Monday, August 31

God Help The Human Race

Snuggie for Dogs

God help us.

Damn, It's Cold In Here

No, wait, now it's hot and I'm sweating.

Before too long, it'll get cold again.

I WISH there was something wrong with the HVAC system in the house. That would be far easier to explain.

What started out as a "simple" exercise in cleaning out my right ear has mushroomed into a full-blown "sick". A deep-down pain in my ear was where we were last Thursday. A bit o' peroxide should have been all that was necessary. BUT NO. Yours truly had to cement the issue of impacted ear wax with a too-forceful squirt from an earigator (at right).

Felt pretty good at the time, and didn't think about it again until a few hours later when I could think of nothing else. PAIN.

Did I mention PAIN?

OK, before you get all hign 'n' mighty, yes, I know that the only thing you're ever supposed to put in your ear is your elbow. Right or left, doesn't matter. Even told the doc at the Instacare on Friday after many hours of zero sleep. "So I don't have to give you a lecture?"

"No SIR". There are times when you know the damn doctor is right.

Antibiotics from within and without - read pills and drops - and Friday led into Saturday. And Sunday. And this morning, as the pain was subsiding and I could again sleep on my right ear and gain some much-needed rest, the chills started.

And now the sweats.

Which begs the question: Was the ear ache the precursor to a cold? Or worse? Or vice versa?

Saturday, August 29

Feeling Particularly Old Today?

If not, this will help:

Friday, August 28

Sick Of Being Sick

My current outward appearance is that of a healthy 52-year-old male. Maybe a little overweight, but otherwise fit. My new doctor gives me a sidelong glance when I tell him that while I don't "exercise", that I do walk quite a bit during a workday. Anyway.

That I sported a bandage on my neck for a week or so after my spine surgery, that outward appearance said that, OK, this guy isn't able to work because he's "sick". And was off work for six weeks.

That Marilee's stilted gait suggests she has had some sort of body work done and has a gash across her abdomen - outwardly unseen - suggests that she, too, has a reason not to go to work, and also is "sick". And will be off for several weeks as she heals.

But my outward appearance yesterday and today does not explain why I won't be going to work today.

I've got an earache. That's ear ache. Cramming the letters together doesn't look right.

Yes, dear readers, a sickness that should only apply to an elementary-school kid. A friggin' 52-year-old.

What really sucks is that I haven't any sick or vacation time left for the remainder of the year. So I have to "make up" the time elsewhere. Which sucks even more.

Probably some antibiotics will do the trick; with all the ails this family has had this year, you'd think that just maybe there'd be some leftovers in the medicine cabinet, but that's not the case.

So off to the Instacare I go this morning. For meds. And likely bedridden for the remainder of the day since it inwardly hurts like hell.

Outwardly, I'm sick of being sick.

Thursday, August 27

A Play On Words?

I've lived in three separate, yet distinct areas in Utah over the last twenty-two years: in Midvale, in Murray, and now Taylorsville. All within the confines of Salt Lake County. In other words, in the Greater Salt Lake area.

So why is it that at the downtown Smith's Marketplace (formerly known as Fred Meyer - and that's a possible story for another time) there is a sign stating that this store has been "Serving the Greater Salt Lake since 1932"?

Did we forget something there, Smith's?

Wednesday, August 26

More On The The Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

In today's Salt Lake Tribune is this:

Sen. Chris Buttars, a vehement gay-rights critic, doubts discrimination against gay and transgender people is a significant problem.
"I've never seen any facts. I see these wild accusations," says the West Jordan Republican. "Let's say someone is gay, but [he's] also a terrible employee -- is that possible? [He gets] fired for something else. You know the gay community is going to claim [the employer] did it because he's gay."

It's already a known fact that Chris Buttars is a bigot - Ive already commented about that in the past, as have others.

So a question then becomes, with Senator Buttars' logic as shown above, was Chris Buttars removed from his post as chairman and member of the Judicial Standing Committee due to his "black baby" remarks, because he was doing a bad job?

No, it was because he is a bigot.

But he'll have no say in the matter, since he doesn't live IN Salt Lake City. Wonder if West Jordan has such an ordinance?

Quality Clearance Stuff At HSN

Oh. My. God.

Can't imagine why it's only ten bucks.


