Monday, February 24, 2014

Junior Nation Goes Wild

Which would include me as well, just in case you didn't know.

Yesterday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the NASCAR season opening Daytona 500 after a ten year stretch since he won the last one, and also ending a 57 race winless streak. You could see every year that the Steve Letarte led Hendrick team was gelling and it was all coming together. Two years ago Dale's season was torpedoed when he removed himself from driving the car for several races due to continuing ill effects from a concussion. Last year Dale just couldn't get around his Hendrick teammate Jimmie Johnson for the win at the Daytona 500. There were other races - where he was in the lead but had to nurse the car for fuel mileage, and Kevin Harvick ran him down and passed for the win.

Then there was the Nationwide series, where a joint effort between Richard Childress Motorsports, Dale Earnhardt Inc. (headed by Sr.'s widow Theresa), and JR Motorsports (Dale Jr.'s and his sister Kelly's race organization) would field a throwback tribute to Dale Sr., in yellow and blue just like back in the day, and with the number three, at the summer Nationwide race at Daytona. Jr. that race, but he said he'd never run the three again - the incredible expectations and pressure to win were just too much. He managed to pull it off that time, but as he has said so many times in the past that he is not his father.

They certainly have completely different personalities and driving styles. Junior is his own man who leans upon his sister. I can totally relate right there.

At any rate, Junior fought to the lead in the closing laps and had a dominant enough car to cut off any advances, kill the air behind him and so on to stay up front. He also had a car that was very strong on restarts - he got the jump on everyone several times and stayed in control of the race. The white flag found him in the lead, and a crash and last second yellow that froze the field's order kept him in the lead.

He really didn't need that, he was in no danger of losing the lead.

But during all those restarts Junior Nation was sweating. What if someone side drafted Junior too closely and cut a tire or damaged the car irreparably? What is someone got the jump on Junior? What if a stout line freight trained him and put him ten places back or so?

All of these were distinct possibilities, but it was Dale's day. He crossed the finish line first and won the race.

Plus, he joined Twitter!
Junior had been resisting joining Twitter for some time, but he obviously had the name reserved and kept away from squatters, etc.

All this time, we the devoted kept the faith. Many did not, voicing their impatience on one of the several SiriusXM Radio NASCAR channel, or on the many NASCAR themed websites and so on.

Rick Hendrick kept the faith. Of course, Junior is a money making marketing machine - from the souvenir sales (through the roof) or just Junior endorsing a product - he pulls in some serious Madison Avenue bucks.

However, it's not about the money with these guys. Hey, they ain't stupid - they're gonna make what they can, but honestly - they are there to race and win. Rick could get out and go run his gigantic auto empire, but he has committed his efforts towards giving his drivers the best equipment he can manage to produce. And it is good stuff, so much that others such as Tony Stewart lease it. And they like it.

Dale could go home and run his Whiskey River bars and sit on his continually growing merchandise income. He about knocked himself out of a functioning brain when he had his concussion issues, but as soon as he was healthy, he was back in his car racing.

So I congratulate Dale Jr. for his persistence in the face of surmounting losses. He and his team prevailed - they finally got it to click, the shots started falling in and everyone else missed their tackles. It's been a long drought, but the wait was well worth it.

Now on to a  Sprint Cup Championship!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Just So You Know

Courtesy UPI

I sure wouldn't wanna have any of you miss this discussion on The View:

The topic came up during a discussion about “self-love.”
View co-host Jenny McCarthy asked Walters if she has "more self-confidence and more self-love" given her age
"Self-love?" Walters asked.
"Barbara, are you talking about that vibrator of yours again?" Whoopi Goldberg chimed in. "I can't handle it."
“How did you know? You know what it's called?" Walters replied. "A selfie."
Selfie. How nice.

I need mental floss, stat.

H/T Ace of Spades

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It Was A Dark Day

Thirteen years ago today NASCAR President Mike Helton stood before a group of anxious racing journalists and fans watching the sports channels and said:  "We've lost Dale Earnhardt."

Things have changed since that day. Drivers tend to walk away from crashes similar to the one that killed Dale because of the HANS device and other major safety improvements in the car and at the tracks. There are not as many NASCAR fans at the tracks nor watching the races on television, either. While many argue that is due to a bad economy and other reasons, I strongly suspect that many casual fans were turned off when the sport's major hero was killed.

