Headache

I'm still in headache post mode.

Not because I'm on death's door or anything, but just figured I'd do the follow-up. I mean, why not, right?

So in my infinite pain last night - around 03:00 - I had this little revelation of something I overlooked. I remember saying something to 710 about the awful night of sleep I had Thursday night / Friday morning.

As I lay there last night, I went "a-doy".  I bet I slept on my neck the wrong way.  I figured this out because I was experiencing neck pain that very minute.  Bad neck pain to go with my bad head pain.

RJ said something similar about an hour later in his comment on my post yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the entire head pain is due to this, but possibly the majority of it.

Currently I'm on my third round of Naproxin (fourth by the time most of you read this) and it seems to be helping quite a bit. I also went out and bought one of them thar contoured pillows.  I had one a while back and it seemed to be ok. Like all my other pillows I just see to wear them out and I tossed it a few months ago, never thinking I needed it that much.

I could have been wrong.

Part of my head sensitivity - I believe - still stems from that thing I've had going on for years with my arm and head that no one can quite figure out.  I think with the neck, it was just a bad confluence of events.

I am now not rushing to the doctor as of yet.....not that my doc bothered to get back to me. But I was just really going to ask him for a referral, be it to a neurology or pain management.

Tomorrow (hopefully) I'll be back to blogging about something more than my head.

...and yes, I was asked once(!) yesterday:  "So, how's your head?"

No complaints yet. complaints yet.

Song by:  the Replacements

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tear Off Your Own Head

Oh, I still have things to write about last weekend - I mean, you've all been waiting.

I just can't seem to focus. I have a headache.....since Friday.  I could have made up a better excuse, but who can be bothered?

Not so much a headache as a pain in my head.  Or on my head.  The rear left quadrant.

If you remember me going on (and on) about the sensitivity in my arm last April (that went on for 5-6 weeks), it is kind of like that.  But now my head feels bruised like I bashed it against something, but I didn't.  ...and it's not bruised.

It is all I can do to put my head to a pillow. There is no sleeping on my normal left side.

I'm 94.1% sure it is not an aneurysm. I think that would have killed me by now.  It's not a migraine, not that I think I've ever had one.

Even the moments there hasn't been pain, there's been pressure - so it is possible it is a sinus thing, though my nose seems fine and my sinuses actually have no pain or pressure.

Ibuprofen has provided minimal help, so I'm on naproxin now - so we'll see if that helps.  Today, if things are the same, I will be trying to get into my doc (don't worry - left a message for him yesterday), or a same day appointment with a neurologist, not that I think there is a thing they can do.

I'll be better tomorrow about a post.  One with a follow-up to this or the last weekend.

Song by:  Elvis Costello

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Music Monday

I've diving into at least one of those '80's classics - or what I think is on that list.

This last Saturday, while sitting around Rebecca's house eating and drinking (not necessarily in that order), she hooked her iPad up to a bluetooth device and used her Pandora app.

It was Becky's "I Love a Man in a Uniform" station, which ironically never played in the four hours we were there.  But the music was rooted in mostly classic 80's music, though some Nirvana came on.

There was great B-52's (who doesn't love "Planet Claire, especially the intro?).  INXS (the good years), the Smiths, Romeo Void and others.

Yet, when ABC's "The Look of Love" rotated through, I knew it would be my selection for the week, regardless of what I said in my semi-drunken post the day before.

Someone (Morty?) raised an eyebrow to / at me when I said it was from Lexicon of Love (which I definitely knew) and I claimed it to be their debut album (hence the eyebrow question), and for the record, I was correct.

And while ABC had a handful of really good songs, I would argue they never truly did better than "The Look of Love".  Part of it was the "backing" vocals, but it's just a good song that lasts all of three and one-half minutes.

It's a well written song with a great arrangement.  It never gets old.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sorry Doesn't Help

I have some excuse, minute as it might be, but I have no true post for today.

Oh - I have things to write about, sure - yet some of the post should be better crafted and not at 23:45 at night with impaired cognitive function.

Yes, I might have been drinking and carousing last evening. Granted  it was "carousing" around a fire with friends and food, but things go late and I had nothing crafted.  Not even in my mind, let alone to be committed to blogternity. It's a word. It is now.

So more on Tuesday.  Don't forget, tomorrow is My Music Monday.  What will it hold in store?  Not even I know.............yet.

