Friday, December 31, 2010

Two Pieces Of Good News

1. Republican Joe Miller said today, nearly two months after Alaskans concluded voting, that he is giving up his fight challenging the election of Sen. Lisa Murkowski...
Miller, a self-proclaimed expert in constitutional law, had his challenges to Murkowski's election thrown out by an Alaska Superior Court judge from Ketchikan, a unanimous Alaska Supreme Court, and a U.S. District Court judge in Anchorage. The federal judge, Ralph Beistline, said the case against Miller was so overwhelming that he ruled before the state even filed all its arguments opposing Miller's claims.~from the anchorage daily news

2. After being off my diet for almost two weeks, I thought that I could no longer fit into my largest pants, but good news, I found an even larger pair of pants. 

Sent from my iPhone

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Care

Yesterday another carrier showed me a letter that was being returned for additional postage. It was damaged, and in a "We Care" bag. Fair enough, those bags aren't free you know.

Not The One From The Matrix

The other night, I planned to read in bed, but instead of drifting into the arms of Morpheus, it was as if he held a pillow over my face.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Popping Balloons

One of my packages today arrived a little crushed. Apparently it started out as a balloon, so a little crushed was the same as a lot crushed. What made it a sticky situation was that if it was a balloon originally, it had been filled with syrup, so that all of the other packages were clinging to it, and each other. I had to individually bag each one. We have these special bags pre-printed with the words "We Care," which has   been tested as the most annoying phrase possible in these situations. We could probably include that right in the address labels that people print at our web site, and maybe for real customer service, throw in an insurance claim number, so you don't even have to wait for us to crush it before you file a claim.

If you don't live here in Alaska, you may not still be following our election news, but yesterday the Alaska Supreme Court gave the state an early Christmas present by ruling against every one of Joe Miller's challenges to Lisa Murkowski's election last month. If we've learned anything from having nightmare's though, it's that just when you think it's over, they appeal to the federal court. Joe Miller will decide on Monday which of his options to pursue. One option he listed was to concede, but that was pretty far down the list, along with hunting unicorns.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Be Careful What You Talk About With Your Children

Things you and your children talk about come haunting back years later. For example, a while ago, Sarah told me I was a "sad little man".  I was thinking about that yesterday, because all day delivering mail, I had a sad little obsession with  Triscuits, and by 9 pm I'd eaten an entire box of them. Not exactly the sort of midlife self-evaluation that results in a hospital for Sudan or even a new Corvette. Maybe it would seem a little grander accomplishment, if I mention that I also ate an entire box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts in bed last night. Oh, the shame, when I got up this morning and stepped on the empty wrappers in the unforgiving dark.
If midlife crises were literally midlife, then I should be dead anyway, since at  twenty eight I was struck by the fact that in twelve years I'd be forty, and if I didn't do something, I'd still be working at the post office. I still am, twenty eight years later.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I May Have Been A Little Hasty

The Belgians are also known for their waffles. In fact, there is a type of waffle known as a Brussels Waffle. Mmm.
Unfortunately, our tentative Christmas menu still calls for Brussels Sprouts.

Good Humor Man

Jack London and Robert Service with a few words could limn a picture of the Northland, and its bitter cold. Some of you may remember Larry Beck, the Bard of Alaska, and the shows he put on, but it fell to one of my customers to adequately describe the condensation that forms on my face mask as a "snotsicle".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Wanderer

On Monday, I found out that last month I had made a really stupid mistake at work.  I found out this morning that while I was working to correct that mistake Monday evening, I made a similar, and equally stupid mistake.
Considering that sixty percent of Alzheimer's patients develop wandering, and that my job pretty much consists of walking around a neighborhood, can you imagine a more perfect fit? I can't, but that may just prove my point.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Bet You Can't Eat Just One, Or Even Any

It should be no surprise to learn that Belgium was the most cruel of the European colonial powers since even now, they allow that most of vile of vegetables to not only be eaten in their country, but celebrate it as Brussels sprouts.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wave Action As A Cheesy Metaphor For Working Together

Did you know that when a wave passes through water, the water goes up and down, but individual particles of water remain where they were before the wave passed through? At least I think that's true; I'm no physicist, more of a metaphysicist. That is, we don't split atoms around here, just hairs.
Anyway, I was thinking about this today listening to the news and  almost hopping up and down with rage thinking about a country where oil is cheap because we think soldier's lives are too, and we can't even agree to tax income above a million dollars a year to help reduce the deficit.
I can hear you saying, "Wait, what? What are you talking about?"
 When you're hopping up and down with rage, you're not moving forward. Let's be the wave, not the water.

Monday, December 06, 2010

When The Streets Run With Blood, Be The Guy Selling Bandages


The people at Planet Money have a new podcast speculating on problems with the Eurozone's plan to rescue Ireland. For those of you not willing to click on that link and listen to the podcast, the kernel of the problem is that some of the countries guaranteeing the Irish loans, are the same countries that are about to default on their own loans.  I asked a savvy friend of mine who got out of the market before the crash a couple of years ago if he had any advice for this pending realignment. His advice was to take up farming and archery.
I've been working for the post office for more than 30 years now, and the entire time, I've been delivering letters from people purporting to hold open a door to the last exit before Armageddon, so I'm a little skeptical of end of the world scenarios. I went to bed early on the last night of 1999. Well, partly that was a hedge against disaster; if the world did fall apart, I wanted to be well rested. So, do you think there's sort of a middle ground between watching helplessly as the Euro loses value, and moving into a solar heated cave?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Almost Exactly What I Would Have Said

The other day at work, a carrier said that his wife and  six year old daughter had just gotten home from Florida, where his daughter had been competing in a  beauty pageant. "Ooh, will she be on Toddlers and Tiaras?" I asked.
"No, that show is fake," he said, instead of the correct response, "No, that show is creepy."

Thursday, December 02, 2010

It's Always 1984 Somewhere

Senator Jim Demint, Senator from South Carolina, and member of a Washington D.C. cult,  is still raising money to fund Joe Miller's fight to overturn the election results up here. With so much time to spend on an election so far from home, you might think that South Carolina is doing so well that he can ignore his responsibilities to the people that (might) have elected him. But, not so. According to WolframAlpha, South Carolina has comparatively more criminals, more poor people and a less well educated population than Alaska, which might explain how he got elected in the first place. When he's not busybodying around up here, he's leading the charge to fight the deficit by making sure rich people get tax breaks paid for by cutting budgets for poor people. I would think that the hardest part of giving speeches in doublespeak would be to keep from laughing out loud at the people that believe you.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

C Is For Calcium, D Is For Dummy

After we were convinced to take 6000 units a day of Vitamin D, the newest report says in essence, "Are you crazy? That stuff is dangerous."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

You Know What I Don't Like?

Forget it, we don't have time for that, but you know one thing I don't like? When you ask where something is in a store, and they can't just tell you they don't know, but have to act like somebody from Flight Plan, as if it isn't that they don't know where it is, but that product never existed in the first place and you're crazy and probably dangerous.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Joe Miller Is Tall and Thin, But Except For That....

In the Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis describes Napoleon in the afterlife walking and talking:
"It was Soult's fault. It was Ney's fault. It was Josephines fault. It was the fault of the Russians. It was the fault of the English." Like that all the time, never stopped for a moment.  A little fat man and he looked kind of tired. But he didn't seem able to stop it.


