Saturday, May 03, 2014

Bird Watching

I'm certainly no "birder." I enjoy watching hawks soar and hunt, but I'm not much into using binoculars and.trying to classify what I see. I just try to enjoy the majesty and power of the more predatory birds.

I was highly impressed with a picture I found on Facebook - it shows the freedom and fire behind a falcon perched in a tree. Pic is below the fold if you are so inclined.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I'm Sure He Does His Best

Just guessing mind you - but something tells me that even the most simplified, Sunday school approved tales from the Bible just blow right over Jeffy's little red noggin.' Either that or this is a disturbing insight into Jeffy's unabashed greed for gifts and candy, and he fears he'll miss out if proper procedures aren't followed. Just stay out of Jeffy's way and no one gets hurt. You've been warned.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Uh Oh

Trouble in Paradise. Apparently Daddy has to hide out from an increasingly discordant Mommy. The proof is that Jeffy is accustomed to this and "hidin' from Mommy" is now a family wide behavior. Just think of the fresh comic gold if they separated, or split and divorced! Mommy and Daddy start dating again, but with these little morons along for the ride!

No, no, you won't have to worry abut that, Dolly. The old Motorola Startac flip phones were smarter than you. I'm quite sure this will not change.

The first gay plugger. Things have changed since the seventies - "good buddy" now means homosexual lover and it's a derogatory term. So our canine trucker is either cruising for a bruising, or talking to his significant male other.

In this old Hi and Lois strip we see why there were no more kids after Dot and Ditto.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Things That Go Bang!

My normal policy is not to let everyone know just what I have - I think not paying attention to the reputation that built up helped cost me some stolen guns. So I've never posted some of my guns before. But what the hell, here goes:

I loaded up the other morning and headed out to a very good friends' place to exercise both some guns and myself.

Clockwise from the upper right: first up is a Rock Island Armory GI style 1911. This puppy has a very soft spot in my heart - the gentleman who owns the place I shot at also has two older brothers, one a year older than me, and one I've been friends with since we were four. Their parents were of the "extra" variety to me - I was always welcome, encouraged, and helped from time to time. There are camping trips in our past. They were one of the first families to have a C-Band system, and I spent many an hour on the floor watching stuff no one else got to see - HBO and the like. I consumed many a meal under with my feet under their table, and even more cool - I got to shoot all their latest go bang toys over the years.

When the place burned down, I got a call not long afterwards from the youngest brother. I was to stop by his house and see he, his wife and his mom. I figured I'd be getting some money or something, but I wasn't sure, naturally. So, when I arrived and relaxed, M started in recalling those times growing up and how close we all were. And he brought up a very salient point - that they were not like other families. That they could recognize needs beyond just having cash - anyone could give me cash, but they weren't like that. He and his brothers knew that I had a Kimber Eclipse stolen, and that I also had Citadel 1911 fairly dressed out that perished in the fire, so that left me without a 1911. Well, that simply would not do - a gentleman always has a 1911 to arm himself with, so they got together and got me one, plus a box of ammo with some cash stuffed in with the shiny new hardball.

That firearm has far too much sentimental value to ever go bye bye for whatever reason. And besides, it shoots too well, too. I've always held that my eyes don't appreciate the tiny sights, but the truth is I do pretty well with 'em. The sight picture just seems a tad more precise than the blocky Novak style. I also prefer far more checkering on the grips and front strap, but this one ain't goin' nowheres. It has a charm all it's own.

Next up is a Ruger Single Six in .22LR. I've also got the 22 Mag cylinder but have no ammo. Single action six shooters are a favorite, and having one in .22LR is just a bonus. It's a sweetheart to shoot.

Then we come to another Ruger - a New Model Vacquero in .357Mag. You'll notice it's not .45Colt. Since .357 is a caliber I already have, it just made sense to me that when slightly rebuilding my collection to do without so many different calibers - concentrate on a few for simplicity's sake. Of course, with the ammo shortage and all, .45Colt shows up at the local Wally World with amazing regularity, and .357Mag and .38Sp are like hen's teeth. So much for that strategy.

When shooting a double action like a 29 variant in .44Mag, it always feels like the backstrap is trying to hammer the web of my right hand, compared to a Blackhawk in the same caliber rolling in your wrist. Those spade grips sure seem recoil friendly to me. Not that I mind the recoil of the double action style unless we're talking some little five rounder with a two inch barrel. That size pistola in .44Mag would make an awesome self defense gat, but you'd never get past five rounds of practice with the thing. Or I wouldn't.