But that all came later and has been a steady evolution that has not finished. It was just a shockingly sad day to be a NASCAR fan and in particular if you were an Earnhardt fan, which clearly I was and still am.

“You can’t let one bad moment spoil a bunch of good ones.” - Dale Earnhardt

Friday, February 14, 2014

KInda Down Today

On this day in 1929, Sis's and my mother was born. Oddly enough, I remember her birthday better than I do the day she passed, which was January 30, 2001. A day does not pass by without me thinking of her.

I miss my mama.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Now THIS Is A Tragedy

Pic from Fox News
A stinkin' sinkhole opened up inside the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green Kentucky.

Let me repeat that - a sinkhole opened up inside a building at the National Corvette Museum, and as you can see, it swallowed some of the cars.

The museum said the cars are a 1993 ZR-1 Spyder and 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors; a 1962 Black Corvette; 1984 PPG Pace Car; 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette; 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette; 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette and a 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette. 
Strode told the Courier-Journal that emergency personnel allowed museum staff to remove the only surviving 1983 Corvette, which was at risk of joining the other cars in the sinkhole.

Just so you know, 1983 was a transition year with no new car sales - the 1984 Vette was the first of the new design. So the"1983" models were essentially mules, and there were 43 of them originally. At the end of the model year and when production started on the '84 modes, GM decided that they all should be destroyed. However, some dedicated employees "hid" one, painted it several times to disguise it and finally GM said they wouldn't destroy the car.Thus it's inclusion into the Museum.

I'm sure they can all be repaired, but still. As a dyed in the wool Corvette nut, this is quite upsetting.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Chickens. Roost. You Do The Math

This isn't gonna be easy - parts of my life I have deliberately kept from public consumption, but it's pretty clear now that was more or less a waste of time. So, here goes.

I might be out of the hospital, but it's not because I'm appreciably better. I was admitted because I had congestive heart failure. What that means is that my body was retaining water to the point of ridiculousness. My stomach is extended to the point of distension. When I eat something, I am immediately short of breath because there is just no room in my body cavity for the bottom of my lungs against the diaphragm to expand. Also, I generally find myself in the bathroom within a half hour of eating, regardless. Making room.

So what put me in this state? I'm on diuretics, right? Well, yes I am, but they don't always work as advertised. I've also got by definition kidney disease because of my diabetes, so just increasing the dosage is not necessarily an option. Unless I'm wanting kidney dialysis real bad.

Plus, I've got a leaky valve in my heart. This has been going on for a long time. My previous cardiologist held the opinion that getting it fixed would be riskier than just letting it be. He felt is wasn't serious.

This is in total contrast to the local cardiologist. I've seen him in the past - the other one is from Wichita and I sometimes have to go there to see him. He does come out here to the medical center I frequent once a month. But the local one wanted to see me in short intervals and his lab fees were significantly higher than any one else I'd seen. Since my insurance paid based on their idea of the cost, that meant more coming out of my pocket. I just felt at the time he was breaking me, so I went back to the doctor from Wichita.

The problem with this leaky valve over time is that it allowed backpressure in the system - every time my heart pumps, it pressures up both sides of the system. This is forcing water from my blood into my tissues. My weakened kidneys can't handle it. I actually gained over forty pounds from my first hospital stay to my latest. I can assure you that is not because I was gorging myself at the local buffets.

It didn't help that my company switched insurance companies at the first of the year and I never received a card with the necessary info. So, I had a ton of doctors' appointments that I wasn't about to go to until I got this straightened out. By the time I did, I could barely drag myself to my pickup to drive to Dodge. I did have the foresight to bring my overnight bag, laptop and some other stuff. I figured I wasn't coming home, and I did not.

Back to my water retention - apparently my sodium intake was too high.

Now I'm here to tell you I thought I was doing a good job of avoiding sodium. I do not eat potato chips or other salty snacks. I didn't even have a salt shaker in the house until one of my classmates came to visit for several days, and I knew she's want some salt. My sister even breaks out the salt shaker to season the foods I prepare.

