Saturday, September 29, 2007

Navel gazing

So I'm really sick with this chest cold and I'm not a brave soldier. My nose is running. I have a sinus headache, I'm coughing up shit I don't want to look at and my brain feels like jello. I'm having myself a big old pity party tonight. Feel free to not attend.

Meanwhile, let me at least start this long and sordid medical odyssey. It started last week. My belly button got all red and hard and angry looking and my belly was swelling and I was feeling like shit. I couldn't help but think it was the same sort of symptoms that Rob had before he died. Long time readers who know the depth and breadth of my life long hypochondria will appreciate the bravery of my decision to do nothing. Besides, it was a Thursday and I didn't feel critically bad.

So it got worse for a day and a half but it wasn't so painful that I reasoned I should panic about it. Then it started getting better but it wasn't gone, so on Monday I showed it to a medical person I know here. He wasn't reassuring and starts talking about going to the emergency room. And I, the hypochondriac who set the standard for panic, said no. I'll go home and get an appointment with my doctor tomorrow. I figured if I was going to die from it, I'd rather be at home than spend 12 of the 24 hours left to me in the emergency room.

Obviously, I lived to tell the tale but the doc's appointment and the ensuing wild ride to the surgeon will have to wait for tomorrow. It's too long and my pity party awaits...

Friday, September 28, 2007

I am alive

But I'm not well. Nothing to do with all the doctor's appointments. I came down with a cold this afternoon and I just checked my schedule and figured out I have to work through Thursday of next week. Not to mention I'm in my annual narcolepsy mode. I've been going to bed before 9:00 all week.

Anyway, I need sleep and can't do my travails with the doctors justice tonight. I'm off this weekend though, so I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Always something

Seems I'm always apologizing for neglecting you here but I have a better excuse than usual. I haven't been feeling well and it appears I have a umbilical hernia. What does that mean? My belly button is red and hard and my stomach hurts.

I'm working the rest of the week and I have doctor's appts so I don't know what posting will be like yet but you can sure I'll regale you with the gory details of my medical adventures when the time comes.

Bear with me, my dearest readers. I will be back.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Best drug war news ever

One more quick link before I go. This is the really the best news I've seen in years. Richary Paey has been pardoned at last after spending years in jail for receiving pain meds by prescription.

You can get the details at the link but the nutshell version is Paey has a condition that requires copious amounts of pain medication for relief. When he was arrested, he was charged with trafficking solely on the amount of drugs he possessed. He wasn't guilty and he refused to plead but was convicted under a law that deemed a certain of drugs was automatically a dealing violation, even though there was no proof that he ever passed on a single pill.

He been's in jail ever since and ironically the prison was administering greater amounts of drugs than he was convicted of possessing in order to manage his condition. It was just horrible and a real illustration of the stupidity of the WOsD.

We're thrilled to see justice has finally been served in this case and wish Paey well and offer big props to The and the other activists who worked tirelessly to make this outcome possible.

Falling water

I don't know where my times goes but I see I haven't blogged here in days again and I have things to talk about. I'm working this morning but I'll be back this afternoon and blog here first.

In the meantime, thanks to Jules for this fabulous animination of Falling Water, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Pennsylvania. I visited this place in person a few years ago and it's truly amazing. I wish they had done more with the inside and some of the features but the video gives you a feel for the environment.

Other small stuff. I saw an small overhead airplane flying so low over the McCompound a couple of days ago that I thought it was in trouble. I half expected to see a fireball after it went out of sight but I think now it was maybe just a student pilot because the he was having trouble keeping the wings steady.

My hummers are still sort of around but they seem to have pretty much deserted me. I've seen them a few times but they don't stay long like they used to. I even made some new food and upped the sugar content but that doesn't seem to tempting them. Oh well, I suppose it's almost time for them to migrate south anyway.

Well, I'm off to work but I'll be back.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blackbird Fly

My friend Kev is trying to trick me into learning how to use my cell phone. It's sort of working. I sent my first text message yesterday. It said YerpOprjfhtmrw. I'm sure that was clear... I think I have a long way to go to proficiency.

Meanwhile he tells me the SR-71 is the most beautiful aircraft in the world. I looked at the photo and thought Meh. I mean it's really cool but the most beautiful? Then I watched it fly.

It's never going to be prettier than a King Air, but it surely is a gorgeous airplane.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Everthing's relative

Oh baby, what a morning. I have to work today and I was supposed to be in the big city by 8:30. I was woken up early by my cursed smoke detector. The battery went dead and it was doing its beeping thing. Long time readers who remember the hours long ordeal I went through on the day I moved into the McPartment in trying to replace the battery will appreciate how thrilled I was to discover this problem before I was even awake.

It could have worse I suppose. I knew where the new backup battery was and had a fair idea on how to replace it. I was super careful to remember which way the terminals went. Still it took a whole half hour to get the thing installed and required some copious cursing. All before I even had a sip of coffee. But it's done and it's all good and I'm still not too late.

