The football meeting was tedious. It wasn’t helped by the meeting room. No air circulation and 80 degrees. Men coming straight from work in that environment . . .
This wasn’t the worst meeting of this sort I’ve ever been to but it was bad. At least there were no shocking displays of ignorance. I did have to explain that while I wanted 10, 20 and 40 yard times it didn’t mean the kids had to run three races, you just needed 3 time keepers.
I wasn’t too surprised that my fellow coaches weren’t didn’t know the basic football drills. Only mildly disappointed that they didn’t know the names of the drills.
I wasn’t even surprised when one coach made the typical bad coaching statement, “You can’t tell how good a player is till you see him hitting on the field.” Its probably true that he can’t, anyway.
The biggest stunner was that one of their most impressive feats was that they provide us with agility ladders and hurdles. These are impressive and expensive pieces of gear. None of the coaches had a clue how to use them.
They knew you ran through them or something but they didn’t seem to know any of the drills to train the kids nerves to respond and gain true speed and improve the player’s reflexes.
There was one very gung ho coach. A line coach. HE said a lot of pretty intelligent things. I could even forgive that most of his training techniques are about twenty years out of date. He’s not a pro and probably doesn’t even have a clue where to find the info on better techniques to accomplish his goals. At least he had a plan and knew what needed to be accomplished.
I was lightly stunned to find out he worked with the 10 year olds. I’m not confident that his sort of attitude translates well to kids that age. Maybe his attitude is tempered when he’s working with the kids.
All in all I had a lot of second thoughts about the whole endeavour, on my part not on the teams part. I know you have to work with what you have. You try and train your coaches. I’m sort of proud that 5 of the coaches I’ve trained have gone on to be professional coaches.
Luckily I was braced for all the second thoughts and negativity.
I think it will all work out. I need it to.
I’m up to 21 units of insulin. It still hurts when I inject it, but at least I’m sure I’m doing it correctly.
I’m confused. It seems to be working and then it suddenly isn’t.
I’m feeling incredibly sick. A big part of it is from the pain in my shoulder. Its waking me several times a night. It seems that the killer stab of hurt comes about 3 hours after I’ve gone to bed, then I can’t get back to sleep. The ache has spread across my whole upper body. I have to be very careful to stretch out slowly and try and avoid any sudden jolts of pain.
Invariably I’ll pass out a couple of times during the day. Fall asleep for an hour at a time. This bugs me no end. Bothers me worse than the general feeling of nausea and feeling unwell that now seems to accompany the day.
I am so bored with my suffering.We did get to go to the Chinese Buffet yesterday. This was enjoyable. My friend and I were both interested in how busy this place always seems to be now.
There was someone new there, a pudgy Chinese fellow, who seated us. He seemed to fumble around while he was attempting to act with flair and grace. I watched him after he left us. He went to a mirror and studied himself most carefully, licking his inky and smoothing his eyebrows with the wet digit.
I liked the food. My friend ate more than I did!
I took my pack and lined it with a plastic grocery bag. (Those bags are going to become rare. All the grocery stores are now selling the bags for a nickel each. No more free bags, you have to bring your own. I can’t fault them for this. I might even approve until I need a plastic bag for dog related activities.) I filled my pack with bacon, sausages and steak for the pups. That always makes it a good day.
Today I have to start on all the chores I was ignoring during my friends vacation, starting with too much laundry and unleashing the roomba.
I already miss my friend. I like having her around. Tomorrow she has to go away for a couple of days to a work conference. It shouldn’t be too bad for her. She’s getting put up in a pretty plush hotel. She has tickets to a show by one of those singers who I don’t much care for. Her co-worker and friend is going with her.
I’ll watch movies and ache.
When I was five I used to trade baseball cards with the other kids in my area. I didn’t have the cash to buy the packages of cards. Most of my cards came from the back of cereal boxes. For a while Jello was putting baseball cards in their puddings. Trading those kind of cards put me in a lower trading class of kid.
When I was seven I discovered comics and surfing. We were kids. We didn’t have much money so we’d buy the comics we could and then go to the beach and swap them. I got to read the first “Spiderman” comic trading a “Jimmy Olsen” for it.
We’d look askance at kids who bought “Archie Comics” or Harvey comics like “Richie Rich”. We lived for super heroes punching out bad guys. We loved that Spiderman made jokes while he duked it out with the Rhino. Batman, even when stupid, was always cool. The Fantastic Four were a bit stuffy but the Thing was cool.
Sometimes, on the flat days, one of the real surfers would loan us his board so we could paddle around in the ocean and work on our moves, usually practice trying to stand on the board. He’d trade us the use of his board for a couple of comics so he could have something to read while he prayed for a set.
When I was nine we’d get together and trade records. 45’s, albums were something you got for Christmas. We lived on 45’s, on songs not concepts.
These record swapping parties were out first interactions with girls where the main point wasn’t to torment the girls to see how much they could take before they started crying.
We’d listen to the music. Dance tentatively. Swap the records for things we thought were cooler. Sometimes a trade would depend on the quality of the song on the flip side.
When VHS tapes came out movies were like 70 bucks a piece! We’d swap them with friends. Grabbing an obscure movie or TV show some guy taped off of late night TV in his hometown. Looking for westerns and monsters. Searching for cool.
