Sunday, December 30, 2007

More Money Than Sense

This little hot rod belongs to the Sultan of Brunei. Used for his 2004 wedding, it is just one of 500 Rollers his family owns - the largest collection of Rolls Royces in the world.

The article goes on to tell about those who's excess money and need to display conspicuous consumption are creating quite a market for these monstrosities. Nelly has had his interior redone in mink fur, for instance.

Don't get me wrong - these people have the money, and they can do what they want with it. I'm not going to advocate the socialist ideals that would require these people to spend their money on the pore and starvin', or fund health insurance for all, or whatever - as long as it's for the CHILDREN. Nope, not me, not my money.

But, were I King of the World with an income appropriate to the position, my transportation would be driven by ME, with a lot more weight on the performance and fun side of the equation. How I look cruising the boulevard with the hoi polloi holds less water than how big the grin would be on my mug. Expect a raucous cacophony of engine goodness while tires are fried to oblivion over gold plating and kitchen sinks in the interior.

H/T Ace of Spades

Saturday, December 29, 2007

TCM Shoots, Scores!

The Turner Classic Movies channel is showing a string of Duke movies today. Woo Hoo! First up was McClintock! My mother actually hated this movie because she found it mysogonistic. Yeah, I'd have to agree that the women being spanked makes me uncomfortable. Other than that issue, the movie is really pretty lightweight comedy, and just reflected some of the prevailing views of the time. TCM has some pretty good commentary about the movies they show, and this was no different. Batjac - the Duke's production company - was really hurting after the movie Alamo had tanked and lost them a load of money. McClintock! was a box office success, and Batjac was saved.

Next up is one of my favorite movies of all time, much less a fave Duke movie: True Grit. Wayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of the one eyed federal marshall. It is said he played the same character in each movie - The Duke. In this movie - perhaps so. Rooster is the archetypal Wayne, only older and cranky. Glen Campbell was an unusual choice as La Boeuf since he didn't have much acting background. His popularity as a singer was supposedly why he was chosen. Turns out he was very good in the role. Wayne wasn't happy with Kim Darby at all. Her behavior on the set led Wayne to feel she was unprofessional. He actually wanted Karen Carpenter for the part, but was overruled. Other noted actors were Dennis Hopper as Moon,
Strother Martin as Stonehill, Jeff Corey as Chaney the father murdering crook, and John Fiedler as Lawyer J. Noble Daggett.

I'm not forgetting Robert Duvall. As Lucky Ned Pepper, his exchange with Wayne late in the movie has to be one of the classic scenes of all time:

Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?
Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands, you son of a bitch.
Next up is one of Wayne's best performances in Red River. I'll be watching the Patriots @ Giants until it gets boring - I think we all know how this one will turn out. I've seen Red River, but not the 2007 Pats/Giants game. As far as I'm concerned, Wayne's best performances drama wise were in Red River and The Searchers. He wasn't the same character in those two that he generally portrayed in his other westerns. His portrayals were much darker, more primeval and elemental. Much closer to evil. The characters were fairly far removed from the one he played in say - The Cowboys.

As far as how I'm doing - not too shabby. Today was a sort of step backwards - I get these days once in a while. My left arm really hurt today - it still isn't coming along nearly as fast as I'd like. I have little control over my left little finger - typing is a pain - every a might be caps lock, q, qa and as at the same time - well, you get the idea. The weather here has just plain sucked for me getting outside and walking - Thursday night we got about six inches and it hasn't gotten above freezing since. I'm cleared to drive, and I do need to take a trip to the grocery store again. I expect a trip to Wally World is in my future before 2007 runs out as well. My left leg where they harvested the veins isn't nearly as stiff nor pained as it was - I'm not gonna be jogging on it for quite a while, but I sure can walk on it. My chest still hurts, but I'm not married to the heart pillow so much anymore if I cough or sneeze.

Mostly I'm bored and ready to get out and about, but I don't have the stamina necessary at the moment. It will come. I figure if the snow melts and it isn't muddy, I can get out and do some more practicing with my handguns. I've enough strength in the left hand for normal support. I expect any rifle shooting will entail calibers under .224 - which means my ARs and my .22s can get some exercise. Recoil from anything bigger could be a problem with my chest, as well as any prone shooting. The Poor Farm is equipped with a rudimentary bench and target stands - all I have to do is step outside.

