Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Closing Out The Year

I did something today that is a first in my life.

I bought a house.

I owned the farmhouse that burned down (I and my sister - it was in a trust), but I never paid anything for it, since it was inherited. So this was kinda different.

Road Pig wanted to sell the house I'm living in, and he wanted to give me the first shot at it. If I had said no, he wanted to sell to someone who would keep it as a rental. Of course I'd have no idea what those terms might be with a new owner. We both assumed it would be far cheaper for me to just purchase the place. It really doesn't cost much in utilities, so that shouldn't be a problem.

First thing I did was try to replace a door knob on the storage closet in the master bathroom. The hole was slightly smaller than the new knob, and I got PO'd and whacked it to get it to fit. That was the cue for it to puke it's guts out the end.

So much for home improvement.....

And Happy New Year, everyone!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finally, The Truth!


All these years of being conditioned not to stare, even though it's obvious that someone is looking for attention.

I feel so much better now.

H/T Firehand

Friday, December 27, 2013



I've seen several stories about this situation on different news programs for the past couple days, and one thing they all seem to share is the lack of someone, anyone, saying: "You know, if I'd have ordered this stuff a week earlier, none of this would have happened."

Yes, I realize that UPS and FedEx said they'd get the package there by a certain date.

Has anyone consulted the terms and conditions posted on both company's sites? They aren't responsible for overwhelming demand and bad weather tying up their air shipments.

Frankly, I have little sympathy for these people. They ordered stuff at the last possible second during the busiest time of the year during winter with all it's problems with disabling storms and expect the best possible outcome? What happens if they send the wrong size/color/whatever?  Talk about your sense of entitlement - it's on display here big time.

So, cry me a river. Maybe next time you'll allow enough time to account for unexpected delays.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Ho Ho Ho!

Merry Christmas from Sis and I!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


I stand in awe at how well Ramirez makes a point.

Monday, December 23, 2013

I Yam From Where I Yam

The NYT has a quiz up called How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk. I'd say they had me down pretty well, since I do live just west of Wichita. It's a fun test - after each answer there is a map showing areas where your answer is used the most - it's a color "heat" map just like the one above.

So how close is the test for you?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

'Nother Update

Towards the end of last week, I started noticing how dizzy I was getting when I stood up. I've had that before, but it would last a short time, and I could go on. This time not so much. It got bad enough that I decided not to go to Wichita on Thursday to see the retina specialist, then on Friday I quit taking my morning meds. I had an appointment to see my family doctor on Friday, so off I went.

Turns out I was anemic again - and she put me in the hospital again. I thought I'd be in overnight, but they kept having to give me more blood because my red blood cell count wasn't rising. They were also pretty concerned where it was all going.

They decided it was mostly too much of a blood thinner (Xarelto) and discontinued that. Blood levels in my discharges from the rear end dropped. They stuck four units of blood in me as well, but it only has brought me up to nine point something and should be closer to twelve, but since the outflow has diminished they aren't so worried. I've been scoped from both ends - last time I was here - but they are too short to see it all. So, I'll be swallowing a camera that's gonna take that trip. Probably after Christmas.

Hopefully I can get out today.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's Time

To pile on Family Circus. Some bloggers are bronies and carry on about the My Little Pony universe. With me, you get roundhead disdain.

To steal a line from Peanuts - Good Grief! I'd say Dolly was potty trained way, way too early as picky as she is now. God help the rest of us as she grows up.

It's probably just as well that I'm not a parent. Were she my kid, I'd be telling her:
I told you to go outside with that. If you've dented up the ceiling in your bedroom, you will be paying for the repairs out of your allowance. Which means you probably won't be getting an allowance until you leave the house. Now get outside with that before I warm up your butt.

I'd probably get arrested for spanking a kid in this brave new world.

Update Time

Ho ho ho! Santa is full of air, at any rate

I was feeling full of pi$$ and vinegar Sunday so I decided to put out my astounding collection of Christmas decorations freshly purchased from Wally World. I was just in my t-shirt and underwear, and just slapped on a pair of gym shorts. As the day progressed, that was really not appropriate attire. Brrr.

This picture lies
You'd think I put lights up the whole length of my gutters on the side of the house, but you'd be wrong. I just put up about thirty feet on the part of the house that is most visible from the street. I might have felt good, but not "hang lights on the whole house" good.

