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 I could even forgive that most of his training techniques are about twenty years out of date.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.
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?
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!?!
Click images for desktop size: “Warriors” by Unknown The only fallout from putting my mobile phone through the washer and dryer seems to be the battery life. I have to recharge it every other day now. I’m impressed with Samsung.
The foster dog came home from the vet yesterday. When we picked him up he was groggy from the anesthesia. Had to lift him into the car sort of groggy.
When we got him home he urinated for about three minutes. Then defecated an astonishing amount, which pretty much confirmed my concerns about the vet’s office not having a readily available exercise area.
All they did was neuter him. They didn’t remove the double dew claws. It was relayed to us that the dew claws weren’t particularly dangerous and removing them would cause him more grief than benefit.
He got an odd reception from the other dogs. Giant dog who was adamant in his hostility before the vet was now seriously concerned for foster dog. Foster dog has to be segregated and kept still. Giant dog lay in an unusual position for him so he could look after foster dog through the grate.
Gentle dog, who previously had simply ignored the foster dog now expressed out right hostility. When my friend bought hi m in from a walk foster dog slipped his leash and made a bound for me, in a friendly way. Gentle dog stood up and unleashed a fierce snarl. I’d never heard gentle dog make a noise like that before.
I was pleased by his response. If he’d react that vocally to protect me, who he barely tolerates, I felt more secure about his ability to protect my friend, whom he adores, should the need ever arise.
Of course my puppy just continued to ignore him. She’s consistent like that.
Foster dog is doing well.
Click images for desktop size: “Dog” by S4W Apparently I need to be clearer about the details of medical care in the USA. I lived a long time in the UK and had to use the National Health Service (NHS) which provides “free” medical care. Free via a payroll deduction similar but larger than the Medicare deduction taken in the US.
In Texas i was unemployed, broke, and starting a new job in 3 days when I got tonsillitis. I guessed that’s what it was. I didn’t know. There was no place to go to find out.
When my temperature neared 105 and the pain had kept me awake for two days I walked two miles plus to the nearest hospital emergency room. I waited in the waiting room for a couple hours then got sent to an examination room where I sat for a few more hours. A nurse came in looked at my throat and told me, “Wait here.” That was all she said to me.
A bout an hour later some guy came in told me to drop my pants. He gave me shot and left.
I sat there for about another hour when a different nurse came in asked, “What are you doing here?” I croaked I didn’t know. I was waiting to be told what to do. She closed the door and came back ten minutes later and told me I could go. I asked what was wrong with me. Finally she told me I had tonsillitis and the doctor had given me an antibiotic.
I left. Two days later I got a bill for about $1,800. Since I was already paying my Bells Palsy bill off from a different hospital at $25 bucks a week I was a little shook.
Now in England doctor’s don’t become wealthy only rich. You have to stop practicing medicine and become a consultant to get wealthy. In slow new seasons The Sun, England’s biggest paper, will run an
Click images for desktop size: “Marilyn Monroe” expose of consultants making a million pounds a year by billing the NHS for 200 hours a week sixty one weeks a year. Everyone grumbles for a few minutes and then business continues as usual. In the UK you don’t seriously mess with the wealthy.
Because of this there aren’t quite enough doctors to go around. If you need one you have to register with a clinic. Your restricted to the clinics in your neighborhood and then restricted by whether the doctor has enough time to take you on as a patient. The doc’s are limited by law as to how many they can take on to insure decent care.
I got stuck with a real croaker. An obscenely obese snob of a man who hated me for my accent. I hated him for hating me for my accent. It was a fine relationship.
I rarely saw him except for annual physicals. I never had to pay him anything. Then I started to feel a huge amount of fatigue and this creepy but not quite debilitating pain in my bones. It got to the point where it took a superhuman effort to get out of bed and dress. I just wanted to sit and stare. I
Click images for desktop size: “Tibal Girl” by Evgeney managed to never miss work. My friend (and boss) said I should see my doctor. I did. They ran some tests and the fat croaker told me I was just getting older. He gave me a script for some vitamins and told me to take paracetamol.