Who knew that those happy days, those days of learning to interact with society, to appreciate a groups similarities and to cherish our differences would be considered criminal activities today.
You can’t buy anything anymore. You can only rent.
Some rich jerks afraid of the future passed some laws. Instead of socializing for real and learning you have to sit and do as you’re told. Government by the minority, the tiny minority, the “ruling class”.
You can’t own a record or a comic. You are only renting it and you’re not allowed to trade it or let more than three other people listen to it.
It makes sense if you’re rich and want to get richer and if you hate people. Albert Gonzalez lies to congress and okays torture behind their back. Nothing is going to happen to him. He gets to write columns and gets paid too much for them laughing about how he screwed us all over in the illusion of keeping us safe. Meanwhile Roger Clemens, a baseball player gets persecuted because some groupie he befriended swears he gave Clemens some shots. The full weight of the FBI and the Justice Department is committed to destroying his life.
Dick Cheney brags about using torture to lie to us and to to deceive us and Obama says we have to move on from having thousands of our kids slaughtered and murdered due to the actions of this guy. We have to forget all about that. Obama thinks that lowering our self esteem and having the rest of the world think we’re sleazy scum sucking cowards is trivial. What’s important is that we imprison and criminalize that kid sitting in his room who wants to make friends, who wants others to hear a song and see the same image in their heads that the song conjured in his.
It used to be that you were in a band. You made a record. You could get 45’s stamped out in lots of 500. With a two color self-designed label they cost you 300 bucks. You’d haul a box of the 45’s o your shows and get your girl friends to hawk them for a buck apiece. If you got lucky you’d sell twenty at a show.
Later you’d get CD’s stamped out. With the jewel case and art they’d run about $2.50 a piece to make. You’d smile at your girl friends and get them to sell them at your shows for $5.
Now, it used to be that the RIAA sold records for you. But the recording artists didn’t get paid. They got to perform shows and they got to keep the gate. The major labels loved this deal.
The record stores made about $2 a sale, the record jobber – the guy who put the records in the store got about $3.50 and the label got about $5.50. Sometimes the labels would pay the publishers, if the publishers were big enough to sue the labels.
The RIAA loved it. They fought hard to keep it that way.
Then came the internet and the world changed. For the better most of us would say.
I can see it being illegal if I downloaded a mess of songs and tried to sell them to you. I can even see file sharing services being questionable when somebody is making money. I mean the RIAA or some webmaster raking off cash, might be wrong.
These rich guys couldn’t be bothered to se the change in the world. They only saw threats to their mansions. About ten years ago Courtney Love wrote a brilliant piece telling how the RIAA screwed her and every other recording musician over. Steve Van Zandt has also come out strong about the abuse of musicians by the labels and the RIAA.
Radio Head and Nine Inch Nails are two bands who took the words to heart and were smart enough to see the world has changed and is changing.
So are a lot of other bands. They remember tape and they remember taping songs off the radio. They want their music heard. They want to touch people and to have their music move people. They want you to dance.
Up in the bar there’s a new link called jukebox. It’ll take you to a glitzy, funny (to me anyway) page where there are 40 songs that aren’t burdened with the little RIAA bug.
The tunes are all there because they need to be heard. There are some great tunes there. Mostly awesome, at least if you like the music I like . . . These aren’t my favorites, not all of them at least. The criteria was what I played the most often.
These are the bands of the past and of the future.
The porch is finished enough to be used. It looks good. My friend loves it which is all that matters.
I’ve been stove up. The pain is pretty horrible.
I use a simple scale. See the leukemia made me take chemo. Chemo gave me diabetes. The diabetes gave me neuropathic pain. For the past couple of years the pain has been pretty unremitting.
Death would hurt more. I can live with this pain. I have to remember that when I feel like giving up.
I’m up to 20 units of insulin. I looked it up. 20 units is about the average. I still have to increase the dosage. My blood sugars are still not under control. They gave me sugar pills. Big suckers they are, in case my dosage increase put me into a hypoglycemic coma. No where near any danger of that, at least not yet.
This is my friends last day of vacation. Memorial Day. She says its the best vacation she’s had in years. Usually she misses work but this time she’s dreading going back.
We’re going to the Chinese Buffet.
The foster dog is fitting in better. The only issue he really has, aside form his incredibly sloppy water drinking, is his constant play. Constant play is not a good thing. It sounds like it should be but he gets so cranked up he gets annoying, not just to people but even to the other dogs. Foster dog gets so wound up he’s nearly a threat. He’s a good dog though and is trying to understand.
Tonight is a coaching meeting. After the meeting we have to pick up my coaching kit. The tackling dummies, agility gear, first aid kit etc.
They don’t have a lock up at the practice field so we have to haul all this stuff around. On paper it sounds like a great kit though. That the kit includes an agility ladder and agility hurdles gives me a lot of cause for hope.
I hope my friend enjoys hr first ever coaches meeting. She’ll be there as an equal.
Modestly bad news on the health front. (My health has plenty to be modest about.)
Last night my blood sugars were at 12.7. I injected 18 units of Lantus (insulin). I was awakened at 4:30 by barking dogs and our guys wanting to go out and bark fight with them. I took my blood pressure and it was 150 over 80! My blood sugars were at 16.4. The blood sugars haven’t been that high in years (?).
Three hours later the blood reports 10.5.
I feel frustrated.