Murkowski spokesman Kevin Sweeney:
“Throughout this election, Miller has blamed everybody else. It was the media’s fault. It was his advisor’s fault. Then it was the Division of Elections staff's fault, the lieutenant governor's fault, and now he is blaming his own volunteers -- people who took nearly a week of their own to travel to Juneau and work on his behalf," Sweeney said. "I was there. I watched his volunteers. I though they did a great job in doing what they were asked to do. They challenged every single ballot they could find a fault with. At some point he has to accept responsibility and that he lost and that he’s to blame.”

Is Joe Miller Aragorn's Brother?


Some people, have said that the Mouth of Sauron, also known as the Messenger of Mordor,  is Aragorn's brother. Unfortunately,  the reference I intended to cite for this has vanished as if it put on a ring of power. But here's a little bit from the scene outside of the Black Gate between him and Gandalf:

Then the Messenger of Mordor laughed no more. His face was twisted with amazement and anger to the likeness of some wild beast that, as it crouches on its prey, is smitten on the muzzle with a stinging rod. Rage filled him and his mouth slavered, and shapeless sounds of fury came strangling from his throat.

Joe Miller just doesn't seem to be able to accept that he lost the election.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

"Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child"

But today it was so cold and windy, with blowing snow, that I felt like my own steppe brother.
Yesterday, a blogger writing for  The Hill (another blogger altogether, you know I only write for you) suggested our failed senate candidate, Joe Miller, for president.
Please, if you ever have a chance to vote for or against Joe Miller keep these things in mind: he's a liar and a cheat.
Here's Joe in his own words,  I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did."
Which reminds me, we conservatives are always saying that character matters, but why do we keep running candidates that don't have any?


Monday, November 15, 2010

Out Of The Inky Darkness


E-inky darkness, that is. Hot on the heels of my abortive attempt to upgrade Quicken, was an attempt to download books from Barnes and Noble. But, the B&N e-reader, that venerable exemplar of good design has been discontinued, and as an example of bad manners; discontinued with no notice. To continue to buy e-books from them I will have to "upgrade" to the Nook for iPhone app which has none of the features that made the old reader so good. Get that? They're taking away my incentive to give them money
Do you remember a couple of years ago when we were lavishly rewarding the various companies that had almost destroyed the economy? And some people said that there was a moral hazard when good things happened to bad companies?  Well, here we are. The masks are coming off. I'm sure that pretty soon somebody will write a book about it. You'll have to let me know if that happens.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Quicken and Red Ink

My relationship with Quicken is long, and fraught.  I once had a letter criticizing it published in MacWorld, or maybe it was MacUser; it was a long time ago. Yesterday my 5 year old version of Quicken wouldn't connect to my bank's computer, and on a whim, I bought, downloaded and installed the newest version.
Years ago, when I used to edit a little newsletter, I  said about the new fad, word processors, that it would be easier  and less painful to use a quill, a quill dipped in my own blood. Intuit has raised the bar on user unfriendliness. The balance was wrong, and it wouldn't reconcile, or uninstall. I finally dragged it file by file to the trash, and went back to the old version, which, by the by, connects fine, now that the bank's computer is back online.
And with name like Intuit, you'd think they'd be a little more self-aware than George Costanza:

GEORGE: See, it didn't bother Susan either. That's why I'm different. I can sense
the slightest human suffering.
JERRY: Are you sensing anything right now?

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

You'll Notice That The Only Racist Line In This Post Was Said By Someone Else

The other day a guy at work said, "This place is like a Chinese fire drill."
"Or," as I told him, "What Chinese fire marshals call a post office."
 And, oh, oh, didn't I tell you? We stopped saving daylight and suddenly the city is covered in snow and ice. I knew we couldn't afford to waste it. 
Today, I listened to a lecture about the French Revolution. In the run up to the chaos and bloodshed, the rich land owners convinced the landless poor to agitate to protect the rich from having to pay taxes. Sort of a Partie de Thé. 

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Me And King Arthur Are Like This

 From a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court:
Do what one may, there is no getting an air of variety into a court circular, I acknowledge that. There is a profound monotonousness about its facts that baffles and defeats one's sincerest efforts to make them sparkle and enthuse. The best way to manage -- in fact, the only sensible way -- is to disguise repetitiousness of fact under variety of form: skin your fact each time and lay on a new cuticle of words. It deceives the eye; you think it is a new fact; it gives you the idea that the court is carrying on like everything; this excites you, and you drain the whole column, with a good appetite, and perhaps never notice that it's a barrel of soup made out of a single bean. Clarence's way was good, it was simple, it was dignified, it was direct and business-like; all I say is, it was not the best way:
COURT CIRCULAR. 

On Monday, the king rode in the park.
" " Tuesday,  
" " Wednesday " " 
" " Thursday " " 
" " Friday, " "
" " Saturday " "
" " Sunday, " "
So yeah, we're home, I'm back at work, I gained more weight than I thought I did. Sort of like every post after every vacation. Life seems a little duller this time I guess, because this last vacation was so much better than most.
We should be on tenterhooks, I suppose, while we wait to find out which politician won our Senate race: the dissatisfying representative of the status quo, or the terrifying candidate  of lying self-aggrandizement. Maybe I'm feeling a little blah since today,  just when we're starting to really need it, we've stopped saving daylight and we're just squandering it. It's dark an hour earlier today than yesterday. I suppose it shouldn't be that big of a deal since we would have lost that much in twelve more days anyway, but wait, we're still going to lose another hour in the next twelve days and then again, and again  and again.  Like I told one of my new customers that had just moved up from California and was worried about the cold, "Don't be silly, it's the darkness that's going to make you kill yourself."



Wednesday, November 03, 2010

"Hearts Afire Grow Cold"

I never would have believed that I could have been so passionate about keeping the status quo quoing, but I was more politically active in the last few weeks; calling, texting, buttonholing, and e-mailing people to keep Lisa Murkowski in office, than I have been in decades.
They say to follow your dreams, not your fears, but Joe Miller was really scary.
So, yay, nothing happened.


"It's all been done before, it's all been written in the book.
But when it's too much of nothin', nobody should look. "

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spoiler Alert

Last night we watched the Johnny Depp version of Alice in Wonderland. At the end, when her not-to-be father in law invited her to be an apprentice, Karen said, "That wouldn't happen."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oops, Wrong Tea Party

More and more, the Alaska Tea Party's assault on reason sounds like they wandered in from the wrong tea party. I'm pretty sure Ronald Reagan wasn't endorsed by the Mad Hatter.
And another thing; who is funding Al Qaeda? I can barely afford to buy ink cartridges to use in my printer, and they can just throw them away?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Let's Lock The Door And Throw Away The Key

Our back door lock didn't work very well in the cold which made it as Danny Bhoy says, "No ----ing good at all." I went to replace it this past weekend, but the existing one used two holes in the door, and the new lock only used one. Installing the lock, and covering the extra hole required numerous trips to Lowe's and Home Depot buying lock molecules one by one, but last night I finished the job all by myself.
This morning I was still strutting around, puffed up by my own genius. Until on the way to work, I realized that when I gathered up all the left over parts, I threw away the keys.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

FW:

Subject: Family Photographer

Hey guys, I know it's early, but my friend (and future wedding photographer) Emily was teasing me saying she'd come to Alaska (July 3, 2011) for our Alaska reception if I could line her up some photography gigs.I said I'd totally ask my friends and family (and ask them to ask their friends and family). I asked if she'd give us a deal and she said for mini-shoots in Alaska she'd be willing to do the session for $100 and include a cd of all the photos she took (look around, I think this is a GREAT deal).

Here's Emily's main website: http://emilybwilson.com/?load=flash and here's her blog: http://emilybwilsonblog.com/  (you can contact her through her website).