But I wasn't avoiding enough of the "bad" foods. Lunchmeat, bread, canned soups, cheese, sausage, bacon, tomato sauce, salad dressing - man the list goes on and on. It doesn't bother most of the populace, but me it does. A couple of the major offenders I was eating was dill pickles and the instant cup of ramen noodles. I'd eat some Cherub tomatoes and have several dill pickles for my evening snack, and when I was trucking, I'd have pickles packed to go with my deli sandwiches. Which, as it turns out, is actually a tad lower in sodium than regular commercial lunchmeat. Still high, though.

I have switched to fruit (fresh, dried and canned (sugar free)) as a snack, but too little too late. I'd bet my sodium levels are lower than most, but still too high for my weakened kidneys.

Apparently I've been drinking too many fluids, too. I generally went through about a gallon of tea, plus any juices or milk. Rarely any sodas. Which apparently overwhelmed my system.

So what does all this mean for my future?

I'm still weak as hell - and I'm still anemic, for that matter. My red blood cell count is still in the nines when it should be in the twelves and higher. Apparently the kidneys signal the bone marrow to produce, so yeah. Borked kidneys.

So that leaves me in far too poor shape for a heart surgeon to want to screw with. I'm simply not worth the risk to them. Plus, getting that valve repaired is no guarantee that my system won't immediately build up the backpressure again.

So I am on a liquid restriction and a diet. I have to exercise, period. No choice.

I have always approached diet and exercise as something to be scoffed at and never even attempted. Not me, not interested. It's been a way of life since day one, as far as I can remember. I'm sure there are self image problems associated with this self destructive attitude. On top of all that, I am King of All Procrastinators. Why do today what I can put off until tomorrow? And I'm pretty much an anti-social hermit most of the time.

And, my close friends know this. My Cuzzin' Tom stopped in to see me Friday before he helped me get released on Saturday, and he had an intervention in mind. An intervention just like you'd give to an alky or druggy or whatever. He informed me that he wasn't going to stand for more of the same from me - he was there to help and support me, but he'd kick my ass if I didn't reform. He told me that I was a very great person who everyone loves, and he did NOT want to have to explain all of that to someone while he was standing next to my casket. He and my buddy Road Pig hold the opinion that my house burned down so I would learn just how much the community values me.

He's been working on losing some weight and exercising, and he knows the little tricks one uses to motivate. Instead of looking at something as a chore, look at it as something that improves my health. Take every chance to do something on foot every day - haul out my garbage (something I've been too weak to do, and I generally put it in my pickup and drive to the dumpster which is about a hundred yards away), just walk around the area, whatever, as long as I get out and do something. If I'm snowed in or have some sort of weather, just do some stuff inside - as long as I do something.

Needless to say, he got my attention. It was pretty emotional for both of us. Thing is, he is absolutely correct, end of story, no other argument accepted.

I like tomato sauce? Get a ton of roma tomatoes and make it myself. Tomato soup - the same only buy a chicken and boil it, pull the chicken out, remove the skin, debone that for various meals, and cook down the broth - no sodium in that. Chicken broth for the tomato soup. Which is what I did Saturday and Sunday. I made my own tomato soup - actually more of a vegetable soup with mass quantities of tomato. I had chopped up bell peppers, onion, garlic, celery, carrots and such and got it to cooking, and was busy dicing tomatoes and the thought that the chunks would have to be sieved out and what a waste - when I saw my blender staring at me. Problem solved. I used about a cup and a half of my highly reduced chicken broth and have even more saved back, and I've got several meals worth of my own tomato soup. It's kinda spicy, but that's what I was doing with the canned stuff. It's different, but it's fresh, not sugared and salted up. I also found I could use it for flavor in the ramen noodle cups - I'd shake out the freeze dried veggies and then rinse out all the salty dried broth flavor, add the freeze dried veggies back, add some frozen mixed veggies from the freezer, and pour in the tomato soup. Turned out pretty good.

I've also got a big container of chicken salad now - and I used fat free Miracle Whip - which is relatively low in sodium compared to the other stuff. I made chicken breakfast tacos for breakfast - I started out thinking I had the ingredients for two tacos, and it turned into enough for four. In the past, I would have went ahead and made all the tacos I could and ate 'em all - waste not want not, right? Today, I have the makings for another breakfast in the fridge. I used the salad I had already made up for topping as well - perhaps diced carrots aren't necessarily a breakfast item, but they were today on my tacos. I used a griddle coated with butter flavored cooking spray, chopped red and green bell peppers, a small amount of diced onion, some canned sliced jalapenos, two eggs and a ton of spices. I did go ahead and use a small amount of cheese and hot sauce.

