Monday, April 30, 2007

Back In The Hospital

I just got access to a computer. I started bleeding again Saturday morning and Judy and Glamourpuss finally talked me back into the hospital. I went in Sunday and got a room around 2:00 am. They did a 'bleeding scan' and can't find where it's bleed from. I'll be in tonight and probably home tomorrow.

I've had one unit of blood, and three units of saline. I'll have another unit of blood and more observation. The downside, this may happen again. Next time, we come in sooner and hope to scan while bleeding.

The gastro doc keeps eliminating medications. More later. I was in the middle of answering e mails when this happened. I'm just glad to have this access. Busy during the week in here! See you all soon!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Big Deal

Yesterday was spent running to vets and doctors. I am pleased to report that I don't have cancer. The doctor recommended that I try to avoid stressful situations. I told him I'd work on it.

Last night, Holmes would not stop talking. All night. She still wasn't eating. It was clear she wasn't eating. We gave her three shots last night, regalin to prevent an upset stomach, one an antibiotic for her tonsillitis, and prednizone, a steroid.

Lots of people have tried to ease the pain of what will happen sooner or later with her. She's the equivalent of something like a 140 year old person. No question, she's had one hell of a run. Cats can get to be as old as 25 if kept inside and with proper health care. I/we have our hopes although having eaten rat poison in her cat food, things can get a bit dicey when other animals have been dying from the same problem. Still, this is no ordinary cat.

There was cat food everywhere. Upstairs, downstairs, in the bathrooms, where she might be in the event she might decide to actually eat. She was talking, telling us she was hungry. But between the tonsillitis and the stomach, she wasn't eating. We were not sleeping.

And then, around 4 AM, she decided to eat some of the Purina chicken kitten food in the kitchen. Judy and I simply held our breath. For the next several hours, Holmes padded back and forth between the bathroom downstairs and the kitchen and munched out. She had the chicken in the kitchen and savory salmon in the bathroom. Around 7 AM, she decided she was full and went into the living room, laid down on the couch, and with a very full belly went to sleep. We got cleaned up, and at 9:00 AM she went to the vet as scheduled. She got more fluids, and vitamins, and her weight had gone up from 4.4 pounds to 4,75 pounds, which was amazing. She has turned the first corner, we all hope.

We got home, and both Judy and Holmes went to bed. Now, I have to confess here. I am normally objective, pretty quiet, kind of laid back. The insulin has put some weight on me, and two medications, mobic and actos cause my face to swell. I tend to think I look like a bald mob enforcer. I tend to foster this impression because people don't pick on me or ask me for money. But today, with both of them asleep, I just sat down and cried my eyes out. I didn't have to explain to anyone why, or what, it all just came out. This month has been terrible. This has not been a good year so far. And I have friends who are having bad times too. I had my cry, now it's time to go back to work and try to do something about it all. Anyone have a good idea?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Holmes and Montmorency Parker

Holmes and her sister Watson were born in West Virginia April 24, 1989. Watson died in my arms January 12, 2004, an exceptionally bad day in my life. But this is a happy story.

In 1965, I created Montmorency Parker with a friend at Lido's over a pitcher of beer and a pizza. The story went something like this.

I had a course in Qualitative Analysis (or Physical Chemistry or something with a lot of math) and I worked with a lab partner named Carolyn, who was having a problem with the class. This was a small class, maybe 10 people, so we all knew each other, and the professor knew all of us.

My lab partner Carolyn had set me up with a date for Saturday night. I agreed to tutor her on Tuesday night before the exam Wednesday morning because she couldn't figure out how to do the problems. I spent almost six hours teaching her the course. The next morning, I woke up with a horrible headache. I went in and took the exam with everyone else. I cut the rest of my classes and went back to the dorm and went to sleep. That night, I went to work at an insurance agency where I worked to have money to live.