She's done a lot of children/family photography and in the last year or so has branched out into wedding and engagement shoots (I love this engagement shoot: http://emilybwilsonblog.com/weddings/brett-elyse-engaged-nj-wedding-photographer/ ) She's also done some great mulit-generational photo shoots for family reunions.

I definitely think you should consider booking her if you're going to be in Alaska around July 3rd, 2011. Even if you decide you don't need photographs of you and your loved ones (and why you wouldn't is beyond me ;)), would you please consider passing this information on to your friends and family who will be in Alaska?

Sarah

"Sun, Moon And Stars In Their Courses Above Join With All Nature In Manifold Witness"

I ordered a tee shirt to wear on my fall foliage bike tour. I expected it to come before I left Anchorage, but production delays pushed it back. They said they'd mail it right to Boston, so I'd still be able to wear it, but it never showed up.
Now we're home, and I honored Karen's birthday eve, as I always do, by opening a celebratory bag of Doritos and then eating a big meal, and then a big dessert, and then making sure there weren't any Doritos left over to tempt someone with less will power than I have.
Things all work together, and in sequence. Today, my Team Fatty tee finally arrived.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If I had 10 friends, I'd tell them

Breaking News! Latest CNN poll shows Lisa Murkowski tied with Miller at 37% while McAdams drops to 23% Tell 10 friends that we are making history!

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just Teesing

Oh, oh, I meant to include one more picture. Karen had the idea that for the rehearsal, and rehearsal dinner, we should have t-shirts made, so that the pastor and anyone, really, could keep track of who was whom (sorry, Mignon if I got that wrong).
We downloaded, legally, two pictures and put them on tees with names and wedding roles played. Unfortunately, we couldn't find the groom's until after the rehearsal, and in fact, not until after the wedding, so I'm going to show it to you here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tomorrow Never Comes, But The Day After Tomorrow Must, Because, Here We Are

Sarah's wedding day dawned picture perfect. Here's a link to my photos, but, really, don't waste your time. Here are a few from Sarah's professional photographer, and they're much, much better. After looking at those, I shouldn't have to mention that a little girl, seeing Sarah walk towards the staging area for the processional, said to her, "You're beautiful."
The wedding was held at the Franklin Park Zoo, as was, simultaneously, a qualifying half marathon for the Boston Marathon.  Parking was, again, at a premium; so much so that I had to enlist the police to clear interlopers from our reserved parking area. Just arriving at the wedding at all was a challenge since, because of the race, streets all over Boston were barricaded. Karen was to dress and be made up at the Bridesmaid's House, but after driving an hour and a half, we had to abandon that plan and agree to all meet at the restroom in the zoo's administration office. Even so, everyone looked resplendent in their dresses, and I was sporting my pith helmet again to practically universal acclaim (everyone except the bride, her mother and sister, oh, and her friends, liked it).
The marathon began and ended at the zoo, so I'm sure there is some cheesy metaphor that could be drawn about running a race through life together. I would have spent some time that day developing one, but there was actual cheese in the form of a cheese fountain(!)  that pretty much monopolized my time and attention. Although I did spare a little time for Whoopie Pies (also known as Big Fat Ones; it's like I have a twin), hot dogs, pretzels and custom-labeled root beer.
The ceremony itself, was lovely, but all of this is like trying to describe a dream. The sky was blue, the decorations were clever riffs on the circus theme, there was cotton candy and popcorn, and all of it more intense and colorful than I can convey.  The couple had chosen an unusual text, Isaiah 58: 1-10, but its emphasis on feeding the hungry reflected how they had met, and what their mutual passion is.
After the ceremony, photo shoots, and overeating,  I took Karen back to the hotel so she could rest, and I could get out of helping dismantle the wedding decorations.  Later we regrouped for an after party at a local cafe that had a cameo in Mystic River. Our waitress might  have played the surly extra.
The next day there was a brunch downstairs in the hotel where many of us were staying. There was great food provided by Sarah and Sean's friend, Christina (who has a lot better pictures and descriptions here), and the circus theme continued.
Then a quick drive to the airport and here we are back home, like waking from a dream.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Home Again, Although That Turns Out To Have To Wait For Another Post

The bicycle tour continued in a blur of exhilaration and great scenery. That's a link to my photos, but I hope to have some pictures soon from people that actually know how to use cameras.   Most of the riders rode about 45 miles a day on average, but Rich and I often took little scenic diversions by missing the arrows painted on the road. The last day included a ride a across the Lake Champlain Causeway, the eighth wonder of the world according to the tour guide in  what is only slight hyperbole. In the middle of the causeway, a washed-out bridge has been replaced by a bike ferry. Absolutely amazing.  A strong wind was blowing, making it hard to control the bikes, although, it wasn't like wearing Skechers on a Segway, which might have turned out to be my new phrase indicating a complete lack of control, if I hadn't gone on to see Boston drivers.
Rich, my ride partner, has always had a strong sense of right and wrong. He once told me that laws were meant to be enforced. There were no gray areas. One week of driving in Boston completely destroyed his moral code. Based on his new driving style, and its complete disregard of traffic markings ("They're just paint,") he could be an assassin. To be fair, defensive drivers in Boston are called, okay, I can't tell you what they're called, but it's not very nice.  It seemed that some of the chaos couldn't just be random. There appeared to be cars deployed in the center of traffic circles ready fly out at right angles to the flow of traffic to exit the circle and then (Leah saw this) pass on the right, run red lights, and then make a U-turn and come back to base to prepare for another mission. I don't think I'd be so willing to trust my life to the reflexes of strangers. 
We were driving around Boston attending events related to Sarah's trendy 10/10/10 wedding.  First there was a rehearsal at the Franklin Park Zoo, where a collegiate track meet was being held. Parking was at a premium and I ended up dropping Karen off at the gate, and then going off to look for a place to leave the car. Karen was in a lot of pain, and furious with her sense of being abandoned. "I'm going to just stand there and rattle a cup, and tell people I need fifty dollars to get home," she hissed.  She didn't, though, and she was still there when I walked the mile back from where I eventually parked the car. At the wedding rehearsal I learned my total involvement in the wedding would be to say, "Her mother and I do," and then to sit down. I don't want to write my own review, but, when the time came in real life, I nailed it. The rehearsal was followed by an indescribably good meal at the Midwest Grill in Cambridge. Leah and I had to walk quite a ways from the rehearsal to the car, and then follow cryptic GPS prompts to the restaurant. Part of what must fuel Boston driver's rage is that there are approximately no street signs, and no intersections with just two streets,  so any instruction to, "Turn right onto Washington St," for example, is meaningless since there are multiple spokes coming out of the intersection, and nothing distinguishes them. They could only make it harder by making you drive through infinite mirror rooms. Sarah called after we'd been driving for awhile to ask where we were. "I don't know where the ---- I am," I replied reasonably. The meal was worth it, however. Endless meat on sticks.
More about the wedding tomorrow.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Dreams Come True

Rich Living The Dream
We have arrived at our first stop on our Fall Foliage Tour around Lake Champlain. Today started with a six mile ride to a ferry. The ferry took us to New York state and then we rode forty six miles along the lake, ending just inside Canada. You may recall that I once said that our ride was in the Adirondacks, so I was hoping there would be chairs. I'm telling you, dreams come true as you might see in my next post if I can figure out how to post it

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, October 01, 2010

E Is For Eating

We arrived in Boston on Wednesday afternoon. We slept a lot on the plane, and went to bed early to gather our strength for the Big E, The Eastern States Exposition. One of the main topics of exposition was the various regional foods such as Vermont's Ben and Jerry ice cream, and poutine from the nearby state of Canada.

