OK, I'm back but I don't know for how long.
This week's schedule
Believe it or not, my wife put up our Christmas tree yesterday. Of course, I had to lift the pieces out of the box and fit them together. And get the light working. And position the star. But other than that...

See, she's having her rotator cuff fixed next Friday and her right arm will be out of action for about 6 weeks, so she's had to do ALL that Christmas stuff really, really early.

Watched the movie "Moonlight and Mistletoe" today. Just about went into a diabetes coma with the "sweetness" of this Hallmark extravaganza. Seems "Santa's" daughter has to save "Santaville". Oh, well, sometimes we have to sacrifice for our significant other.

Has anyone noticed that the rules that we knew so well concerning what vampires can and cannot do have been changing significantly in recent years. That "Twilight" effect, I suppose. It just seems there's no solidity in anything anymore. So, it's now a curse which prevents vampires from being out in the sunlight? But it's possible to have a ring that "negates" the curse? I'd go into the ring production business. I mean, some of those vampires are really rich.

On the other hand, southern shapeshifters always choose to shapeshift into a fairly small mongrel dog. Hmmm. Doesn't seem like the best choice. Maybe a curse was placed on them sometime in the past.

Back to the doctor tomorrow, hopefully for the last visit with my wound. Even my wife, supercautious that she is, says it looks healed. And the fungal infection which sprang up in the same area seems about defeated.

Wednesday is my first dental appointment with my new dentist. No more driving halfway across the Twin Cities to see the replacement dentist for mine, who retired. Wednesday night we go to my wife's uncle and aunt's house for a Survivor dinner. And what the hell is this that they switched Survivor from Thursday to Wednesday?

Then on Thursday night my  son comes over to watch Survivor with us. He doesn't watch it on Wednesday. I'll download it so we can watch it together on that night of the week. Then my wife's operation on Friday.

So, busy week. Hope I get back here. Maybe I can revitalize my blogging.
Wounds and Healing
Well, am I back into blogging again? Not sure. Just been going through my old blogs and I'm impressed by many of them. There's at least one person who appreciates what I have to say, even if it is only me.

Several years have gone by without me doing anything serious here. I'm glad to see some of my old friends are still around. Will have to get around to their blogs and catch up with their lives. Nothing much has changed in my life, just getting older and with more medical problems.

Recently had to have a small operation to remove an infected cyst located in just about the most embarrassing spot on the entire body. Anyway, it was a "wound" that wouldn't heal as the infection from the cyst found its way out of the body. The wound was located a little ways up on my body from the crease formed by the leg and that stuff that boys have and girls don't.

So, after a couple of visits to the doctor, him with three or four other (female) doctors and/or nurses crowded around to share the sight, I went in the have the operation. Actually, the operation itself was about the most pleasant part of the whole procedure.

After about a week I felt that something was wrong, there was too much pain, too much seepage. Went in and I had developed a hematoma. I believe that the doctor didn't seal off one of the blood vessels coming into the operation site. So, without any deadening he proceeded to take out the stitches, scrape out the hematoma, clean the wound, and put in new stitches. I now know what it means when people say they grayed out from pain. Your eyes are closed and it goes from lights to just a gray tone for about 2 seconds. Then you're back.

The doc and nurse kept saying how I was taking the pain so well. But what was my choice? And why didn't they deaden it some? Anyway, the pain was a lot worse than a heart attack. Maybe it was punishment for my having developed a hematoma and making the doc look bad. Anyway, they didn't charge me for that session. Good thing, because I'm not masochist enough to pay for that level of pain.

Three weeks later and it was finally healing some and I go back in. Again, with a crowd. They decided it was healing unevenly so they took a blade and just cut some area of the wound to make it all "even". Remember where this wound was. Even I can't see it without a mirror and practically standing on my head. Why would I care if the scar was not even.

It's now been another four weeks and my wife has pronounced it as healed. Back to the doc one last time next Monday. Oh, in the meantime I have developed a fungal infection in the same general area and am fighting that. All this in a region that is prone to boils. As a matter of fact that was what started this whole thing about 5 months ago.

How's that for a returning blog. Oh, and my wife goes in next Friday for a rotator cuff repair. So she'll have 6 weeks of non-use of her right arm. Except for the physical therapy, of course. And the physical therapy will cost twice as much as the operation.

And her son, his wife, and their 4 children (2 of them grown) will be coming up from Albuquerque on the 22nd of December for over a week, staying at our small condo. Crowded but fun, I'm sure.

Looks like at least another 2 months before real relief is at hand.
Just a visit
Just dropped by. Nothing to report but that I'm still alive.
I got to thinking about global warming. IF you're the type who believes in global warming and IF you're convinced that it's the human race who is the main culprit, has it ever occurred to you that perhaps there is something we have done which we can reverse to help solve the problem.

For example do you remember all those years ago (if you're not that old, read a history book), when most of our major cities were filthy, smoky, can hardly breathe, cesspools of polution. Do you remember what was done to our industry, to our automobiles to eliminate that problem?