Ruger has a well earned rep for quality, overbuilt revolvers, and the single actions are not any different. I've had several over the years, and they've all performed flawlessly.

Then we reach across some mags to one of the reasons I'm writing this post - the Sig-Sauer Spartan 1911. Clearly, I bought this thing because it looked so freaking cool. I'd talked myself into buying one then turned around and talked myself right out of one for some time, but Sig had other plans. The Spartan was one of the full size 1911s that Sig decided to include in their "Buy One Full Size 1911 And Get This 1911-22 For Free. The tan 1911 in the back there is actually a .22 that appears to be 90% equal to a full size. It looks as big, but put 'em side by side and you can see the slide and frame are slightly narrower, and from the grip it's shorter as well.

But that's what it took to jar the money from my billfold. I'll be talking more about the Sigs here in just a minute.

The next weapon is another full size 1911 variant from Kimber - the Eclipse Custom II. I like the sights the way they are - even though about all I use it for is target practice, I'd rather not have to carry it with target sights should that become an option. It's got all the goodies I want - low profile night sights, sharp, well defined slide serrations (don't need the front ones, but I suppose it's more stylish with 'em), skeletonized hammer, extended beavertail grip safety, checkered front strap and nice checkering on the flat mainspring housing, a bit of beveling on the mag well, skeletonized long trigger and the cool polished blackened stainless flats contrasting with the flat black matte finish - it's one of my favorite gats (The other being a 686 six inch barrel Smith with Hogue grips).

Then we roll around to the 1911-22:

It sure looks like a full size, but you can see with the extra pins and such that the internals are gonna be different. I haven't read the disassembly instructions yet. The mainspring housing is a WWII style palm swell variety, the trigger, ambi safety, the beavertail grip safety, mag release and trigger are all plastic. I'm sure there are more. It's really a shade more tan, too.

The mag release and plunger tube appear to be steel. For being a matte finish, it is pretty smooth. Came with one mag only.

I couldn't get the front sight to line up and my super slow phone camera to capture it to save my a$$. But, low profile night sights. Yes!!!

The one mag and the slide locked back.

I had been shooting Winchester Super X ammo, and it ran in my Mark II just fine, no hiccups. Not this baby. I think I had every kind of jam there was - it just refused to cycle completely. Which is why is kinda irks me when a new gun is issued with just one mag - if you run into problems like this, you have no way to determine if the mag or the ammo is at fault. I've got another one on order, but I'd not know  right away what the issue might be, unless one has different ammo available.

Which I did - I just happened to have a box of Remington Viper with the truncated cone, and it blasted things quite nicely. I got lucky at Cabelas once earlier this year and was able to purchase that stuff - it's all they had, so I took it with a smile. And looking at the specs, the Viper is 280 fps faster at the muzzle than the SuperX. Maybe the truncated cone is easier to feed - I just dunno. My thinking is that should you purchase one of these little jewels, best be equipped with some fast .22.

It shoots great - the trigger is quite nice, and it's just like a slightly lighter and smaller 1911. A person couldn't go wrong getting one of these things to practice shooting a 1911 a tad less inexpensively.

So let's check this bad boy out. Skeletonized long trigger, beavertail safety with memory bump, skeletonized (and a rather odd shaped) hammer, aggressive checkering on the mainspring housing, front strap checkering, taller mag release, low profile night sights, and that awesome oil rubbed copper burnished finish.

Hey, looky there! An external extractor! The Eclipse that was stolen had a external extractor, ,as did most Kimbers. Oh the uproar. JMB (moment of silence, please) must have been spinning in his grave. Sales were down and the forums were full of hate and discontent. If you had a slide that had problems and you sent it in for work, you'd get it back with an internal extractor.

So where are the internet hordes now? Shouldn't this be as big a travesty to the memory of JMB (moment of silence, please) as a Kimber with the same?

Personally, I could give a rat's a$$.Both varieties have their advantages and weaknesses, and either way is fine with me. I just think it's kinda funny.

This puppy ran fine on 230 grain FMJ, as did the Kimber and the RI Armory model.

How well did I shoot? Let's just say I got in some valuable practice and leave it at that. I had not been shooting like this in well over a year. Handgun shooting skills are nothing if not extremely perishable. I was about halfway through before I remembered how to breathe correctly.

