Happy New Year

Well, I felt sick at Costco today, came home and was running a 101 fever.


Still have a drippy nose and cough to accompany it.

Spent the afternoon and evening going to bed for naps, just punked out.

Is it the new blue pill? Doubt it. I will use it as an excuse to sluff around the house tomorrow (as if I need an excuse).

On the Grands front, grandma is out of the hospital and into rehab -- no one knows what virus hit her, or why it affected her legs. Grandpa is in another facility, apparently charming everyone (he can do that quite well). Don't know if they will be able to go back to their house to independently or not.

By '09, 'lo10.

I am going to nap.



Another Dr. Call

Hey, apperetnly my thyroid is way out of whack.


New pills. Joy.

Can I blame my weight gain on the thyroid? I hope so, I don't feel like dieting off some of this 270 pounds.

Man am I fat.


Lame song, great video

I think that he is actually from down under. They have a funny flag and drive on the wrong side of the road.

I wonder if he is looking for a shooting buddy. I could volunteer...


Wrap, wrap wrap

Why is it up to me to wrap all these presents?

As a side note, if anyone wants a few amazon or woot boxes, come on over.


Aunt Pauline called

Apperently Granpa is not doing well.

Long day at an end

Friday night was the end to a long day.
Friday night was the end of a long week.
Friday night was the end of a long trimester at school.
Friday night was at the culmination of a lot of different threads that, hopefully, we can put behind us.

Remember I sad I was busy?

Here is the deal. Start off (every day) with getting up, taking a pill the size of grain of rice. Can't eat anything before, or after for an hour. Wrangle the girls up and get them ready for school.

JENNA NEEDS TO WEAR RED TODAY -- No red shirts fit her.

JENNA CAN'T TIE HER SHOES -- No time to make this a teachable moment.

Oh, Papa is here for the morning performance at school -- let him in (down dogs, quit jumping).

Here Jenna, put on this pull over -- it's red and it is cold outside.

LOAD UP! (down dogs -- what did you tear up?!?!)

Boy, everyone is her for the last day of school and the performance! Traffic is bad, bad, bad. Did Kristin find a parking spot? What about Mom? Good.

OK, lets go in. Great, no good seats. Here come the kids! They keep coming, I don't think they will have enough room for all the classes... oops, a few classes have to go back to their rooms and actually do something (what will the teacher do now).

SSSSHHHH! It's starting -- Jenna is front and center! Look! Damn camera, doesn't take pictures well at a thousand yards. Lets try video. Well, less worse.

(hey, I'm getting sorta hungry)

Well, performance done, lets go to breakfast at Coco's.

Back home, Mike calls. He is coming over. Great, that just killed off an hour (we love you Mike -- you know it!)

Download pics.

Enough time to go up to the accountant to have him look at the IRS notice? Eeeeh, not quite. Time to check e-mails. E-Vite for another Daisy scout party. Sorry, conflicts with two other things. (down dogs -- what the hell did you get into?!?!)

Traffic isn't as bad picking up Jenna. Hmmm, Caitlyn gets out in 40 minutes, enough time go home? Accountant! Let's go!

Teacher walks by, grinning "Sugar them up -- Send 'em home!"

Off to Brea. Good, dump the docs, he isn't here. Great Jenna hates the elevator (it is very dark), RUN DOWN THE STAIRS!

BACK to BRAIN: "Not good -- Less bounce, more glide. Want more ouch?"

Man, more traffic! Everyone gets out at 12:30 today... MOVE IT you idiot... not you baby... thankfully I find a spot to park.

LOAD UP! Dang, you got a bunch of stuff... WE ARE OFF TO DISNEYLAND! Crap, forgot the camera. STAY IN THE CAR. (down dogs -- what is that smell?!?!) We're off!

Jenna, wake up, we are here!

Crowds not too bad today... it must still be early. Dang, my feet hurt (note to self, get new shoes).

ICE CREAM! Good job girls, keep your face clean!

Matterhorn! Wheeeee!

BACK to BRAIN: "Not good -- Less jerky. Want more ouch?"

FEET to BRAIN: "MOAN -- What happened to the new shoes?"

"Hey girls, just remembered that we have to get the dogs some food... Let's go!"

"Dad, why did we park so far away?"

BODY TO BRAIN: "Why did we park so far away?"

Wow, traffic into the park is MUCH worse. Escaped just in time.

Pet store choice: Huge bag of food or a less huge bag of food. Girls barely get it into the cart. Now the fun part: a treat for the pups.

Home! (down dogs -- what did you do, you look guilty?!?!)

Pizza order. Why do they make it so f#*@&%! tough to just order. Pop ups, small buttons, counter intuitive flow. Can't order it to be delivered in an hour, so I have to wait 20 minutes. Grrrr.

Mom's home! (down dogs -- why do you stink?!?!)

Pizza guy is here!

Harriet is here!

Where are the decorations?

Have a beer, egg nog, and a break.


OMG -- Girls get ready for bed, Dad take the dogs on a walk, 'bye Harriet!

Download pics.

E-mails, editing, snail mail, wow how it builds up (where is the paper?).

OMG time to go to....