Filling the script cost me nothing too. I had to pay for the paracetamol because he didn’t write me a script for it.
I didn’t get better.
I had to take a business trip back to LA. I went and saw my old doctor. He wasn’t in the same office anymore. He tagged up with one of those Medical Corporations. They ran the same tests. Word came back that I had leukemia,
We talked about treatments. They didn’t tell me that it was close to a certainty that the chemo they wanted me to try would give me diabetes. He might have mentioned some damage to my kidneys. You’d have to be tougher than I am to pay real close attention to those sort of details.
When asked the only question I could think of was the same one that we all know about, “Will I lose my hair?”
He said, maybe not and that it almost always grows back. He never mentioned the fact that I’d have to look n the mirror everyday and see myself dying. It was during that time that for the first time in my life I wished I was only just getting older. I never imagined being old.
Its the stuff the doc’s don’t tell you that can kill you.
I guess they’ve stopped doing it. Chemo used to have support groups built into the treatment. Probably the insurance companies put a stop to them. Can’t have people comparing notes about costs and they were expensive. I can see Blue Cross saying, We have to keep them alive. We don’t have to make them happy,” and canceling approval for the support groups. With the ay your going broke paying for your share of the chmo talking about it doesn’t make sense to take on as an out of pocket expense.
I learned more from the other patients then I ever did from the shrink in charge of it anyway.
I’ve been through four chemo’s. All the doctors made it a point that I had to do this NOW! The only
Click images for desktop size: “Unforgettable Autumn” by Unknown way to make a decision was from what they did or didn’t tell you. Like I had six teeth pulled recently. It was most likely caused by the second trial (chemo word for an experimental cutting edge treatment that looks like it might work). Its a known side effect. They might not have even known that at the exact time. Even if they had they may or may not have told me about it. The doc’s like to give you a 5,000 word pamphlet and let you discover this stuff for yourself but give your consent now.
The only doctor who treated me like a person and not a patient object was the volunteer doc, my last one. He could have been off getting rich but he felt the need to give back to his community. I still think of him as a friend first and a doc second. He explained a lot of my past and present situation to me. Th medical junk. He even took the time to try and get me to understand. And because he was free of charge he was a lot busier than the guys charging a hundred and fifty buck minimum for an office visit, but he still took the time.
I just think we all need a chance to understand what they’re doing to us so we can see and make a better decision than we do when getting our car repaired.
Now I have to take care of my foster dog and the dynamic duo. Gentle dog got to go to work with my friend. He was ecstatic. Giant dog is so jealous. He’s so put upon.
Click images for desktop size: “Untitled” by Steve Argyle Yesterday was filled with nothing else but dogs. Giant dog has decided that the foster dog is okay so long as he is playing with him and not with giant dog’s toys.
Foster dog would bring toys to me to throw and drop them in my lap. I would reach for them and discover that giant dog, who was sitting next to me, had deftly removed them. He was holding them angrily between his paws. Foster dog just went and got new ones. At one stage giant dog was holding three toys between his paws. He glared at me in case I had any funny ideas.
Even my puppy got slightly less disdainful. She initiated play. Of course the play was her game and could only be played by her rules.
When giant dog would play bound at foster dog gentle dog would join in by attacking giant dog! And then foster dog had to go to the vet.
If ever a dog needed a trip to the vet . . . doesn’t make it easier. He was a pain. There was an unfixed female beagle at the vet’s office. He was uncontrollable. I took him outside. This is the rescue service’s vet so we had no choice, but I soon saw that there was no exercise area. No grass at all except the little patch we were standing on, and that little patch was next to the highway. Cars went by too fast for me to be comfortable.
I wouldn’t have left my dog there.
Foster dog is going to be fixed, shot up and the have his dew claws removed. He has the ugliest dew claws I’ve ever seen on a dog. I’m amazed that he hasn’t hurt himself before this. They have to be removed. The healing process is long. Three weeks minimum. He’ll have to be crated and carried around some.