I have to wrap my arms in elastic bandages just to move. It makes me feel like a Frankenstein monster in swaddling clothes. The bandage compression doesn’t help the diabetic inspired neuropathic pain, but it suppresses the severe pain and cramping in the other muscles.
I haven’t been able to stretch for months. Not even the old fashioned yawn-ey stretch in the morning thing, so that the muscles around the affected areas have started to knot up from the tension. I mean really know up. At first I thought I’d developed a series of tumors! I try and work them out with out much success.
(To understand how pain just below the shoulder point of the right arm and the elbow of the left has trashed my shoulder, neck, and clavicle I always use the story of Dizzy Dean. Dean was a hot shot Hall of Famer for the St Louis Cardinals. He broke a toe on his left foot. It annoyed him but it was just a small hurt, The Cardinals needed him. He needed the money so he figured he could easily pitch through the little pain. He pitched two games before he injured his arm and was out of baseball for good. His left foot was his pivot foot and the little pain forced an unnoticeable change in his delivery. His body compensated to avoid the pain and this produced enough torque in his elbow to tear the ligaments. They didn’t have the surgical techniques to repair it back then so a stubbed toe ended the career of one of the best pitchers in baseball.)
I’m starting to get angry about it.
The foster dog had a mild blow too. The perspective parents abruptly backed out. They claimed a family emergency that will necessitate them being in India for several months. I suspect if we had approved them and let them take the foster dog home they’d have called us in a couple of weeks and asked us to take him back. This is a pretty evil thing to do to a dog or a person. The timing is at least good for him.
I like to kid myself that I’m perceptive enough to have realized that these would have been the sort of people who would not see a dog as family, Any family emergency would, in my little world, have included the puppy.
Poor guy, but it could have been worse. He’s a good pup. He’ll find a home.
My goal with foster dogs isn’t to move them out and sell them. I’m not involved in high turn over. I’m kind of known for making people jump through hoops. I want the dog and the people to all be happy together and to face life together. Love should not die.
The porch painting is progressing nicely. My friend is still having fun. That’s the important thing. I don’t care how long its taking so long as she has fun.
As the worst painter in any group I always get the cruddy job. Ceiling painting. It was hard because I had to extend my arms over head. It went alright though. The bandages got me through it.
It is finally looking like something. The color was supposed to be sand and look like stone and gravel. Its sort of a yellowish brown in execution. Nothing wrong with the color, just not what my friend expected. (To me it still looks like the inside of a translucent mushroom.)
Painting the ceiling I managed to drip paint on everything. My hair, my iPod even the giant dog has a couple of interesting splotches on him. They add personality . . . the last thing giant dog needs is more personality. I kept throwing him off the porch but the sight of me cursing and shouting in pain while standing on a ladder is just too appealing. Even my puppy comes and peeks at me. She walks away shaking her head.
Today I start of the floor. Being a porch I get to use the hose on it. For some unknown reason I’m looking forward to that. Sweeping it down and then spraying it with the hose. I wish we had one of those high pressure “thousand pounds of pressure hoses”. That would be cool and potentially destructive!
I still love the idea of potential destruction.
I also realized that I have a coaches meeting on Monday. This meeting slightly baffles me. Its to discuss drills to be done in player evaluation.
I’m confused because this is silly stuff and doesn’t fit the pretty slick image they’ve presented to me. There are a core of drills. Watching a kid run them, watching him step over bags, watching him run, watching him strive to compete tells me all I need to know. It shows his heart and his present ability level. It shows his attitude.
When kids get psyched and say stuff like “I need to get the pads on. When I’m out there hitting people then I can really show them what I’ve got!”
The kids are wrong on that. I can tell what you’ve got by the way you plant your foot on a post corner cut drill. I can see how well you’ll mix it up by the way your eyes follow me as you do the step over drills. I can tell if you’ve got the heart to be unbeatable by the way you check others heights on the vertical jump. I can tell how hard you can hit by your distance on the broad jump. Most importantly, how you do on that tell me what I have to teach you and what we need to do together to shape your body into what you want it to be.
I always note coaches who want full contact drills. I was asked to coach an All Star team in Europe. I and the other American coaches were google eyed when we saw one of the European coaches running “nutcrackers”. Nutcrackers were punishment drills, made to “toughen you up” is some jerk of a coach thought you were slacking.
You give the kid a ball and set him out to run into three defenders with no protection. The defenders are about five yards off from the kid. The kid is guaranteed to get hammered. Some jerk college coaches use nutcrackers to get kids to quit the team and give up their scholarships.
We asked the European coach what he was doing. He was seeing if the kids were tough enough and really wanted to play. Since this was an All Star trial I sort of figured that had been answered.
That coach never beat any of our teams.
I’m afraid how many of my fellow coaches in this meeting will want to run full contact drills to see the obvious stuff that they should be able to see on their own.
Their argument will be that the kids love the contact. Some of them, most of them hopefully, love the contact. I like to keep the kids hungry for it.
Maybe I’ll be surprised and the meeting will be to discuss some new drills that some crazy scientist has devised that safely and intelligently give even more diagnostic proof. Maybe.
My friend is going to have to end her vacation by going to this meeting with me. She’s going to become my statistician! I need her to follow me around and record all the trials. Most of you have seen me on my own with my little scraps of paper with dozens of numbers rapidly scrawled all over them. Some of you have even given me nice little notebooks which, in a matter of hours, I have reduced to little scraps of paper that fall out of my pockets all over the field.