We installed catalytic converters everywhere. Do you know how the catalytic converter works? What it "converts"? And what it "converts" it into? Here the details on the chemical activities:
  1. Reduction of nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and oxygen: 2NOx → xO2 + N2
  2. Oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide: 2CO + O2 → 2CO2
  3. Oxidation of unburnt hydrocarbons (HC) to carbon dioxide and water: CxH2x+2 + 2xO2 → xCO2 + 2xH2O
Hey, #1 isn't bad, we get some oxygen and some nitrogen. But #2 and #3 BOTH produce carbon dioxide (CO2).

Now I understand they're worried about your "carbon footprint". So, is it carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that we all heard about, that's the problem or is it carbon? One of the reasons our cities used to be so dirty was all that carbon falling out of the atmosphere. It doesn't seem to be that bad nowadays.

I suppose what they want to do is get that carbon to combine with oxygen so it comes out a clear, pure, clean carbon dioxide. What do you think? Maybe we should just pull all the catalytic converters off of everything and see what happens. Shouldn't be any worse that it was 40 years ago, right?
Why do you?
Well, today's election day. By being away for the last few years I've managed to avoid arguing with the liberals which frequent Mindsay.

Generally, I try not to argue politics, especially during election years. Reason seems to flee from most people as their minds attempt to fend off any alternate reality trying to filter its way in. Can't say that I'm any different, but I try to keep it civil and non-personal. Others don't.

I have figured out in my 66 years on this earth that a lot of folks vote with their own welfare in mind. Can't really blame them, of course, but it's not necessarily the best in the long run. But then, the poor and the young don't think much about the long run, many of them are just trying to exist from day to day.

And of course the world that liberals would like to live in (as opposed to the one they got born into) does sound nice. As a preacher I used to know would say, "sounds good, preaches good" At my age, the one I got born into seems better than the one I have now, so I understand.

Unfortunately, it isn't within man's grasp to attain the world they seek. As I noted before, everybody want the world to change so people are better but none of us feel that we're the ones who need to change. Many a mother in the ghetto complains about the drug dealers selling to their children when it's their children who are the drug dealers.

A man said once to God, "Why do you allow such misery to exist on earth?" God replied, "Why do you?"
Two and a half years
Well, it's been two-and-a-half years since I was forced to retire and I'm finally beginning to realize just how much better it is not having to work. Oh, an occasional feeling of guilt filters its way through, but it quickly goes away.

It hasn't been easy. We had figured on 3 more years of salary, at least some of which was supposed to make it into our IRA. But it didn't happen. Two months without any money coming in at all did. That chewed up a bit of cash.

But we survived, I got my social security started early and we managed to scrape by (paying full price for individual health insurance for two people in their 60's is the pits). Ended up having to pull 11,000 out of our IRA, but we got through.

Then last year I got on medicare and my wife started her social security early. Which is all good, because all our saving were pretty well used up.

Then in April of this year I closed out our IRA completely (only 15,000 - did I mention 3 years of saving that we didn't do?) and put it into CD's. Which was good since the stock market fell apart in September.

We have about 3,000 coming from our tax return next year (they hold out 20% of a withdrawal just to make sure you don't cheat the government out of some taxes), so that'll cover my wife's medical deductible and we'll use a little of one of our CD's to make it through that year. No worry for another 14 months. :)

So, if Obama gets in and sends us the tax rebate he's promising everybody (even those who don't pay any tax), we'll have enough to eat out a few times. And if McCann gets in then we'll at least have the satisfaction that our country is in good hands.

I just thought of something. If I had stayed working for those three years, I might have saved more money but it wouldn't be worth as much as it'd still be sitting in an IRA invested in the stock market.

So, the way it went, I had almost 3 more years of retirement. If it had went the way I wanted it to go, I probably couldn't have afforded to retire at all. God is good.
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Picks and Pans 1
Peeves in movies:

Japanese horror movie American remakes. Seems like Japanese horror comes in two brands - Godzilla and ghosts. Nothing wrong with either, but culturally their stories just don't translate. And leave it up to American filmmakers to pretend that these remakes are something that they're not.

Blair Witch movie techniques. It wasn't effective in the original, it isn't effective in the reuses. The only thing that goes through one's mind when watching is how contrived the amateur filmmaking looks and how much more entertaining it would have been shot as a "real" movie.

Movies that go out of their way to emphasize how disfunctional and depressing family dynamics can be. A prime example is "Brothers Three", but there are countless others. I suppose it's a way to try and make what is otherwise ordinary filmmaking of ordinary people "interesting".

Movies that show children as heroes, saving either the world or family relationships. Inevitably, parents and/or grown-ups of all ilks are shown as dolts, slow-witted, with anger as their only emotion. Children are NOT intellectual, intuitional, emotionally stable, and far-sighted individuals. They are selfish, controlling, impulsive entities that need adults to learn how to be human. That goes double for teen-agers.

Any movie which aims at an intelligence level of a ten-year-old boy, but uses emotionally-stunted adults (almost always male). And then to call them comedies. Those emphasizing potty humor, dumber than dumber humor, American Pie humor, etc.
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