And I was at this for at least five hours. I overdid it big time - I went shooting on Saturday and I'm still recovering. After I was done, I went to the grocery store at home and found out just how shot I was.

If I don't push myself beyond my limitations, I'll never get better. I just about didn't go, because it had been a crappy day so far - I felt like crap. I felt at the time that I just needed to push on through it, and I'm glad I did. I didn't have anyone to shoot with, so that was a little different.

I just know I'm gonna do it again.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Ignorant Fool

Adam Zyglis is the editorial cartoonist for the Buffalo News of Buffalo, NY.

Just so we know who we are dealing with here.

While he is correct that there are guns at Ft. Hood, I just cannot reconcile the fact that they are all locked up in the armory. Since 2007.

Which, when an active shooter starts going nuts at the base, makes all those guns as useless as tits on a boar hog. They might as well be kept several counties over for all the good they will do locked up when they're needed.

But Our Genius here just instinctively knows that there are a ton of guns on a military base, and that they were no deterrent for an active shooter.

I just hope Our Genius didn't strain his brain too much to come up with this.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I Feel Normal

My view during the climb for altitude in the King Air "ambulance"

Welp, I've been in the hospital again. I still had a low red blood cell count, so I was anemic as hell, and my INR was about right, but it had been a lot higher. INR is International Normalized Ratio, and it gives a scale to the degree your blood is thinned. Normal is high ones or low twos, thin enough to prevent blood clots is normally around three. All the blood thinners out there will turn your innards to liquid if you take too much - warfarin has the slang name of "rat poison" for a reason. That is exactly what it is - rats and mice eat that stuff and they die horrible painful deaths when their guts turn to water. Oh damn. Cry me a river.

So anyhow, I had gone in for a doctor's appointment, and she decided I needed to be hospitalized. I started out in a regular room, but when I started eliminating fresh blood from the ol' starfish during a cleanout to prepare for a scoping, they moved me to intensive care. I'd already had a severe case of diarrhea before I ever got there, so my unmentionable body part was mighty tender. Still is - haven't quite healed up yet.

Scoping didn't really find anything, but I hadn't really started crapping pure blood just yet, either. They thought I had some scabs in my stomach and put a vacuum line down my nose. They were getting some blood up from my tummy, so I had apparently been doing some bleeding there. They more or less threw up their hands and decided there wasn't much they were getting done, so they decided to ship me to Wichita to Via Christy St. Josephs, where I was put in an intensive care room.

They pulled my tube tout suite - they said suction is the last thing you want to do - you don't want to suck up a scab and start more bleeding. I had not been allowed any food or water for several days by then, and I was about to go nuts. When they finally allowed me to drink, I about foundered on icewater - Sis was there and she probably got tired fetching refills for me all the time. I couldn't help it - it seemed nothing tasted better in my life than that cold water and I'd never get my fill.

What happened was that they weren't giving me my diuretics and I gained about twenty pounds of water weight while imprisoned. Since they are more or less set up to keep you in bed and not moving around in those wards, they have no real bathrooms for the patients. It's pee and crap in bedpans, urinals and commodes. The damn commode had a hole that was not elongated enough, so that I'd pee on the damn floor when I had to do my bidness. They finally decided that I had been bleeding in my colon, that it had stopped, and they moved me to a regular room, and later that afternoon (last Saturday) they cut me loose.

I got kinda crabby on Facebook because for about the fifteenth time someone asked me how I felt. I answered "Normal." That was not good enough for her - she kept hounding me for a more detailed answer. I was tired and cranky, and there were several reasons. One - I'd already answered that question about ten times too many, and by then I had the idea that people would rather just ask me and bother me and push my privacy hotbutton than look at all the other times I had answered that question. So I asked her what sort of right she had to ask, and what sort of answer did she want? Did she want me to blow smoke up her a$$ telling her how good I felt, or would she really like to hear the real nitty gritty (cue the highly irritated starfish, among other things. She let it go, and another of my friends called me "Mr. Grumpy."

Yep, I was that.