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One Done Tree

I have been busy doing other things that have kept me away from blogging. With the passing of Bern, it was rush-rush-rush, get the house ready, get the girls ready, get me ready, help out Kristin when she needed to get ready, keep the dogs in control, coordinate the contractor, go to the doctor (twice), keep an eye on the girls, clean up after the dogs (inside and out) and try to eat, sleep, and be a gracious host to the family.


Last night, Kristin and Jenna went and got the last tree from Lowe's (a $7 deal ) and we decorated it with a lot of help from Harriet. Apparently, Doc and Neil are of the Grinch persuasion. I offered her egg nog and pine tree decorating, and she went for it.

I am beat. Goodnight.

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A challenging day

Long day.

The sandblasting guys came by this morning. Taped up the windows, moved things around, and made a hash of things. Had to keep the dogs cooped up in the house during their prime play time. I also took them to school to pick up the girls. They were all out of sorts today.

In chatting with my neighbor, he got his test results back and found out that he has a brain tumor, and will be operated on next week. They don't think that it is a bad thing, but hey -- it's a brain tumor.

Annie called after dinner, and Bernard is pretty bad. They expect him to pass in the next few days. Kristin went up to see him, and he was somewhat confused and not all there. Apparently, the cancer roared back and his liver is failing. Not much time at all.

My minor complaints of being tired and a sore foot seem to fade after this one.

Gotta give myself a foot rub and get some sleep...


Holiday musings....

Around here, there is a street that has light balls in the trees. Usually, they start the day after Thanksgiving and take a few days to go up and down the street to all the houses, run wire from the back yard, up over the house to the large Chinese elm trees, and hang sparkily-twinkily balls.

They did it in one day.

One short, ten hour day.

We were surprised when we went on our walk tonight and the street was lit up.

Pictures and video later.


Happy Thanksgiving

Just one more thing I am thankful for: There is no Tofu in my future.

Just a thought on our current CIC

When we lost that miserably run campaign, all I could hope for was a Clinton light presidency.

What we are getting is a Carter part II presidency instead.

Puppy Disaster!

Well, this is what happens when you don't take the beagles to dinner with you. Tissue Terror!

Esh, I gotta get the two legged girls to clean this one up...

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Disneyland today

Today we went to Disneyland to see the small gap between Haloween and Christmas.

Well, the tree was up on Main Street, and New Orleans was awash in "bling". We found a small spot that was neither, and the girls actually allowed me to take a decent shot of them. After hundreds (perhaps thousands) of pictures, I got a decent one.

The park was quite busy and we left by noon.

Oh, and Jenna lost her tooth at lunch. She is so happy!

Gotta go pick up dog poop somewhere...


Health update

Well, I saw Dr. Lee yesterday, and all seems to be going well.

The bone marrow biopsy came back as generally OK. He noted some elevated numbers in my IGD, but nothing else -- which seems like an anomaly and not much for concern. Yet.

He gave me the surgical pathology report, and while I am not a doctor (or even play on on TV) I can read this:
I take that as something good.

My visits to the chemo lab for AREDIA are to be cut in half, and I don't see Dr. Lee until next January.

Generally good, eh?

My back still has its days, and my bone marrow is only at 50% or so. If I get sick (something I don't do very often) it will take me much longer to get better. I really notice that I notice faces, but absolutely blank out with names (very awkward, socially). I am quite stiff when it comes to movement, except when standing still: my back does an involuntary wiggle that seems like it is under/over correcting itself. My stamina is OK for a while, but it takes me much longer to recover. I seem to be just barely stable -- my balance is just not as balanced as before. If I do get off balance, I don't have the quick (or even automatic) muscle response to correct it in time. Not good when dodging beagle pups.

All told, I think I am doing quite well. Considering that in March of 2008 I could only walk with a walker, and could not get out of a bed without horrific pains in the back, I think that I am doing VERY well. Just wish these 100 little things would hurry up and stop making me feel older than I am.

Gotta go clean up puppy stuff --

Tomorow I get more info

I have an appointment with Dr. Lee, my Oncologist. I will find out the results of my bone marrow biopsy and blood tests.

Things are going a bit too well, if you ask me.


No, I havn't gone away

I have just been busy... puttering around and cleaning up pee and poo piles.

Since the dogs arrived, I have done the following:
*cleaned up numerous poo piles in the yard
*cleaned up several poo piles in the house
*designed, built, installed, and ultimately abandoned a barrier system to keep the pups away from the rest of the house
*put better latches on the gates
*put better closers on the gates
*took the two of them to the vet (all OK)
*fumigated the house (You try to keep 2 pups occupied for 4 hours)

I have gone to the store (Home Depot, Lowe's, Petsmart, Petco, Target, Anaheim Pet supply) every day for the last two weeks.

One good thing is that I have to walk them once a day.

It is so different having the pups around. I must admit, that when Jenna went to school the house was very quiet. Without Gipper, I had nobody to entertain me (or keep me company). Now, even when they are napping, there is activity.

AAAAAHHHHH! Gotta go clean up a mess


New additions

These two little bundles of furry fun were adopted by us on Sunday. We finaly named the girls, Blue and Daisey.

I wanted Black and Blue, Kristin wanted Harley, Jenna wanted Molly, and Caitlyn wanted Lizzie. This is what we ended up with.