Tuesday, August 25

Here We Go Again

From the Deseret News:

Senator Chris Buttars vs. anti-discrimination bill

Of note:

"If anybody had a right to special protection it would be Mormons; they've been persecuted but not as bad as the American Indian. But they're not pounding on the newspaper's door. Or the Jewish people; the Jewish people have lots of people hate them. I love them. But you know that's true."

Shut. The. Eff. Up.

Saturday, August 22

Friday, August 21

Homeward Bound

Marilee's coming home today!

She was doing so well yesterday afternoon that she had already taken a few laps around the floor she's on at Intermountain Medical Center. And off oxygen, too. I'd wanted to stay longer last night, but she could see the exhaustion on my face after driving to Delta, Price, and Payson. Didn't get to the hospital until 6:30pm.

Had dinner from the cafeteria - a must-try if you're in the area. Awesome selections. Tasted good too. Obviously, from Marilee's opinion, the food to the rooms doesn't come from the cafeteria!

Jenn will be assisting her home. She'd already said on numerous occasions that I should worry about work rather than worry about her. But - But - But...

But it's my JOB to worry about her.

Wednesday, August 19

On The Road To Recovery

Actually, she's there now.

Marilee's surgery went well; the tumor appeared to be fibroid and not cancerous, though they do need to do some more tests on the mass.

Tuesday, August 18

Healthcare Update

No, not the national debate. This one hits closer to home.

Don't expect too many updates for the remainder of the week. If any.

I'll have my mind on Marilee, who will be going into surgery tomorrow - Wednesday - to remove a pelvic mass that was discovered a while back during a routine ultrasound and subsequent MRI. She's rather positive about the whole thing, and just wants to get rid of the thing. It's unknown as to what it is, or what it may even be attached to. With all the health issues she's had in the last year or so, this may well be the root cause of all of it. So it's justified that she is so positive.

Me? I'm a nervous wreck.

She has assured me that she's a tough ol' broad (her words), and everything will be all right. But it pains me so much I cannot think of anything else that life without her would be so painful. She has brought so much joy to my life. I'm "living the life" with her - she means the world to me.

She came into my life when I was desperate to have something more. More than my simple existence as a bachelor with nothing more to come home to than an empty apartment and three cats.

Now there's the hustle and bustle of a house with a mortgage and more than a few animals happy to see me when I get home from a hard day. And there's Marilee with an "I love you" as I collapse into my recliner. She's been off work for several weeks as she's been waiting for a diagnosis and waiting for the inevitable surgery date to arrive.

She'll be in the hospital for up to three days followed by several weeks of recovery time here at the house. Until she gets going again with her computer work and the "research" she so loves to do, I'll likely be off mine as well.

So - say a prayer for my lovely wife and for us as a family.

I love this family.

I love my Marilee.

Sunday, August 16

Grammar Nazis

Article here:

Readers unload their grammar pet peeves

"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

Saturday, August 15

Grocery Shopping

Marilee wants me to go shopping.

At the grocery store.

I don't shop. I go to stores to buy things.

God only knows what I might bring home.

More later on this developing story.


$129 later, I brought home enough food - OK, edible objects, I didn't say they were nutritious - for a week. Which I suppose was the point...

Digital Days

Take what you will from the photo above.

It was taken in October of 2004 when Popular Photography brought their Digital Days to Salt Lake City. It's a two day seminar with really great information, speakers galore, models to take photos of, and really fun to boot.

And prizes, too.

And they're coming to Salt Lake City again!

October 10 and 11 are the days this year. The venue for 2004 was a senior center; this year they'll be at the Marriott Salt Lake City Downtown. I suspect they'll be expecting a larger crowd.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, August 14

Answer To Tuesday's Question

Sorry, missed Thursday. I know both of you have been waiting impatiently.

The Box Elder Bug is named after the tree, not the Utah county of the same name.

Wednesday, August 12

Giving Bees A Buzz

From our friends across the pond is this gem:

Gardeners urged to leave out energy drinks for exhausted bees

...but since we're talking bees, the "energy drink" is bee-sized, and only amounts to sugar water.

Geez, what's next? A bee in an Edgar suit?

Tuesday, August 11

Box Elder Bugs

Service calls in Logan and Smithfield today. On the way down the hill towards I-15, what should happen to crawl across my windshield - on the inside - but a Box Elder bug! So with that in mind...

A quiz for you locals - no googling allowed!

What is a Box Elder bug known as, outside of Utah?

Answer Thursday...

Time And Materials

By another name, it's Parts and Labor.

But not included in that paradigm is talent.