Poor guy. He’s still one of the happiest dogs I’ve ever seen. His life has been pretty miserable but he keeps playing and laughing. He keeps the world shaped in his image. I admire that. I hope he keeps his attitude after all this surgery.
Click images for desktop size: “The Last Supper” by Da Vinci This surgery will make his life better but I always wonder if it will be worth it if he loses that gift of changing the world to his own joyous view.
Its one of the reason I go on so much about my health issues.
When the doctor’s tell you some bad news, you got this or that brand of cancer for example, and then detail the available cures they always seem to do it in a rush. When you ask for details they get brusque, especially about the side effects.
Something like, “You’ve got lympho ballistic leukemia. No big deal its curable.”
In my case it took over seven years to cure. I’ve been cured, or at least in remission for nearly two years. I’ve often felt like giving up, even recently. But I don’t regret still being alive. No matter how low I’ve fallen or how despair filled things have often seemed. When it comes to doctor’s and scuzzy insurance companies sucking up my money (This policy cover 100% of all costs of normal and average acceptable fees as decided by us you will be responsible for any additional charges as decided by your service provider.
Its been worth it to me. I have my puppy and I have my friend. I like the world well enough, I stubborn enough to enjoy things like music and songs and stories.
Its been worth it to me but it might not be worth it to someone else. When the doctor says, “I won’t lie to you,” or “I’m not going to sugar coat it,” its safe to assume that he’s going to enjoy being brutal, he won’t discuss things so you can have a clear idea of what’s in front of you, and that he’s been pretty much misleading you in things up till then.
Most people will be empathetic at first but they don’t know how to act. Most of us don’t much like confronting mortality. I sure don’t. I
Click images for desktop size: “The Bride of Frankenstein” always planned to be immortal, spitting into microphones, running down fields while opponents tripped over their own feet trying to catch me with all the dogs who’ve ever lived with me cheering me on from the stands or the mosh pit.
When they find out your ill people shut it out of their front brain and work hard to drive it out of their back brain too. The light we see blinds us to all but itself.
They get dismissive or they avoid you. Or worse, they suck it up so every meeting becomes more a confrontation than a casual conversation. Your mind’s not working great either. You can’t ignore the moments of self pity where you won’t like yourself very much either.
I was kind of lucky and people really couldn’t notice. I’m pretty dour anyway. In almost any relationship there would come a point would someone would look at me a bit amazed and say, “I never realized it before, your really a pretty funny guy, like you tell a lot of jokes. I never knew you were joking!”
The only difference for me is that they stopped saying that.
I think, no, I know that people need to know what’s in front of them. They don’t need to know the
Click images for desktop size: “Taoist Immortals” by Fûgai Honko future but they have to know enough to make a decision they can live with, not live happily maybe but they have to see some joy out there at the end of it all.
Steve McQueen went through it all, even ended up in Mexico swallowing extract of peach pit (Laetrile) while two people I know killed themselves. One by driving head on into a fire truck that was enroute to a fire.
I miss them all but there’s no choice but to respect their decisions even if you regret their choices.
I’ve listened to the new Bob Dylan, “Together for Life” and the New Neil Young, “Fork in the Road”.
I like Neil Young. Everybody has had to sit through my Neil Young story. (Maybe that should be Neil Young Story – keep it capitalized so it enters myth). Me and my buddies hid on a hill at Point Dume and watched them build Bob Dylan’s house and got a rush when we saw Roger McQuinn, even ran down the hill to talk to him.
I still listen to their stuff, their old stuff.
Because I loved their old stuff so much I probably took it harder and more personally that I think this new tuff absolutely sucks. Too old, too used to a life of riches and wealth. Young at least seems to try and understand what’s going on in the world. He even has feeling for it but its not there in the music.
Dylan has lived in the legend cocoon so long that he’s forgotten what it means to be human, to be angry and sad. He writes about heartburn like it was heartbreak.
It makes me sad.