Well, they do quite nicely in the crate, and if we can just get them to eliminate out doors, things would be terriffic!

Oh, tomorow I get to go have a bone marrow biopsy. F-ing joy.



Too F-ing Cool!

Yep, that's what it is to be an American!

I gotta go get some anvils...


What prompted the last outburst? This.

Just got a robo letter from my POS Senator. I don't remember writing her lately, so she must be responding to something I wrote a while back. Here it is:

Dear Mr. Crum:

Thank you for writing to me to express your opposition to healthcare reform. I appreciate the time you took to write to me, and I welcome this opportunity to convey my opinions on how we should reform our health care system.

I support reforming our healthcare system. The key is to find a healthcare plan that provides coverage, as well as limits cost. My colleagues in the Senate and I have been working on this, but it is a difficult issue and must be carefully thought out. I hope that when the Senate Committee on Finance considers a healthcare reform proposal, the Committee will pass a bill which can accomplish these goals and can be effectively merged with the bill passed by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

Other health reforms are also necessary. I strongly believe that any healthcare reform legislation should prohibit coverage denial based on preexisting conditions. Reducing healthcare premium costs is absolutely essential. Between 2000 and 2007, combined profits for 10 of the country's largest publically traded insurance companies rose 428 percent. I am also concerned about the astronomical growth of entitlement spending, which makes up 56 percent of all federal dollars spent in 2009. Health reform must bend the healthcare cost curve, slowing the growth of entitlements in order to reduce our nation's debt and budget deficit.

Any Senate health reform bill must improve California's complex health care system, and please know that I am working hard with my colleagues to make health care affordable for all Americans, without adding to the federal deficit.

Again, thank you for contacting me. If you should have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein

DiFi is the smart one.

California is represented by only the very best...


The dam has broken...

OK, BHO gets the Nobel this morning.

What. The. F*#%.

BHO was in office for 11 days when he was nominated and voted the honor. That is 264 hours.

Again: What. The. F*#%.

Since he was nominated this is what he has actually accomplished:
  • Divided the nation along racial, economic, class, political and just about any other line there is. Riots? Soon.
  • Halted the growth of the economy (did I mention how many commercial properties are vacant locally?). Obamavilles? Soon.
  • Increased the debt to levels that are absolutely mind boggling. Taxed up the wazoo? Soon (if not now).
  • Started the long and painful retreat from our engagement from the middle east. We are still reaping the bitter cop of failure from our disengagement in South East Asia. Killing fields in Iraq and Afghanistan? Soon.
  • Tanked, and utter gutting of the U.S. dollar. Hyper inflation? Soon.
  • Trashed our standing in the eyes of our allies. Poland under the Russian boot? Soon.
  • Nationalizing the health care system and working to change a center right nation to a left leaning nation that is permanently dependent on the state for bread and circuses. Currently in process -- Sooner than later.
While I try to not sound like a raving loon, Obama is so far left, that even some of his "independent" supporters must be scandalized at some point. Kids singing his praises in class and on TV, constant cooing from the press, and absolutely fawning of world "leaders" like Kadafi-Chavez-Akmadinizad all add up to a picture of a personality cult larger than Stalin's.

These are the things he has accomplished. What is to come? Nationalized industries. Gun bans. Ammo bans. Culture wars. Class wars. Just waiting for the next "crisis" for him to exploit to his advantage.

What amazes me is that he (and the Congress he rode in on) haven't actually done much. They have the votes. Just do it. Perhaps it is because they know that they are so far out that they may actually fear the center right nation that they now run. Thank God.

Gotta go rant at the yard for growing too much last night...


Health update for October 6, 2009

Sunday they took 7 vials of blood from me in preperation for...

Yesterday I went to see my Bone Marrow Transplant doctor, Dr. Kogut. While my white blood cell count is low (normal for someone who has had a transplant and taking Thalidomide) , everything else is OK. He doesn't need to see me for another 6 months -- and that's good.

He did mention the need for a bone marrow biopsy. Crap.

And, on Sunday, I twisted my back raking the back yard, and I am now getting those very uncomfortable back twitches that I had before I was diagnosed. Yea, it has me a bit worried.

Other than that, I am feeling quite well. I am continuing my quest to become Jaba the Hut (I am 274 and gaining). Excersise consists of getting up adn getting some frozen M&Ms. Mm Mm Mm!

Gotta go, I think a chocolate chip just escaped from the fridge...

Homework -- never enough time

Homework -- total buzz kill. on Twitpic

She does have a habit of falling asleep at the table...


Drugstore.com SUCKS -- Conclusion

Package delivered, late in the day, but still delivered.

What a mess. Things that I learned:
  • Drugstore.com is a bottomless, vacuous pit.
  • I used them MANY years ago, until I noticed that they signed me up for some sort of service with recurring fees on my credit card.
  • Their e-mail help feature is worthless.
  • Their human help people, while very nice, are running about .333 on their effectiveness.
  • I will never use them again. Ever.
Yes, I even took them off of my bookmarks, spam alerted all their sales crap, and will spit at them if they call. I hope that the fleas of a thousand camels will infest their bodies -- but then they have products to fix that I suppose.