Friday morning started the beginning of the craziness. I walked into class, and the professor started in right away. He said that the grades were terrible. They ranged from an 85 to a 15 and he was disgusted with our performance. He spent almost the entire hour berating us. Carolyn got the 85. I ought to know, she was sitting next to me and she showed me. Still, I was getting heat from the professor. But, he was also picking on others too. We were about 40 minutes into the 50 minute period when he dropped the last exam in front of me and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I got the 15. Carolyn stopped breathing. She knew I had taught her the course the night before, and that there was something terribly wrong. Carolyn told the professor I had tutored her in the course and that she couldn't have scored as well as she had without me. He proceeded to humiliate me.

I left and headed back to the dorm, where I had a message from the girl i was going out with the next evening. Her pastor had persuaded her not to go because I was of a different religious belief. Namely she was a Christian and I wasn't. Things were heading into the toilet in a hurry.

Saturday, I went to work, and got paid. I had $66 in my pocket. I went back to the dorm. A friend came by, and said that he was going to Baltimore, did I want to come. I said, "sure". I called home, and my mother said she knew a girl from work. Fixed up by my mother. Sometimes, you have to take what you can get. Turns out, she had a friend. So my buddy had a date too. Things are looking up!

That night, the four of us take in a movie, and we end up in a really nice Italian restaurant. I had met the owner before, and he stopped by. I asked him what was good that night, and he said he'd take care of us. He certainly did. Food started coming to the table that was fabulous. I didn't know what I had gotten myself into. When the check came, it took every penny that my friend had, every cent that I had remembering that I had just received my two week earnings, and every cent that the girls had, and we were still $1.50 short before the tip. I apologized to the waiter as I told him the sad truth. I then repeated it to the owner, as i promised that I'd pay him when I was next in town. We dropped off our dates, and went back to the University. The reason? That's where my cigarettes were and I didn't have any money to buy any more even at $.30 a pack. In the depths of despair, you have to be practical after all.

On Sunday, April 24th, wherever I went, I kept hearing the Beatles song "Yesterday" (if the year I gave is off, the song was already out, and my memory is not perfect that far back).

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it seems as if they're here to stay
Oh I believe in yesterday......

It was my theme song for a long, long time.

A friend of mine saw Dave and I (my name is also David, as is almost every second cousin I have, so I really prefer Monty) and I told her the story. She gave me $10 so i wouldn't be broke. We went to Lido's and I created Montmorency Parker, hero to the downtrodden. He always had the killing line against miserable Qual professors who were assholes, always had a date Saturday night, always had a spare $20 in his pocket, etc. The etc. is the same as you find in most job descriptions, as in other duties as required.

We incorporated the company on April 24th, and always hold the annual meeting on the 24th of April. So tonight, we went out for pizza and beer with a few folks, like my ex-sister-in-law whom I adore and her boy friend, convened the company meeting, read the minutes, had some beer, etc. We celebrated Holmes and Monty's birthday, and that's how Monty Parker came into being.

Now that you know, my wife can't blackmail me anymore. Sneaky, eh. But, I'm still the same old Monty! That's what my friends have been calling me since the 60's.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Wouldn't You Just Figure

Holmes hasn't been eating much. So today, along with her fluids and vitamins, and antibiotics she got the deluxe examination from the vet herself. This woman has known Holmes since she was a kitten. I/we have faith in this vet.

Today, after the examination, Holmes got some Regalin, to settle her stomach. She has developed another problem that you would never believe in an 18 year old cat, tonsillitis. She now goes onto a 3 week course of Baytril (an antibiotic) and prednizone (a steroid) for the tonsillitis. They do NOT operate on 18 year old cats for tonsillitis. Not no way. This is going to be fun.

Her weight is down to 4 3/4 pounds. She needs to start eating soon.

Here's the current FDA Pet Food recall information. There was a recall this weekend.

If you could use something calming and peaceful, go see Echomouse's Otter Post, and leave Carrie a hug while you're there!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy Earth Day

from Holmes, Judy, and me. It's good to be home! Talk to you soon.