But let's look at what I mean by normal. Right now I feel about 25%. When I got out of the hospital, I could barely walk, I could not feel Mr. Winky and the boys because I had sat at the edge of the air mattresses and a really crappy chair for too long and had my nerves pinched. I swear, I put three pillows down on that chair and it still managed to kill off the family jewels. I'd gained about twenty pounds, so my feet were so swollen putting socks and shoes on was quite a chore. The skin on my shins was blistering and opening up to drain liquid. So, I figure I felt somewhere between 15 or 20% when I got out. Sunday I started recovering quite well and was able to walk around the house without losing my balance or being unable to get very far. By Monday, I'd lost a few pounds and I had about as much stamina as I've had for months. Not enough to go without riding the fat man cart at Wally World, but enough to load myself into my pickup, drive somewhere, and walk into the store without too much drama. Normal, in other words. Had I said I felt fine, I'd be lying. With my way of thinking about it - I'd have to be about 60% to feel "fine."

I figure that the high point in my life as far as physical condition was when I was in my early to mid twenties. I'd been working a very physical job at a warehouse and had lost over a hundred pounds working there. I was pretty much full of  piss and vinegar, and I'd say I felt about 95%. Now, complications from diabetes have brought that score down and I'll never get that good. I have no feeling in my feet, so balance is an issue. When the pain from diabetic neuropathy kicks in, that knocks the score down quite a bit as well.  Being morbidly obese knocks that score down as well. I think that if I do manage to drop a bunch of weight and get into better shape with far better stamina - I hope to be above 65% - maybe up to 70%. I have to believe my efforts just might have a payoff or I couldn't go on.

But now, anemic and with no wind at all, and carrying all this weight has really dropped that score. Before my current weight ballooned up so badly, I weighed about 350 - and I was carrying enough water even back then to make my shins weep like they do now, so as long as I can keep shedding water, maybe I'm in business.

I'd sure like to say "I feel fine" and be telling the truth.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's A Hell Of A Life If You Don't Weaken*

Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but let me explain a few things and maybe y'all will bear with me.

When I fell and was hospitalized (trip #3 of four), I not only stretched things in my feet too far, I also killed off most of my nerve endings. So now, most of the top of my left foot, and most of my right foot are numb. However, I am susceptible to diabetic nerve pain - where those dead ends seemingly fire randomly and with great intensity - they're like being stabbed with long, very sharp needles. Sometimes I can "feel" the ring on top of my left foot where it was infected.

So my doctor prescribed gabapentin, which is indicated for this very situation. It's not really a pain pill, but it's close. One of the side effects seem to be to have a rubbery face, and the need to sleep. Even now, with a full belly from supper, I'm fighting it big time.

But it has been less than effective at times. Seems I've got a bit of RLS going on as well. Sometimes I get major needle pricks in fully functional nerves - like the ones in my nads. The epitome of uncomfortableness. So I'm on Lyrica as well now. And I get even more sleepy. And for the times nothing is working, I have a scrip for generic Percocet.

Okay, now we have a perpetually sleepy Jeffro. But that ain't all. My diuretics are timed as far as when I take them for maximum effectiveness. I take one, then within a half hour or so, I take the next one, then I take Klor-Con so it can hit when I need it the most. So when everything is working, I'm fighting a full bladder every half hour to maybe two hours max - but rarely. Should I decide not to take the diuretics until later in the day so I can be less bothered while getting in a doctor's appointment, shopping at Wally World and so on. This generally means less time peeing, so that means more water retained and less weight dropped in the day. So lately I've been trying to time my trips to Dodge later in my peeing cycle.

I've also taken to riding the fat man buggies at Wally World. I've no choice - I cannot walk that far, period. I also have a handicapped parking permit for my ride as well.

Speaking of weight loss - I broke the 400#  barrier earlier. This morning I was 393 something. Considering how much tea I've had today, I would not be surprised if I lose ground tomorrow morning.

Oh, and that liquid restriction I'm on? Turns out I need to drink more fluids. Oh, damn.

At the moment, my INR is too high and I'm off the rat poison until it drops. I'm still anemic as hell.

I've also got that hybrid elliptical up and running - I just need to feel stout enough to use the damn thing. I ran it for five minutes the other day and it liked to kill me off.

Heh. I just had to clean up a super long string of the letter "k" because I fell asleep for a moment and was apparently gonna use it or something. This is about the third or fourth time I've had to clean up some sleepy typing while trying to finish the post.