(sigh) I gotta go clip some nails...


Drugstore.com SUCKS IV

Well, it seems that someone at UPS found the box.

Guess what, it will be delivered on October 1, 2009. Supposedly.

Track it yourself -- google this: 1Z6RA0680320153920

We shall see if it even gets here.

Remember, this order was placed on September 12, 2009. It will have taken 19 days to get nail clippers and deodorant.

Am I going to shop at Drugstore.com again?


If it were not for me haranguing them into looking into things, it would still be propping up the corner of the microwave in the lunch room. Absolutely ridiculous.

Esh, I gotta go, I stink...


Drugstore.com SUCKS III

Well, I have a tracking number from yesterday!

Is it processing? Well...

Billing Information Received

Which means they sent the package information to UPS, but UPS has not taken physical custody of the box.

It usually takes a few hours for this to work out, but it has been over 24 hours since the billing information was sent. UPS (and I love 'em) never takes long for them to scan a box.

UPS has not scanned it.

UPS doesn't have the box to scan.

Sounds like it is lost in the vortex again!

Gawd, I need those clippers. I'm starting to look like Howard Hughes.


Drugstore.com SUCKS II

Checked today, still no movement.

Since it was 103 outside, I decided to get on the phone to rattle a cage or two.

Since it was my THIRD call to them, they had a record of who and what.

Got yet another nice human on the other end. This time he was genuinely shocked at what crappy service he and his company were giving. He put me on hold and actually went to his supervisor to light a fire under someone in the warehouse.

It seems to have worked, or at least they sent me an e-mail that it actually shipped.

We will see.

Sheesh, all I wanted was my new nail clippers and deodorant.


Drugstore.com SUCKS

I put an order in with them on Sunday, September 12. Drugstore.com said OK, we are processing it and all things are in stock.

E-mailed them five days later, and they took my concern seriously, and said that it is still processing.

Upped the ante and e-mailed a humanish robot. It was still processing.

Called yesterday and talked to an actual human (based in North America no less!) and said it is still processing. BUT, they will give me free upgraded shipping on my next order. Riiight -- as if!

Called today. Again, a nice guy on the line that said the ticket in the warehouse was not acted upon "they are real busy". It is still processing.

Their suggestion is to go cancel the order and try again. Bullshit. If I cancel, I will go to Walgreen's down the street and get the stuff that way. I just want to stay in the AC and get my package -- LAST WEEK.

I would be really pissed, but it is still processing.


A cool little visitor

Saw this little guy pecking away at my tree. It's a good sign that he didn't stay long, but the visit was nice.

I must get a better zoom camera, though.

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Hmmm, where do I fit on this chart...

I think I am somewhere on this chart...

Who, me? Yea, I am busy...

...but not BIG busy. I am little busy. You know, scampering around and getting little things done here and there -- nothing to write a blog post about.

Example: Yesterday, after the girls went off to school, I showered just in time for Dad to come over and take me to Home Depot. Back to the house in time to pick up Jenna at school and see Caitlyn long enough to relise that she had already eaten lunch (it was family picnic day). Back to the house for an air conditioned picnic (ahhhh). Off to the credit union for a bit of banking, then get Caitlyn at school. Get them dressed for Karate, off to school. Meet Mom and Dad at Karate, then Dad and I go and pick up Tony's pistols at the gunsmith. Take Dad back to his car and get dinner for the Wife and I (the kids can have leftovers). Go home, start laundry, dinner and wait for the Wife to come home. Finish dinner in front of the TV, watch the Angels barely win. Sleep, do it all over again.

As an old Bulgarian friend used to say: "Nothing Wow".

Gotta go, laundry is done in the dryer.


Quick medical update

Well, I went to see Dr. Lee, and things are cruising along.

Yes, I have some Peripheral neuropathy that makes my toes feel weird. Something of a concern, if I stub my toe. I also detect a bit of it in my fingers, but nothing to get concerned about -- yet.

I will deal with it.

My back isn't 100%, but I try to stretch it out and keep it flexible, eat some calcium, and that keeps it in check. Related to that is the almost constant cramps I have in either my toes, legs, lower back, middle back, abs, and hands.

I will deal with it.

My blood counts are low-ish, but that is expected with the Thalidomide. Seems that it also is responsible for the cramps. Problem is, if I stop, the cancer can come back, bigger and badder than ever. This is keeping it in check for the moment. I quit, that is the last I can use this drug -- forcing me into a different chemo regimen that may or may not be as effective.

I will deal with it.

Slightly more challenging is the thyroid. Still have days of "manic-ness", and I recently refilled my RX. Well, I wasn't supposed to eat my calcium or multivitamin right after the 1 hour time limit is up. My pill regimen is getting complicated again.

I will deal with it.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment at the City of Hope for my "brain test", where they test my chemo brain functioning. Long, hot haul up, and a hotter haul home. It will be interesting to see if they finished that building they started when I was there a year ago.

Well, I gotta go get a kid out of school...


...it's quiet...


Hear that?

It's a pin dropping!

The girls are in school today.

Oh, what Joy!

Oh, what Quiet!

Oh, what to do...


This about sums it up...

Why oppose Obama? This illustrate it quite well...