While I was out near the street tying ol' Santa down, one of my friends came riding by on his bike - and he stopped in for a visit. I'm mostly a hermit, but on the other hand, it was great to see him and shoot the breeze.

Monday was a pretty decent day too. It was a tad warmer than Sunday, so I buttoned up a heavy windbreaker and jumped on my bike for about an hour or so. I didn't ride around town - I headed out towards Dodge and came back on a back road. By the time I got home, the wind had finally driven into my clothing. Sixty degrees is just beyond the abilities of my clothing to keep me warm. I ordered a leather biker jacket later on - we'll see if the thing fits.

Yesterday was a big trip to Wally World. After sitting in a bed for some time and more or less being house ridden for a while has really put me behind as far as any kind of stamina. I was really kinda pooped from the past couple days, and today I'm really suffering.

Part of the trouble is my leg muscles have had to change how they are used. I've pretty well lost the feeling in my toes. It feels like I'm walking on the balls of my feet, and my toes are not touching the ground. That ain't what's happening - they're on the ground as normal - I just can't feel it. So, that means I'm no longer balancing on my toes - I'm balancing on the balls of my feet. So, since that requires rather a tad more torque outta my leg muscles in my shin just below the knee - by nighttime they are screaming. It will just take time to get used to it. I've had diabetic neuropathy long enough to be extremely familiar with all this - I hate climbing on ladders because I have no real sense of where my feet are on the rungs. I can do it, but I have to be very careful and look down once in a while to check and see if what I'm feeling is actually correct.

Tomorrow I've gotta go to Wichita. My opthamologist found that I've got some damage in the right retina - diabetic retinopathy is the cause. Last time I saw him, he noted it, but it wasn't affecting my vision. Now it is. Apparently I've ruptured a small blood vessel, and the specialist in Wichita will probably zap it with a laser. So, no big deal, just another doctor and a bill. I'd certainly like to get that fixed.

At some point in January, I'll be going to an orientation class at Via St. Christie in Wichita for bariatric surgery. I just can't help but feel that is my best choice. I can't exercise because I'm too heavy, I have no willpower to lose weight, a lot of my health problems would be considerably relieved if I lost weight, exercising would be far easier, and on and on and on. All my doctors agree.

So that is what I'm a gonna do!

Saturday, December 14, 2013


Bob pursuing his favorite pastime

It's been a while since I posted a cat update, and since I'd been hospitalized for a while, one might wonder how the feline contingent of the New Poor Farm might be getting along.

I'm happy to report that both cats are going strong. It's good to remember that Bob is really not my cat - he's buddy Road Pig's, and as such, does not depend upon me for his sustenance. Bob does fare better when I'm around, because he is such a wimp around the community feed bowl next door and gets shoved aside by the wild bunch Road Pig feeds.

They like to hide out in the bushes and around the corner when I step out and feed Bob, and then when the coast is clear, sneak in and eat what I designated for him. My thinking is that they will deserve to be fed when they allow me to pet them like Bob does. Since this has not happened, often I have to stand guard so Bob gets what I give him.

You can imagine I get tired of this.

It occurred to me that one of the low velocity plastic pellet pistols might be pretty effective, so I purchased a 1911 styled pellet pusher (even branded by Colt) at Wally World. Often, I'll step out to chase one of the meaner denizens away, and they'll stop a few yards out and let me know in uncertain terms how unhappy they are with me. Before, I'd have to yell or act like I was gonna charge 'em. This got old.

Plugging 'em with the toy 1911 has proven quite effective. The effects seem to last a little while before they forget and get popped again. After I've hit 'em once, even if I miss afterwards, they get the idea and completely vacate the yard.

And since I have Kitsey, I quit feeding Bob cat treats. He gets the same food Kitsey does. It's a lot cheaper and far more nutritious, and sometimes if Kitsey got ahold of a package and destroyed it - the contents didn't agree with her. She's puke all over the house, numerous times. So, it's bye bye cat treats.

Speaking of Kitsey.....

Kitsey catching some much needed sleep on my legs in the recliner
Since I've gotten home, I've noticed my relationship with Kitsey has been altered considerably. Road Pig kept her fed, but he only fed her dry cat food. He didn't bother with the real canned tuna she gets from me every day - she is doled out a third of a can per day. Plus, I wasn't there on call to pet her when she darned well got around to it.