They also had pork in various formats, from on the hoof,
to the conceptual,
Although, eating them is a strange way to say, "Thank you."

There also was a judging of llamas and alpacas. I can never remember which is which, but I think the alpacas are the ones that never got over the disco craze,
I wore a pith helmet. Here's an interesting side note, different cultures express  meanings in different ways. So, in Iraq many people were killed at checkpoints because in the West, a raised hand means stop, and in the East, it can mean, approach. In the same way, I saw foreigners look at me, and then shake their heads at each other in a common expression of admiration.

Today, Rich and I went for a Segway tour of Boston. I was wearing my Skecher workout shoes that are designed to keep you off balance in order to strengthen leg and core muscles by constantly forcing tiny adjustments in balance. Which the Segway interpreted as commands. I had to get off during the first moments of practice due to nausea. The trainer commented that he'd never had a student get seasick on a Segway before, so I was the first! Barefoot, I eventually got enough control of the machine to go on the tour, even though they made me put my shoes back on.

 Because of the Skecher heel, I was constantly standing on tiptoe, so by the end of the tour my feet were quite sore. Other than that, it went pretty well, except for one little debacle going up a steep hill against a headwind. The machine and I could not achieve the speed necessary to keep going up, so we started to drift back down. Backwards.  I clutched at a bush and then held onto it until the guide came and towed me to the top. He kept calling me sir, in order to show that he was showing respect which emphasized how hard it was to show me any respect. Good thing that bush was there, though. By the way, props to the guide, who took this picture. Remember, that like an electron, well, an electron wearing Skechers on a Segway, I could never remain in one place, but was constantly drifting forward and backwards.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Probably Will Turn Out To Be Heart Stopping News

In anticipation of going to the Big E this weekend, I went off my diet last night, and, man, I'm out of training. I didn't eat that much (comparatively) and this morning I was still too full to eat breakfast. I just ate eleven thin pieces of cheese, but I still don't feel any thinner.
In a few hours, Karen and I are leaving for Boston. Did you get that?  Karen and I are leaving for Boston.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Karen Had Her MRI Yesterday

All we know so far after the MRI is that Michelle in Radiology will be hearing from her supervisor after they get our scathing comment card.
On Monday, Karen will see her infectious disease doctor who will tell us if the latest tests reveal any signs of infection. If so, she won't be able to travel. We'll probably make a final decision sometime.
We tried our own tests at home using our in-ear thermometer which appears to be as accurate as consulting Nostradamus for today's weather. Based on those readings, Karen has either already been abandoned on an ice floe, or is about to burst into flames.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Lot Was Riding On Karen's MRI Today

So, it's a shame she didn't have it. It's now scheduled for Friday, and the doctor's visit to finally decide whether she can travel will be on Monday afternoon, a scant day and a half before we leave. Or don't.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I Had A Dream. Three Dreams, Actually

Last night I dreamed I hosted Saturday Night Live. I was ad libbing, and I was great.  I dreamed something else that I forget, plus I dreamed that the toilet was plugged up. Guess which dream has already come true?

What Is Wrong With NPR?

It's possible that in the last few weeks, NPR has run a story on the Prostate Industrial Complex and one on kidney stones. I wouldn't know because at the first hint I turned off the radio and poured carbolic acid in my ears. I mean, come on, there's a limit, and if it's a kidney that's not also a bean, I don't want to hear about it.

Update: I posted this, came out to the living room, and was confronted by Karen who was waving a newspaper article recommending prostate screening. The PIC has gotten to her. Either that's really irritating, or I'm about an hour away from a migraine.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sarah Called. We Don't Like The Same People

Sarah called yesterday because I had posted here that Karen had made a final decision that she couldn't go to the wedding. But by the time she called, we were way past that final decision. Now she's definitely coming to the wedding and as a token of her seriousness, tonight she went to Kroger's (what we provincials call Fred Meyer's) and right now is putting away the groceries.
Today they stopped her antibiotics, and Tuesday they are going to do an MRI to see if her discitis returns once the antibiotics aren't controlling it. After that, we're going to make another final decision.
The day before yesterday, I had a little migraine thing going. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling a little fragile.  Karen asked my advice about something and then promptly did the opposite, which is fine, but why even ask? Then Leah had alarm clock issues. She was all, "Can you wake me in five minutes?", and I was, "No, in five minutes I'll already be five minutes late for work." Now, Karen is somewhat disabled, moves slowly, and uses a walker, but somehow was able to keep positioning herself between me and wherever I was trying to get. Eventually, testily,  I made it outside and  pedaled frantically to work. Once there, I felt like everyone was just trying to get in my way. It was like, "Maypole walking!" and everyone ran to dance around in front of me, or like a thirties musical where people would come sliding in on their knees  from offstage blocking the protagonist. I was just infuriated. And then suddenly the aura started, and I was having another little migraine thing. I told Sarah about that, and said that maybe the rage and being irritated with everyone was really a precursor, like a pre-aura symptom of migraine. She said no, or she was having a migraine every day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Up, Up (And Away?)

The Fat Cyclist blogged this week about gaining weight. I commented, "I've been trying to get in shape for a fall foliage tour. Unfortunately my training got me to peak condition in June, and now all the exercise I get is stepping over my scale."
Karen has made a final decision that she won't be able to go to the wedding. This is a household where "final" is synonymous with "not final", though, so we're still up in the air.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Doing The Two Step

Karen's recovery, so-called, continues. She seems to take one step sideways, and then one step backwards. After amazing everyone last week with her newly re-found abilities, she's back to being in a lot of pain and unable to sit up for more than a few minutes at a time. On the other hand, she can walk a little, which is more than she could do.  What does all this mean? Oh, sorry, that's not a rhetorical question. I'm asking, what does all this mean? She's going to see her doctor tomorrow, so maybe he'll do another block, or something. We'll see.
In the meantime, Sarah told me of a site, pedalr.com, and I just ordered a pannier. I'll let you know if I love it. The price was very good, especially if they ship it.
In other news, literally, other, and news, here's an odd little  news organization.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Take Up Your Bed

Friday, Karen needed an ambulance ride to come home from getting a block.
Today, though, she was up. And around. She was up and around.
Friday, she couldn't sit in a wheelchair, today friends brought dinner to us shut-ins and she sat up at the table and made animated conversation.
I didn't really have any point beyond that when I started this post, and then the power recliner I'm sitting in started to fold me up. So see, sitting is hard, and now Karen can do it. Life is good.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, September 03, 2010

Saying It Doesn't Make It So

Karen called her doctor's office today to ask if they were planning on giving her another block today. The assistant had never even gotten the message that she wanted a block, but managed to get her in right away, so forty five minutes after Karen called, she was being prepped.
I watched a movie from Netflix on my iPhone (!!) until the doctor came out and told me that he thought this one had been more successful than the last couple. He'd managed to go to the exact right nerve with the exact right medicine. But just in case she had pain over the holiday weekend, he'd ordered some medicine for her. I went down the hall to the pharmacy, paid $3,847.50 to them for the second time in ten days and came back to find Karen unable to even tolerate being in a wheelchair. She needed an ambulance ride home.  The drivers got her in the house, and then one of them said, "Have a good day."
"You're kidding," I said.
As they walked down the sidewalk to their truck, he said it again, "Have a nice day."
"Are you going to keep saying that?" I asked.