So I get out the door just slightly delayed and to get to the road I need I generally take a short cut through a development. Now shortcut is something of a misnomer as there are 27 stop signs you have to get through to get to the main road. (Okay, it's really only 7 but it feels like more.) I get through the last one and I'll admit I didn't come to a full stop at the last one but I did slow to a bare roll. I never saw the cop until he was flashing his lights behind me.

So here I am, already late, within inches of the road I need to be on and this handsome young cop is asking me for my ID stuff saying I blew the stop sign completely off. I go into humble and dumb mode. Thought I had stopped. So many signs. Late and nervous. Blah, blah, blah. I don't even care if I get a ticket, I just need to be on the road.

Of course I should mention that I realized on Saturday when I got my vehicle excise bill that I had never changed my address at DMV and I also never got my last inspection sticker when I renewed the reg. I'm thinking I'm going to be there for a really long time.

Bless that young LEO, he came back in three minutes or less and handed me my stuff and told me he wasn't going to give me a ticket because I've never had a citation in my life. I wondered how that worked out but I wasn't to mention my three speeding violations in MA if he didn't. Maybe they're old enough now to have dropped off the records. In any event, the day improved since then. I got to where I needed to be only a half hour late and found it without any trouble, which was rather miraculous as it was a complicated destination.

Sometimes even bad stuff makes a day good. Escaping total disaster is somehow better than never having faced it at all.

What so you think of when you butter toast?

So I finally caught up on my blog reading a little. I was over at Elisson's joint and he asked what stupid shit we think about. Well I don't always think of stupid shit but it so happens I have been having this recurring memory all week.

Every time I butter toast, I have a vision of the street I used to live on when I was five years old. Olive Street is a long street on top of a ridge. There are many side streets that run down a steep incline from it. I don't remember their names but at the far end was the roller coaster hill.

We called it that because it had a dip and a rise in it before you got to the bottom and if you drove really fast through that part the car would lift off a little and you would get that roller coaster feeling in the pit of your stomach. My mom wouldn't do it, but my Dad would and I used to plead with him every time we went out to take some air on that hill. When it was just me and him, he would get loft that would make the Dukes of Hazard proud. I loved driving around with my Dad.

But that's not what I remember when I butter my toast. As I watch the stuff melt, and it's not even really butter, it's some ridiculously healthy pretender, I remember walking with my mother on that street. I mean I get a vision. I can see us on a sunny day, walking with my little sister. My mother is pushing my baby brother in his big blue carriage with the awning on top.

There's a house on the street with a big linden tree in the front yard It bears some kind of yellowish fringy flowers. My mother walks into the yard and pulls one off the tree. She tells me she used to make tea with these flowers when she was a girl. She's excited to find them. I don't say anything, but it feels like an important moment in time.

This really happened. I don't know why I remember it so clearly or why I'm recalling it so vividly now. Maybe I need to buy some linden flower tea. I don't believe I've ever had any.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Where am I?

I swear I had to look out the window to see if I was still living in the south. It feels like New England here all of a sudden. Two days ago, it was so hot I had to turn on the AC. Tonight, I think I may have to turn on the heat. I'm wearing socks and a fleece I'm so cold. I hear by tomorrow or so it's going to be hot again. Crazy weather.

Meanwhile, my hummers are gone. They hated the new food and were visiting less already. But they were still coming by to check the feeder and give it a taste. So today I finally broke down and made some sugar water but I haven't seen a one all day. I think maybe they left because it got cold or else they just gave up on ever getting a good meal out of me again. I miss them.

Changing times

I now consider Noho my hometown although I grew up in Danbury. But I occassionally check out the Danbury newspaper and found this story on my old elementary school. The neighborhood has apparently changed quite drastically.
Of the school's 324 students, 152 are Hispanic or Latino, 28 are black, and 17 are Asian. About 65 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches and 57 percent come from homes where English is a second language.

When I went there, we had exactly three black kids from what passed for a ghetto then in the whole school and one Asian who was from an upscale family and definitely spoke English as a first language. In fact he was in my grade and the smartest kid in the class. Of course they didn't have free lunches then but I doubt that more than a dozen kids in the school would have qualified if they did.

It was a nice little school really and a safe and kid-friendly neighborhood. I've considered myself lucky to have grown up there. It's hard to imagine what it must be like today.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flying high

I've been cruising the nets and just thinking a lot today. I've had this song in my head. I've been remembering how idealistic I was in the 60s. I really thought we could change the world. I still do but I'm a whole lot more jaded and not as optimistic as I once was about it.

But I muse too much. It's been a aeronautical kind of day for me. I was looking for news on the television and I clicked into the last round of the air races at the show in Nevada. It was incredible to see these old cats in these little prop planes darting between effin pylons in the desert. The difference between the two scores was less than a second. I ran across an item later that said there had been four fatal crashes at the event. I can see how it would happen.