And, even though it's really too soon to tell, this all does seem to be working. I lost 3.4 pounds over yesterday morning's weight. My cardiologist told me to be happy with a pound/week - but this is for sure water weight. I kinda had a clue, based on how many potty trips were needed yesterday. The diuretics worked well yesterday. The real test is if that continues - I had days before where the diuretics kicked arse, but maybe only once a week, which was not enough. Plus, several months ago, I had seemingly reached a stalemate losing weight - but that was when I was forty pounds lighter. It seems that once I get so much water off, that's it. Until, I suspect, I knock off some real weight.

I suspect I'll be looking into a lot of things online - like sodium free broth, low sodium soups and so on. Most of what I've seen on Amazon per soups are that the really low level stuff is all vegan organic. Blechhhh. I'm not ordering a case of that stuff until I try a single can from somewhere. And if you look at the labels on, oh, say Campbell's Heart Healthy stuff? Loaded, absolutely loaded with salt. In fact, a lot of that stuff has added sodium to make up for the lack of taste from less fats. That might be heart healthy for some, but not for moi.

The dietician I spoke with told me it was more important to get a handle on portion control that worry about counting calories just yet. Main course meat? Size of a computer mouse. Can't use Montreal Steak Seasoning anymore. Baked potato? One of the smaller taters - certainly not one of the huge baked taters the restaurants serve.

I'm sure I'm going to end up mixing my own salad dressings as well - vinegar and oil and spices I'm sure. I'll be shopping a lot more in the fresh produce sections. Online recipes for ideas, etc.

One thing that really irked me about my convo with the dietician - sure, lots of sodium filled foods are right out - like tons of bacon. But then she advised me to eat sandwiches with meats from the deli, which are lower in sodium than your average Oscar Meyer stuff. Hello? Bread and deli meats are still loaded with sodium - how can that be acceptable? It is, though. Beats me.

So my life is gonna be full of challenges of all sizes, each and every day. I guess one good thing - I was sure counting on lap band surgery to help me out - if I can't hold it, I can't screw it up, right? But if I can control my diet and lose weight in order to make myself healthy enough to be a candidate for surgery, why bother with it? I wouldn't need to go through that if I can diet successfully enough to lose that much weight. I put that in the plus column of future goals.

I dunno. I'm not sure I'm strong enough - but like Cuzzin' Tom says, little steps that I can successfully complete and put in the win column. It's taken a pretty big step just to get to this point - I just hope I can maintain and improve. Two days does not make a recovery.

And let me reiterate that this situation is my fault. Maybe I've got bad genes. Maybe I was raised wrong. Does. Not. Matter. I knew enough that what I was doing to myself was bad for my health, and I did it anyway. Nobody held a gun to my head, nor programmed my mind, or sent out mind control rays, or whatever. It's all on me, myself, and I.

I can take heart in that I am blessed with some very good friends. My buddy Road Pig has tried his own variety of intervention over the years, and I've ignored his advice. My buddy the Young Doctor spoke rather frankly to me several months ago on the subject. And Cuzzin' Tom. And particularly my sister. How can I ever be worthy of these people? Clearly they must be deranged to love me as they do. Boy, do I have the wool pulled over their eyes.

Well, maybe not so much. Maybe it's time I cut myself some slack and learned how to take care of myself not only for my sake, but for theirs as well, and the community as a whole.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

I Am Out

And I'm alive. More later.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

There Is Reality

And there is whatever world Mike Luckovich lives in. Guess what?!? "GOP BASE" can read, and sees what the hoary old RINO is up to. Which is why we're pissed - they just think they're putting something over on us. They are not. We are well aware of every time the RINOs in charge try to sell us out.

Amazingly enough, tea partiers actually are smarter in science literacy than non tea partiers - which includes conservatives and liberals. And amazingly enough, this even made the MSM take notice, so Mike Luckovich has no excuse for continuing this negative and unfounded stereotype.

Other than being ignorant, bigoted and intellectually lazy.