So that is my life. Sleepy all the time because I cannot stay asleep - I get it in discreet intervals where I wake up with perhaps the keyboard still depressed and the sudden and immediate urge to get somewhere, anywhere to relieve my over full bladder. It's race time then, baybee. I'm also ever so gradually losing that water weight so perhaps I'll be ready and in shape enough for the heart surgeon to fix my leaky heart valve.

So, my days and nights and weeks all tend to run together. Jed, I'm sorry I haven't finished the email I had written for ya - it just sorta got lost in the "routine," as it were. Jess, I hope this helps out some. I'm not doing the best I can, but it is a fight.

*One of the favorite sayings of an old gentleman I worked for in wheat harvest so many years ago.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dusty In Here


The video tells the story far better than I could.

Malik Stewart and Steve McKee (Credit: Vanessa Schlueter)

Mitchell and Steve McKee (Credit: Vanessa Schlueter)
This kid was doing it all for his dad - he started working out in the summer and wasn't even sure if his dad would be alive long enough to reach his goal - to win the state championship and hopefully give his dad a moment that he would not remember or think of his dire situation. The other competitors all knew about Mitchell's goal, but what made everyone really emotional was when Stewart, who wanted to win a championship just as badly as Mitchell, went to the father to congratulate and hug him.

It's enough to give a person hope for our future.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Attack Kitteh!

Lux at rest - photo courtesy The Oregonian
Seems like this big ol' Himalayan (22 pounder) attacked a baby, scratching the forehead and drawing blood. Dad's immediate response was to kick Lux off the kid. Which apparently set the cat off:
A 22-pound cat named Lux had to be snared by Portland police officers after the owners said the ferocious feline attacked their baby in their Northwest Portland apartment Sunday.
Officers were dispatched to The Yards at Union Station in the 900 block of Northwest Naito Parkway just before 8 p.m., said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau.
Dispatchers stayed on the phone while the couple locked themselves — along with their baby and the family dog — in a bedroom, Simpson said.
Owner Lee Palmer told dispatchers the 4-year-old male cat "has a history of violence," and had scratched his 7-month old son in the forehead.
Palmer said he tried to get the cat off his son: "I kicked the cat in the rear, and it has gone over the edge. He's trying to attack us -- he's very hostile. He's at our door; he's charging us."
The dispatcher asked her supervisor if it was OK to send police on such an unusual call. It was. Meanwhile, on the 911 tape, the cat can be heard screaming in the background.
When officers arrived, they entered the apartment equipped with a dog snare and watched as the large Himalayan darted into the kitchen where it jumped on top of the refrigerator.
Using the snare, officers were able to wrangle the cat (perhaps jealous of said baby?) into a pet carrier.
No one was injured in the fracas, including the baby.
"We are debating what to do," Palmer said Monday. "We definitely want to keep (the cat) away from the baby and keep an eye on his behavior."
According to a cat breeder website, Himalayans, or "Himmies," are "perfect indoor companions but they possess a playful side."
"I swear I have never seen anything like it," Palmer said.

Well, while I don't condone kicking the cat, I can understand. The thing was attacking his kid. If it were me, that cat might have been the first to achieve earth orbit without the use of rockets. Just sayin.'

But calling the cops? Sheesh. Man up, dude. Don't be such a pussy. Yeah, I went there!

Friday, March 07, 2014


YouTube link CBS News Link
Naw, just sweet. Take a break from politics, hate and discontent and just enjoy this one.

The story on CBS Evening News was longer and contained more information, namely at the end: the gentleman was asked what job he retired from.

He replied that he felt perhaps all this was atonement - he sold rotisseries.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Eye Spy

Queen of all she surveys, Kitsey rests upon the cat tree her Main Minion purchased for her recently. A little elevation helps maintain her dominance over the domicile.
It burns. It burns so.

I...... I....... I......... I have no words.


Apparently Dolly wakes up to a brand new world every day.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

There Are Days

Then there are days.

I probably should have my butt kicked for not posting any sort of update, but there really hasn't been much to talk about unless I whine. Mostly I struggle to lose several pounds, then the diuretics desert me and I gain it all back. Up and down, back and forth. Just lately, I lost two pounds per day for four days, then gained back four yesterday. I could tell it was gonna happen because my quantity and frequency of urination was not nearly enough. Today, things started out good, but kinda petered out, as it were. I still have to take the other half of my meds for the day, so there is hope that this day might be good or at least break even, but I won't know until I take my daily morning weight.

