Thursday, August 28, 2008

History in the Making

I sat in front of the TV last night with tears in my eyes as I watched the CBS group broadcast Barack Obama's historic night of being nominated for President of the United States. I am a product of the 60's. I watched in disbelief as Bull Connor unleashed the dogs on black protesters. I admire the courage that it took for Rosa Parks to stay in her seat on an Atlanta bus. I could not understand how blacks could be treated as non-citizens in our country. I live in the south now and I know many southerners still to this day that try to argue that the Civil War was over "states rights" not slavery. Bullshit! Don't pander that weak kneed argument to me. By the same token I don't tolerate the northerners talking about the anti-slavery north. There were slave markets in New York City in the late 1700's. The worst treatment Dr. Martin King got was in Cicero, IL. Racism is ugly, demeaning for those who are victims and those who hold those views. There is nothing good, economically sound, or spiritually correct to oppress a race. So, I was proud to see the Democrat's nominate a black man. I sat here quietly in tears listening to the emotional statement by a delegate talking about her aging father in an Atlanta nursing home with Alzheimer's unable to understand the historic moment. I wish he could.

Now the question, will I vote for Obama? No, I don't agree with his political stands. I don't believe in social programs to the extend the liberals in the democratic party proclaim. I do not believe that other Americans are entitled to a redistribution of wealth that provides no incentive for them to get up off their ass and take care of themselves. I no longer buy the argument that years of racial injustice mean that perpetual care is a right.

I do not think it takes a brave, strong person to tolerate a life of oppression by ingesting dope and robbing persons. Those are the weakest of our society and I have no compassion for them. It is not the majority of blacks in this country that live in squalor or are dope fiends or criminals. The majority live in good homes, earn incomes and take care of their families. It is time for them to also get off their ass and tell people about how they made it in America.

I'm tired of liberals talking about the disenfranchised poor, I didn't know we were poor, but my Dad lost his business when he was 65 because he was a piss poor businessman. He didn't give up, go on the dole, live his life in some small dank apartment building, feel sorry for himself and let society take care of him. I don't think the old man ever collected unemployment, but I'm sure he qualified. He went to work at age 65 pumping gas on the third shift. He worked his way into a bookkeeping position, he became a maintenance man and finally ended his 40 hour work week effort at age 85 washing dishes in a tennis club in Milwaukee. Yeah, he was white, so what?

You assholes that sit and claim a right to public welfare because you are the downtrodden masses of people victimized by the color of your skin get no sympathy from me. In fact, you do no honor to Rosa Parks, MLK, the NCAAP, the Civil Rights movement. So, I'm proud Democrats nominated Barack Obama, I just don't agree with the politics of his party.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Marketing Problem

I have a two pair of Jockey briefs. Why do we call underwear a pair, when they are only one? Perhaps it is because they hold things in twos. A couple of cheeks, a couple of balls, you get the drift? Anyway, for some reason I have two briefs made by Jockey where the access to the equipment should a man wish to take a leak is done by pulling the opening straight down instead of to the side. I have had these briefs for several years and I like them very much. Getting set up to whiz is quick and easy and when one is in a hurry as sometimes happens there is very little fumbling.

These briefs are the only ones I've every run across where access is 90 degrees from normal. So I've been thinking through the years how would Jockey market the concept. It is different. I think I would like to be part of that meeting. Perhaps the line "Pull down to Pee" might be catchy. Maybe something from the public service sector. "Fire departments pull their hose from the bottom, now so can you." Maybe an ad could be developed along the theme that ease of access helps a man through those anxious moments when you struggle finding the opening in the traditional side port variety.

In my younger years my first wife tried to play an April Fools Day joke on my by stitching up the opening on a brief. (I'm trying to make it singular.) Well, days went by, April 1 came and went and I had no response. Finally one day at the breakfast table her frustration came out and she simply accused me of not getting upset so I wouldn't give her satisfaction that she had pulled one over on me. I didn't know what she was talking about. At that time I didn't use the port, I pulled my brief down from the top.