Song by:  Morrissey

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hounds of Love

We are down in Columbus with Morty, George (and others) and their beagles.  ...and Petey RSVP'd that he would be attending too.

Three hounds in one house.   ....and the dogs too.

Actually all dogs got along swimmingly.  Of course after a few minutes, they just kind of went about their own way.

Petey should be way more tired.  He sleeps a lot but had been awake from 08:00, stayed very alert for a 2.5 hour ride, then he had to check out the house, the grounds and all the people.

As it it turns out, it is almost impossible to get three beagles to pose for pictures.  But at least you know I tried.

 Logan, Petey and Skeeter. 

 Petey and Skeeter checking out the gold fish in the pond.  His/Her name is Goldie.  Tres original. 

Logan and Skeeter will pose. Petey?  Not so much. 

Dinner time!!!!  Or close enough to. 

Song by:  Kate Bush

Friday, August 16, 2013

World Before Columbus

No big post planned today.  It's a family trip day.  ...minus Sophie.

The poor girl gets the place to herself, but 710, myself and the Pete-monster are headed to Columbus.

It's Petey's first "road trip" since we've had him. Oh sure, he's been to Chautauqua dozens of times - and even on the motor boat while cruising Bemus Point.

But he's never been to Capital City.

Lest you think we are just imposing on our hosts (Morty and George), they did invite him - I believe 710 and myself were the after thoughts. But since Petey doesn't drive, we're chaperoning.

No big plans after we are there. Maybe yoga with Rebecca if I can get her out of bed before 10:00.  I don't want that time impeding on my second breakfast or pre-lunch - since it is a 90 minute class.  She just needs to be out of bed for that 08:00 class.  I don't see it happening.

I don't think I've been to Columbus for almost a year. Last October.  Hey, I said "almost". I was rounding up.

So you'll get a Columbus post or two. I can't say when. Possibly a day delay or perhaps sometimes next week.

But you'll get at least an update on how Petey did on his road trip.

Song by:  Suzanne Vega

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lights Out

Ten years and one day.  My how time flies.

That is when we had the great big power outage of 2003 that took much of the northeast portion of the United States.

Oddly enough, I could have told you the month and date, but not the year.  But I do remember it like it was yesterday.

Since my blog was only a few months old back then, I barely touched on it. Two posts here and here.  ...and when I says 'barely', I'm being generous.

I was actually working off-site with some consultants and had gotten them back to their hotel so I could get to a dentist appointment.

Since you know back then I loved the dentist so much (yes, sarcasm), I was tres grateful when the power went out just as I was getting out of the chair.  Ugh, can you imagine a dental drill dying while embedded in your enamel?   (shudder.)

Now mind you, it was about 16:00 and light out, so I thought little of it. But of course, at the time, I didn't know - nor did most - how wide spread the problem was. 710 was working from home and until we hooked up a temporary power supply did we know the extent of the damage.

....and damage that started right here in Northeast Ohio with overgrown branches connecting with overloaded transmission lines.

The hospital went into full disaster mode. All those years we did disaster planning with tornadoes, plane crashes and anthrax, and what brought us to our knees was a downed power line.

While I navigated part it from home, it was decided I would stay there and come in at 03:00 to give others a break. The drive to work was weird - as no one was to be on the road, but it is amazing how far a hospital badge will get you with the police.

The hospital smelled. No way around that. Especially the operating rooms - like really really bad locker rooms. While they are usually kept cold, now the walls were sweating with humidity - there'd be no operations for a few days since after things came up, everything needed to sterilized...again.

Though every hardware in town was a beneficiary of the blackout.  The hospital went out and bought every fan they could get their hands on - and extension cords to keep the current patients cool.

My staff had a very very difficult time tracking patients without the benefit of a computerized system. Forget the billing aspect - just the coming and going of patients and when, and where they were was an issue we wouldn't get correct for days, as we had to electronically make every admission, discharge and room change after the fact.

Almost two days of no power. We had jugs of water, so we were ok, but the showers were cold even for summer. At least the cats were hydrated.

We ended up keeping emergency provisions for a year or two after the fact, but you know how that goes - it just trails off and you don't think it will happen again.

But at least there were no zombies.

Song by:  Lisa Marie Presley  (oh yes, you read that correctly)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fifty-Fifty Chance

I suppose this should be poignant and not morose, but I don't think it will be either of the two.