And speaking of aeronautical heros, Steve Fosset is still missing. It's only been 12 days but he went in down in rough terrain and may never be found. The Amelia Earhart references are already being made, along with the theory that he purposely disappeared.

Meanwhile, I did a post on this over a year ago but I can't find the link. Still personal jetcraft is very cool.

And this is very cool too, but probably a failure in the making. Much as I love the idea, a giant helium balloon in a hurricane prone seaside city is probably not the best idea. I think they way underestimated their down time.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Time to remember

Forgive me my dears. I've spent the week swinging between a family crisis and catching up with an old friend. It's been exhausting. I've been sleeping like a narcoleptic but I've been having crazy dreams that I can't quite remember and not feeling rested from it.

But I complain too much. It finally rained tonight and the plants look so happy. The air feels clean again and I have my windows open. It's supposed to be in the high 70s tomorrow. Life is good.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Afternoon delight

Oh baby. I'm horribly depressed this weekend and I can't really talk about it because it's family stuff and I promised my family I wouldn't talk about them on the blog. Just as well. No point in everybody getting depressed about my little problems. So to entertain you while I chase the demons out of my head, here's an entertaining link.

Via Joe Gandelmann, the guy who put the pun into political punditry, Time Magazine has posted a list of the 100 best TV shows of all time, along with short embedded videos of the programs. Joe likes that first one, Abbott and Costello and out of the list that hits my personal top ten as well. Man, I loved that show as a kid, but my all time favorite is this one, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Click over for the 30 second clip if you do nothing else. It raised a smile from me on a day when I thought I might never laugh again.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Random thoughts

I can't get a good shot of the moon here with my cheezy camera. This is the best I've done so far. It looked like the yin-yang symbol. It was much bigger in real life.

If you're missing those carefree days of the 60s, Jules has unearthed a treasure trove of videos from the era. I haven't had time to look at them yet, but it looks like hours of fun for old hippies. Can you believe how young Joni Mitchell looks there?

I had a black monarch butterfly flittering around the shrubbery today. It was huge and so beautiful I wanted to get a shot of it but I wasn't even dressed yet, so I don't have a photo but I watched it for a really long time.

I found out my poli-blogs are indexed on some new aggregator called Wonkosphere. They only have a thousand blogs. I wasn't surprised to see Newshoggers there. My co-bloggers are top of the wonk pundits, but I was surprised to The Impolitic there as well. The Imp has become my own little hideaway, kind of like Harry's bar in the old days before Tim took it over. Anyway, my traffic certainly didn't attract them so I have to think it was my work in some way. That feels a little encouraging.

I have a cyberstalker. He's started an online smear campaign against me because I wouldn't play with him. I think that means I've arrived as a poli-blogger. It feels a little creepy. It reminds me of that ex-college professor Peter, that stalked me, and half the female population, in Noho.

I miss my friends from NoHo.

I really need a beach vacation. I haven't seen the sea in two years. I wonder where Karen and Annie are planning to spend Thanksgiving this year.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Okay so I lied

I said I would make it up to you and instead I neglected you shamelessly. On the off chance that anyone is still reading this blog, forgive me. I'm lost in politics this week. Be glad if you don't follow them. There's some scary stuff that's happening out there. I'm trying to stop some of it.

But on to something cheerier. I have been thinking of you and saving links. this is house I want to live in, but I don't necessarily want to move to Charlevoix, Michigan to do it.

And this is the car I want to drive next. Seriously. Anybody who has got an extra 90 thou lying around should feel free to get me one for Christmas.

Meanwhile, I haven't left the house much in the last few days but I ran down to the store tonight and was listening to Delilah on the radio. She takes requests and the callers tell their little heartwarming stories and she picks a song for them.

Usually it's somebody wanting to tell their mother, brother, lover spouse, how much they love them and Delilah picks out some sappy song like You're My Hero. But tonight she was talking to a young girl who has six brothers. Her parents are missionaries and they went on a mission in Africa and brought back six adopted kids. So now Miss Caller has 4 sisters. I was dying to know to what song Delilah would pick for that story but I missed it because I got into a conversation with the store clerks, who I've now made friends with by the way, about Fred Thompson. He likes Fred because he's a good actor. You can imagine my delight at hearing that.

On the wildlife front, I don't have a good bird story but Mike Bogle has a great one about the chicken and the cockatoo. For myself, I'm just having this weird thing happening with my bird feeder. The food seems to possessed. It grows and shrinks. The other night it looked like it was almost gone but when I woke up it was an inch higher. It's been doing that since but not as dramatically. I wonder if it has something to do with the new food.

I'm so lazy, I just bought the kind you mix with water but this time I had to get the liquid form because they were out of the powder. That's the only thing I changed. The birds seem confused too. The other morning one flew really close to my face and looked at me sideways at couple of times. It felt like he was asking me, what's up with the food?