I decided perhaps I should act like a normal man and use the access port designed by some underwear guru. I began using the side port. Sure enough, I had gotten into the routine when that brief showed up that she had stitched the opening closed. So I got nailed on the rebound.

Anyway, a brief by any other name can be distressing when a man is under pressure. Sometimes your tee shirt blocks the opening and you can't find the port resulting in a man frantically rummaging around in his shorts like some deranged sex fiend. Sometimes your short, like boxer variety twist and you find yourself feeling around by your appendix instead of where you need to be.

So I like my Jockeys. I wear them on the weekend when getting at "stubby" may be a matter of going or changing clothes. Jockey has a great idea, I just can't figure out how to market it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Had enough of the Olympics?

Not hardly. It is refreshing to listen to the American swim team proclaim Michael Phelps as a hero and the all time great Olympian. Phelps in turn responded by proclaiming the help provided by his teammates. It may sound corny, but I think we need to hear that kind of "corn." How about Kobe Bryant talking about the chills he got when he donned the Team USA basketball uniform and openly talking about his patriotism. How about the greatest basketball players in the world showing up to watch history in the making at the swim venue. How about the Australian Ian Thorpe showing up to bear witness to Michael Phelps efforts.

What about Béla Károlyi's exuberance in watching the Americans achieve a historic Gold and Silver in Women's gymnastics? Were the two gymnasts good representatives for today's youth. They seem like excellent role models happy for one another and excited about the opportunity to participate. I thought the courage of Dara Torres was amazing, at age 41 and looking every inch a champion and almost bringing the American relay team back to victory. The Romanian woman who won the Women's Marathon was a courageous figure and age 39 to boot.

The Olympics are filled with much more than sport, but great human stories of courage and the capability to overcome obstacles. One story that did not get much play, and I have a feeling it was because of respect for the person was the American male swimmer who was diagnosed with testicular cancer a month before the games. He opted to participate and postpone treatment, and that would probably be OK. I am sure doctors told him it wasn't life threatening and his chances for recovery would be excellent. Maybe not, who knows what the young man was told. However, he had worked hard to be on the American swim team and wanted the opportunity. He had to live with the mental question of was he doing the right thing. He did not win a medal, but the fact that he stood up to his situation and prevailed makes him a hero.

Other countries have their own heroes, and their own stories with which to reassure the population that courage, fair play, and sportsmanship do exist in this world. We can go to a former enemy's country, we can observe their citizens acting much like citizens in other parts of the world and rejoice that perhaps all is not wrong in the world.

Had enough of the Olympics, I would say not!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Health Update

I received an email from a lady in England Saturday thanking me for my blog on Bowel Resection Home Recovery. It is a rather earthy blog, one that is quite descriptive and meant primarily for those who may go through what I went through. The blog has now made it to midway down P.2 of a Goggle Search which I believe indicates it is getting some hits. It makes me feel good that some may find the information useful.

I would be remiss if I did not relate some of the recent events surround that abdominal issue. So here it goes.

Monday, June 23 I began to develop a stomach ache. It is what I characterize as a "green apple" stomach ache. No nausea, just pain. It seemed to diminish some, however it kept me up much of the night. It felt like a gall bladder attack, only I had my gall bladder out in November, 2007. So that could not be it. I finally did get to sleep, but it was fitful and I kept waking up with some pain. June 24, Tuesday morning it had abated quite a bit and I took my long walk. However, after I had breakfast it started up again and became quite painful. I lay on the bed hoping it would subside. I took some ant-acid tablets and it seemed to quiet down. I was hungry about lunch, and while I thought perhaps I should not eat, I did have a grilled cheese sandwich. Ho Boy!

The pain was a sharp pain right under my belly button. I found out that is a key symptom. I could did not pass any gas, I couldn't even work up a burp. I tried drinking some diet soda and it just felt worse, and a small burp not worth mentioning. I also had not gone to the bathroom for two days, no BM. Finally I got real sick, I mean break out in a cold sweat, perspiration dripping off me like I had an internal hose turned on, pain that put me on the floor and finally throwing up like I had the dry heaves. Little relief from vomiting.