What cheered me was re-watching “Hustle and Flow” as I did the usual household chores. An old movie but still the best film ever about creating music. It works from points of extremity and hyperbole. Music does. What I keep finding touching is the fact that the people here are all dreaming and reaching for that dream and in struggling for it they regain the humanity that the world has sought to pull out of them. All the other movies that tried to tell this story forgot about the human part, they wasted my time telling me about being an inhuman legend.
Time to take the dogs for their walk.
Next week I have to meet the parents of the players of my team. I have to prepare a three minute speech about what to expect from me and what I want from them so that we can build their children into something the children can be proud of. And I have to do this while I’m laughing at the latest dog jokes. Then I have to get ready for poor foster dog to come back to his home.
Click images for desktop size: “Sky 1” by Ausencia This weekend was as busy as I figured. My body is still in rebellion. Lots of pain from the usual suspects.
Sometimes I wish I got a little sympathy for the hurting. I’d probably resent that too. You can’t win with me, or, as I prefer, I can’t lose.
Saturday started too early. My friend and I arrived at the football equipment locker. We weren’t the very first ones there.
My friend got to sit at a table and do all the paperwork, registering the new kids. A rough enough job that I was glad to avoid.
Click images for desktop size: “Snow Fun” by NFL Films I got stuck doing shoulder pads and fitting game jerseys. That devolved as some guys showed up late or not at all. Normal stuff. They got a couple of players to fit shoulder pads. I fit jerseys and double checked the shoulder pad fittings. I only had to swap out a half dozen sets of pads so the kids did alright.
Fitting game jerseys is a real pain. Game jerseys are ultra tight. Lot of reasons for this; being tight the help compress the shoulder pads increasing protection slightly and also enabling the player to hit with more impact. Tight jerseys make it easier for referee’s to see holding. The jerseys are so tight that if a ref sees a player’s jersey being pulled its obvious that this is far from incidental contact. It also helps protect the player from actually being held and unfairly impeded.
And tight jerseys look great.
My method of getting on a jersey is to put them on the pads first and then put the jerseys and pads on as a unit.
That’s too pokey for this sort of deal. There was only one jersey of each size. The new jerseys would be ordered based on my measurements. That means I had to put the jersey on each kid and then
Click images for desktop size: “Sinister” by Yasushi Nirasawa take it off.
The quickest way was to roll the jersey up from the bottom, have the kid slip his arms through, up to the elbow. I soon learned to tell ALL the kids to put their arms through the arm holes and not the neck hole. With the jersey on the arms the kid has to raise his head and arms to get his head through. Then I reach around behind them and pull the jersey over the pads and down.
I nearly choked out half a dozen kids . . . I’d then straighten the jersey and check it. The real grief was when I’d eye balled the wrong size and had to re-fit the kid twice (once it required 3 fittings, and one took four).
I also learned to tell the kids to stand strong when I was pulling the jersey, I still dragged about a dozen of them to their knees.
Getting the jersey off is worse. I have the kids pull one of their arms free then I pull the jersey loose from the pads then have them pull the jersey from the side over their noggins. The jersey then just falls off the other arm.
I didn’t keep track but I probably fitted close to 200 kids.
I was on my feet for 8 solid hours doing this. If I was getting paid $7.50 an hour I’d have quit after the first hour and demanded my check. For twenty an hour I’d not have ever gone back and I’d have complained bitterly about no coffee breaks. For free I didn’t mind it. My friend felt the same way.
I tore four of my weak nails. My hands didn’t start cramping badly until 6 hours into it. I think its interesting that my hands cramp up after 15 or 20 minutes playing guitar. So logic says that guitar playing is 24 times harder than pulling kit around on kids.
I liked meeting the kids and having my brief chats with them and the parents. I felt there was a slightly higher percentage of parents who were in this for the right reasons, slightly higher than usual. Not at the cost of the parents into it for the wrong reason. There seemed to be fewer indifferent ones though. That’s a nice positive.