It's Almost Time To Leave

I have been emptied out chemically, lit up from both ends with fiber optics, and they don't know where the bleeding came from. This is good. I have been the recipient of some of the best nursing and doctoring you could imagine. Even better than that. I have a different view of Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, and a far, far better one than I did before. This is the hospital where my nephew died February 5 of this year, but that wasn't their fault. He was dead before he got here.

I am being sent home. For those of you who know, I have diverticulosis. Little inflamations of the intestine. Nothing is inflamed now except a juicy hemmoroid or two. The doctor is looking at my use of Mobic for pain, and the 81 mg. of aspirin for the heart (they do this when you get older).

For the time being, it's hurry up and wait. I need to wait to be discharged. I haven't had any food since Friday at noon. The suggestion has been made to cut out spicy foods, to drop weight, to exercise more, and to chase more women. I'm working on it. In the meantime, I need to get discharged, get something to eat, and go see Holmes!

Next post will be from home!!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Greetings From The Hospital

Well, now my wife knows about my blog. It's hard when you're suddenly a patient in a hospital, as I find myself, to gain access to a computer. I have temporarily gained access to a medication laptop which is now attached to the wall on a telescoping arm.

I should correct a misimpression, my wife has akways known I have a blog, today she got to read a part of it when the nurse came in and started the admitting process and Judy saw the blog, and Holmes on the screen and started reading.

I will tell you what happened. Like any other normal human being, I went to the bathroom to dispose of some unwanted bodily waste. What was unusual was the blood in the toilet bowl. The blood was just as unusual 20 minutes later. And twenty minutes after that. Bizarre was needing to lie down on the recliner to get my strength back. I had trouble seeing. I was very light headed.

Here is where training pays off. I called a neighbor first to take me to the hospital. It was clean I shouldn't try driving. No one home at the neighbors. Get the medic alert bracelet on. Print out the medical history. Get the insurance card. Call 911, Call the wife's cell so she will know what is happening. Pray.

I am wireless wired for everything. I am in a room. Holmes is not doing well. I have shooed Judy out of the hospital to take care of Holmes. I have had two units of saline and my Blood Pressure is up to 100 over 65. I was 70 over 50 when I came in. They don't want to feed me or give me anything by mouth. No water, no ice chips. Nothing.

All things being equal, this is a week I'd just as soon forget. But, I am in maroon sweat pants and an orange shirt! I hope Mist would approve, I am still wearing my slippers. I was light headed you see.....

A Day Of Mourning With The Hokie Nation

If you are unaware of the request that has been made by Virginia Tech family members across the country, you can read about it here on Wicked's site, a well kept secret. Holmes knows what being a Hokie is all about, that's why I show you the shirts below. No need to explain to her. she's on the way to the vets for fluids, vitamins, and more antibiotics. She's upset. I'm doing the mourning for the two of us. Solidarity!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In Memory of Dr. Liviu Librescu

First, I'd like to thank my esteemed colleague CMHL for a source of information on Dr. Librescu, and ultimately the idea for this post. You can read the AP story if you would care to read more about him.

Dr. Librescu lived in Romania as a young man, and ended up in a Nazi work camp during World War 2. He survived the experience where millions didn't. He ended up doing engineering work until he wouldn't swear allegiance to the Communist government. He was then denied permission to emigrate to Israel. Menachem Begin, the Prime Minister of Israel intervened on his behalf and got him released to Israel.

Dr. Librescu taught aeronautics in Israel, in Italy, and at Virginia Tech. He was the author of an enormous number of referred articles and leaves behind a body of work that is amazing. More impressive is this man's integrity. Here is a man who survived the Holocaust, lived behind the Iron Curtain and defied the Communist Government at the height of its Antisemitism, and at the age of 78 decided to protect his students with his body against a gunman. His wife has been getting e mails from kids in his class telling her how he saved their lives by his actions.