We did call our Family Dr. and they had me come over right away. It took a little while to get in the waiting room, but not long. I ended up getting sick in the office. Unfortunately I do not throw up quietly, I'm sure I bellowed like a lovesick Moose. They sent me to the ER, I requested I go to Jonesboro as I had been treated there for my surgery and felt they would be in a position to know best.

Our Family Doctor gave me a shot of phenagren for nausea, and a pain medication that really put me in LaLa land. We made it to Jonesobor, more X-rays, and a CT Scan. The Family Dr. hit the diagnosis, he felt it was a small bowel obstruction. That scared the hell out of me. I did not show it, but all I could think of was a recurrence of the cancer, but now in the small intestine. Yet my prognosis from the sesection was excellent, I was told by several physicians that the polyp while malignant was so confined that there should be little or no risk of recurrence. However, once alert to the possibility you can't help but be concerned.

I did not let on my concern, but I was scared. Perhaps a ulcer. Then again, maybe just what the Dr. said, an adhesion or piece of scar tissue causing the bowel to kink.

I was admitted to the hospital Tuesday evening. A nurse ran a hose up/down my nose into my stomach and started draining the fluid build up. It turned out the surgeon who had done my two surgeries was on duty that night, and was I glad to see him. I've gotten to trust him very much. I quietly asked him if there was a mass there and he said no. He said the X-ray indicated a kink on my right side, near where my gall bladder was removed and he felt that was the problem.

About four hours after the hose was inserted into my stomach all hell broke loose in the form of BM's. I could not control myself, soiled my gown, my bed, several times and filled the portable commode a couple of times. Ah, relief!

In the morning the tube was removed by the surgeon. I was put on a liquid diet for two days to see if I tolerated the food movement. I did. I was sent home on Thursday. It turns out that a large percentage of people with abdominal surgery have an obstruction. It is not unusual. Since that time I have been fine. In fact, my system's tolerance of fat in my diet has improved. Maybe something really got unkinked. In addition, the key symptoms for a small bowel obstruction are a pain through the belly button area, and light colored to green vomit.

It is behind me. However, my surgeon told me it could recur at anytime. There is nothing I can take for it, nothing I can do. It may not every occur again, or it may occur in two weeks. I hope not. It was most unpleasant. However, if that is the least of my worries, I'm a lucky fellow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Questions that interest me.

If God is omnipotent, can command all things why would such a being need to be worshiped?

If God can create all of the things in the universe, is as old as time itself, and can bend any force of nature to his/her will, why does he make life a test that must be passed?

What is it that God does not understand that God requires the human experience to fulfill?

Why are we (human beings) so arrogant that we would think the Creator would designate some specific sect, group or religion as being the "special" one?

Why do so many people believe that books written by man can define God and his intent?

Battle Cry

I do not like to gloat. Too many times the reason you gloat comes back to bite you in the ass. However, I do feel like daubing some black, silver, orange, red, and neon green body paint all over my body. Don a loin cloth, and hang beads and bells around my neck. Then grabbing my warrior spear I shall prance around the yard all in time to Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk."

It appears that I have won a great victory over some relentless ants that invaded our kitchen. I found them racing around the counter top, a few even made it into my cereal. I sealed the package and ate them anyway, my retribution. I crushed them with my thumb, I sprayed them with poison, I flushed them down the drain with water spray. As they kept coming I was ever alert and on the attack.

Finally one morning, very early, when I turned on the light in the kitchen I spotted their entrance. Aha! Injecting some poison into the crack, setting a baited trap guaranteed by the manufacturer to wipe out ants, roaches and all manner of pests I carried the battle to their doorstep. I laughed at the dead bodies, I felt like Chuck Norris or Steven Segal. The body count was rising and the tide seemed to be turning.

Now I haven't seen an ant for about a week. I shall celebrate. However I will wear sneakers lest they hear my celebration and mount a counter offensive.