I think that the chart is actually too nice on the deficits.

As Margret Thatcher said, they over reach -- they always do.


Only 10 vials today!

After going to the beach with the kids today, I took Bern over to Kaiser for a blood draw.

Ha! I beat him 10 vials to 2!

Ya know, you would think that going on a Sunday late afternoon would be great -- no lines and you get right in. Well, we got right in, but there was only one receptionist (there is usually at least 2) and only one lab tec (the place is usually crawling with them). So, with only one person in front of us, it seemed to take forever. Then there was a problem with Bern's blood draw order, computer lock up, computer restart, consultation with others, and finally, two vials. Esh.

Go OC Flyers!

Well, we went to the game. Had fun, ran into several great folks that I enjoyed talking to.

Jenna went out and danced between innings!

A foul ball came close, guy threw it up in the stands and I caught it for the girls... FIRST FOUL BALL EVER FOR ME! Guess I can check that off my list.

Gotta get the $2 beer taste out of my mouth...

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Nothing Fishy about this...

This video sums it up well...

Sorry, this mobster is not interested.

Jimmy "Chubs" Crum

Health update

Well, I am feeling OK at the moment.

My toes and now my fingers are getting a bit numb, but that comes and goes. Doctors think that it is from the Thalomid and not a new tumor (like last time).

Thyroid seems under control, but I can get manic sometimes (hey, a clean house! hey, are-you-done-wearing-that-I-have-to-do-laundry! letscleanthekitchenagain!) . I do sweat while sitting in front of the computer posting on the blog, so go figure.

My back still does the wiggle when I stand up straight and still.

I am still overweight, and that isn't going away.

Muscle cramps are still common, but I think it has to do with my calcium intake -- two or more 600 + D chewables does the trick.

Esh, gotta go get my hair cut.


** WARNING ** Political rant coming up

Yes, it is facisim.As always, someone else has put it better than I can. The site Sweetness and Light notes that the modern democrat party is very much like the National Socialist Party of old.

The Nazis being: against big banks and capitalism in general, against big department stores, against pollution, for two years mandatory voluntary service to the country, for make-work projects (such as the autobahn), against vivisection and cruelty and to animals, against smoking and all tobacco products, for abortion and euthanasia of the infirm and undesirable – and, of course, for cradle-to-grave nationalized healthcare. In fact, if you look really hard, you can sometimes even find a hint of anti-Semitism in the Democrat Party.

Now, the Democrats want to give us healthcare, and people are noticing. The congress can not get cash for clunkers right, they can't get Medicare right, and they can't get anything right on taxes. So they are going to get healthcare right?
My personal take: I am on maintenance chemo. This will be for the rest of my life. It is not cheap, costing about $63,000 a year. If I live to my statistical end, it will cost $2, 331,000. This doesn't take into account monthly blood tests, specialist, or other costs -- just for one pill a day.
Now this healthcare bill is all about "getting the costs down" and "covering the uninsured". Look at my costs, and make a calculation that in 'X' years my maintenance cost will outweigh treatment costs. Solution? Quit maintenance and wait for the cancer to come back, treat it again, and we save the people (taxpayers) 'Y' amount of money.

There is no consideration of quality of life, lifestyle, or personal prefrence.

Another example: Bern, Kristin's step Dad, is in the hospital right now fighting off pneumonia (for the 4th time this year). His cancer has come, gone and returned several times. Bone marrow transplant, weekly chemo, and several hospital stays later, here he is. He is costing Kaiser a bucket load of money to keep him going. Other than the cancer, he is great, and can contribute to society in any one of several ways. But when the actuarials get to it, he is a drain, limited time, and should save "the system" precious cash so that others can continue their basic healthcare needs.

Having been through the medical system as it is now, and seeing others go through it, I can foresee this in the future:
  • Doc -- You get one (new) knee per leg. Don't screw it up. You must quit all lifestyle elements that may endanger the procedure. Can't operate until you get within the chart weight of 190 pounds.
  • Harriet -- Hips are not optional. Take a pain pill. Remember, wheelchairs get you where you want to go and are cheaper. Motorized wheelchairs can be provided -- contact your Member of Congress.
  • Bern -- Time to move on. If the standard treatments don't work, take a clue. We offer end of life counseling and Physician assisted departure.
  • Kristin -- No surgery for you. No new medications for you, it is too expensive and not proven yet. Take the cheap pill.
  • Mom -- Cancer again? 'Comon now, you have used up all your good cancer points on the last two.
Of course you can have that special treatment, if you contribute to your appropriate political official...

Grrrr... I gotta take my pills.


Internet trails and tribulations

Well, I diagnosed the problem with my internet connection as being my router, like the fith one I have killed over the years.

Next was the browser. I use Netvibes as my home page. I find it hugely helpful for keeping all of my interests in line. For example, I can scan all my wood working sites on one page and see if there is anything new. Same with politics, gadgets, H1N1 flue, guns, social media, comics, family stuff... get the picture?

Well, FireFox 3.5 (+) doesn't work nice with this. Don't know why, but it just slows down, then locks.


So, I now am using Chrome from Google. Works just fine. Bookmarks are not as easy (I have hundreds of bookmarks too), and I have to open each bookmark individually instead of "open all", but I will get used to it.