I figure she might enjoy the meeting and might get an idea of the information she’ll be recording. She’ll enjoy that. even organizing it into spreadsheets!
Time to feed the dogs and start on todays porch project!
Last night I went to sleep with my blood sugar at 5.4. That’s pretty good. I injected 17 units of Lantus (insulin) and this morning my blood sugars were 6.4 which is on the bright side of acceptable.
I’m eating lunch in a few minutes – cheap-o ramen. So in a couple of hours the verdict will be in on whether the insulin has finally kicked in and become a part of my body chemistry..
People say I complain a lot, even about things I agree with and am happy about. I don’t know about that. I think its a part of my constant consideration. Part of it is that I know there are too few golden chances in life. I don’t want to miss one. Same part is that there are many traps, most of which we set for ourselves. I try and avoid those. Another part is that I think you have to consider all sides of a problem and an issue. I tend to do that in the front brain and sometimes it comes out aloud.
I’m also generally described as self deprecating. I had to look that one up. I don’t think I ma at all. I just have a tendency to think about other things than myself first. I do have a huge ego. My only issue with self esteem is that I don’t think others have enough of it.
I also have a natural cynicism and stoicism that makes me seem crabby . . . okay, I am crabby.
This is all thinking about stuff when pain in my arms woke me up. Three times last night. Once so badly I woke everyone else.
I guess I don’t know how to age gracefully. Aside from having a total jerk of a step-father my young life was gold. Southern California; I was a good, sometimes great surfer, stud athlete, played guitar in a band that made “rekkids”. My teen memories are flooded with images of girls sidling up to me and whispering outrageous things into my ears.
Now I was heartened when the diabetic nurse looked at my records and said, “oh, I never would have thought you were that old!” My hamstrings are so tight I have to stoop to pick something off the ground. I can’t put the dog food back in the fridge without grunting. I’ve got my arm wrapped in elastic bandage so I can nearly raise it over my head. I had 6 teeth pulled, which makes 9 I’m missing altogether. The psychological damage of the cosmetics hurt more than the novocaine needles.
I never imagined getting older would mean being less than what I always knew I was.
Somehow through all this I still know I can coach kids and teach them to be winners. I can still make enemies and I can still make friends. I can still not care what people think about me. I can still think highly enough of myself to stay true to myself. I can still be happy.
Happy thanks to my friend and my puppies.
It never rained at all last night. It is a golden day today. Might reach 80!! Too warm. I re-cleared the stuff from the porch so that the painting can continue today.
I needed the day off. A lot of the pain has recessed. I like the way the big project is looking. I like it better that my friend is still on vacation and finally starting to relax a bit. (She had to log into her work account yesterday. I don’t really understand why. She just had to.
The puppies are doing well. Foster dog got a bit crazy yesterday. The kid next door is an ass. He was teasing the dog. I don’t think he started out with malicious intent, but after I asked him to stop and he continued I got irked. With kids this came out as, “Please stop aggravating my dog. Thank you!” That stopped him as best as it could.
My friend thinks maybe the kid was abused or something. I’ve worked with enough abused kids to think the kid is just a bored ass.
Yesterday I mentioned my puppy’s aunt. I mentioned her cat which is doing well in her struggle to survive. I wrote the cat was now 50. Okay. This was a typo. The cat is 15!
I think that counts as a retraction. Okay?
Good news. Last night my blood sugars were 8.0 which is just a bit bad. This morning my blood sugars were 5.4 which is pretty good.
I had a breakfast of eggs, frijoles, kiwi and potatoes. Two hours later my blood sugars were . . . (testing) 12.3 . . . That’s not too good. Should have been between 7 and 10.
I’m up to 16 units of Lantus (insulin) so it will be 17 units tonight.
At least there’s some sort of reaction.
The perspective foster dog parents didn’t come yesterday. They’ll come to meet him on Friday or Saturday. He could care less. He’s found his place in the pack. Now he just has to face his place in the house hold.
The only thing wrong with him is that he is the world’s sloppiest drinker. He drinks savagely and leaves at least half of what he takes out dripping from his mouth. I’ve watched him gulp up a pint of water, turn his head and let it all fall out on the floor. Fortunately I don’t mind mopping a lot.
Yesterday, while cleaning up the painting for the day, the giant dog and the gentle dog found a real funny joke. I left the front door open because it was nice. The pair of them came up on the porch and whined and wiggled to get me to open the door for them so they could go into the house. They plowed in and two 20 seconds later they were back up on the porch begging to get into the house . . . I looked at them with one of my looks and let them in.
Twenty seconds later they RAN onto the porch, giant dog was wiggling and laughing so hard he could barely shine so gentle dog scratched at the door to get in.
I let them in. Five seconds later they were both stumbling onto the porch shaking with laughter and collapsing on each other going to the door. I laughed too. This was a signal to attack me and try and lick me. I hate being licked which, to them, made this all the funnier.
I have to remember I like dogs.
While I see painting as something that needs to be done I knew my friend enjoys it. I underestimated how much she would enjoy it. She said she was having fun. She looked forward to it.
This held even though she discovered that the paint wasn’t exactly the color she had envisioned.