It's A Good Thing I'm Not A Counselor, Either

Last week, one of my customers asked me about my experience with Zoloft. I told him that it allowed me to not obsess about things that bothered me. He said that wasn't his problem, rather, he just wasn't interested in his life anymore, everything seemed pointless. I hastened to agree, everything is pointless, or worse.
This week, he asked me about Zoloft's side effects, and how long it took to work since he had just started taking it. We talked about that, and then he said that hopefully he would start to feel better soon. "What a coincidence," I told him, "I've just been thinking about the word 'hopefully',"
In other, better, news Netflix now streams to iPhones.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Twice Around The Block

Karen had another block today to ease the pain in her leg (well, it was a pain in her leg, now it's a pain in her legs) or I should say, to try and ease the pain in her legs. Because it didn't actually help, or at least not yet.
The doctor said we could try again next week, when hopefully (I know some people don't like the word hopefully, but I can never remember why, unless it's the cruel mocking way that hopefully yields to despair with the regularity that Lucy pulls the ball away from Charlie Brown when he's kicking the ball, hopefully) when, as I say, the infection in Karen's spine will hopefully have cleared up, and he can do the injection closer to the right nerve without triggering another bacterial surge.
Hopefully.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Really Get Janeane Garofalo

Karen is home, but having lots of pain in her leg.
My sister came up for a funeral. It was depressing, but I think it was meant to be. I went off my diet one day while she was here. She said it made her feel better, that "you're still my brother." Apparently she's always seen me as a glutton with no impulse control. 
At the fair this week, a sign waving "codger" was arrested. He's younger than I am. 
I heard Janeane Garofalo talk this week. She called herself a self-loathing narcissist who feels sorry for herself.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

It's A Good Thing I'm Not A Doctor

Because I don't do my best work in hospitals. I'd probably not even remember to put the sponges in, much less forget to take them out of the patient.
When I was typing that whole a priori post in Karen's hospital room, it was supposed to start out:
Teacher: Can you tell me who wrote The Critique of Pure reason?
Student: I can't.
Teacher: That's right.
But now Karen's home and I'm at the post office not working at all waiting for our new start time at 8 or 9 or whatever turns out to be the most inconvenient for us and our customers.

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Thinking About Nothing
Space then is a necessary representation a priori, which serves for the foundation of all external intuitions. We never can imagine or make a representation to ourselves of the non-existence of space, though we may easily enough think that no objects are found in it. It must, therefore, be considered as the condition of the possibility of appearances, and by no means as a determination dependent on them, and is a representation a priori, which necessarily supplies the basis for external appearances.
Which is sort of like what I said, although I didn't use "a priori" quite so much.
Thinking About Everything Else
We went for a bike ride this morning. I've been eating a
lot lately, so when I put on my bicycling bibs, I looked like a Russian weightlifter. We rode on the new Martin Luther King Blvd. The New York Times published an article about the disappointment that local civil rights activists felt. Since Dr. King was primarily an urban actor, they thought that such a remote road was an unfit honor. Even so, remote and new as it is, there's already broken glass on the bike lane.
After not quite three weeks on the inside, Karen is getting out tomorrow. She'll be arriving about the same time as the plumbers clatter in to replace our newly failed water heater.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress

Karen had her procedure today, and by most measures it was a success. It lasted long enough for me to have pizza, potato salad and ice cream. Plus, it seems to have eased her pain.

Sent from my iPhone

A galactic magnifying glass shows the Universe will probably expand forever, resulting in a slow death.

It's like I've got a twin.

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Block Party

Yesterday marked the end of the second week of Karen's hospital stay. The infection in her spine seems to be responding to the antibiotics, and there is a corresponding diminution of the pain. In her back. The biopsy they did, left her with so much pain in her leg and foot, that she has barely been able to roll over, better yet stand up and walk. Ha ha, the test they did to find out where her pain is coming from, is where her pain is coming from. Unexpectedly ironic, no? No.
Tomorrow they are going to do a lumbar sympathetic block, or something to see if they can stop the pain in her leg.
Did I ever tell you about the California town that was infested with snakes? There were so many of them that they were afraid to let the children walk to school. There were so many, that even driving was creepy because the snakes would crawl up inside the engine compartment of parked cars to stay warm, and then be chopped apart by the fan when the engine started. So the people, having read that turkeys were the sworn enemies of snakes (Treaty of Worms, 1511) imported flocks of turkeys to eat them. Which they did, achieving a balance of predators and prey, and attacking the children on their way to school.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Going For The Gold

...at the end of the rainbow. If there ever even was a rainbow. We tied a record today for the most consecutive days of rain. Tomorrow, we make history.
And, I'm pretty sure being in a hospital isn't good for me. More about me in a second, but I wanted to mention that after Karen recovered from her stay in the hospital a couple of years ago, she read my blog posts about her time there. "It's all about you," she said. "That's right," I said, "it's my blog."
So yesterday I was ravenous when I got home from visiting her. The plan was to eat my seven remaining Weight Watchers points and go to bed. Instead, though, I found myself wandering around the bottom of a Costco-sized jar of peanut butter when I got the idea that I might as well eat all the cheese we had. I finished up with a measuring cup of cold cereal. I want to be clear here; I didn't measure the cereal, that was just the largest clean bowl we had.
As for Karen, they seem to be keeping her at about the same level of excruciation, but it's taking less medicine to do it each day. That's progress.
Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I had high hopes for that last post, but I fell asleep while I was typing it, so I doubt it's all that, after all.
While Karen sleeps, when I'm not trying to see how far behind I can leave my diet, (pretty far, based on the size of my behind) I've been reading a book Sarah sent. It's by Joyce Carol Oates about the last days of famous authors. Unless Edgar Allen Poe really did spend his last days crouched under a lighthouse fathering monsters, it might be fiction. Fiction in the style of each author she chronicled. Appropriately, Henry James's entry is precious and oh so very boring.

Sent from my iPhone

More Emotional Eating

Karen's doctor came in this morning and made a cogent argument for leaving her pump in while explaining that her port had to come out right now. We understood and agreed, but a couple of hours later they decided to leave everything in.

I spent the day here after Karen's procedure yesterday and then the night as well. Late in the evening, it was hard to keep everything under control, and the thing that slipped was appetite control. I just rolled from kiosk to cafeteria here; as one closed I moved on to the next. Lately, life has been like surfing in a garbage disposal with the food ending up in me.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, August 09, 2010

(No) Secret Garden

Karen had her procedure today, and it revealed no "vegetation" on her heart valves. Her nephrologist stopped by and said her electrolytes looked good too. Tomorrow they'll make some final decisions about removing her pump and port, and hopefully the physical therapists will find a way for to her to start rolling over as a first step towards her first steps.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, August 08, 2010

No, We Just Want To Rule You Out As A Suspect

On police shows, the detectives always get the husband or whoever, to give a DNA sample, "just so we can rule you out," when viewers at home know, "Don't be a fool, they want to rule you in, get a lawyer!"
In a completely unrelated way, they're giving Karen a test tomorrow, Monday, to rule out vegetation growing on her heart's valves.

All Hail

Confusion reigns. This morning I was unloading the dishwasher, when I realized that the dishwasher had never been run. No big deal, except I've been eating off those dishes all week.
Yesterday, I talked to Karen's infectious disease doctor who laid out very cogent reasons why Karen's intrathecal pump had to come out. I was convinced, if disappointed. Today, he explained why it didn't.
The only certainty I had left was that once her osteomyelitis was cleared up, she would no longer have this new intractable pain. "Oh no," Dr. Brownsberger said. "That's caused by permanent back damage."