While I mention every year that is was my birthday (it always conflicts with 12 of 12 - and that posting will always overrule my day of birth) oddly, I don't care much about the day, but it does provide a blog entry - and sometimes that's enough.

Yes, I hit the big 5-0 yesterday.  No kicking. No stretching. No kicking.

I didn't even go kicking and screaming (or stretching) into the day. It is just a sequential day, and one I had no control over from birth until now.

I did attend a luncheon on state Medicaid reform.  Ooooooh. Exciting.

Every year that goes by here, I write that I never expected to live this long - be it having a malignant sarcoma or a perforated appendix. Well, that and my nearly fatal case of Simple Chronic Halitosis.

I know I joke about that all above, but honestly, it never occurred to me that I would be alive after 35 and definitely not at 50.  Oddly, I was ok with that back in the day. It's the fatalist in me.

Yet, I've defied most odds and now I'm a family man and have to keep going on. It is what we all do - isn't it?

While I don't think I look 50, I feel it.

I feel it every.single. day.  In my shoulder, feet, knee, hand and my tinnitus. I'm a frickin' mess. Yet, I moderate my workouts to not cause too much pain, but I'm 50, not 20. Things don't work the same way anymore - nor are they meant to.

Honest, I'm not complaining.  As 710 said last night at dinner:  "you made it."  Apparently I wasn't the only one questioning my viability.

I really do try to not make a big deal of the day - which is strange, being a Leo - but I don't care for the attention.  Though this year, I'm kind of milking it a little. Indeed I am.

I am just using the "special day" to get friends together. That's what Maine was all about.  That is what this upcoming weekend is all about. I don't want parties.  I don't want gifts. It will just be friends sitting around drinking and having fun.

Don't get me wrong - if there's cake, I will eat it.  I'm not a fool.

710 and I went out to dinner last night and it was nice. We usually try to find new places to go on his and my birthday, somewhere we haven't been.  This year we did not and that was ok, but honestly, I'm fine eating at home and having Petey and Sophie around. I am a family man.

I also had dinner with my family a few days prior. I don't even like that attention. But I try not to have that about me. It was my parent's doing - I was just a result of their of their fun time.  I figure I just showed up - they did the work and hell, they tolerated my bullshit for 18 years before I moved out. It should be a celebration about them.

So 50.  Not middle aged, as I have no intention of 100.

...on another note, August 13th is Left-Hander's Day.   ....and I'm left-handed.   Whoo-hoo.

Song by: Suzanne Vega

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

12 of 12

So I'm doing my 42nd (!!!!) 12 of 12

Normally it is 12 pictures taken on the 12
th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone. Click images to enlarge, if you choose.

Created by Chad Darnell and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. Janet Hughes is now hosting the link that puts many 12 of 12'ers together (sometimes she keeps current, mostly she does not, so I might have to drop this link / reference).  The number of people linking don't seem to be as robust as they once were, but that stands to reason.  

I still continue to do this, because of all my consistent post topics, I actually like this one the most.  

 06:30.  Morning medication time. 

07:00.  Wheaties might be the breakfast of champions, but I'm sure Cap 'N Crunch is right up there somewhere.

07:10.  I used to leave a trace of cereal milk for Sophie. Now she feels entitled. 
Every. Single. Morning.

09:30.  Found a $5 in my walled with a stamp to WheresGeorge?.  (can Abe actually play?).  I will do my duty and find semi-closure to the person who put the bill into transit.  (and yes, I said 'duty')

The bill originated in Victor, NY on January 3, 2013. It has traveled 237 miles for an average speed of 1.1 miles per day.  Obviously it could have traveled much further, just no one tracked it. 

10:00.  Using the mailbox down the street to mail some forms for 710. I wasn't comfortable having them stick out of our home mailbox waiting for the carrier to eventually show up.

10:15.   I don't need to poop or pee, but why shouldn't I smell where everyone has peed before?

10:20.  Stupid garbage men. They do this weekly - leave a pile of broken glass in front of someone's driveway. least it's not ours. 

10:45.  Future lunch? Two heirlooms from a food co-op.  SO much better than anything store-bought. 

12:15.  Future lunch, indeed.  Tomato. Miracle Whip. Salt. Pepper.  ...and grapes. 

18:30.  I know my life seems glamourous, but at times, je must do the mundane chores too - like emptying the dishwasher. 

19:20.  Close-up cuddling with my favourite girl. 