Some people can actually lead by example. Here is an example. In the future, he is what I will think of when people ask me what it is to be Jewish. I wish everyone would think of him too. Read more about him, get to know him better. To know the 512 rules of keeping kosher and the other similar rules is the 'head' of Judaism. Dr. Librescu is what the heart is supposed to be. I have to go now, I am so far away from where I should be by now. Now I have a benchmark to look at and take a periodic measure of myself. We all do. I have little hope of ever being in his league though. Now Dr. Librescu is a martyr.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More On Pet Food Recall

Because I have received so much e mail, I am posting the latest FDA recall list. This recall list is current as of April 17, 2007. PLEASE double check right here. Dig around. Take your time. Be sure. It's OK to be concerned. I will publish on other events, but I need to be focused while Holmes is recovering.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Another Travesty With Pet Food

For reasons I can't explain, after the initial recall of pet food from one Canadian firm, the issue no longer captured the attention of the news organizations. These same news organizations have no problem, including the financial ones, trumpeting the story of how much money Americans are willing to spend on the animals we live with, and how we consider them a member of the family.

One of my family members, Holmes has a problem with her kidneys. She started getting sick earlier this week, and by Wednesday we had her in the vet's office for blood tests. We automatically had started her on an antibiotic to stave off any possible kidney infection. We have been checking the website for her food from Petsmart since the scare with the tainted food began. We were down to checking every week, on Wednesdays.

We got the results of her blood tests on Saturday, and her kidney were not performing well. Once again, things looked bleak. She has been eating Nutro Max's Gourmet Classics in the Maxcat line such as Veal Pate and Hunter's Stew with Savory Venison. An alternative is something with gravy from the Science Diet line. Holmes eats well, and why not. Imagine the surprise to find both lines had been pulled from the shelves on Friday, and the computer says that they were updated on the 10th. ALL of the food is out of the house and in the car awaiting return.

We have some Fancy Feast in the house now, and Holmes is suddenly hungry and eating., and she has started drinking some water. Tomorrow morning, she will get some fluids at the vets to help flush out her kidneys. And when the vet says she's OK again, well maybe my hemorrhoids will unwind. In the meantime, the two of us are silently screaming. I can't make a joke about things even though I started to, I am just too angry. If you live with an animal, it behooves you to check the food again to see if they slipped in a recall on you while you weren't looking, particularly if you have seen any unusual behavior you haven't seen before. Whatever you do, don't leave it to chance, please, check the food and don't trust that it's safe.

If companies can't deliver food to us humans that's fit to eat, remembering the tainted lettuce, the problems it caused at Taco Bell, and other issues; why should I believe that anyone is going to care more about our pets? Enjoy the other pictures, a woodpecker and a yearling, female cardinal.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Some Rare Stuff

Most will never see a cardinal in the wild. I have shown you that already. I am going to show you the female. She generally stays in the nest with the little ones. When she's out, she never stays long in any one place. The exception being Holmes. she used to stand in the door hidden by the screen door and they would 'gab' for a while.

I once thought they had a discussion that went something like this:

Holmes: What's shakin'?
Cardinal: Nothing much, how are they treating you these day?
Holmes: I can't get them to give me any Captain Morgan and Diet Coke with Lime.
Cardinal: What's the problem, aren't they listening?
Holmes: Nah, they think it's a big deal to give me chicken. The big guy would croak before he'd give me alcohol. He needs to loosen up some.
Cardinal: On that happy note, I have to get back to the nest before the old man gets there and makes a mess of the place. See you later.

I got this picture this afternoon which prompted this post. It's the best I have ever gotten of her.

This was probably the best I had before today. She was flying to the feeder. Pretty impressive, she's still in flight.

She was at the feeder for a second, here's a closeup of her getting something to eat. She was gone in a flash.

On a different day, I caught her studying me through the screen door.