It was the learned talent of my neurosurgeon that has left my arm virtually pain-free - virtually, since all that is now left, pain-wise, is typical old-age meltdown.

Parts? My titanium plate and four titanium screws in my neck comes to a staggering four grand. That's $4,000 for you mathemeticians. That was included in the $17,000-plus hospital bill.

But wait, there's more...

Got the bill from the neurosurgeon the other day. For his part. For his talent.

So not counting the other four doctors I saw during the initial phase of quackery, before someone was willing - and able - to pick up a scalpel and FIX THE DAMN THING, just the doctor's fee was eighteen grand. Math types: $18,000.

And if you take a stab at an estimate for all things considered - time off work (FMLA did help), pain, suffering, and the whatnot not itemized, my neck is now worth about $40,000.

Funny, there's no mention of what room service cost.

Not kidding. Meals are ordered on the phone. And yes, they call it room service.

Bot-tom Dwel-ler

A tongue-in-cheek reference has been played out - literally - in the past few months, having to do with copyright protection and how the music recording industry is prosecuting those who would copy music CD's.

Simply put, can the RIAA prosecute you for songs that get stuck in your head?

Yeah, I know - corny.

So I've had this phrase stuck in my craw for the longest time; I know what movie it's from, but haven't been able to alter its course (discourse?) and let it meander out my ear. Or something.

The phrase is from "You've Got Mail"; it's where Meg Ryan's character is explaining to Tom Hanks' character via email about someone she's met in her book-selling business; unbeknownst to her, the businessperson and e-penpal are one and the same.

In the scene, the businessperson is referred to, time and again, as the scum of the earth, one who would undermine another's bookstore for profit.

Let's see - undermine, scum of the earth...

Bot-tom dwel-ler fits quite nicely.

Will this post remove the phrase from my consciousness? Time will tell...

Saturday, August 8

Pledge Drives Seem To Go On Forever

KUED and KBYU are doing televised pledge drives this weekend. Earlier this week, a presentation of John Denver and his music were heard on KUED.

Tonight, a presentation of Victor Borge's music is being aired on KBYU.

Just now, during a pledge break, Victor Borge himself made a plea for "viewers like you" to send in a donation.

"That's just not right" is all Marilee said when I commented about pledge drives going on forever - even after the artist is gone.

Victor Borge died in December 2000.

Sidewalk Supervisors

Or in this case, patio supervisors.

Chris and Taylor are over today to take the remainder of the fallen tree down to kindling.

Marilee is inclined to go out and supervise, but wanted Chris to ask her to come out.

"Chris, you're supposed to ask if I want to come out and supervise."


"He's lost the need for his Mom."

Some conversations you just don't cut in on.

Dogback Mountain

Forbidden Love:

forbidden love from dooce on Vimeo.

John Quincy Adams The First Twitterer?

History is what it's all about at the Massachusetts Historical Society, and they've found that John Quincy Adams' diary was just made for Twitter.

Short snippets of time - from exactly two hundred years ago - are what his diary entries are about. Which sounds just like Twitter, albeit 200 years hence.

And isn't it funny how he had the same effect as Twitter does in this time frame:

Both are Revolutionary.

John Quincy Adams' Twitter feed can be found here.

Friday, August 7

And Then There Was One

Nasty wind last night in the greater Salt Lake City area:

Last year, during a similar wind storm, this same tree - which was never the same after a lightning strike years before - had gone from five "branches" to three; last night's storm has now reduced that to one.

Each previous "break" fell only into our yard, but this time the fence directly behind the tree/bush suffered some damage:

Not sure - yet - if there's more physical damage than meets the eye. With our luck, the tree is now the only thing that's holding up the fence.

Chris has his work "cut" out for him - he's our official chainsaw operator.

My job? Dealing with the neighbor.


Thursday, August 6

Panhandling A Business Model?

So says the Downtown Alliance's Jason Mathis in today's Deseret News. "The fact is that most panhandlers are not actually homeless," Mathis said. "Essentially, panhandling is a business model where people make a significant income and divert resources away from the legitimate needs of the homeless."

The article says a new ordinance being considered by Salt Lake City would prohibit panhandling just about everywhere there are groups of people not panhandling. But "Nothing is cast in stone," said City Attorney Ed Rutan.


Making false claims about being a veteran, or homeless, or stranded, or disabled, etc., would also be dealt with. I imagine that poor soul in a parking lot asking for money for gas would also be included.

