2000 to 2009

Ok, I give up. Anyone know what this decade will be called?

We got the (roaring) 20’s through to the ’90’s.

What is the first (and second decade – the teens?) called?

edit: first decade as heard from Brian WIlliams on NBC News.
“the aughts” as in aught one, aught two.

How we see the future / missing the small stuff.

disclaimer: I have never been a Trekkie. Chalk it up to William Shatner. Bleggh!
disclamer 2: I am complaining about something that Trekkies have taken for granted for years.

I saw the latest Star Trek movie on blu ray this weekend and although I’ve never followed the series, I am fairly familiar with the cast and story lines of the movie. It’s my generation. (So is Star Wars and I liked that movies series much better than the Star Trek television show.) I’d like to state that I think this particular Star Trek film was excellently crafted from beginning to start. Technically, the special effects blew me away. I gotta say, I loved it.

There was an ongoing thing about recording where and when the particular character is in time where they flip open something and start with “Captain’s Log Star Date” … Well, you can click here to listen to it for blast of nostalgia.

There are plenty of sources out there about Star Trek and star dates. That’s not what this rant is about.

memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Stardate

www.faqs.org/faqs/star-trek/stardates/

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek:_The_Original_Series

Here is what I am getting to.
In 1966 we envisioned space travel, beaming bodies from space ships to alien planets. Our space ships had photon cannons and various laser beams weapons. We saw a way to communicate with enemies where they might be able to stick their big face in the front window of the enterprise (Could you image Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s face popping up in the oval office every time he took issue with us?) Wouldn’t that have annoyed Mr. “I won’t engage with him” Bush? (Quick detour, Star Wars had the holographic messages that had the quality of 1950’s TV. Why such a poor quality image if its intent is to communicate?)

What we did not envision and this is what my rant today is all about…

It the stuff that we couldn’t image in 1966. And it’s simple, we didn’t have computer files in the manner that Mr Roddenbery could have ever imagined. (Quick reference, first digital mainframe 1946 –ENIAC. Weighed 50 tons, 1,800 square feet, used 18,000 vacuum tubes?) Could the vision of punch cards and paper tape been so unsexy that Mr Roddenbery just dodged the whole subject?

It this simple junk that makes these futuristic movies seem dumb. Stuff that can’t be imagined.

How about a macro that puts the date in the header of a file as it’s opened. (Word in it’s earliest form could do this.) This same macro might grab the gps coordinates of the user based on planet or based on the space ship this person is from and insert them too. (Since we haven’t left the planet quite yet, I’ll point out that many inexpensive cameras do just that!) What else, could this have done. How about record the 360 visual view of where the person is standing at the moment? And who was reading these logs? Were they sync’d when the captain got near the server via some future wireless networking? And were they beamed to some server cloud for when the spaceship has some catastrophic disaster? (My laptop does that anytime it is home, sending system back ups to my dot-me account.)

So I when ask “Why is the captain rattling the date off in his record?” it strikes me as something that we couldn’t image back then.

Tiger Woods

I love this guy as a golfer, but all I can say is stupid stupid stupid stupid.

The good news. It isn’t OJ all over again. It’s sort of Kobe. Let me say it again. Stupid stupid stupid stupid!

This guy made his rep by marrying a wonderfully beautiful “white” woman and expounding on the joys of having 2 wonderful babies. I say white in quotes because it wasn’t that many generations ago, he’d been hung for that. But it was presented as a wonderful union.

I just wonder sometimes if just having kabillions of money changes your relationships. Or does it change your attitude toward your relationships? Do woman throw themselves at this type of rich person. Is this a particular type of woman? If you or I were an athlete making millions of dollars weekly, would I have women throwing themselves at me? How do you think you’d respond?

I have noticed my very well off bro in law does get a certain heightened type of respect from family members that others don’t. (Sorry dude, I’ve heard stuff behind your back that you’ll never know. It’s just you have earned your respect in this family by your deeds. And for all I’ve ever seen in the last 15 years, you run a clean show.)