And you haven't seen a blue jay, or an oriole, or a woodpecker, yet. They all watch me write the blog. A tertiary reason why I am never on time. I am usually the big problem, and most of the small ones too. See, I *am* a statesman!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

For The Record

At around 8:00 AM on Wednesday morning, two vehicles on Wednesday morning engaged in what was to become a case of road rage. A late model Chrysler Sebring convertible and a green Chevy pickup truck engaged in one act after another of cutting each other off on Interstate 270 around Interstate 85 South of Frederick, Maryland. The last time, the Chrysler Sebring went off the road and hit a concrete median, killing both passengers.

The death was the first attributed to road rage in this area. This area has become more and more over crowded with insufficient infrastructure. People are moving farther away from work, commuting longer distances, driving in more congestion, and we are tolerating each other less and less.

People needing to commute from downtown Washington to the Gaithersburg area consistently run into problems coming to the Beltway from Canal Road. Once getting onto the Beltway, traffic moves at 60 - 65 miles per hour and those getting onto the Beltway are not permitted to change lanes to exit on the left side to gain entry to Interstate 270 heading to Gaithersburg and points North. In other words, traffic is moving at 60 - 65 mph bumper to bumper, and one day, there will be a chain reaction accident where a huge number of cars pile into each other because a car tire blew out and the cars behind it were following too closely, and couldn't stop.

I no longer book appointments that cause me to travel at Rush Hour. Any Rush Hour.

This is not the only place in the DC Metropolitan area where these conditions exist, daily.

To the best of my knowledge, as of this writing, the driver of the green Chevy pickup truck has not been found, yet.

This kind of crap has got to stop, overcrowding or otherwise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Best Laid Plans of Men and Mice Oft Go Awry

I have been nominated by the ever increasingly credible source, Cindy, for a Thinking Blog Award. all you have to do is to follow the rules, and nominate five other blogs that make you think. The idea is to give more credence to people who write blogs that make people think, cause more thought and contemplation. I had it all planned out. I was going to do things professionally, lay it out first, then refine it, check the spelling, the whole nine and three quarters yards. But first, I had this picture below, and I thought that I'd change my avatar, that little picture you see when I make comments.

I should have known better. One does NOT tempt the fates. Blogger went off into a tizzy, and the next four hours were spent figuring out WHY Blogger couldn't accept the above picture for an avatar AND THEN I still can't figure out why I can't get the old one back. It is now considered a broken link no matter how many times I upload it or point to it. Blogger is not happy.

So, I left the house before I caused real damage, reaching through the monitor to kill Blogger by strangling it. I thought I'd go and get my oil changed. So, I went to my local garage where I have all the work on the cars done. My friend who owns the shop has me look at the following on his computer:

"A blond customer came in and asked for a seven-hundred-ten. We all looked at each other and another customer asked, "What is a seven-hundred-ten?" She replied, "You know, the little piece in the middle of the engine, I have lost it and need a new one.." She replied that she did not know exactly what it was, but this piece had always been there. The mechanic gave her a piece of paper and a pen and asked her to draw what the piece looked like. She drew a circle and in the middle of it wrote 710. He then took her over to another car which had its hood up and asked "is there a 710 on this car?" She pointed and said, "Of course, its right there." If you're not sure what a 710 is Click Here"

And that's the way it's been, Tuesday, April 10, 2007. There's been a lot more, but why bore you. Stay tune tomorrow for the post about the other blog, the Thinking Blog.

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Real Treat

One of the truly beautiful aspects of the Internet is the ability to share photographs. We have several students who are learning the craft like Claudia and Cindy. Claudia has her Kaleidoscope and Cindy posts often on her blog, and her own photoblog.

Now, Lee, an artist at George Mason, has decided to open a photoblog too, and to share some of the beauty she has seen around us. Her photoblog Lee Looks Lee Sees has some of the intriguing photography I have seen in a long time.