I certainly want more motor control over my hands before I do some home improvements I've been putting off - like a couple new light switches and a receptacle. I happened to awaken during on of the heart zapping procedures - I've had my fun with electricity for a while. If I'd had a light bulb in my mouth, I could have lit 'er up if I didn't bite it in two, like I nearly did with my tongue. I'd rather pee on an electric fence than run through that procedure awake again. They didn't realize I had regained consciousness - I surprised them. So, I still have some atrial fibrillation that will be dealt with later on. Or, I may have to take rat poison (coumadin) for the rest of my life, which has certainly been given a big extension if I take care of myself. Gotta keep the big picture in mind when I start carping about things not working as well as I'd like.

The alternative - not so much! God bless y'all and thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Few of my Favorite Things

These are some of the better comics today. I got out a bit yesterday grocery shopping and it pretty well wiped me out today - it's the middle of the afternoon and I've just now started getting around without falling back to sleep. It's gonna take a while to recuperate.

Merry Christmas to all and God Bless ya!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sci Fi Geekery

Take the Sci fi sounds quiz I received 86 credits on
The Sci Fi Sounds Quiz

How much of a Sci-Fi geek are you?
Take the Sci-Fi Movie Quiz canon s5 is

Some of those old black and white movies tripped me up!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Galactically Hot Women of Star Trek TOS

Ya just might be a geek if you absolutely, positively have to go see the complete set of babes from Star Trek (The Original Series).

No navels, but lots 'o skin! That little outfit did it for me.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Meme Time

My first meme! I wuz tagged by Mrs. Grim.

1. Wrapping or gift bags? You'd think I'd use gift bags - easy, convenient and so on. I still wrap, though.

2. Real or artificial tree? Artificial. It's a tiny one, lights already on, that I just pull from the box and straighten up a bit. I'm so easy I'm sleazy.

3. When do you put up the tree? It might be a month or a day before Christmas.

4. When do you take the tree down? After Christmas. Who knows - when I get tired of it being in the way

5. Do you like egg nog?Not really - it's too thick and sweet and cloying.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? AFX electric HO scale slot car set. Too cool!

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Nope - lucky to have a tree.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I'm gonna depart the meme and tell about the worst gift I gave - I got the bright idea to disguise my present to my sister one year. We were both about the worst poke and prod bunch you ever saw, and my present was a couple LP record albums. Pretty easy to tell what she was getting. So, I wrapped them up, hid 'em, and wrapped up a small box with some rocks, nuts and bolts in it. Boy, when she shook it up, she had no idea - which was my intent. Enclosed was a note explaining for her to look behind the sofa for her real gift. Boy, was I excited about how clever I was. When she opened it and had a handful of junk, she immediately broke into tears - ignoring the note. I grabbed the note and begged her to stop crying, see the note? See what is says? Your real present is right over here! Gawd I felt bad, and rightly so. Talk about a bad idea. I expect my sis still bears mental scars from that little experience.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Email - I'm a terrible written correspondent.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Charlie Brown Christmas - the jazz by Vince Guaraldi is great, and I love the overall theme and story.

1. When do you start shopping ? In time to ship presents out. This year the last minute thing is biting me in the butt.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mother made some fudge to die for.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored, all the way.

14. Favorite Christmas song? Silent Night

I noticed MoK was hinting around about me doing this meme, so yeah, I was up to it. I'm gonna go all bah humbug and not forward this - everyone I know who would enjoy this has done it. If I don't get around to it later, Merry Christmas to y'all!

How Will You Die?

Understandably- this test caught my eye!

You'll die from a Drug or Alcohol accident.

Let's face it - when you get drunk/high you lose all control and do stupid stuff. Unfortunately in your case those propaganda anti-escapism commercials prove true.

'How will you die?' at

Dern it - if Id just live a little bit longer, I'd die during sex. What is that, anyways? I seem to recall something.......

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fellow Blogger Heart Attack

Bob of Bob's Blog - linked on the sidebar, has just suffered a heart attack. His wife Colleen put up the post telling about this incident. Please go and give them your support.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Excellent Collaborative Posts

If you hang out in the right wing of the blogosphere, you will eventually run into Lawdog, Ambulance Driver and BabsRN. Lawdog is a small town peace officer somewhere in Texas, AD an EMT in Louisiana, and Babs is a nurse in Georgia. AD and Babs are a couple as well.

They have teamed up for a collaborative narrative about a health emergency of a sweet elderly lady in a small town, and how each of them might have been involved in her care. It is a bittersweet tale told with tenderness and emotion. These people, like many in their positions across the country - CARE.