Let me rephrase it. Tiger, Sad sad sad sad. Just sad.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Reply

Friday. Poor Grace. And Saturday. Sad Grace.

My week of woe had just ended that Thursday night sleeping in my own bed.

Beth who’d had Friday scheduled off to take care of me had had an appointment for Grace’s pinkie.

Grace’s pinkie kept getting infected and the toe would get rock hard and the base of the nail started seeping pus. Well, it was swollen again this week and although we’d had her on courses of antibiotics on and off all summer into the fall. It would get better and then, swollen again. I’d cut the nail as short as I could. (Apparently too short, bled all over the place.) Well, it was time for some serious x-rays.

So, Beth had run Grace over to the vet (about a mile away) while I was barely out of bed. I called her and said, I WANT TO BE THERE FOR ANY DECISIONS! Damn good thing. The doc was doing the x-ray while Beth zoomed back to pick me up and we came back to a vet saying, “this is cancer” “the toe must come off” “we can do it next Wednesday”.

I must have come off a tad arrogant, but I was on my cell phone calling the best orthopedic dog surgeon in the east coast before she was even finished. Dr Dietrich Franczuski at the VRC in Frazier PA. Their response. Has she eaten today? No!? Get her here before 11:30 and we can do it today.

Insert bat outta hell driving for 40 minutes here.

Infected pinkieA hour or so later we were waiting for the Doc, his diagnosis, not cancer. Infection, serious enough to require removing all of the bones you see on the right side of the displayed xray. From pinkie to wrist. Gotta be done. I can’t put a perfectly happy pup down (Let’s think for a moment, Grace, at age 12, is way past her expected life expectancy, by several years!) for having a infected pinkie. And the cost, half today – $1100, second half balance tomorrow. Jump ahead, the total was $2098. Mysterious line item in the bill was a $400 discount. Grace must have gained friends back there in the back rooms of the VRC.

Saturday we picked her up. And well, this is picked up from my Flickr page but here goes:
In the car:
Grace is home...

Waiting waiting waiting.
_mg_0990.jpg

Boom, she wants to get outta here.
_mg_0994.jpg

Greeting with mom.
_mg_1001.jpg

I have not taken any pictures today but it has been sad. She has no appetite or any will to do anything but lay like a lump on the floor in the living room.

Posted in Uncategorized

The following week (Not Friday!)

When I left you dear readers last week on Friday, I had just gotten the news that I’d “blown” my l4-l5 disk.

Honestly, my memory is a complete fog from that point on so let me see if I can put it all back together.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Heavy meds. These days I’m really fuzzy on. I don’t recall anything of particular happening.

Pain anytime I moved my shoulders a different direction than my hips. Excruciating pain in my butt and legs anytime I moved my knees in a different direction than my hips. It all seemed to come down to being parallel. Shoulders, hips, knees. And anytime I moved, use the crutches. (Funny, I’d tried to sell them at the garage sale not 2 months ago.) Hanging from the crutches helped.

I met with my new back surgeon and his assistant (Jessica? Jennifer J-something???) on Monday. Nice guy, Dr. J. Rush Fisher. Who just happened to have time to fit me in ‘tween some other surgeries on Wednesday (Special note, the surgeon everyone wanted me to go to, could not see me till Wednesday.)

I was to check in on Tuesday. Night would be fine, they would hold the bed.

So I check in. HUGE PRIVATE ROOM with a great view over the emergency entrance and the helicopter pads. (Didn’t see any coming or going the 3 days I was there.) Beth got a huge cheeseburger and fries for dinner from the cafeteria. We had dinner and then she left for the night.

I hop into my own pajamas and curl up as best possible on the couch (couch?!?!) on the other side of the room. About 10, I thought, I’ll go to bed.