We got the paint at the Salvation Army! Recycled paint. It was cheaper but not a steal. Still it looks cleaner. The old paint looked like the product of a drunken hippy pipe dream. Not real hippies but like those old guys who have dreams of hooking up with a space cadet hard body chick. The chick had dreams of going to design school or being a fashionista.
She was with the old guy only because she had nothing else to do and no money to do it with. She probably needed a place to crash that night. After a couple of drinks and a joint she was probably wrinkling her nose at the state of the place and came up with this whacked design scheme. Since this was a way to get the chick to hang out the old guy readily agreed and the end result was . . . this?
She probably left as soon as it was finished, probably with the guy behind the counter at the liquor store.
Now the porch will look like the inside of a mushroom on a sunny day . . . Which is still better.
All week long there was an 80% chance of rain last night and today. So last night I spent about an hour hauling all the stuff I’d taken off the porch back onto the porch. There’s a lot. The porch is more a summer room that a porch (two chaise lounges and three tables sort of things as well as an incalculable amount of lamps. My friend had fallen asleep so I had to do it myself. Hurt myself early and often.
Today its mid sixties and there’s only a 30% chance of rain tonight . . . I couldn’t have worked anyway. Even taped my shoulders are both killing me, add in all the dings and I’m close to worthless.
Still a vacation day is a vacation day.
I did watch two movies last evening. Back in the 80’s Dolph Lundgren was the next big thing. There was this xeroxed magazine you couldn’t afford to miss by the Hollywood Kids. It was six pages of the nastiest cattiest fawning gossip in LA.
When Lundgren was cast in “He Man and the Masters of the Universe” opposite Frank Langella as Skeltor they went ballistic to the point of sneaking into the Lundgren’s costume fitting. They reported he was more imposing and gorgeous in real life even if he did have pimples on his butt.
I figure that’s the mark of real adoring fame. Either when someone takes the time to notice the pimples on your butt or loves you despite them.
Of course then then movie came out and Lundgren wasn’t hot anymore. It was really bad. Langella survived because he got to wear a mask through the whole movie. Lundgren did a lot of junk movies after that. He became irrelevant.
He had that one interesting flash with “Big SHowdown in Little Tokyo” but everyone put that off to the burgeoning star power of Brandon Lee. Then he sort of faded to direct to video.
I somehow got a hold of a copy of a movie called “Missionary Man” when I saw it starred Lundgren I left it on but proceeded to do chores while it played. It wasn’t great but it was good and Lundgren directed himself in a way I guess he really wanted to be. Chaste, huge, dangerous with an leaning towards finer feelings that he and his character knew he would never fully grasp.
I liked it. Made me see his next (or maybe previous) direct to DVD thing called “Diamond Dogs”. It really sucked.
But yesterday I watched the 1989 Lundgren “The Punisher”. While not a gruesome as the latest Punisher flic its surprisingly good. Lundgren is very effective as the deranged revenge fueled anti-hero. Marvel Comics wasn’t the power house production company it is now so this is just a cheapie (even though Stan Lee still grabbed a production credit).
It actually made me feel warmly for Dolph Lundgren, and the cheap but stylish sets and his lumbering presence made for a cool enough 90 minutes.
After that I watched a strange movie, “Method Man”. Nothing to do with the rapper/movie star. Its a seventies kung fu flic. This may be the worst movie ever made but and this is a shock the action choreography and the fighters are superb! It makes no sense. But when the fighters are mixing it up it reaches level similar to Liu Chia Lang’s glorious choreography of Philip Kwok in the Chang Cheh flics that followed it. The fighters fly around and perform astonishing purely physical feats that dazzle and delight then we get back to the dreadful story which makes little sense even by cheapie 70’s kung fu standards.
Today is my puppy’s aunt’s birthday. To celebrate her 50 year old cat, (CAT!) is still hanging on. Perhaps just to spite me and my puppy. I can live with that. This is one of those cats with the sense to wish she were a dog.
My puppy’s aunt other celebration was that their flat panel TV blew up! An over priced Sony. But even then there’s a birthday miracle. They got the extended warranty so they get a brand new, current model FREE!
I’ve never heard of one of those extended warranties ever working out for anyone before. Sounds like a good, no make that an excellent happy birthday to me. Well, it should be.
Last night my blood sugar count was 12.1, a little high. The insulin injection was no less painful and still left me with an annoying sort of tingling throughout my body. I slept pretty solid for 4 hours. I was tired from no sleep and a pretty busy day. On wakening my blood pressure was 128 over 78, within target and my blood sugars were 8.8, still too high.
This means that tonight I have to give my self 12 units. I’m supposed to increase it by 1 unit a day until the readings are right. There was some confusion this morning as my friend thought it was 1 unit every other day. I called and checked and I was right! I’m not sure if that’s a winning thing or not.
I also found out that I have to replace my blood meter pretty soon. That sucks. The meter is about 50 bucks, but the test strips run about a hundred. There’s the little plastic strips that have to feed into the machine to collect the blood. Each strip is coded and they don’t work on different machines . . . Seems that the machines start declining in accuracy after 1 year. Planned obsolescence?
I think there’s something wrong with America in that you can only stay alive if you can afford it. I was lucky before. There was a town where the government thought all of its citizens were precious and there were doctors willing to donate their time. In Texas I could only afford my medication every other month or not at all.