Another nice positive was that they provided pizza for lunch. Eat on your feet thing. I asked them if they could order from this one pizza joint because they have a gluten free pizza that my friend could have. I was originally told no, they had reasons for that, acceptable reasons. Then they ordered from the same pizza joint I asked for because my request was more important to them than the reasons. EXCEPT they forgot the reason was to get a gluten
Click images for desktop size: “Evening Chant” by Unknown free pizza for my friend. Amusing unless you’re my friend who got no pizza!
There were 5 coaches I noted who scarfed down free pizza but never seemed to work with any kids . . . made the note to not let them near any of the kids on my team.
As soon as I’d sent the last kid out the door my friend and I hoped in the car to go pick up the foster dog.
He was being held by this really sweet couple. New dog is a big happy goof, totally bewildered by everything that’s happened to him he embraces his confusion by laughing and playing until the scary parts go away.
Its pretty obvious that he lived for a while where he was loved but badly cared for. He’s not neutered, his dew claws are dangerously long. He sort of knows a few commands. I think the family abandoned him. He was found wandering in the woods. Kept in a dog pound for a couple of months. Put on death’s row, then thrown into a car and driven away, then another car, then a home for a few hours and finally ends up here.
He’s smart, scared, confused and happy. The food they gave us for him is too rich after dog pound grub – diarrhea and vomiting. Because he’s not neutered giant dog hates him, my puppy has made it clear he’s not to invade her personal space and gentle dog endures him because gentle dog is gentle dog.
All he wants is to play and be told its all okay.
His trip continues tonight when he has to go to the vet to get neutered, dew claws removed and all other vetting. It irks me no end that the pound couldn’t do even these simple things to make his life easier. The idea of its wasted money on a dog they had slated to die doesn’t cut it. Would you deprive a cancer victim of pain killers?
He’s going to make someone a fine dog. He’ll make them laugh. He’s learning simple commands but still has a hard time concentrating. He’ll be fine.
Sunday was the eagerly anticipated dog walk.
It was a bust. Highly disappointing. All the more so because there’s no one to blame. I’d really have liked someone to blame.
Click images for desktop size: “Surf” by Unknown The dog walk is normally at this gorgeous hotel grounds. Some guest must have seen that there was to be a dog walk and thrown a fit about loose dogs ruining her holiday.
This was last second. To the hotels credit they did not forbid use of their grounds. They have something like 300 acres. They just set up a different trail for the walk but THEY INSISTED ALL DOGS BE LEASHED!
In today’s economy I can understand them not telling the rich guest to go to hell. The trail they set up was horrid. Dirty, hot. We had to walk through about a half mile of loose dirt and wood chips stepping in the tractor tread marks and depressions.
It would have been okay if the dogs were running loose and making friends. This was just a walk that we could have done better at any of a dozen places.
The dogs still enjoyed it.
My friend’s assistant from work bought her dog along. He was great. I was sad that the great adventure we had promised her had devolved into something bland.
She and her dog came home with us and new dog and assistant dog played incredibly hard and rough. It almost made the shambolic day worthwhile, for me at least.
My friend and I were both fatigued. I think she was as glad I was there as I was glad she was there.
Things seem to work out better that way.
Click images for desktop size: “Old Friends” by Unknown When I was young (scary phrase that) I think I was in some sort of pain most days. Between football, baseball and surfing I was usually dinged up. (Football needs no explanation, I hope. Baseball, from always getting spiked, plowing into catchers and pulling the double play. From surfing it was mainly stepping on sea urchins, getting stung by jelly fish sort of thing.)
It never bothered me much then. It never slowed me down. Never really paid attention to it.
Maybe I was distracted or something. Now I’m growing weary of pain.
Tomorrow I have to do all the kitting of kids for the coming football season. It causes me great pain just to wash my own hair. The shoulder is killing me slowly. I’d feel near ecstatic to just have 15 minutes where I wasn’t flinching and cringing from hurt.