So, instead of jumping in my lap once or twice per day, she's advanced to working on being there a significant portion of the day. And she might stay for ten or fifteen minutes and leave before I was gone. Now she parks herself on my legs and sleeps there.

I'd say she noticed I was gone.

It's nice to be appreciated by one's cat. I felt like she barely tolerated me, which was really the case. Now? Much better. She still gets peeved at me - particularly when my bladder is heavily under the influence of the diuretics. She gets irritated when I wake her so I can vacate the chair and drain the main vein. I interrupted her nap. I should not be moving. I am not gonna wear a catheter to keep my cat happy with me - she'll just have to suffer, for she suffers horribly when she has to move unwillingly.

You might ask how Bob and Kitsey get along. I might even answer.

For his part, Bob is oblivious to Kitsey. He'll come marching in the front door, hanging around and kvetching about how the feeding process needs to be more on demand for him. Kitsey is just another thing in the house to him.

Kitsey, on the other hand, is deeply offended by Bob and his compadres. She starts hissing and growling immediately if not before, and when I step back in, she'll stand in my way. This does not fly with me - I need that floor space to walk, and she really hisses and bats at my legs when I try to toe her outta the way. It's a good thing (this time at least) that she is declawed on her front paws, or my shins would be shredded.

She also gets paranoid. Kitsey would put her nose in the crack of the door and just sit for a long time, keeping vigil. What is so funny about that is that it's really pretty rare that Bob or one of the feral cats might be out there. Generally, nothing is happening - no cats. Then, I'll look out when she's off asleep somewhere, and it's feral cat playground out there.

There is absolutely no connection between her suspicions and reality. Yes, the cats are out there, but she does not possess the skills to detect them reliably. Plus, I get tired of having to deal with her thinking she owns that piece of floor when I need to walk there. My solution?

She is not allowed to stand in the front door landing area at all anymore. That was a privilege, not a right. I pay the rent around here; that's my right. She's just an invited guest.

And with the training aids around here, remarkably she has learned the boundaries. Occasionally she forgets, but generally all I have to do is chide her.

So, human/feline relations seem to be fairly well ordered these days, which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Laugh I Thought I'd Die

Surely we've all heard about the fake sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service, attended by heads of state from all over the world with this nimrod right beside them as they gave their speeches. Now we find this out:
A man being criticized by sign language experts for providing fake interpretations while standing close to President Obama and other heads of state at Nelson Mandela’s memorial says he becomes violent “a lot” and was hallucinating during the event.
Just the kinda guy you'd want standing next to Dear Leader. Just because, here is a clip showing the faker next to the President - so we know it really happened.


Now, I realize that the slip up in security is the fault of South Africa's security agency. Fine. However, as far as protecting Dear Leader, our Secret Service - the supposedly finest crack protectors on the planet - failed. How?

They trusted someone else to take care of their own security responsibilities.

Did they check each and every person who was going to be on the stage with Teh Won? Did they ask for complete background info on all these people? Did they verify this information?

Seems obvious they did not.

There are so many ways that the fake interpreter could have killed the President or any other leader that it's ridiculous. Where would we be if he had? What would our Secret Service have to say for itself then?

The point I'm working up to here is to just remember this little incident the next time someone tells you that you should not protect yourself because you should leave that to the police.

Are the cops as "high quality" as the Secret Service? Are they right beside us at all times?

Of course not.

Are we allowed to vet our protectors? Make sure they can shoot straight, can handle a weapon without negligent discharges? Guarantee that they won't show up in the middle of the night dressed in black, carrying military weapons and kill our pets even though they're at the wrong house? Tear the place down and never acknowledge that repairs will be needed?

Of course not.

How about maybe just show up on time when we need 'em?

Nope, can't even do that. What's more, if they don't make it, they aren't responsible. You paid for the service, but if it sucks, you have no recourse. Can't sue. No refund.

We've just seen the A team of personal security blow chunks internationally by trusting someone to take care of their responsibilities.

Why should I allow my right to personal defense to be abrogated in favor of an ineffectual law enforcement system?

So, when someone suggests that is just what we should do, I'm gonna be saying politely "You may piss off, madam/sir. It's my right, my responsibility, and no one is going to do the job effectively besides me."

I may not even be that polite.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to Teri Garr, 69.