I have not been doing much in the way of exercising, either. As unpredictable as my legs are as far as just losing feeling and dumping me - I just do not feel comfortable outside walking around away from handholds and chairs to sit in to recover. I've already had one trip to the hospital when I trusted my legs too far, I don't care to repeat that. Next time I might actually break bones and the chance of a severe infection scares me as well. Don't wanna lose a leg because I figured I could make it.

I don't even try at Wally World anymore - I just grab one of the fat bastard lazy riding carts to shop. I can lean on a shopping cart and shop for a while, but I can't take the long distances in a SuperCenter. I did spend about an hour draped all over a shopping cart at the local grocery store the other day, and I pulled it off, but wow, did it ever wreck me. I was beat and useless the rest of the day.

So, I could see this lack of exercise was gonna be a killer should I let it go. So, I ordered this:

That would be this hybrid trainer. I figure I can sit or stand and work out my arms, too, depending on how I feel.

It should be noted that I hate working out with the heat of a thousand suns. I hate working out on machines even more. However, if I want to continue to occupy my little spot on this planet for much longer, that has to change, and change in a positive direction.

So, as soon as it's put together, away I go.

And I've really, really been a sodium Nazi with my food. I went through my cabinets the other day, and pretty much anything that was over ten percent minimum daily requirement for sodium went out the door. I gave it all to Cuzzin Tom, who will pick over what he wants and take the remainder to a food bank in Dodge City. It has been an education in and of itself finding out how loaded with salt our diet really is, and how some claims for heart health are pure bullshit. I'm talking to you, Campbells, when it comes to your heart healthy soups. How can it be heart healthy when your sodium contend starts approaching fifty percent of the minimum daily requirement? Like over forty percent? I read somewhere that when they came out with that line of soup that the sodium was considerably lower (but still high at over twenty percent and well above my cutoff of ten percent), but sales were down until they pumped a bunch of salt in for flavor.

I was buying buttloads of roma tomatoes and running them and other veggies - green bell pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots and so on into a veggie sauce and cook that down for the better part of a day. I had it all loaded up with a ton of spices, and to make tomato soup I just added some sodium free chicken broth. I'd been a big user of chicken and beef bouillon, but that stuff is basically salt with a flavor added. And I lucked out at the local grocery store - Wally World sure as hell didn't carry this. Hormel makes sodium free bouillon powders in chicken and beef flavors (Herb-Ox is the brand line). The store carried a box with some one cup packets. Turns out they have jars available, but no one around here carries 'em. Amazon sells it by the case, so I'm sitting on a case each of chicken and beef powders.

And Mrs. Dash's hotter flavors really add some zing in food - I've used it in sauces, soups and stews, and pretty much everything else as well. Most of my cooking now has a Tex Mex or Italian flavor with heat.

I even tried mixing hamburger and ground turkey. That worked well for meatballs in spaghetti, but to make a patty and eat that - fail big time. Having the sauce mask the lack of flavor is one thing, but when that crap stands alone - even when it had onion, bell pepper and spices it was crap.

Lesson learned.

And it turns out there is quite a variety of tomato sauces available in low sodium. It's far more convenient to have the canned stuff on hand, but the stuff I made really has that fresh sparkle to it.

I've also purchased a double boiler/steamer pot setup - not much sodium in fresh veggies steamed rather than the sodium loaded canned stuff, or even messing with the frozen.

I've always got fresh  fruit on hand as well - navel oranges, apples, pears, bananas and so on. Bananas really help with potassium levels - when you have to take meds to pee a lot, you deplete your potassium, magnesium and yes, even your sodium levels. So, I have to take prescription strength potassium supplement as well as magnesium vitamins as well. I had to laugh - my last blood test at the doctor's showed I was low on sodium. I can't win for losing.

But anyways, if your levels drop too much, you cannot believe the muscle cramps. Generally they start in my left hand - and if I'm lucky, I can grab it with my right hand and straighten out my fingers and maybe the impulse to cramp up passe. Or not, and I get cramps in my right hand, and just have to sit there and watch my fingers writhe out of control and in pain.

During my second to last visit to the horse pistol I had a cramping episode that lasted over two hours. I needed another Klor-Con pill, but that required doctor's orders, and it took that long to obtain permission. I did talk 'em out of a banana and a couple little tiny cans of tomato juice, but even that really requires doctor's orders, and those nurses are't gonna lose their jobs giving me something I'm gonna get and everyone knows it, but their asses would be out in the wind doing that without specific doctor's orders. This last trip I pissed off the entire process because I had some of my meds with me and I took what I needed rather than wait for two hours. That cramping episode only lasted a half hour instead of two or three.