Today I have to do a lot of exercises to loosen the shoulder. I figure the kid’s will be anywhere from 4′ 11″ to 6′ 2″. I don’t think it would make a good impression for me to be wincing every time I reach up to adjust a jaw pad or pump air into a helmet.
Today I have to bring up the kennel from the basement to get ready for the new foster puppy. Tat would normally be a pretty pleasurable task but now I have to worry about if I’ll even be able to get it upstairs.
Yesterday wasn’t a very great day. Lots of rain. Still it didn’t start until after the dogs and I had our walk.
I haven’t heard from the doc about my injecting myself with Lantus lessons. So I called and eft a lesson with the Pharmacist who’s supposed to teach me. I got a call back a few hours later and the earliest appointment would be May 12th. I took the appointment but that didn’t please me. For one thing the pain in my shoulder is neuropathic. That means it doesn’t respond to acetomiaphin, ibuprofen or even aspirin. It only responds to this one pill. The pill was marketed as a mood
Click images for desktop size: “Obsession” by Michael Mobius elevator but didn’t work too well but they discovered that it was great for relieving neuropathic pain.
When I looked up the pill and saw that it was a mood elevator I panicked in a small way. I thought maybe they thought I was suicidal, depressed or something and were trying to slip something past me. They doubly assured me that wasn’t the case but I didn’t really believe them until I managed to read the whole history of the drug.
It did a fair, not great job of reducing the pain but it also made me groggy and made my skin feel numb and tingly, so I stopped taking it. I went looking for it yesterday. I couldn’t find it. Its probably expired anyway.
While I was looking for the pills I got another call from the doctor’s office. They wanted to make sure I knew that teaching me how to inject myself would cost at least one hundred bucks . . . I have to wonder how hard they think will be.
I called the pharmacy I use, the cheapest one and found out that they won’t fill the script for Lantus until I’ve been taught to inject myself. I almost asked if I had to bring a certificate. Like maybe I got a diploma; Doctor of Gluteus Maximus Stickiumus. They probably just take my word for it.
Right away I got a call from my friend asking me to make an emergency appointment with the doctor. She banged her knee a few days ago. It was causing her a lot of hurt. It bruised and was making
Click images for desktop size: “Music Lesson” by Leighton her whole body cold and clammy. I’m not a doc but I ascribe cold and clammy to broken bones. That morning I gave her a sports wrap like I’d give a kid with a sore knee. It apparently didn’t help.
She got to the doctor. His word was that it wasn’t sprained or broken just a deep bruise. She could expect pain for two more weeks . . .
That was a bit of a relief, I guess, but not the best news. Especially with the weekend we’ve got coming up. Selfishly, I now realize, it never occurred to me that maybe we should cancel some of the plans for her. I guess I’ll have to rely on my friend sticking up for herself and ignoring any pressure I might unintentionally be putting on her.
I want to do the dog walk Sunday but its pretty unfair to ask someone with a bum knee to walk under cloudy skies.
The worst part of pain, for me, is that it distracts me too much. When you’ve got as little brain power as I do even small distractions create obstacles.
I did watch a couple of movies last night. I like horror movies. I watch a lot of bad ones in the faint
Click images for desktop size: “View of the Kiyomizudera” by Unknown hope of finding that golden moments: Karloff as Frankenstein trying to catch a sunbeam; Leatherface dancing in the dawn, dancing to the beat of his revving chainsaw while Marilyn Burns, sticky with red Karo syrup in the back of a pick up truck, provides a lilting melody of the hysterical laughter of freedom; the mad family feud in “The Hills Have Eyes”, a feud crystalized in the heart of the dog “Beast” who sees it as a blood feud of revenge as he avoids thinking of his female companion dog eviscerated by the mutants.
I like horror movies a lot. Some incredibly talented guys get started in horror movies. So do some jerks. Horror always sells. Guys like me will sit in dank movie theaters, rent the DVDs hoping for the one moment of splatter that manages to encapsulate all our fears and shows them to the light. Tobe Hooper, who disappointed me like no other, made the incredibly brilliant “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” a film the critics all hated, at the time. So you can’t trust anyone but your own eyes and ears when it comes to horror. Nothing else is reliable.