At any rate, y'all should go read the three part story. It won't take much from your day, and will in fact add to it. They have titled their story "Perspectives."

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Sunday, December 16, 2007

I'm Free

I found this in my files trying to find an appropriate picture for this post - it doesn't really fit but I thought it was pretty funny.

I got home Thursday the fourteenth fairly late and just haven't felt like typing - so I apologize 'bout that. I fear my left hand and arm are gonna require some serious rehab. My neighbor Joanne will be taking me to my first followup doctor visit tomorrow, and a trip to WallyWorld is in the works. I think some dumbells and some of those grip exerciser thingies will fit the bill. My endocrinologist will be at an outreach clinic in Dodge City, so I'll be seeing her. I'm gonna be donating blood samples as well. It will be a few weeks before I see my cardiologist.

In the meantime, I am trying to exercise my left leg. I have a fairly long incision from my ankle going up my calf, plus another crosswise incision just up my inner thigh from my knee. That is where the surgeons cut out the veins necessary for the bypasses. They ran something up my thigh and snipped out the vein there - they used to have to cut the leg open for the full length of the vein material. Even though there is no scar, it still looks like someone took a sledgehammer to it, as well as my ankle. Once I get going, the leg isn't on total fire, but after resting for a while it stiffens up pretty good. In a day or so, the snow outside will be reduced to the point where I can get outside and start racking up some real distance. I am not supposed to drive for two weeks as well. We'll see about that......

I don't have any external stitches, either. I'm all Superglued up, baby. I've got some small pieces of tape on my chest that cover the staples holding my breastbone together. The holes from the drainage tubes have closed off as well. The tape they were using to hold the dressings in place eventually started tearing off the top layers of my skin when removed, so I've got a pretty scabby belly, all in all.

One thing I stay fairly close to is my "heart pillow." Ya hold it over your chest and press in if you want to cough - kinda helping hold myself together. I even use the dern thing to blow my nose. It has an accurate picture of the heart and it's feeder arteries on it, and my surgeon illustrated the bypasses he installed and signed it. I had some of my more fave nurses autograph it as well.

I also have to weigh myself every morning and keep track. If I gain more than three pounds in a day, I am to call in immediately. This could be an indication of congestive heart failure - having a bunch of fluids collect around my heart. I had to have Joanne buy me one - she drove my pickup to Garden the other day for my drugs and some supplies.

I never thought about it, but all the drugs I had to pick up shouldn't have been in childproof bottles. I lack the strength to open the damn things about half the time. We as humans are tool usin' fools, so I picked 'em apart with pliers and left the lids off. My main fear is that Rooster the cat may decide to take a trip through the collection on top of the kitchen table where I conveniently have my drug stash. I haven't been able to give my dog Babs the attention she deserves - the snow will have to be reduced first. Both her and the cat seem pretty glad to see me - I was gone for two weeks, after all.

My only other problems are with my sewer and my phone. The Friday after my lithotripsy I had a guy scheduled to come out and pump my septic tank out. I called him and left a message that I wouldn't be home and to come out anyway. He didn't. So, I called him back and scheduled him for Saturday. He didn't show - but it was pretty snowy and I can hardly fault him for not coming out. I don't remember if he has my cell number - which leads me to my next problem. I have no dial tone on my land line. My DSL service is apparently working normally (which for you non geeks means my phone line should be physically alright or I wouldn't be getting a DSL signal either), and none of the phones or backup phones I have work. Curious. I called my little phone cooperative Saturday and left a message. Someone actually called me back and they will be out tomorrow morning to check it all out. If you've tried calling my land line and no one answers, now you know.

After I get the septic tank pumped, I just have a bad feeling I'll be calling someone else to dig out some roots. About ten years ago I went through all that myself - I rented a backhoe/trencher combo, replaced a bunch of old orange tile sections with plastic and buried several sacks of root killer and rock salt at the major seams to hold back the Dutch Elm roots. There is a huge one within about five feet of the line and I have often considered having it removed. If I did, the other ones in the yard would torment me as badly, so since I prefer shade - the execution has been stayed more or less permanently. Mess with me too much ya dern tree, and yer outta here!

So, I've been sleeping through a lot of television and DVDs. I'm gonna break out some of my library as well - it has been a while since I actually read a book. I'm really a voracious reader, but most of it is online these days. I like the DVDs because I have to get out of the chair to change them, thus exercising the ol' leg a bit.