So, we shall see. Since I have the thought process of a gnat anymore, any breaking of my thought stream can have severe consequences...

Hey, there is a squirrel in my yard!


Blogger and his balky internet connection...

What the hell is it with me and routers?

I just replaced my router... third one this year! Are they some kind of canary in the coal mine thing? Do they barf on you when you most need the computer? Are they just pissy?

I have killed off at least 7 or 8 routers. I have only killed one modem, and that one was old.

Luckily, I had a backup one from Woot! on hand, hooked it up and >BAM< everything is good with the world again.

This article really helped, made me less mad at my ISP.

Well, back to the surf grind...


Disneyland and some thoughts...

Went to Disneyland and DCA today. Hot, somewhat crowded, but fun. Walking around, some things continued to annoy me.

  • Old people, new tattoos: It has been my opinion that tattoos are for combat proven Marines and drunk sailors on leave. Pirates too. Not for 60 year old grannies who think it's cool. If you are over 25, forget it. When you turn 30, get them removed.
  • Tattoos of things you have no clue about: Asian characters? No, they really mean "I have stinky bummy!". Bentley Car emblems? No, you don't even qualify to clean the upholstery in one. Sports team? Hope they don't change their mascot, logo, or location.
  • Old guys and rat tails: Dude, you are old. Act respectable and people will respect you. Rat tails belong in the hills of West Virginia... waaaaayyyy back in a 'holler!
  • College team wear: Did you go there? Being a fan is one thing, but to have your whole family with Texas Longhorn clothing, bags, and shoes is just a bit much. If you realy went there, you may not be so proud...
  • Raiders fans: What can I say? Bud Lite is their koolaid, and boy, do they drink koolaid!
  • Fat people on ECVs (Electric Convenience Vehicles): Get off your ass and walk. I used an ECV twice last year. Hated every second of it. Be healed! Walk your ass off! That's what Disneyland is for!
  • Kids with games: If my kids bring a game to Disneyland, it would go under a train... PAY ATTENTION TO THE WORLD AROUND YOU! You may learn something.
  • Adults with iPhones or Crackberrys: See above.

That should keep me calm for a day or so.

Gotta go, a Woot off is going!

Ashamed to be a Californian today...

Our moron Senator Barbra Box-of-rocks embarrassed the whole state today...

It is like she is treating him as "one of them" and he needs to get back on the reservation. Kudos to the guy for slamming this disgrace of a Senator.

Oh, the problem with health care...

I know a few folks that wouldn't qualify for any new medical treatments under the new plan.

Obama -- and the rest of the socialist congress -- are so far out of the main stream it is not funny. This cram down of the health bill is very scary for the republican form of government that we once had.

Don't even get me started on the other things they are doing NOW, with such feirce urgency, that can and will permanently change the USA.

I am quite unhappy, time for a nap...


Busy, busy, busy...

Well, not really.

After the 4th of July party, I usually take a few days to unwind. I sit back, drink left over beer, and eat leftover food. Which means, that I have a real weird few days... Loren's dump cake (ZOOM!), cold beer (WHAM!), baked beans (BLAST!).

So, it takes me a few more days to get all systems running straight, it is worth it!

Just before the 4th I did go up to LA to retrieve something that has been missing for almost two decades. I got a post card from LAPD and they had recovered a .45 pistol that had been stolen from me in the early 90's.


Paperwork, applications, phone calls (bla-bla-bla) and I finally got to get it at Parker Center (LAPD HQ) on July 3rd. Great time to get it too... it was a bureaucratic holiday, so there were hardly any people around, and I found a parking spot right away. The desk Sergeant was clueless, and I wasted 15 minutes going where I knew I wasn't supposed to go, but I did the dance and got the .45 back into my trembling hands.

Eeesh, it was in dreadful condition. Covered in silver finger print powder, rust oozing out of the cracks and crevasse, even the Pachmayr grip was messed up (BTW, Kudos to them , they are sending out a replacement part for the bronze medallion that is missing).

So, I spent 2 hours cleaning it myself, and I did an OK job of it. But it needed to be stripped down to the individual parts and seriously eyeballed. Jan Merson, of American Firearms and Gunsmithing did a great job of doing that for me. Can't say enough about the guy. Got the 'ol .45 up and running and it looks and feels just like old times!

Excuse me, I gotta go admire my new (old) toy...


Grrr... Time Warner Cable internet frustrates Blogger

Here at the mansion, we use Time Warner Cable for our data. Usually, it works well enough. However, a few times an hour it just *stops*.

A note on how I surf: I go to a site like Instapundit or Ernie's, and read and open up a bunch of links all at once. I often do this while streaming radio broadcasts at the same time. Now, while I launch the web sites, the buffered streaming media keeps going... but the browser comes up "connection interupted" or "problem loading page" or "The connection was reset". The stream keeps rolling (it's buffered), but the sites come up missing.

It happens with just me surfing, with the wife surfing alone (who doesn't surf like me at all), and the kids trying to play on sprouts.com.

No rhyme or reason.