That said I watched “Laid to Rest”. I was surprised that Bobbi Sue Luther, produced her first starring role. She’s someone you’d describe as “big tits. little talent”.
As a producer she did some great things. The gore and splatter were very good. The actors, except her and the killer, all worked really hard to make their cardboard characters seem to be made of flesh was well as obvious blood. Kevin Gage made a nothing character into someone likable. This got exploited pretty badly in a cruddy added on death scene at the end.
Cool special effects haven’t moved me since I saw Tom Savini’s glorious throat slitting scene that opened the carnage in “Friday the 13th”. This stuff is cool but also really “so what”.
The ending of the movie was stupid. It did one raise one interesting question. The star was whacked in the head which gave her amnesia. She discovers that she is/was a cheap prostitute so now she’d
Click images for desktop size: “Kim Novak” almost wishes she were dead. Her rage grows from her self loathing. I thought that strange.
I then watched Enki Bilal’s “Immortal (Ad Vitam)”. I like a lot of Bilal’s artwork. The movie’s gotten a lot of buzz because of its mixing of cgi and live characters. I guess the tech was interesting. The movie was not. The monsters were semi cool but the story was stupid and seemed to have no point, dramatic purpose or consistency. I can accept that ancient Egyptian gods are real, I’m willing to meet a story teller that far. I can even accept that the ancient gods sole reason for existing past creating the universe is to breed with a special type of person to create new gods.
I think if I’m willing to work that hard that the story teller has to do more than just string together some scenes of unrelated people and events. I’d have liked it if any of the characters was slightly interesting.
The story starts with Horous, the God, trying to inhabit a human body. Because of the new fad of eugenics and transposing human body parts Horous discovers that every human he enters blows up! This brings in the cops who are searching for this new serial killer. Then they sort of forget about all of that.
There’s a weird love story about the guy Horous finds who never had a transplant and the chick who is the miracle who can breed a new god.
Bilal (which is the same name as the crazy mutant twin in the much better “Basket Case”) throws out a whole lot of, I guess, very personal ideas about sex, love and loss. Not one of them did he explain, justify or explain. It was just a pretty boring mess that I felt was more an endurance contest than a movie.
At least the dog walk is this Sunday. I just got an email from my friend. She’s as excited about it as I am, bum knee and all!
Click images for desktop size: “Grand Central Station” by Ian Foster Yesterday was bright and sunny. It reached 80.
Today it is 57 and pouring ice cold rain.
I took the dogs out for a shortish walk. Every person who was walking a dog got an advert from me telling them about the wonderful dog walk on Sunday. I started the pitch with the off the wall info that this place is so beautiful that they charge a hundred grand to have a wedding there!
I wonder if anyone of them will show. Their dogs would love it.
I walked the 5 miles to the doctor’s office in 43 minutes. It would not have been as fast if I had the dogs with me but it would have been more memorable.
Click images for desktop size: “The Jolie Family”
It was hot and I was sweaty. From the reaction and movement of the other waiting patients they must have figured I had swine flu. Anyway it got me into an examination room in record time.
While I waited for the doc I had time to read an entire book! It was “Diabetes for Dummies”. Interesting franchise. They seem determined to provide instruction for everything.
The doc came in in a rush. He was nervous about something. The man has no chin. Where his chin would have been was quivering. He asked a couple of unimportant although mildly pertinent questions, clearly to calm himself down. He was so nervous I tried to be relaxing.
He sucked it up and then just plunged into it. He pulled up my blood tests. He explained them so fast I couldn’t follow anything he said. When I asked for clarification he didn’t get much calmer.
The hardest part for him was that my diabetes was out of control. The pills (metformin) that sensitizes my body to insulin was still working fine but the pill that forces my pancreas to produce more insulin was not. My pancreas was producing almost no insulin. Time for me to go on the needle.