Just to tempt you a little, I'm going to make it easy on you, check out the picture she posted on April 8 at 6:14 PM. Two circles. Just keep looking at them. Look at all of the other pictures too. Don't forget the very first ones she put up. And don't forget to comment! Artists need feedback, studied, commentary. That's our responsibility as consumers.

And don't forget to look at the others photoblogs too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Generate A Little Insight

This year, Passover and Easter fall at the same time. It is a time of renewal. A time of contemplation and reflection. We can look back and be nostalgic, or we can look forward and plan. Many of us would like to look forward, but have the problem of knowing what we are going to do. Some have had a career and are looking for a second one, others are looking for their first career.

For example, Allan used to work and then he retired. Now, as far as I am concerned, he's a photographer. One day, they will be sending him checks for his work.

Yesterday, Matt wrote a story about his career temping in Baltimore until he found his true career in writing. By the way, I believe it was Crankster that first explained Matt to me. He said something like, "Think about James Joyce." That was enough for me. I'm going to have to make a pilgrimage to Virginia sometime soon to meet the Crankster, but that's a different story.

In the meantime, so many people are having so much trouble finding a career that they'd like to be doing. Work is important. We spend the majority of our lives doing it, we identify with it, we take pride in our accomplishments, our contribution to the society in which we live. So many of us have succeeded so well at what we have done with our lives that I ask the following questions, and give the weekend for you to answer. Please take the time to contribute.

The question is: How did you decide what you wanted to do for a living? And how did you get into it?

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

In Support Of Animal Mind

Matt of Animal Mind published a post called Oh, Happy Day. There seems to be a certain amount of confusion that has surrounded the post. I am here to clear up some of the confusion that has occurred.

Some historical fact. Jesus was a Jewish rabbi. The Last Supper, where he was betrayed by Judas, was a Passover Sedar that Jesus was holding for his disciples.

Matt got it right, again. Thank you very much for your attention.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

A Story Of Freedom

Tonight (Monday, I am writing this early) starts the Jewish holiday of Passover commemorating the Exodus from Egypt thousands of years ago to freedom. Happy Passover! This is not to be confused with the Exodus from Europe after World War 2 to what became the country of Israel. Freedom is an elusive commodity. Something to be cherished. And celebrated. We celebrated our freedom from the King of England on July 4th. He was more enlightened than the topic that lurks here.

Tonight, I will participate in a story that has been repeated for thousands of years. About the confrontation of Pharoah by Moses, his refusal to let the Jews go, the 10 plagues visited by God, the leaving from Egypt, and so on.

No one much cared about the people that were enslaved all those many years ago. When people were sent to labor camps in the 1930's and worked to death by the Nazis, the World didn't care. Ultimately, over 7 million Jews died in the camps. Over 20 million people died in the death camps, not just Jews.

Tonight, when we talk at the end of the evening, I am going to ask about the 'war'. The left will say that we should get out, that we have no business being there. The right will say that we can't just cut and run, that the people who died there will have died for nothing. But no one is ready for me to ask them about what to do about Darfur.

Even the President says that the rest of the World needs to help Darfur, at his State of the Union Address. And several hundred thousand people have already been butchered there. What will it take to stop the genocide?

Monday, April 02, 2007

The Be Attitudes

Source: Unknown

Be understanding to your perceived enemies.

Be loyal to your friends.

Be strong enough to face the world each day.

Be weak enough to know you cannot do everything alone.

Be generous to those who need your help.

Be frugal with that you need yourself.

Be wise enough to know that you do not know everything.

Be foolish enough to believe in miracles.

Be willing to share your joys.

Be willing to share the sorrows of others.

Be a leader when you see a path others have missed.

Be a follower when you are shrouded by the mists of uncertainty.

Be first to congratulate an opponent who succeeds.

Be last to criticize a colleague who fails.

Be sure where your next step will fall, so that you will not tumble.

Be sure of your final destination, in case you are going the wrong way.

Be loving to those who love you.

Be loving to those who do not love you; they may change.

Above all, be yourself.