Sent from my iPhone from Providence Hospital.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Devestating News, Oh Wait, Never Mind. An Entire Post In Dialogue.

"There's a 50/50 chance you have MRSA." "No, you don't"
"We're going to remove your intrathecal pump first thing in the morning." "Oh no, you're not!"

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Maybe Marvin Gaye Could Find Out What's Going On

Come on talk to me
So you can see
What's going on
What's going on
Tell me what's going on
I'll tell you ya, what's going on

I got new glasses this week, and I'm thinking of asking the post office to pay for them because I keep seeing the blindingly obvious at work.
They have the carriers starting later to in order to allow the dwindling number of clerks enough time to pass out the mail that doesn't arrive from processing until just before we used to get there. It's too boring to explain in detail, but the upshot is that with the later start, virtually every time they mandate a carrier to work overtime, it's going to result in a grievance settlement that means two carriers will get paid for the same work, and one of them will also receive extra money as a penalty.
But stepping back and looking at our big picture, we only exist to deliver mail. Our mission isn't to sort mail, or pass it out to carriers, it's to deliver it to our customers. So, maybe mail processing should be designed to support carriers, and not the other way around.
It all seemed a lot clearer this morning when I started this post, but since then, I worked 11 hours, bicycled straight to the hospital, discovered I'd left my wallet at work and couldn't buy a meal at the cafeteria,  then home and just finished dinner at 10:15 p.m. So, whatever.
Karen's still in pain. They've started antibiotic therapy because it appears that she has an infection in her discs and vertebrae. That treatment is supposed to last six to eight weeks, but may be just a first step.* I left a list of questions for her doctors pinned to the bulletin board in her room, but since she doesn't want to hear the answers, I don't know how we'll ever find out what's going on.


* From the Merck Manual Home Edition: 
For adults who have bacterial osteomyelitis of the vertebrae, the usual treatment is antibiotics for 6 to 8 weeks. Sometimes bed rest is needed, and the person may need to wear a brace. Surgery may be needed to drain abscesses or to stabilize affected vertebrae (to prevent the vertebrae from collapsing and thereby damaging nearby nerves, the spinal cord, or blood vessels).

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The New Job Satisfaction Metric

Yesterday I linked to an image of a mannequin being used to train doctors to do lumbar punctures as an example of one grisly test Karen had done.  Now we know that lumbar punctures are just part of the prelim round before they move on to the really, really grisly tests. Today they took some sort of gun that shot a  claw into Karen's spine to remove actual tissue for biopsy. I'd link to a picture of a mannequin having that procedure, but it's too painful to use on mannequins.

Because Karen is back in the hospital, I went back to work today. It rained, I was wet,  and I had to work for 11 hours, but all in all, no complaints; it was a pretty good day on the claws-into-spine-measure of job satisfaction.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fish Gotta Swim, Birds Gotta Fly

PCA's gotta give personal care.
Karen had some grisly tests (although, at least she didn't lose her arm) at her doctor's office today, and then I drove her over to Providence where she was admitted in a lot of pain and its attendant turmoil. Then I turned her over to actual attendants who have given her enough medicine so that she is resting comfortably, or what passes for comfortably when you have complex regional pain.
I was telling Sarah about it, and how it was a really good thing because there would be trained professionals taking care of her. Sarah said that everything I was saying was about how it would be good for me, like being good for me is a bad thing.

A Lot Of News And Plans

None of which are worth reporting, because everything the doctor said about tests, and hospital admissions for Karen yesterday, was all canceled before the doctor's office even opened this morning. So all we know, is that her MRI showed problems with both discs and vertebrae.
What are we going to do about it, you may ask. Well, while you amuse yourself asking questions with no answers, I have to go get ready to take Karen to her doctor's office to have some blood drawn. Drawing blood? With crayons probably.

Monday, August 02, 2010

See What You're Missing

I haven't had time to blog lately as I have been working as a PCA, here at home and it's too bad because according to the website, I Write Like, I write like:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm back at the pharmacy for the 4th time in the last half hour to get two prescriptions filled. When I showed up back at the doctor's office a few minutes ago, the receptionist said, "You don't have much luck."
"I know," I said, "That's my Indian name."

The first time I came here today there were two pharmacy techs standing next to each other that I had always thought were the same person (played by Patty Duke, I guess). One of them, James, asked me for my ID. I said, "I can't tell you apart, but I'm the one that has to show ID?"
Sent from my iPhone

This was a text, but I'm recycling it here

A certain nauseating despair is taking hold of my life as I stay home giving Karen 24 hour nursing care with no improvement in her pain even after a lumbar block yesterday, although that could be the bags of doritos and packs of cheese I've been medicating myself with

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Was A Very Hard Post To Type

Mostly because I have so much peanut butter on my fingers. Karen had a rough night last night. Nobody got much sleep; I stayed home today because she needed help. Tomorrow she's having a procedure. But tonight I had a little emotional inburst and ate a lot of things that would have been on my diet if I was Homer Simpson and I wanted to work from home.
Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, July 25, 2010

How Fallen Are The Mighty Part ll

The packet we got from New England Adventures said the tour would only be fun if we could ride 50 miles. They didn't say if they meant easily, or in our wildest dreams.  In my wildest dreams is starting to seem like a pretty good itinerary. Yesterday we went out and rode 50 miles, so yes, we can do it, and for what it's worth, I outlasted my iPhone battery which only made it 33 miles before it gave out. On the other hand, it wheezed a lot less, and had a lot more dignity. For one thing, it wasn't wearing bib shorts, which are designed primarily to add an extra burst of speed, as Emo Phillips says, to avoid the guys yelling "Kill the fairies!"
I was pretty blithe about being able to ride 50 miles, since as you may recall, because I've never stopped talking about it, I once rode 100 miles.  Of course, since then, I've had some interruptions to my training schedule; in fact,  I'm typing this instead of doing my push-ups, so at least I'm adhering pretty closely to the interruptions. After reading that last link that you probably didn't click on, I realized that pretty much nothing has changed since Karen is still in about the worst pain of her life,  and would use a walker if she could be helped to her feet which she can't.
When we were in England, we climbed the stairs at Warwick Castle. It was a narrow spiral stairway in the dark, but every few stairs they had small slits in the wall to allow a little light in. In that same manner, as we seem to spiral back down, there are tiny flickers in the gloom;  the Salvation Army stopped by on Friday and told us that once a month they can send someone over to vacuum and dust for us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

How Fallen Are The Mighty

"I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.
I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; 
I will make myself like the Most High."
But you are brought down to the grave, to the depths of the pit.

Believers are called to deny themselves and honor God, so that passage from Isaiah with its repetition of the word, "I" is used to show the fallen mindset, and its consequences. But that was all so long ago, we're not like that now. Except, I was listening to an alphabetical playlist the other day, waiting for the song Jailhouse Tears and it took forever to get to. From I Feel Fine to I'm on Fire took a lifetime, and looking at the titles, we see that it still always ends up the same. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hypertext Allows Bloggers to Quote Real Authors

Hypertext allows me to link to real authors, especially those that agree with me.