The pic on the left is when she was in an episode of the original Star Trek television series. She costarred with Robert Lansing in the episode Assignment:  Earth, which was supposed to produce a spin off series employing both her and Lansing. Unfortunately it did not sell. She also proved her comic chops in the Mel Brooks black and white comedy Young Frankenstein, where she was quite enticing to a teenager - hawt comes to mind!


Truly impressive pair of assets!

In 2002, she revealed that she was suffering from multiple sclerosis and has become a major advocate for related causes.

I'd have to say that what cemented my thinking she was pretty special was her noted appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman. Her banter with Letterman was something to see - truly a lot of fun.

At any rate, I wish her nothing but the best. Happy Birthday, ma'am.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Which Holiday Character Are You?

I was kinda thinking I might be The Grinch, when thinking of the answers I was giving. But I think this is fairly accurate - I can get pretty frustrated and frazzled, just like George.

Try the test your own self!

Monday, December 09, 2013



When was the last time a friggin' tag irritated your skin?

Yeah, Hanes is hardly the only men's clothing manufacturer to stop using tags and go to printing right on the article of apparel. But just what do you suppose is cheaper, printing the info on the material, or purchasing additional material, cutting it to size, then print the necessary info and sew it into place? You betcher ass it's cheaper the "new" way.

My daddy had a saying that most certainly applies here:
Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining

Sunday, December 08, 2013

You Wanna Know


Why I like racing? Just watch this video of Formula One greats and their quotes, and realize that many of the men pictured here were killed on track, doing what they loved. Some, like Nikki Lauda, are horribly disfigured. Some managed to live long enough to retire.

What common bond do they all share and what is it I admire about them enough that I want to watch?


Coupled with brilliant skills, managing to do miracles with machines.

Competition. So much passion about winning that coming in second is a defeat. Winning is the only thing.

If you ever get the chance, watch the movie Rush. It was released earlier this summer, directed by Ron Howard, and it was about the rivalry between Nikki Lauda and James Hunt in the 1976 Formula One title competition. Lauda was horribly burned at the Nurburgring in Germany, only to push himself to come back and compete far too early. Probably one of the very best racing movies ever made. Also, a documentary about safety and the lack therof in Formula One from the first to the present was released  called 1. I watched it on demand with DirecTV and understand it's on iTunes as well - but it's very good. There are interviews with the stars and period footage all blended together so you get to see a lot of vintage racing shots, and old interviews with drivers who were killed. At one point, about a driver per week lost their life - that included the junior Formulas as well, but back in the day, it was a damn dangerous sport. Still is, just not as much.

Nikki (after being burned) and James Hunt share a moment. Regardless of the impression from the film "Rush," they were good friends.

I'm certainly more of a NASCAR fan than a Formula One fan, but it's all racing in the end.

H/T Jalopnik

Saturday, December 07, 2013

I'm Free

Y'all probably have guessed by now that I'm out of the horse pistol. They actually let me go late Wednesday night - about 10:30 or so. I had Cuzzin Tom take me to Wally World for a few supplies - I stayed in the pickup. However, we ended up going back to the hospital for him to get his pickup, and  I drove home. Since it was so late, I was unable to fill any prescriptions, so I had plans to do that Thursday. Until I more or less slept until noon or one, and went back to sleep and didn't wake up until 5pm. I had a couple doctor appointments on Friday, so I went to those and made it to WalMart.

Looking back on what I've posted, I did say I fell, but I didn't say why. For some odd reason, I could stay on my feet fully clothed, but at home in underwear and a t-shirt my legs would shut down. I've got a pinched nerve. I could feel it coming on, and generally sat down for a couple minutes and things went back to working for another ten or fifteen minutes. I could feel my thighs going dead and thought I could make it to my chair. Nope. I dropped like a rock.

After living in the crappy bed and furniture at the hospital, I find that I'm more or less numb in my lower back. The bed had my ass asleep most of the time, and moving around didn't help. I can't tell if things have shifted enough to help, but it does seem to be that I can get around half nekked now. Just too numb to be sure. Since I have diabetic neuropathy, none of this is any surprise. Just something else to live with.

Officially, I was admitted due to congestive heart failure. In practice, that means I've filled up with fluid so much that when I ate something, it cut into space for the lungs to expand when I breath. My heart would also be surrounded by way too much fluid. Nothing actually failed, but things were certainly labored. By definition, I have COPD.