When I was in grad school I drove a taxi cab at night. Held the job for 6 months or so. I had to give it up. Teaching and in school all day and working all night was kind of stupid. I’d fall asleep at odd times. When I was driving around LA about 4 am and suddenly it was 4:40 and I had no idea of where I was or how I’d gotten there. I’d been driving asleep for 40 minutes. Time to quit.
Driving a cab was unique. I made a lot of money. Meet a lot of people. Drag queen, drunks, hookers wanting to trade sex for the fare, gay guys telling me how they wanted a man like me, celebrities and sometimes people I knew. I thought they were all interesting except the wannabee pimps. I didn’t like them much at all.
The cops used to flag me to pull over. While I was trying to figure what I’d done to attract the cop’s attention they’d open the door and start piling in women, hookers. They’d throw a ten or a twenty dollar bill at me and tell me not to let the hookers out of the car and drive them west till I crossed the County Line. In LA the city cops run everything up to Crescent Heights and then its run by the Sheriff’s Department.
The girls complained about how the cops had stolen all their money. The first time I figured it was just hooker talk. The fourth time I had to believe them. The girls always piled out of the cab at the first stop light. I had no intention of even trying to stop them. That would have felt to creepy, like kidnapping. I was a grad student driving a cab, not a cop.
Once a cop pulled me over and dumped a girl in the cab. She’d been stabbed. The cop told me to drive her to Queen of Angels. He didn’t want to call an ambulance and fill in papers for street trash at the end of his shift.
She was bleeding but not terribly. We got to the hospital and there were a couple of orderlies and a woman. They wouldn’t let the woman out of the cab. She had no insurance, a credit card or $2,000 in cash. She was bleeding worse. I had to drive her to General Hospital (famous in bad TV series). Its the only charity hospital in LA.
Once I got flagged by a couple of guys in West Hollywood. One of the guys had been shot. Cedars Sinai was only two blocks away. I drove him there in less than a minute.
They went inside. I was in the back washing the blood off the seat when they came back. The one guy was still dragging his shot friend who was looking worse. Cedars wouldn’t take his friend as a patient, not enough credit on his card and no insurance. The ambulance service wanted $125 in cash to take them to UCLA Med Center. The cab ride would be about 20 bucks.
(Even the Fire Department charges for ambulance service, but not in advance. They bill you. Same for Paramedic treatment. They used to not go crazy trying to collect, at least they didn’t used to.)
So I know and I’ve seen that if you don’t have enough money to live “they” are just as happy to see you die. And they can do it without mercy or fear. Killer world.
I mowed the lawn yesterday. It hurt. I got the mower started by grabbing that rope thing with my left hand, holding my arm stiff and then sort of falling backwards. Took three times but it ran.
I could only do about 40% of the yard. The vibrations and bucking the machine over the hills and valleys created too much pain.
I was able to wear the iPod. The new cable is not as efficient as the old one, the silky wires one. It tangled a couple of times but not as badly as the Entymotics would tangle. I still don’t have a solid feel for whether the sonic improvements and the probability that these cable won’t need replacement are worth giving up the easy functionality of the silky ones. I still love the Ultimate Ears.
The foster dog is settling in. The gentle dog is very serious in hating him. The giant dog loves playing with him but hates him when he comes close to my friend. My puppy ignores him unless he plays one of the games he likes.
My friend actually enjoyed her field trip. She got to hike through some untrammeled woods. She even got a cool walking stick from a dead tree. She bought it home for my puppy! Foster dog an my puppy played with it until the newcomer broke it in half. My puppy was indignant!
Click images for desktop size: “Fabrique de statues sur isle de Bali” by ebajart Before I went to bed my blood sugars were 8.1. My target is between 4 and 7, so it was high, just not terribly high. The nurse/diabetes expert said that most diabetics who start insulin after being on pills are looking at numbers around 25! She thought it was cool I was aware enough to catch it so soon. It spoke well of me following my dietary restrictions.
I did the insulin injection. Forget the propaganda about the needle in the belly not hurting. It hurt like a son of a gun! It burned,
Click image: “Lena Horn and Dean Martin” was sore afterwards and left a mark like a bug bite. It could have been worse I suppose. I’ll probably get used to it, like I’ve gotten used to pricking my fingers two or three times a day.
Even though I’ve got a high tolerance for pain I’ve never been big on self inflicted pain. Way back in high school there was a fad amongst some of the more vapid football players. Two guys would sit opposite each other and rest their forearms against each other’s. Then they’d drop a burning cigarette between their forearms. The first guy to flinch was called chicken.
I thought it was cool to watch but I thought it was pretty stupid too. I noticed that it was only me and the other surfers who never got involved in it. Some guys forearms were a huge mass of burn scars, many of them running about the full length of a cigarette. I don’t know if the surfers had more sense or just figured that our sports banged us up enough. Maybe we wanted to show self respect, maybe we didn’t have to prove anything to anybody, maybe we were chicken. Who knows? I don’t like inflicting pain on myself.
Click images for desktop size: “Full Moon” by Luis Royo Plenty of people to do that for you, if your so inclined.
I didn’t sleep well. It was predicted. Tossed and turned, tremors and head achey.
I had to take my blood readings immediately on wakening. Surprised me that I went to bed at 8.1, injected myself and woke up with an 11.8! I guess this proves that my liver is working fine at making all them sugars all night. It also means I have to increase the dosage by 1 unit this evening.