I was a bad boy - violating hospital policy. I told 'em they could blow me - I had the solution with me and there was no sense in torturing myself just to follow their slow, ineffective thinking. The nurses really agreed with me, but they had to keep the official policy. Job security, yannow.

So, I am eating the correct stuff and frankly, it tastes pretty good. You might have a problem with no salt, but I've learned to get along without it in a healthy manner. I will be getting some exercise, too. I feel like I'm doing the right things or working on getting to that point, at any rate.

And as far as the bouncing weight - I did get back to my original weight after starting keeping records once, but I'm still about six or seven pounds below right now. And many tell me that it took months to get to this point, it's gonna take that to reverse the trend. Even so, when I gain my 'tude gets pretty low, and my need to post stuff here kinda evaporates. Just. Not. In. The. Mood.

But, overall, I'm mostly optimistic and even cheery some days. Hope y'all are doing well in these supposedly closing days of winter. Supposedly, at any rate!

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.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Yee Haw

Calvin is having more success than moi

Welp, I'm back in the hospital again for much the same problems as before - retaining water to the point of congestive heart failure. I'm still weak as a kitten and tire far too easily just trying to walk a few yards, and I'm picking up weight steadily. I'm not eating a corresponding amount - it's water weight, but it's just wearing me down. The diuretics just aren't working like they should.

So, I'm for thinking I'll be here for a few days. On a fluid restriction - not allowed to drink more that a small amount every day, and one of the diuretics is intravenous.

So I'm gettin' poked and prodded, givin' blood alla time and now I'm thirsty. So we'll see, I guess.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


January 28, 1986 an o-ring in one of the boosters failed and when the leak was ignited, the ship blew up, killing the crew of the NASA shuttle Challenger.

It was a terrible tragedy. I am reminded of this quote:
“I guess the question I'm asked the most often is: "When you were sitting in that capsule listening to the count-down, how did you feel?" Well, the answer to that one is easy. I felt exactly how you would feel if you were getting ready to launch and knew you were sitting on top of two million parts -- all built by the lowest bidder on a government contract.” ― John Glenn
The astronauts knew the risks and went right on doing their jobs. Valor, bravery, whatever - but they deserve to not be forgotten.

I'll never forget what I was up to when the news was announced. I and my compadre were headed somewhere north of Hays to pick up a couple loads of milo. He was more or less my mentor, and I his apprentice - I hadn't been in trucking very long. The electronics in the truck I was driving were kinda strange - if I had my music radio on loud enough to hear, my CB would feed back if I talked on it. So when RJ felt like giving me his opinion on something, I had to turn down the music radio to respond. I'd been kinda going back and forth, and the news broke. He chose that moment to expound on some subject or another, and I told him to hold on a minute - there was some important news breaking. He did not take the hint, and was kinda miffed that I even asked him to quiet down momentarily. I finally told him to shut up - I was turning my CB off until I heard all about the shuttle explosion. He was not happy with me at all.

I didn't care. I don't much care now. I remember the news, and I'd bet he does as well, far more than whatever subject he had determined was so damned important. He got over it. The shuttle crew did not.

So, give 'em a prayer or shoot some positive karma their way, or whatever - honor them in some way today.

Oh, and there is in interesting interactive timeline here if you want to check it out. Only thing - if you leave that page open, it auto refreshes and it's a memory hog - big time.

Monday, January 27, 2014

I Thought Wimmin Just Pooted


It's a girl deer, right? I've always been instructed that wimmin don't fart - they poot. Well, there ya have it.

Oh, and I figure this is a fake, but have no proof. Still funny - it tweaks the "pull my finger" section of my reptilian brain.......

H/T Dave Barry

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Birthday!

To John Moses Browning, genius prolific small arms designer/engineer/inventor.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

There Are Days

Yannow, even if Miss Arbiter In All Things and General Know It All doesn't like it much, Billy is just being practical here. Just take yer dolly and go cry to Mommy. You know you wanna.