I also have borked kidneys. All the drugs are taking their toll on my major organs, and the kidneys are on the front lines, as it were. Diuretics force the kidneys to work harder, and eventually the drugs lose their effectiveness. The main test for kidney function is to check the creatinine levels. Creatinine is a waste product from the cells burning energy from food. If that is high, then the kidneys aren't functioning properly. So, my doctors had to try several different strategies with different drugs to still take water out of the blood, and retain effectiveness. Another thing that was borked was my red blood cell count - I was pretty anemic. They gave me two units of whole blood cells to help fix that. Apparently healthy kidneys signal blood marrow to produce red blood cells, and if the kidneys are out of whack, this does not happen. So anemia is another indicator that things ain't right with the kidneys. Now, however, my creatinine levels are normal, and I'm slowly losing water weight. I've also got an appointment with a nephrologist. I also have an appointment with the podiatrist that drained my infection in my foot as well. Since I've lost a lot of feeling in my feet, having someone look 'em over isn't a bad idea.

When I went to see my doctor, I told her I was sick of living like this and wanted to change things. One of the things I was aiming for was for some sort of bariatric surgery, probably of the lap band variety. All my doctors seem to be on board with this thinking, and she's working on getting me in to Via Christie's program in Wichita. Honestly, it's either do that or die within a few years. I may kick the bucket at any time anyways with the borked ticker I have, but if I don't do something, I'm stressing too many crucial systems by continuing to live the way I do. And if I do lose the weight, I'm removing most of the stresses.

I've managed to give up just about every vice I've ever had except for eating. Quit smoking cigarettes? You just don't smoke 'em anymore. Lose weight? You still have to eat something to survive. Very different. I guess that's my excuse for not having any willpower.

Which, for me, is the crux of the dilemma. Honestly, I have only myself to blame - I've blown right past common sense when it comes to taking proper care of myself. I don't exercise and eat way too much. I could rail on my parents for not blessing me with the genes necessary to pull that crap off, but I knew my decisions were bad when I made 'em. You will NEVER hear me cry out "Why ME, God?!?!?" I know the answer to that question already. It's my fault.

I can fix it, though, if I work at it. Do I wanna live or die? Pretty simple.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Mass Wins


Those old steamers had gobs of torque at idle, much less pouring on the coals. Pretty cool - gotta commend 'em for thinking to try this to see what really would happen!

H/T A Train Wreck in Maxwell

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Yellow River

By IP Freely
And that's what it's all about.

Officially, I'm in the hospital for congestive heart failure. The ol' ticker is still working as well as it can, but the cardiac sac is full of fluid, as well as just about everything else. I was so overloaded with fluid that when I ate something, it would cut into my lung capacity, making me short of breath. Life was pretty miserable.

The added weight is also contributing to pinching nerves from the spine, which led to my fall.

So, the strategy is to give me lots of diuretics, monitor certain levels to keep from sustaining kidney damage, cut way back on fluid intake (I can assure you I'm dehydrated), and work on dieting as well.

I can tell when magnesium and potassium levels are low, because my left hand gets some severe cramps. The other day it lasted for three hours. Three hours of watching my hand make unusual shapes and gestures because my other hand was too tired to fight it trying to pull the muscles back out. Hurt like hell.

Another problem is that the kidneys aren't responding as well as expected. They're pulling out water, just not in the quantities needed. Which is why I'm still here - I've got to be shed of a lot more before I'm gonna be released. Perhaps by next Friday.

Plus, my new laptop has a charging problem. Cuzzin  Tom got an iPad from Wally World for me. I can tell you I am no Apple fanboy - this thing won't do tons of stuff that a Windows unit does. Like spacing images in a particular file. Can Apple let me drop an image in any any other place than the main picture file? That would be No, and damn you for asking. Shaddup and worship The Jobs, and be grateful you were allowed to buy this wonderful bit of tech.

Needless to say, when the laptop is repaired and back in my hot little hands, this puppy is going bye bye. Should I get the bug for a different tablet, it's gonna be Winders or Android. End of story.

The schedule after I get out is also grim to include a visit with a lap band practitioner in Wichita. I simply must lose weight, end of story.

Gawd knows what this little staycation is gonna cost. I'd think they could break up the monopoly of scrambled egg for breakfast. Sheesh. I had some hot sauce in my overnight bag for just this sort of thing, but it ran dry the other day. It's pepper and Mrs. Dash for seasoning, and that's it.

I keep telling myself that things could be worse, which is true. Onward I go.