That’s when the first nurse came in with a pile of tubes and long socks and velcro apparatus etc. It was time for my “foley kit” and I couldn’t / wouldn’t be wearing my comfy pjs any longer. So i don’t have to explain… and then there was this whole thing about leggings and compression network of tubes, that honestly, made me feel like Sam the cat was walking all over me all night. Honestly, I was drugged enough that I was out soon after that.

Wednesday, the day of surgery, I actually was not hungry, all day. They must suppress appetites with something. Beth came in that morning and MADE me take a shower. (This impressed the floor nurses so much that I overheard them were talking about that amongst themselves the next day about how impressed they were with her.) Yeah, but this blog is about me and frankly, I was wet and more uncomfortable. And would remind any of my readers, always carry your own foley bag. This is not a situation where one person could per chance go right and you might go left and it will ever be a good thing. But we had no problems.

Around 5 pm an orderly shows up with the “dreaded going to surgery” cart. This is a point I’m confused about an my memory doesn’t put it right. I remember going do to the prep room with Beth in tow. (I thought it was my bed but, it wasn’t and I don’t remember transferring to a gurney.) We got to a prep room that had a million things going on. I think at least 3 or could have been 4 anastiologists introduced themselves. Maybe the first guy was a nurse. But the next guy was a guy with a needle introduced as a cocktail. The third was a woman. Cute. The 4 was a guy with a beard. By the time they pulled the curtains back the room was empty ‘cept 1 lonely guy that was 64 and having 3 toes amputated from diabetes. I will say, cocktail or not, I was with it enough to know that there was a giant dinner time exodus going on. I laid there for it seemed like ages until Dr Fisher and his assistant showed up. At this point I figured they’d been going at it all day and might like to go out for some dinner, I could wait. Actually they could bring me along.

They laughed and said time to go. I remember being wheeled into the surgery room and there was a odd bed, sort of a row of cushions for a person to lay face down, almost like a massage table. 2 seconds later. I was out and I suspect dumped rather unceremonially into it.

Ok, so everyone that’s had surgery has had that “wake up!” “who hit me?” “Where am I?” sensation. Yeah, me too.

The doc came in to tell me that they’d removed a pice of disk that had blown into the spinal canal that was 1″ x 3/4″ — possibly the largest they’d ever removed. (I hate boasting like that. It’s not like I did anything to create a big ass chunk of material in my spinal column. It was just bad luck. And for all we know the next surgeon probably removed a 2″ x 4″ from some big olde fatty that same morning.)

So it’s Wednesday and I’m drugged and they send me up to my room where Matt (Thanks Matt!) and Beth came in to visit. I don’t remember much about Wednesday night. Other than.. I felt painless. Well for one, when they dragged the disk out, it had been crushing the nerves to my legs and two, they bath the spinal cord area in morphine. You know that sounds better that a bath in rose petals and milk.

That night I wanted to listen to my ipod but was paranoid about it being stolen. So I let it play all night long. Opera at 3 am, not bad. INX at 4, maybe not a good sleep choice. Each hour a nurse came in to check blood pressure and pulse. I got down to 110 over 60. My usual seems to be 122 over 70 unless the nurse is gorgeous or I’m stressed about something. Then it can be anything. And I usually don’t remember.

That morning was the big trick. The nurse came in and said “We can remove the foley” Gee, I’d actually gotten use to it and honestly had a thought this comfort would lead to peeing my pants, hourly. So it’s removed. I won’t get into words said or anything but. Ouch!

My next trick was to “go pee!” Huh. Easier said than done. It took at least 3 quarts of water and some prune juice to get anything. It took another sitting around for at least 3 hours before we were talking progress. And let’s not talk about the other side of the equation, someone that’s been taking opiates for 2 weeks is not going to have bowel movement. At least not an easy one. I hope you understand, I’m not getting into that.

But they let me out! And I didn’t need the crutches, but somewhere along the line my left leg has gone wobbly. It’s not right and I’ll need to walk several miles to get it going.

That’s to Thursday. Friday was an entire day of hell for my best friend Grace. I’ll have that next.