20:30.  One of those days when dinner seems like a chore - so what do you do?
You break out frozen tacos from Trader Joe's. Sure they're supposed to be appetizers, but if you eat seven of them and sprinkle cheese over them so they melt......well.......

22:00.  Your Baker's Dozen.
Left over cake I brought home from my parent's house on Sunday. It's not pretty, but we have another day out of it, so there is that!

That's all folks - at least until next month. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

My Music Monday

I'm back on an '80s kick, but not the pop portion I'd normally do - though I have been tossing around a few ideas for future entries.

I'm going with a soundtrack selection from a movie I have never seen, but a song I've always been drawn to - "This is not America" from David Bowie and Pat Metheny.

Honestly, I was a never a huge fan of the Pat Metheny Group either, but I love the title of their album, As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls.  The album art was great too.

Still, I was really like(d) "This is not America" - though it's hard to go wrong with Bowie.

...and while I didn't see the movie, the main character has been in the news as of late regarding Edward Snowden.  As he was in federal prison for a quarter century for providing secrets to the Soviet Union. He's been a resource of what Snowden will now be dealing with in Russia.

But the song resides on my iPod and iPhone, so it comes through rotation on a fairly regular basis.

Released in 1987 (?) it still meets my '80s vibe. Just not synths and one-hit wonders.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday in the Park

Sad to say, I went to yoga yesterday without David.

Undoubtedly it would have been more fun with him there - it always is. Our plan was to go, but he had business out of state.

A group has been doing a Rock the Park Yoga (it's a really bad website) this year (and last), but we've never attended.  I'd say because it would cost us $12, but honestly, we're not that cheap.

I won't say the schedule is haphazard, but it isn't consistent. The events are every other week, but sometimes on Saturday, sometimes on Sunday.

So I've missed the first four or five of these, though at least one was done while we were in Maine.

I've only done one other outdoor yoga. There is something nice about it, but things I need to get used to - like finding a flat place to put down the mat.  One semi-underground root or slope and your practice is just off enough to be bothersome.

The instructor was ok. He was an Ashtanga yogi, which was fine. The practice isn't that much different, other than they don't play music - not that I mind.  But it is billed as 'rock' the park.  That came after the session, where a guy set-up to play guitar. I felt bad for him as everyone pretty much rolled up their mats and left while he was just getting started - present company included.

Still, it was a good way to start the day - having a good breeze now and again as the day was warming up. I'm still not sure about the dew on the ground and getting my mat dirty - even though it wasn't my good mat.

...and it was hard to get a good shot when you're participating in the practice. Yes, someone from Rock the Park was taking pictures, but there is nothing on their site that looks like they post anything. So you have me taking one before getting into Bridge.

I honestly had no idea I caught part of me in the image. I thought about cropping me out, but eh, that sounds like work.

All-in-all, I would say there were about 60-70 folks who showed, so not bad ...

...and you're not packed into a studio with no room, so when they said 'swan dive forward', you could do so without clobbering your neighbor.

I think there are two or three left.  I'd do it again, weather permitting. If it rains, they have an indoor alternative, but that doesn't seem as fun to me.

Song by:  Chicago

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Handsome Devil

It's Saturday - Petey Porn Day.

I know we've only had him a little over a year, but taking pics of him never gets old.  He's a fun and cute one to watch, but as it stands, what I see with my eyes and what the camera catches are two different things.

I swear he is much more adorable in real life than he is in picture form.  Honest.

No worries, I try not to play favourites - I get Sophie in the shots too, as much as possible.

His eyes are cute, but I adore his ears.  ...and I think you can count his ribs, but he is not too thin. Honest. Try picking him up sometime. 

This is actually a cap from a video which you might see in a week or two.  

The horror.  The horror!!!

Petey is down to only two beds downstairs!!!  His third finally bit the dust and we took it to the curb. He seems to be functioning well with only two, but we will monitor the situation to make sure the prince isn't in any discomfort. 

Sophie naps nearby to keep a close eye on him. 

 Petey's shadow on a walk.  And yes, that is his peen. 

I missed the opportunity to get Sophie going nose-to-nose with him while he slept.  It happens all the time, but you have to be ready - and I rarely am, hence the blurred shot. 

Oh, those eyes. The chin placement. The guilt.  

"Are you sure we can't take a walk right this very second???"

We took a walk.  I'm a puppy pushover. He really doesn't ask for much. 

Song by:  the Smiths