Friday, February 07, 2014

It Cannot Be So


Forty years since Blazing Saddles was released? Suddenly I feel just a little bit older.

Of course the fart scene is probably the most iconic and representative of the humor contained within - somewhat crude, sophomoric and totally funny. Mel Brooks didn't depend on just dialog alone - the whole movie is full of visuals and sight gags such as the sign we read as the camera pans past the horses towards the men eating their beans: Administrative Personnel Only - aged, Western fonts, and it just looks like a sign from the Old West. Mel made sure we got to see that little effort.

Mel also made use of some great comedic actors for his films, and this one is no exception.  Gene Wilder, Harvey Korman, and Madeline Kahn for sure. Actors like Clevon Little, Alex Karras, Slim Pickens and John Hillerman weren't known primarily for humor, but they were all great character actors that Brooks was able to utilize quite effectively, among so many others I'm not mentioning.

The movie truly was pretty weak at the end - as if Brooks really couldn't figure out an effective way to stop. When the "fourth wall" was broken and the last fight scene broke down studio walls into another set and then the cafeteria wasn't quite up to the previous standard. However, things were somewhat redeemed when Korman's character was shot and the heroes rode off into the sunset in a Caddy limo.

One thing we can count on for sure - a movie like this could never be made today.

H/T Og, who truly noticed the anniversary first

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Can You Say Misleading?

I knew you could. This little scenario is correct in that the new farm bill does benefit some ag fat cats. Considering that eighty percent of the bill's budget goes towards food stamps is rather a different picture.

It sure ain't farmers snarfing up that budget, but they're getting the blame. Go figure.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Eight Pounds

Less than the day before, according to the Magical Mystery Scales.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Plan

Here is what I know so far - Tuesday, I'll be getting scanned to inspect the defective heart valve. If it's serious enough, I'll have to go somewhere else and have someone new operate on it. The local cardiologist doesn't do much if any open heart surgery. But any major decisions will have to wait until the scans are read. So the plan is to keep trying to shed the water.

Whether or not I'm in physical shape enough to have the procedure done or not remains to be seen. In the meantime, they have started up using another diuretic. If the weird scales are reading correctly, I have lost two pounds. I have a brand spanking new bariatric bed and a bariatric recliner will be here tomorrow. I hadn't been sleeping well in the regular hospital bed, and my nurse noticed, and told my doctor so all this stuff could be ordered.

I'm not wild about open heart surgery. However, if the choice is operate or die I suspect I know the decision on my part.

And all I know for certain is that I will be here for a while yet.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

At The Moment, I'm Pretty Bummed

Things are not improving here. I'm not losing the water, or any weight. I'm on a low sodium, diabetic and restricted liquid diet here, and my weight may actually be rising a tad. It's hard to tell, because I have to use the wheelchair scales because I'm too freaking big for the other kind, and these are less than reliable. We can get about a fifteen to twenty pound spread depending on where I stand on 'em, so I've been trying to be consistent and be in the same place. One thing is clear no matter - I'm not losing a damn thing.

So what is going on?

Several things. I apparently have kidney disease. What specific kind or if there is one, I have no idea - they all just say I have have kidney disease brought on by diabetes. So, they don't function as efficiently as they should, and one reason why the diuretics are less than effective at times. Because of the risk of damage to my kidneys, they decided to stop one of the diuretics - but they've been injecting these rather than giving them to me orally like I have been doing. Thus the increased risk. The cardiologist apparently decided that I needed the other drug and risk damage to my kidneys, because he reinstated one of them today.

Plus, they think I was eating too much sodium. I didn't even have a salt shaker in the house until recently when I bought one for a guest. I do not salt a damn thing.

But apparently what I've been eating has been too salty.

Personally, it does not seem logical that would be the problem because I sure as hell ain't getting any salty crap right now, and I'm not losing the water. If that was the problem, less salt would be an effective strategy for the solution. But it's not working, regardless of the cause.

But what do I know.

The local cardiologist has been after me in the past and is definitely looking at a leaky heart valve as a major contributor to the problem. The cardiologist I've been seeing told me I wasn't leaking enough for it to be worth the risk of an operation, and it wouldn't be causing me any trouble. When I repeated that to my main doctor she pointed out immediately that I was back in the hospital for congestive heart failure within a couple months, so maybe that was a pretty good indicator that it was a problem. And that is why I'm here - my heart is surrounded by too much fluid. At least that's what the xrays show.