I took the kidney medicine this morning. Its side effect, which is viewed as positive is that it also lowers the blood pressure. I do note that when the tooth pain was finally gone my blood pressure dropped to well within my safety parameters. It can still afford to be lower.
I notice that the prescription bottle forbids driving. I can expect to stand up and fall down a couple of times.
My friend had to get out of bed 2 hours earlier than usual. Her job is taking the entire region on a field trip . . . to let them see what all their efforts are accomplishing. The field trip is making them all take a bus. Reminds me of grammar school.
Not only did she have to get up two hours earlier than usual to catch the bus but the first person on the bus is her old boss whom she doesn’t quite get along with. The old boss is still a VP. The VP is showing a hunting video . . . This is a conservation group. Somehow, I don’t think its an anti-hunting video.
I dislike hunting. I’ve tried it. Shooting something alive doesn’t seem like much of a sport. I’ve never been able to do it especially after watching guys who weren’t as good a shot (on the range) as I was, maim and harm animals who didn’t fall.
Also hunting is pretty boring. Hunting with a bow and arrow is just as boring to me and even lacks the thrill of worrying about your companion shooting you in the face or the back on accident.
I would find it especially distressing to watch a video of this “sport”. All blood sports seem vapid to me anyway. But watching them? Watching 200 yard drives in a TV golf match would be more exciting.
The foster dog is coming along. His surgery has healed up enough to let him roam with the pack. He’s still annoyingly stressed but willing o make some strides.
Click images for desktop size: “The Tradition” by Unknown My friend and I disagree a bit on what his history was that bought him to this state in his life and his personality. Nothing serious. More importantly we agree on what his future will be. He’s a good dog.
The giant dog loves to run and play with him outside. Inside he wants to kill the foster especially when the foster comes anywhere near my friend or me. Jealous guy. Shows the silliness of being jealous at all.
My puppy thinks that playing is great but not with the foster. She’ll make light dalliances but if he doesn’t respond in her prescribed fashion she ignores him. He’s smart enough to ignore her right back.
But he won’t ignore the gentle dog who seems to really hate him. Gentle dog is always growling at him when the foster dog breaks gentle dog’s “circle of influence”. (An old aikido term I really like).
This is all pretty normal. They’ll shift soon enough as the foster calms down and begins to accept his place in the pack.
I worked last night with his aggressive play nature. Its not a good thing when a dog initiates play constantly. I felt heartless about stopping a dog from playing but it worked. He started to calm down and then spent the final two hours of the evening wrapped around my legs as I sat in the office.
Today was going to be the first lawn mowing day of the year. I have no idea if it is but it seems to me that it should be a day worth celebrating. When I tried to start the lawnmower I nearly killed the bad arm. The right one not the bad left one . . . It dropped me to one knee.
Part of my pain chart goes like this: 2=headache, 6=slamming your hand in a car door, 8=tearing cartilage in your knee.
At rest my right arm is a constant 2, when I try to work it out with proper exercises it often reaches 6. When I forget and make a quick movement like stretching or reaching for a jar on a high shelf it goes to 8 for about 3 minutes then takes about 10 minutes to calm down and get back to 2.
The good news (?) is that its almost definitely neuropathic. There’s a chance that getting the blood sugars correct will reduce the pain somewhat. Makes the pain of the injections (a 1 which equals a pin prick or a paper cut) seem worthwhile.
I’ll probably need another pill for the pain when it settles.
I ant to mow the lawn today, at least a part of it. I want to listen to the iPod. I’ve been using the new cable for the Ultimate Ears long enough to have an opinion. I love the UE’s, not least because they were a present from my friend. One of the things I loved about them was the silk like wire. They’ve stopped making that thin and super flexible
Click images for desktop size: “Factory” by Clarence Carter stuff. he new cables are heavier and stiffer, though not as heavy by far as the wiring on the Entymotics. The UE’s are still capable of being light enough and non-obtrusive enough to sometimes make the music from the iPod seem like the music that often plays in my head on its own. I rather like that.
One advantage of the heavier gauge, other than it shouldn’t need replacing like the silky ones is a noticeable increase in midrange performance. At about 2,000 hertz its more detailed, coming closer to but not exceeding or meeting the clarity of the Entymotics.
I’m on a fence whether the sonic improvement makes up for the lightness of the silky wire. I hoped the lawn mowing would make that clearer.
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Edmund DuLac It was a very nice day today. Very good for an ebike ride, except when I started up my ebike after it hibernation it ran fine for about 30 feet then did a weird short.
I can’t track the short quite yet but I will.
So it was a nice day to walk to the doc’s office.
It was a nice clear sunny day, around 60. But it felt like I was walking down the same street at 3:00 A.M. Felt empty. It might have been the several house that still have their Christmas decorations
Click images for desktop size: “Marilyn Monroe out, or it might have been that in 40 minutes I never saw another person, saw some cars but never the people driving them.
This got me to thinking about small town vs city life. Realizing there’s not much different. I was interested at how busy New York streets were after midnight, but even then people at night, even groups of 2 or 3 would look uneasily at the group or the guy behind them. Probably justified.