I did try the online help, playing e-mail tag with a guy... somewhere... and that was a waste. Since it has been happening for months, and intermittently, I suspect that it will be difficult to diagnose. You know how it goes, "Hey it's down now... oh, up... wait ... wait... wait... ITS - oh, it's still up... loading... loading... loading... DOWN!... Up? UP! Oh, loading... loading..."

Esh, it's enough to frustrate a guy.


Light blogging, for a reason.

Yea, I have been busy scampering about with the girls getting a million different little things done for the 4th of July party.

Not only that, but I am getting bids for the sandblasting/re-stucco of the house.
And stone facing on the front.
And insulation in the walls.
And boxing in the eaves.
And painting the trim.
And, and , and...

Boy, while-you-are-at-it-itis realy can bite you in the butt!

Good thing I got the A/C fixed ($300+), I think I will take a nap.


Why am I happy to get a letter from Jerry Brown?

Yes, former Governor Moonbeam, now Attorney General, Edmund G. Brown Jr. sent me a letter confirming the fact that I am eligible to posses firearms.

What a world we live in.

If it were up to him, no one would be eligible to even talk about owning a firearm.

Now I get to go up to LA tomorrow and search for my long stolen (19 years?) .45 ACP.

Woo - Hoo !


Mostly sucsessful night at Disneyland...

Went to Disneyland with the family.

We got there at dinner time, and since nothing is easy, we went to get a box dinner for the girls at the Village Haus, and then ate at the Zocolo. Since we went there for the night shows, we tooled over to the Haunted Mansion to stake out a place for Fantasmic!, but only got a D+ spot.

After that show, the fireworks started -- then stopped. The old "winds at high altitudes" problem. So we went on the Haunted Mansion, then got a better seat for the 10:30 showing of Fantasmic!

We stopped by Pixie Hollow for some pictures. Disneyland is great at night for pictures, and I am still working on the details as to how it's done. You need a steady hand, and that is tough for me.

As we left the park, Sean Austin was also leaving. This is the second time I have seen him there. The only way I notice him is that he is with a tour guide. Only celebs use tour guides. I have seen Gary Shandling, Duane "DOG" Chapman and his short wife, and some others that I can't recall at the moment.

That's about as close to celebrity as I want to get.


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BHO continues to march after the money

Well, I told ya so!

BHO will control the money, and the policy, while claiming that it is "for the good".

Man, this guy is un-fricken-believable!

Gotta hide now...


The tale of a small gland...

Well, the latest thyroid test came back. Better than before, and right in the middle of the acceptable range.

Great, now all I have to do is get my routine down.

I used to take my fist full of pills in the morning with my shredded wheat, but with the thyroid stuff, my stomach needs to be empty. In the morning, it really is empty. And it has to stay empty for an hour. So I am wobbly and woozy for an hour while the pill (the size of a grain of rice) taunts my hungry system as a meal.

Sometimes I can shit, shower, and shave, but mostly I need to keep sedate. My gyros are very slow in the morning, and if I learch too quickly I just keep going in that random direction. I look very... amusing.

And, no, I don't drink beer in the morning. What do you think this is, Baja?

Next project: Loose some of the 50 pounds I gained over the last year.

Gotta go to bed...


How the Intellecualoids will take over the world...

In an article about "How Sex sells the loss of freedom", there is a great line that applies to much of what is happening.

Leftism as an ideology exists to provide a mechanism for advancing the economic interest and social status of articulate intellectuals. As an ideology leftism seeks to restrict the freedoms, especially the economic freedoms, of everyone who doesn’t work as an articulate intellectual, while at the same time maximizing the freedom of articulate intellectuals.
There is another bit, something that I have noticed...

Most people forget that fascists, communists and the lesser tyrannies of the 20th Century did not initially rise to power as violent, mass-murdering police states. Instead, they began with economic control. They first controlled people’s access to material necessities: to jobs, to housing, to medical care, to education, etc. Only when they could control people’s material environment did they obtain the power to unleash the police state.
It concludes with this:

As you go through your day-to-day life, watch all the decisions that you make that influence your total quality of life. Each time you make such a decision, ask yourself if a leftist would let you make that decision if they had the power to stop you. Would they let you have your house, your job, your car, your food, your random stuff? Would they let you run your own business? Would they protect your right to free speech if they disagreed with you? Would they let you educate your children as you see fit? Would they let you have input on your minor children’s reproductive choices?

If I want to plant petunias in the yard, is it OK, or do I have to go with drought tolerant plantings? If I want a black car, will it be allowed in California? I want my wife to make her famous chocolate chip cookies, will we be taxed extra for making "fat food"? Never mind that I already have to separate my garbage, select from a paltry selection of tiny unsafe vehicles, buy paint that is safe for the environment (but fails after 3-4 years), select only "energy star" products that simply don't do the job for a family of 4.

The intelectualoids are located in dense, large cities. Typically they are childless, or at most, one child family s. To them, a large vehicle (mini van or SUV) is impractical. They take the train or bus to work. They have appartments that need little maintenence. The closest they get to a Home Depot is to get mercury infused twisty lightbubs. Meanwhile, in "flyover country", a family of four or five squeeze into a small, unsafe vehicle, try to maintain a house with inferior products, and suffer at the hands of the "save the earth" idiots that have (and will never) get out and actually do something.