Kinda hard to argue with that.

I like this particular cardiologist, but his office calls are higher and he wants to see me a lot more, and his labs are all higher priced, etc. Above and beyond what my insurance would pay.

So, back in the past, I got tired of that.

My main doctor told me I could sure get a third opinion and had a recommendation for another cardiologist that does valve work all the time and is quite familiar with fixing 'em up. But it sure seems to me I'm looking at some sort of heart surgery. Maybe they can do that with scopes and not have to open me up, I just don't know.

I just know that after my last open heart surgery I swore I'd rather die than go through that again - my time in the ICU was one long nightmare I don't care to repeat ever, ever again.

I had to ask why the leaky valve was a problem in this case as well, because I had no clue.

Apparently, there is a sort of backwash in pressure when the valve doesn't close completely and that increased pressure causes fluid to be forced into tissues in the lungs. It ain't my lungs that are hanging way the hell over my belt or raising water blisters on my shins along with edema everywhere, but apparently it travels. And fixing the valve may or may not decrease that back pressure.

Remember when I had the bright idea of having lap band surgery?

That is all right out until this crap is straightened up. I'm too weak for that kind of stuff. So that is also out as a strategy for improving my overall health - not gonna lose weight doing that real soon.

And I have no clue what my future here is. I still cannot walk very far at all without becoming winded. I can get around my house ok, but shop for groceries or go to the Post Office?

It wasn't happening before, and things aren't improving now anyhow.

I haven't seen my main doctor yet today, so you can imagine I'm full of questions. I also need something different for diabetic neuropathy in my legs. Yannow when your leg falls asleep, and when it wakes up you feel like it's got tons of pins and needles pricking you? Now imagine this going on all the time, and instead of pricks the needles are being driven in, and imagine your legs involuntarily jumping from the pain.

Yeah, it's kinda like that. She's put me on a particular drug that worked quite well for a while, but it's a pretty short term thing now. So in order to sleep, I have been taking Percocet to supplement gabapentin. I'm not wild about taking that kind of drug considering my past, and we need to try something different. I don't like the idea of runnin' around half baked all the time. This all came on after my fall earlier this year - I don't have much feeling left in either foot, but those ol' nerves still fire in pain.

Then, the edema has the skin around my knees all full of water, so it hurts to bend my knees back all the way. The skin on my belly is tight - so full of water. Some patches are all red and quite painful - they're trying to start up some stretch marks. I've got some already, and they're all full and inflexible as well. The veins on the back of my hands have disappeared, and my feet don't fit into my house slippers anymore. I honestly think I get so winded partly because I've maxed out weight wise beyond my ability to haul it around.

So, I can't get out and walk in order to get some exercise. It does more harm than good - stressing my heart, for instance.

And while trying to write this post, my left hand cramped up badly. This happens fairly frequently. It's usually a potassium deficiency because the diuretics really use that up. I already take Klor Con, which is a prescription potassium supplement. I also have to take magnesium supplements. I ate a banana and one of my pills, and it seems to have subsided. It generally reduces me to cursing and pulling the cramps out with my right hand.. I have had both hands go south, and that is no fun at all. That happened during one of my visits here, and it took an Act of Congress before anyone would do anything. We had to call my doctor and have her authorize the pills as well as a banana - that had to come from  food service and was delivered when they were darned well ready. The nurses could lose their jobs if they don't go through channels, so it's really not their fault something like that takes so long. They weren't happy that I didn't wait when I had a solution in my possession already, but I got kinda testy about it and went ahead and did it anyways. I had some friends bring me several bananas and I have my weekly supply of drugs with me. So, yeah, sit there and watch my hand twist and shout, or take a pill I already had. Gee, what a choice.

So, whose fault is all of this?

Well, I'm the one who didn't take care of himself until apparently it's too late, so you won't hear me crying "Why me, God?!?" Nope, I take responsibility for it all, and I really don't feel like I deserve a whole hell of a lot of sympathy other than I have been trying the past few years, and it ain't cuttin' the mustard.

So, I'm bummed.