He flinched when he said it. As if he was afraid I was going to slug him. I still had the dark glasses
Click images for desktop size: “In Like Flint” by JW McGinnis on and I was certain that I had my normal blank poker face on so he must have been reacting to something deep inside himself. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to start doing injections. It’s only one a night. The needles are so thin they don’t really hurt. Honest.” He said it all in a rush then rared back in his chair pulling as far away from me as he could.
While pulled back he continued, “And there’s albumen in your urine. The chemo damage to your kidneys is degenerating. You’ll have to take some pills for that. Apropo, no, Avisio for them. To protect them more than anything.”
I pulled my chair closer so I could see his computer screen more clearly.
“Boy, my bad cholesterol is super low, isn’t it. Sixty really good isn’t it?”
“Yes, but your good cholesterol is far too low. The proportion is bad. You seem awfully calm about all this?”
“I kind of knew this was coming. One day. Not happy about it but . . . It will it be Lantus? Is that the insulin injection?”
“Yes. Lantus. I’m putting you on 100 units a day. Increasing it by 10 units a day until the blood sugars get under control. The Lantus could cause further damage to your kidneys.”
“I got my dialysis in my future?”
He fumbled before he said, “Most people don’t need dialysis even after years of Lantus. You can’t promise anything though.”
All I could do was nod. He took my blood pressure while he went on to explain all the new procedures and things I’d have to fit into my new daily routine. And all the arcane cabalic rituals I’d have to undertake before I could fill my new prescriptions. One of them is I have to meet with the staff pharmacist. Not to fill the scripts but to have the rules explained to me and to show me how to inject myself. A pharmacist?
My blood pressure was 120 over 60. I was expecting it to be through the roof but it was the best its been in six weeks. I have not the slightest idea what that signifies. The doc ignored my question about it.
So after I start taking the injections I have to check my blood sugars 3 to 5 times a day. That means bleeding 3 to 5 times a day. Two weeks after I start I have to do another blood panel. Two weeks after that I have to go back in and see the doc.
The money for all this worries me the most.
I don’t know how I feel about all this. Not happy. Not too upset. Just the grim inevitability of it all. Not even paranoid.
Click images for desktop size: “2009 USC Football” More pills, plus injections plus more blood work is a pretty worst case scenario but at least I ain’t dead. I figure bad news here means I’m owed some good luck over there.
I walked home. A lot slower. I passed some youngish girls walking dogs. I figured that a sweaty man wearing shades and ear buds might not come across right so I didn’t tell them about the dog walk on Sunday. I wanted to.
On the way home I stopped at the bakery to get some of the cheaper but superior bread and some Halvarti with Jalapeno cheese. The bakery was uncomfortably warm. There was an irate guy there holding a screaming baby. He was shouting at the little old ladies who work there. It seems he ordered some rolls that he was supposed to pick up on Sunday. He didn’t. They sold them to someone else. He had it in his head that once he ordered them they belonged to him and they should have held on to them. He hadn’t called and told them this. He hadn’t paid them anything.
He kept getting louder. The baby kept getting louder and the little old ladies looked warm, uncomfortable and frightened.
I was pretty calm and suggested he go outside for a minute and let the baby cool down. He spun on me. I had about five inches on him and I wasn’t holding a baby. He took my well meaning advice.
The little old lady thanked me. I said, “For what?”
She said, “I wish Mr Giant Dog had been here! Hem must be so comforting to you.”
I explained that the dogs were at home. I never thought of Giant Dog as being comforting, at least not in the way she meant.
At home my friend and I watched another Doris Day movie, “It Happened to Jane”. It wasn’t very good. The situation was too real to be silly. Jack Lemmon had a good monologue and Kippy’s dad Ernie Kovacs, was pretty much wasted. First totally duff Doris Day movie we’ve watched together. Next up will be “A Touch of Mink” with Day and Cary Grant. Rah!
My friend was beat after her day but she still offered up a lot of sympathy and support. I don’t think she appreciated that I’d rather think about the dog walk and kitting up the kids on Saturday.
No problem is so big it can’t be ignored.