Which tends to make you muse some about cops. I tell you this. Cops and robbers need each other. Its a game sometime laced with hatred and corruption but its the game they chose and the game they know. The innocent man is the one who has the most to fear from cops. Cops don’t believe anyone is innocent. They can’t believe it. Its invisible to them. The worst of them see the vile
Click images for desktop size: “Dominic” by Marco corruption of their own soul and have the arrogance to think that no one could be purer than they are, after all they carry a badge. Who could be purer than the princes of the city.
One of my kids once got arrested for murder. It was at Carnival. If you’ve never been there its like a sold out rock show in a too small venue. Oxford Circus at Christmas comes to mind. You can fight the crowd but you’ll wear out before the mob does so you tend to just drift with it.
At this Carnival a kid was beaten to death. They got the whole thing on closed circuit TV.
My kid was about 30 feet from the tiny gap that opened up to allow the fight. Right there on tape. You would think that would end it. Case closed. He didn’t do it. See, this kid was over 6’5″ 270 fit pounds. No mistaking him.
The cops went on stand and swore that he was the lookout for the kid who did the killing . . . My kid and the killer both came from the same estate, the manor or more exact the housing project of over 3,000 families. They were raised there since infancy. They knew each other but they weren’t friends.
The killer had been arrested about 20 times, never in the company of my kid. My kid had never been arrested.
The cop story was that the killer had gone there with the explicit purpose of killing a stranger. Their proof was that was exactly what he had done. And that my kid was there as an accomplice. He was to use his height to be the look out. On the tape he’s clearly talking to a friend and moving away from the fight. It doesn’t look like he or any of the people around him even are aware of it. The cop story is that is how cagey my kid was.
I got called in as a character witness and as an expert witness. I told the court the truth about what I thought of my kid. I also pointed out that he was a “killer athlete” trained to knock down 300 pound athletes and that if he wanted to cut through the crowd he had the tools to do so, but he also had the tools to show self restraint and discipline. The proof of what I said was that after all this he still managed to go to University and then to play in the pros.
My evidence got a lot of play in the papers and on TV. I must have looked good. I had powerful enemies before. This testimony of mine hardened some and made me some new enemies. I still don’t care.
My kid was found not guilty of murder but the all white jury and the ancient white judge still gave him six months because it was impossible for a black kid of that size who lived on that estate to really be innocent. The exact words were something like, “given the defendants physical prowess,
Click images for desktop size: “Sex, Fashion and Dog” by Unknown intelligence and his up bringing there is good reason to believe he is in someway complicit. This is further indicated by the police testimony as to his character and the character of the man he was arrested with.”
Justice and cops.
So I was in that frame of mind when I got to the doc’s office. I was tired from the walk. I was late, lost time trying to fix the bike.
I saw the nurse/pharmacist/diabetic expert, right away. On good thing is that she was young enough to still be interested in her work, young enough for the education to be fresh in her brain but experienced enough to know how to apply the knowledge and to see through the book work’s fallacies.
We did a review of the medical history. I did find out that these people sort of expect people to go loco on them when they bring out the needles. No one’s ever happy to be told that they’ve just become an insulin addict.
She was impressed that I knew all my target numbers straight off, glucose counts, blood pressures etc. At first my thoughts were, “of course I do. I don’t want to die.” But I remember a diabetic training I’d been to. There was an obese woman who had to have a foot amputated because of diabetes. She was adamant that she needed two liters of Coke a day and sugar in her coffee.
If I’d lost a foot I’d have been scared, she just wanted her rights and didn’t draw any line between her rights and losing body parts. She’s probably right. Its not fair.
We went over the dietary restrictions from the chemo’s and how’d they’d mesh with the new dietary restrictions from having to inject insulin. The only real change is that I’m supposed to eat almost constantly. Small meals and snacks but almost all the time. She corrected me on one thing. I keep saying I can have 45 grams of fat when I mean 45 milligrams (less than in a McDonalds Big Mac). I know the difference but I keep saying the wrong word. 50 milligrams of fat makes me very ill so 45 grams would probably kill me.
I also have to carry around sugar tablets!! In case the insulin makes me hypoglycemic! I asked and
Click images for desktop size: “El” by T Hecker it is a myth that I could just grab a candy bar.
We talked about the side effects. The Avapro I’m having to take for my kidneys also lowers my blood pressure. I’ll probably feel dizzy a lot.
This Lantus stuff only has to be injected once a day. In the stomach! My friend says I knew this. Maybe I did and blocked it out. I have to do it 10 minutes before I go to bed. I found it interesting that I have to do it at night because its when you’re sleeping that the liver does most of the sugar production.
Sine I’m very good with my diet and at keeping my numbers at least close to where they should be even with the degenerative nature of the disease I will probably throw myself into hypoglycemic shock once or twice. I’ll wake up with night sweats and bad tremors . . .
One thing she said that was heartening for others, if not myself, is that the newer types of chemo do not cause diabetes as often as the old “burn the bastards out” types did.
I got a lot of free samples and got to inject a napkin for practice. I liked the free samples. Only because I like free stuff.
I get to have one of those biological hazard waste baskets to throw away the needles. I kind of like that as well. It makes me unique I think.
Turns out I don’t have to go to the parent’s meeting tonight. Coaches aren’t required until after the player evaluation. I don’t know if I’ll go or not. Maybe not. There’s little to learn just by watching someone tell the parents what their rules are.
It feels odd not to be in total control but I like that I don’t have to be dragged to every meaningless meeting. Or do I!?!