Poor Jeffy. He doesn't have much going on upstairs already - he's halfway to the back of the short bus on natural talent to begin with. What he doesn't need is to have smoke blown up his arse by his know it all sister. And what is really scary - for Jeffy to be an uncle, that means at least one of his siblings must procreate. Let's hope it's PJ - he's shown little signs of idiocy, or much of anything up to this point. There still may be hope yet.

To be honest here, Jeffy, I'm for thinking that even if you were in your teenage years this game might be beyond your ken. Sorry.

There is another possibility. He can read the box well enough to know he's too young, but he cannot master tying his own shoes. Perhaps he's been sandbagging it all along. It's a long shot, and I'd highly doubt it, but ya never know.

Kudos to Dennis - nailed it in one!

Yowza! This strip's setup took a hard turn to the left, and it was not good. Not good at all.

Unanimous decision for Loretta this round? I think so.

Funky Winkerbean is probably the most unfunny "humor" comic there is. Angst, remorse, general black moodiness, self recrimination, self doubt, you name it - these people are sick in the head. They can turn a sunny day gray.

But Funky sure as hell didn't deserve the total lack of respect that this gal is displaying towards her erstwhile customer. I say erstwhile, because she'd get an earful from me while I was on my way to the front desk for a refund and to bitch to management as well.  That's gone way beyond wry and dry and well into insulting, if ya ask me.

Yannow, I really, really like Zits. I'd not have Walt and Connie's patience when it comes to Jeremy's attitude. If I'd been that big of a smartass with my Dad, I might still be talking out of the side of my head instead of the front - he'd have walloped me right then and there. It wouldn't hurt Jeremy to show his parents some respect once in a blue moon.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I've Done Tolt This Here Story Before

I saw this on Facebook and got a large charge out of it, because I've seen this tableau before. Poor ol' Lady, my long suffering Golden Retriever, would find herself in this position with a problematic skunk that I eventually killed. She was mighty peeved, but she never put herself behind the bully, and she'd stamp her feet in disapproval. Much more than that might have provoked the little bastard. She was very territorial when it came to her food, and wasn't much for sharing. Not. One. Little. Bit.

But when you're outgunned, what do you do? Lady lived to fight another day without having her sense of smell destroyed.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wonderful New Product We Can't Live Without

If you don't have any, you will be required to purchase some from the .gov's newly established failure of a website. Don't get any ideas about fighting this, because the Supremes have ruled this to be constitutional. However, if you already have a similar product that meets guidelines, you can keep that product. Kinda sorta more or less if you held your mouth correctly, at any rate. Otherwise, you'll be paying way beyond market price in order to subsidize those poor underprivileged folk who cannot afford any at this time - they'll receive substantial subsidies in order to purchase the stuff.

Do not ingest, fold, spindle, mutilate or mock. The NSA will know, and send the FBI, the IRS, the National Park Service, Smokey the Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog after your ass.

Thank you for your time, and remember that we are from the government and we're here to help. We're here to service the taxpayers, so be ready - you are gonna get serviced in a big way, if you know what we mean and we think that you do. Remember to vote early and vote often for Democrats - just remember that we are the party of free stuff, unlike those nasty Republicans, who don't want rich people paying for your rightful pile of goodies.

Thursday, January 09, 2014



Warning for language!

Carol Burnett and her comedy troupe were just plain brilliant, and this example of uncensored outtakes only reinforces their mastery of hilarity, timing and so on. Nothing like this on the vast wasteland these days.

H/T Nunkle Kim

Wednesday, January 08, 2014


One of the benefits of blogging is that one spends a fair amount of time reading other bloggers. Sometimes, I even have my horizons expanded by reading different points of view. Which brings me to this:

We've surely all heard about the uproar about the usage of "derogatory Indian names" for sports teams and in particular the Washington Redskins have been singled out, mostly because of the rather politically incorrect comments the owner has made in the past.

Well, it just so happens that over the years I've counted a fellow blogger named Ron as a friend. He happens to be full blooded Choctaw, and is rightfully and damned proud of his heritage, and is heavily involved in the dealings of his tribe both spiritually and politically. His blog is called "The Local Malcontent" and he is based out of the Talihina, OK area. In the mountains.

At any rate, he has some very strong opinions on this subject and expresses himself quite well in this rant. I very strongly recommend you go and read the whole thing, as they say, because I suspect his position is not quite what one might expect when one listens to the limousine liberals stirring the pot.

I'm serious. Go and read!!!!