Trajan Langdon played basketball for East High School here in Anchorage at the same time that my daughter attended school there. She told someone that he went to her school and they corrected her, "You went to his school." So maybe, using that logic, I am linking to authors that I agree with rather than the other way around.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It doesn't pay to be poor. If it did, I guess we wouldn't be poor.
I don't even remember where I was going with that when I started this post earlier but I hate to waste a line as good as that.
I know it's been a little while since I last posted here, but it's not like I haven't been busy:
and not content to rest easy when there's more to be done:



Friday, July 16, 2010

The Worm Ouroboros Joins Project Greenlight

A few years ago, all the talk was about the imminent death of old media because new media, i.e. the internet, Youtube, and Twitter were stealing eyeballs with their sticky screens. Really, that's how we talked, eyeballs and sticky screens. Now, don't think less of me (as if you would, or even could) but I have subscribed to a Twitter feed, that's been turned into a book. The book's called Sh*t My Dad Says, and now that's being turned into a TV show called S#*! My Dad Says. So things have come full circle. They posted a video that was awful, and I should have blogged about it then. My idea was that if they take a Twitter feed, and they can't even repeat the name of the feed on TV, then the show is doomed. Since then, they've replaced that clip with one that's only average, which is a huge improvement, but I've got to tell you, that if they merely tried to read the tweets on network TV, it would sound like a test of the emergency broadcast system.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Do You Know It Won't Work If We've Never Tried It?

Our new security booby trap has already been set aside. Our station manager said we didn't hear what we heard, they were just telling us to use common sense.

In other news, our good friend Rose Mary visited us last week. On her next to last day here before returning to the Russian River on the Kenai Peninsula, she hurt her hip. She's doing better, so at least she's not hors de combat fishing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Can You Even Say Booby On The Internet?

Here at the post office, we have a new security measure. I believe the idea is that any would-be thief or terrorist will be completely disabled by laughing at our so-called booby-trap. How come we always have to be the booby?

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 09, 2010

TMI Leads To An unfortunate Phrase In The Middle Of This Post

Yesterday a woman at work announced she was three months pregnant, but the congratulations died aborning on my lips when she went on to say three months to the day.


Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

No Need For You To Panic

I'll take care of that.  "Asian longhorned beetles, a much-feared invasive pest," have been found in Boston. I had a little more to say on that subject, but mostly I was just vamping until a plumber came to unplug our toilet. He's just left, and the water is flowing in, and much more importantly, out, of our toilet again.  He used a large, dare I say,  the manliest toilet auger I've ever seen. It made mine seem pathetically boyish, and boy howdy, I'm getting one of those.

Monday, July 05, 2010

If Karen Was In Charge Of The Revolution, We'd All Still Be Speaking English

As my long time reader (me) will remember, we've had some problems with snakes here. Some examples can be seen here, and here. Things seemed to calm down for awhile, but yesterday our snake failed us. I went over to Home Depot to buy a bigger snake, but it turned out that we already had the biggest toilet snake available. There were other snakes, but they all had specific habitats that didn't include toilets. I picked up a KleerDrain device , even though one reviewer said it blew her garbage disposal right off her sink.  That sounded like the kind of drain opener that was perfect for the 4th of July, but Karen was afraid to use it on a holiday in case we needed a plumber to restore order. What if Mrs. Revere had taken that attitude?
As soon as I finish here, and some coffee, I'm going to go see what a patriot exercising his 2nd and 10th amendment rights to be stupid can do with a plunger gun.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

You've Always Loved The Red Sox, But Have They Ever Loved You Back?

Don't tell anyone in my family, but I sort of admire President Obama. I think he's accomplished a lot in a short time. Some of what he's done isn't as good as I'd hoped for, but a lot of the shortcomings are caused by Republicans who won't accept ideas they had a few years ago, if they come from Democrats.
I mean, I'm not blind to the fact that ridiculously high deficits will lead to inflation that will mean that if I ever retire my pension will just about pay for living in a cardboard box. Just one more reason not to recycle;  maybe if I save up enough boxes, I can rent them out to other retirees.
So that's (my admiration for Obama, it's a post about admiring Obama) why it was such a disappointment this morning to wake up from a dream in which Obama was my new supervisor and he was trying to dock my pay.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Because, Apparently, I'm Pathetic

I took another one of those pop psychology personality tests. Apparently I share personality traits with the fictional dog on Family Guy, and the slightly less fictional Mary-Kate Olsen.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've Heard That Crow Is Tasty, Too

Yesterday we felt pretty good because we'd hit some sharp rocks and hard places without having any problems with our bikes. "Yay us," was kind of what we said, but in real life, I had a flat front tire, I just didn't know it at the time. To be honest, I didn't know that Murphy's Law even allowed for the possibility of flat front tires since rear tires are so much harder to change.
In any event, it's hard to believe that I have to struggle so hard with my weight, considering how much time I spend eating my words.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I Can't Remember, Am I Yin Or Yang?

I remember telling someone once that we could only visit them if I drove, because Karen's fear of heights kept her from driving up the steep hill to their house. On the other hand, she could do things that I couldn't and so, in our complementary way, we could do anything.
Today on a bike ride from Bird Creek to Girdwood, I had to stop on a steep hill, take off my sweater, splash some water on my face, and rest for a few minutes before finishing. Just like always. My iPhone kept recording however, and so we got a complete record of the first half of the ride. On the ride back, the phone inexplicably quit recording, but, I kept riding, and we all made it back safely.

Friday, June 25, 2010

From the Ridiculous to the Sublime

Boston Public Radio station WBUR did a taste test today of local ice creams. The first was a tobacco flavored one, which somehow didn't seem right to me. I had to give up candy cigarettes when I was a kid, and they were really just mint sticks.
On the other hand, they also tasted a pancake flavored ice cream that sounds pretty much perfect. We'll be in Boston in a few months, and I know where I want to stop on the way in from the airport.

I sent in my payment to New England Bicycle Adventures today, so I guess I'm committed now to riding through the fall foliage. It's in the Adirondacks, so presumably there will be chairs.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Best Day Ever, It Was The Solstice, Apple Updated The iPhone, I Saw TWO Friends And A Movie

I was talking to the girl from across the street, who grew up and became a professor in Texas. She has one of those rare diseases that so many people have nowadays ("Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded"). Because life-style changes have given her a lot of control over her health, she said, she was waiting to see how a trial of a new drug went, and then would probably still wait a little while to see if there were adverse effects before trying it. "Oh, I know, right? I won't even download software onto my computer until it's past version .0," I said.
This continued a tradition of making grandiose proclamations.  I downloaded Apple's IOS 4 software in the first hours it was available. So much for self-control.
A noted technology writer is saying that Apple's ecosystem is like a gated community a la The Hotel California, but wow, if you're going to be a prisoner of your own device, a good device would be an iPhone.

Today there was a bear on my route. I didn't see it, which was a disappointment and a huge relief.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

So, A Zombie And A Vampire Have About A Billion Children. Maybe I'll Wait For The Movie

I've been reading a book, The Passage, about a kind of super vampire created by a virus. I think it's meant to be fiction.  Of course, talking about the number of pages in it is meaningless, since on my phone, it's over 2200, and on the computer it's "only" 750. But, in any event, it's not a short book, and lately I'm sort of slogging along, waiting for the author to bring it on home, and wrap up all these problems he's caused. Only, now, I read that this is only book one in a projected trilogy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fine, You Caught Me, I Used A Thesaurus

I hate Neal Conan. There, I said it. In the olden days, NPR had Bob Edwards who would ask short, insightful questions, and then step back from the microphone and let his guests give long insightful answers. Neal Conan, though, always has to show that he knows at least as much as the guest does, and way, way, more than the people that call into his Talk of the Nation. If he knows so much, why does he even bother having guests? Except maybe Bill Maher,  the apotheosis of smug condescenion.