Heh - I gave a couple of my buddies the heebie jeebies today. They stopped by while hunting pheasant to see me. The did NOT want to see my scars. I made one of them trim my fingernails (since my left hand lacks strength and control) on my right hand. It was just about too much for these manly men - I fear I grossed 'em out. Hee Hee!

So, this scabby old weak trucker is on the road to recovery. I lost about twenty pounds in the hospital, and hope to keep that off. I really haven't been too bothered by no cigarettes, either. I have the occasional urge, but the smell really throws me off now. Brent (Joanne's hubby, my neighbor and farmer) brought along a buddy who smokes to take me home. So, I've been "exposed" and avoided temptation so far.

I'm for thinking I'll make out alright - it's just gonna take time.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Update 2

I'm home - pretty worn out. More later.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Well, it's been about a week or so without any word here from me - but I have my reasons.

Last Monday I had quadruple bypass and a cryo maze procedure. I'm a big, yes big guy with a big chest. The bypasses only took about two and a half hours to complete - the cryo maze took the rest of the six hours. I was informed by the surgeon that they really had to spread me open in order to get deep in the chest cavity. I have suffered some nerve damage. My two little fingers on each hand are totally without feeling, and my left arm is basically useless. This is an improved situation - I can raise my left arm without assistance from my right, but it has taken all this time. I tried to trim my fingernails today - the right hand can barely trim the left, but forget the left doing anything productive for a while.

So, typing much very well is right out, too. I owe many of you a fairly lengthy note, but I am pretty much incapable of that at the moment. So, if you got an email from me with just a link to this post, I hope you will understand - I'm trying to kill several birds with one stone here.

It was originally thought I might get released as early as Friday the 7th, but there were a few complications. Early Friday morning about 4:30 a nurse woke me up. Their telemetry people had noticed my heart rate had dropped to twenty beats/sec. They hooked up a temporary pacemaker, have me prewired for such an occasion. However, one of the wires was missing. It was the prevailing opinion to install a temp in my heart via my thigh a la heart catheterization. They finally decided to hold off and try drugs to regulate it better. Turns out I have a slow thyroid.

I also was sodium deficient, so I've been on 1500ccs of liquid for several days. My white blood cell count was high, so intravenous antibiotics have been administered. My heart has resumed atrial fibrillation, so they are going to shock it to get it into normal sinus rhythm. To be successful, this may take several tries. They were going to schedule this for Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning. But since I haven't been on coumadin for quite a while, my protimes aren't where they should be. They're giving me blood thinners intravenously for a few days to fix that. Then, they'll start me up.

Honestly, while I'd like to get out of here, I'm not ready. I just don't have the arm strength yet. Yeah, the cable sucks compared to my home entertainment center, and I'm still on dialup, but if I need help it's a buzzer away. A few more days here aren't gonna hurt me.

Probably the scariest thing about all this was when I was waking up after surgery. They had some trouble keeping me oxygenated because of the mucous from my smoking habit. It also doesn't help that their equipment was designed for smaller people. I woke up unable to suck enough air and with no arms to do anything about it. Of course I couldn't talk. It's probably just as well - I'd have ripped the breathing tube out if I could have. They kept telling me that the O2 levels had to be dropped gradually to see if I could get off the tube, and it seemed to me to be pretty counterproductive to give me less air when it was obvious (to me at the time, anyways) that I needed more.

Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers. Y'all have no idea how much that meant to me a during this time. May I be able to return the favor some day. Thanks so much.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

No Wireless

At the moment, I am without wireless. I had to send my sister to WallyWorld to get an AOL dialup disk just to get on. I'm suffering here.

Actually, let me back up. Thursday, I went in to one of the local hospitals for some kidney stone work - lithotripsy. Zap them thar stones with sound waves, and get out that day (outpatient "surgery"). Been there done that everything fine.

Except my EKG readings made 'em nervous. They quit and woke me up. A decision had not been made what was to happen to me. My cardiologist in Wichita was consulted. "Get him here" was the answer. So, I took an air ambulance to Wichita. One heart catheterization later, it seems I have one completely blocked artery and two at ninety percent. I'm scheduled for a triple bypass Monday. I've got three arterial stents installed from some years back, but the minimal efforts I've made in my diet have - well, the chickens have come home to roost, as it were. I imagine the cigarette I had before entering the hospital in Garden City was my last.

They do have a wired system available for patients here, but my current room doesn't have a CAT5 jack. I'm surviving the lack of cigarettes, and the bland food, but this dialup is about to kill me. How in the hell did we survive before broadband??????