Once, in a parking lot, I was asked not once, but twice, by two different people for gas money.

I say to the first person: "Sorry, I don't have any cash." Which in all reality is usually true, as I really don't carry cash.

Second person, and now I'm a bit perturbed: "Yeah, your friend just asked for the same thing." "I'm not with him."

Yeah, suuuure.

Admittedly, those who pander to panhandlers are misdirecting their hard-earned dollars away from groups who would use those funds more efficiently rather than on a person to person basis.

And that's a much better business model.

Wednesday, August 5

The Wendover Times

OK, so you likely won't find The Wendover Times on your local newsstand. Unless, of course, you live in Wendover. Or rather West Wendover. West Wendover is in Nevada. Wendover is in Utah.

Wendover - west, or its eastern counterpart - is in a place colloquially referred to as somewhere near Egypt. But not out in the toolies - that's about a hundred miles to the east.

Was out that way on a service call yesterday; had to reload a PC's operating system. Not important what operating system, though it was based on Windows 2000. But what's particularly exasperating about the load is that it takes for-ev-er. Even the instructions say 15-30 minutes for any given step of the process.

So there was lots of time for wandering the 95-plus degree parking lot and listening to static on the radio.

On one such excursion, on the way back into the air-conditioned confines of the building, I glanced at the newspapers in the coin machines near the entrance. And saw this:

OK, that's not entirely true. What I saw in that coin-operated box was what's "Above The Fold". If not for that part, I would have passed by without ever seeing anything funny.

And you wouldn't be spending time reading anything here.

What was so funny? Look closer...

Hell, that's not even a fat-finger.

Had the headline for Speed Week been farther into the paper, it wouldn't have really mattered. But right on the front page?

At least they didn't call it Speed Weed.

Tuesday, August 4

Quite The Love Triangle?

Reported at CNN is this gem:

Ryan O'Neal is apparently so estranged from his own flesh and blood that he did not even recognize his daughter Tatum O'Neal at Farrah Fawcett's funeral.

And hit on her.

Monday, August 3

11:30 Every Morning

From the Dilbert website:

Sunday, August 2

When Is News Not News?

The blurb-y headline at CNN just says "Jackson estate fight back in court". When was it not?

Honestly, I hadn't much been aware of the whole Michael Jackson affair in the last week or more. And interestingly enough, it appears CNN is also well aware that the story is losing speed. From the article:

"Rowe, who was briefly married to Michael Jackson, agreed..."

"...who was the biological father -- have been closely guarded amid much public speculation."

"...what killed Michael Jackson has been delayed indefinitely"

"...another physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, gave the drug to Jackson"

ALL OLD NEWS. Covered ad nauseum in the press over the last several weeks. The only thing those references do is just keep the story alive.

For someone who is dead.

To Crop Or Not To Crop

That is the question.

I've commented on a certain local newspaper in the past, and cannot help but do so again.

On the front page of that newspaper today is this photo:

That the crop on the photo seems to have left a ghostly hand over on the right hand side made me wonder just who was in charge of editing this day. Maybe it's my dirty mind - are you listening, DesNews? - but there's something a bit perverse in the handling of the hand. And what it is gripping.

Let it be said that Marilee saw it first. Maybe she's lived with me too long and some things have rubbed off on her.

Anyway, I wondered if I could find an earlier copy of the photo as it depicts the aftermath of the mudslide in Logan last month and what sort of crop may have been done previously.

But a trip to the DesNews website produced something I wasn't expecting. At all. The following photo graces the rolling ticker on their home page:

No ghostly hand.

It does re-appear later in the online article, but only in a gallery.

Maybe the apparition is edited out for the website viewers so as not to alarm.

Saturday, August 1

One Word On Hazing

Only one word is necessary in regards to hazing in Utah public schools and the condoning or ignoring of the subject by administrators.

One word never gets mentioned when people ask why such a big fuss over hazing.

Only one word can be applied to why laws on the books in Utah need to be re-written. That only as recently as 2008 was the law altered to include "bullying".

A radio talk-show on Friday was discussing the matter of hazing and the commentators - from the sound of it, they were obviously jocks - said that the kids being hazed should just "suck up" and take it. That it's all just part of growing up. Get over it. Basically, stop being a sissy.

Too many times we hear about how badly hazing - and bullying - turns into headlines we'd all care not to hear about. And all too commonly, someone gets hurt. Or even killed.

One word, unfortunately forgotten ten years out, never gets any press.

One word.

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