Yesterday at the clinic, the doctor wanted to check my balance. I didn't do that well, but I think it might be because I've got so many years piled up so haphazardly under me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Making It So

Karen's pain lately has been trending out of control, just as I've been experiencing repeated migraine auras (although not actual migraines because unlike Tylenol, Advil is not a just a placebo).   About  2 am, Karen was in a lot of pain, and I got up to help her, took one look at the TV in the dark room and was felled by a 16:9 aura. I immediately called in sick, and first thing this morning, I took Karen to the doctor. Then I went to a doctor,  who frankly didn't look all that good himself. At any rate, I didn't feel that bad by this afternoon, but I had called in sick, so I quickly ate a bunch of pizza, and man, that worked great, I feel awful.                                                                                

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Know What Might Help?

The government-mandated plans all came under attack at a congressional hearing Tuesday: Four talked about the need to protect walruses, which, as Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) dryly noted, "have not called the Gulf of Mexico home for 3 million years." The plans also mentioned protecting sea lions and seals, which aren't found in the gulf, either.
It's probably too late to save Louisiana's walruses (walri?) but you know what might help our walruses? Not using so much oil in the first place! 

Getting A Jump On The Season

It's still a week until the days start getting shorter, and there was already fresh snow on the mountains today.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Can't I Hate You Just A Little For Being Beautiful?

I'm not a racist; let's get that out of the way. For example, some of my best friends are Imaginary-Americans. But the reason I'm thinking about it right now, is because I'm wearing an orange t-shirt, and, looking at my arms, I realize how much better the orange would look against dark dark skin. When I told Leah that, she said that that's true for blue, and white, and even yellow, in fact black skin looks better than white against any color.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I Hope She's Gotten The Wrong Idea About Living Here

We just had a new carrier transfer up here from Outside to our station. Today while she was delivering a route across Northern Lights Blvd from  mine, she saw a bear.

This Story Ends Badly

I was speculating today that the video of the bilateral eye surgery Karen had, could have been an Al Qaeda training video as far as I knew, because no one I know has been able to watch more than the first few seconds.  But while I was eating dinner tonight, the Johnsons arrived. Corinne was interested in seeing it so I cued it up on my iPhone. Then right in the middle of the video, and my dinner, she turned the phone over to show me a particularly interesting part.
The other day I bought a FroggToggs raincoat at Costco because they claimed theirs were five times more breathable than the "leading brand" of breathable fabric. I don't know if that's true, but after my "dinner and a movie," I bet they're at least five times more breathable than drowning in your own vomit.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

So You See, We Do What We Must

Despite not wanting to look into Karen's Coraline's-Other-Mother's eyes, I've been putting ointment in them every few hours. Because, even more, I don't want to look back and see a guy who wouldn't put ointment in his wife's eyes.
By the way, do you think this is funny; the fluid inside eyes is called humor.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Red White and Blue

Karen is home, and her eyes are red, but we're hoping that soon they'll clear up enough to see the blue stitches in the whites of her eyes. Hah, like we're ever even going to be able to look at her eyes again.

Youtube has posted a video of a bilateral lateral rectus recession, which is the surgery Karen had, but I can tell you right now, I'm not watching it. I don't know if that was clear. I'm not watching it now, but later, I'll be never watching it.

Cue The Shark Music

Karen's at Day Surgery right now, and her doctor is running late. So far, everything is fine, as it should be since they haven't even started,  but we've had some bad experiences in the past.

Seriously, Why Is Firefly Off The Air? It Had Quality Value And Convenience

I don't remember what I was looking online for the other day, which sort of makes Nicholas Carr's point. But even if Google is making us stupid, it does have it's compensations, since I found this quote quite by the serendipitous accident that Google constantly provides,



"[Simon and River whine about getting a dedicated "source box".]


Gabriel Tam: I will not have it in my house. But, since your mother's already ordered you one, I guess I should give up the fantasy that this is my house!"


Which sort of sums up a discussion Karen and I have been having about QVC. I've been claiming that they're parasites preying on the slack-jawed, the mouth-breathers, the ignorant and pathetic. She's been claiming that they're the incarnation of quality, value and convenience. According to an article I read, they're not parasites, exactly, but para-friends,(not unlike our dogs who are about to be surprised by a new toy that hurts their ears when they bark, courtesy of Karen's new "friends")  creating "bonds that tickle our subconscious in many of the ways that real friendships do. And as anyone who has ever been to a Pampered Chef home selling event can testify, when a friend is pushing the goods, it’s very hard not to buy something." 
Although, rereading that, it does sound sort of parasitic. According to the article, though, watching QVC is "...considerably safer than rock climbing."


From the Department of the Miracle of Birth:
I received this link in my e-mail yesterday from a friend of a friend's neighbor. The squeamish might want to skip to slide 11. The neighbor of the friend of the friend is an artist and photographer.





















Tuesday, June 01, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want

But sometimes you get exactly what you want. If the so-called flotilla claiming to bring so-called humanitarian aid to Gaza had wanted to deliver aid, they would have gone to the designated port for that. They wanted a confrontation to embarrass the Israels and they got it. Now what?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Good One

Recently, I was reading a real blog, and the writer confessed that he sometimes commented anonymously on his own blog to draw attention to a little joke that he thought people might have missed.
Up till now, I've never done that, but I might start. They'll be anonymous, but you might be able to tell it's me, because there might be a comment on a post.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Ten Days In May, or Whenever

It was a lovely day today; the kind of day that deludes people into thinking that they want to deliver mail for a living by driving the other kind of day out of their minds (trying to keep the subject and the phrase in agreement has created the unfortunate sense that mailmen have more than one mind which is very generous).
A customer told me her theory that Alaska has ten good days every year for every thing. Today would be one of ten perfect days for going for a walk. Later there will be some perfect days for biking and then for skiing or skating. Since there are only going to be ten perfect days, when one comes, you must run (or bike) with it.  But then I had one of those shallow thoughts that's just so perfect for blogging about. What if every day is perfect for something? Then, all you'd have to do is live your life in the moment, doing what the moment requires, but whatever you'd be doing would be perfect. Ha, what does Ram Dass have that I don't? Well, a job that doesn't require walking around for one thing.
What I was really thinking about today was the contrast between my route and some of the routes I've been helping on lately. It's so nice to deliver to a neighborhood where people have friends and family, and not just third party custodians.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Inspired At Church

I saw a bumper sticker today at church. From a Bob Marley song, it said, "Forget your troubles and dance." On a walker.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Blog Bursts Into Song, And Refuses To Hear A Discouraging Word

Two Atlantic articles and a random podcast I heard, all make the point that we are living with stone age bodies and minds in a modern world that we can never understand or adapt to. Apparently, before the advent of spreadsheets and the autobahn, we could trust our first reactions enough of the time that we could usually muddle through. Fight, flight, whatever, just do it and get back to eating.  Back then, retirement plans usually included being eaten. Now, though, we have to sort through the minutia of  IRA v 401K plans being presented by sharks. And we have to do that with minds that can only hold two pieces of information at once and one of them is usually something about french fries.
And, mammal babies cry in a high pitched way so they can't be heard by reptilian predators, which would be great if you were trying to change a diaper and you were in a remake of Snakes on a Plane, but is pretty annoying to mammals on a plane.
And, as Dave Barry explained it, "Now that we have refrigerators, there is no longer any need to use the human buttock as a food-storage device."

Isn't that the way they say it goes?
But let's forget all that
And give me the number if you can find it
 

Reunited and it feels so good
Reunited 'cause we understood
There's one perfect fit
And, sugar, this one is it
We both are so excited 'cause we're reunited, hey, hey
or maybe it should be,

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day
 
because, this morning, for the first time in nearly two years, I was inside my goal weight range by a margin of almost nine ounces.