Star Trek

I was lucky enough to go to see Star Trek at a IMAX theater. Good movie, though watching it in hi-def IMAX may have been too much of a good thing.

All the actors have bad skin, and IMAX puts their face in yours. I love my wife, but I know more about the new Kirk's facial quirks than hers.

It does take away some of the movie magic when the story line gets overtaken by the visuals (the whole pourpose of the IMAX experience). If they could have done something with the interiour shots and extreme closeups in non-IMAX, then the other, outside scenes in IMAX, that would have been great.

I do remember that actors (and especially the actresses) are wary of hi-def TV for the same reason: Stagecraft and makeup are not up to the standards of the new hi-def cameras yet.

It is like the "talkies" and "color" all over again. At some point it will find a happy medium.

Gotta go, feeling hormonal (heh, I like that)


The chart for the Thyroid hormone

For once, excelling at something is not good.Can I get away with saying "I feel hormonal today"?

Gotta go, hormones raging...

Just waiting for the call...

My thyroid test came back, and it was still off. Not as much as the first one, but still bad.

They are testing TSH (THYROID STIMULATING HORMONE), and the range is from 0.4-4.00 uIU/mL.

I scored a 5.72!

Finally, something I am good at! The previous one was 6.53.

Now I am just waiting for the Doc to call and tell me what pills to take. Great, more pills.

I feel manic, gotta go --


Damn Thyroid...

Got a call from the Dr., my blood tests came back and my thyroid was way down (or up, can't remember).

Need to take another test in a week.

Bye, I gotta study for it now...


Who are you?

I have a little thinggie called sitemeter, and I am fascinated by the traffic I get.

Russia? Latvia? Australia? UK? WOW!

The one that realy gets me thinking is my fan in Alabama.

Do I know you? While it is possible that I do, search chemo brain and you will understand the question...

Please, drop me a note, I am curious as to who you are.


City of Hope's Celebration of Life Reunion

Just got back from the COH BMT reunion. Great event. Got my 1 year BMT badge (as big as a plate) and a blue hat with LA on it. Must be some baseball team or something. All my ball caps are red.

Took Jenna with me, and she had a blast, cupcakes and ice cream galore for her.

I need a nap.


Yes, Harriet, it is Fascism

This article demonstrates that what the big O is doing is indeed fascism.

Did we see it coming?


Did anyone listen?


I am reminded of an article I read years ago (since lost to the haze of time), that Europe in the 30's it was "hip and cool" to be a Fascist. Or a Communist. Famous people like Henry Ford thought that it was a great idea. All that anti Jew ( Slavic, Protestant, catholic, gypsy...) stuff was just talk. Labor, capital, and government could work as one for better results.

Now, the Big O is hip and cool. People like George Sorros think that this is a great path that we have emparqued on. The hedge funds, bankers, Wall Street speculators, and tea party folks are the true problem. After all, are they not racist?

What is truly telling is that today the big O announced that Chrysler is going bankrupt. Not the CEO of Chrysler ( unless you consider the big O as the defacto CEO ). The big O and his cronies (unions) run things now.

All within 100 days.

Not bad.


BTW, I didn't go to any tea parties on the 15th. Too many things to do. Plus, it was in Santa Ana. Why there? Parking is crappy, NOTHING to do there, only lawyers (and the swine they represent) and bureaucrats have a reason to be there.


I gotta go plant some pumpkin seeds...


yea, I have been busy, but not too much...

Since I have been feeling better, I have been doing a bajillion little things that have been piling up around here. Little things like, making eye appointments ( I think I need bifocals ), finish fixing the sprinklers ( THANKS DAD! ), laundry, clearing out the garage, and cleaning out the car ( OMG, the girls are pigs in the back ).

Still have another bajillion things to finish, but you gotta start somewhere...


What a shock

The car crash that killed Adenhart happend just a few miles from here. I know the area well.

Our thoughts and prayers to the families, and may the SOB that caused the crash rot in hell.


Happy Anniversary!

Nine years ago, we got married here in Fullerton. A nice ceremony with no disasters or "YouTube" moments.


What we did yesterday was go to the Angel's game. Ditch the kids with the Grands, get there a bit early, and enjoyed the game... up to the 7th inning stretch. Adenhart shut the A's out of the first 6 innings, then the bull pen blew it -- especially with 3 runs in the top of the ninth.


In the middle of the 4th, Kristin had put up on the score board "Happy Anniversary Jim & Kristin". The picture may be coming, but the lens was smeared with Ruby's french fry grease (How she does it, I'll never know).

We got home a bit late, and slept in. Not a bad date!

I gotta get something for breakfast --


Two new threats to the Universe...

The Universe just got a little more unsafe. On Saturday, two of the meanest, dirtiest, low downest Yellow Belts were unleashed onto the unsuspecting world. They expect to rule us all with in the week!

(moan) Sick, but not sick enough...

The family has been passing around this chest cold thing for a couple of weeks.

Jenna seems to be the head germ, she actually has had a fever a few times.

Kristin and Caitlyn stayed home one day last week, both just sick enough.

Everyone is coughing, hacking and miserable... but not enough to do anything about it.

Well, I got tired of it and set an appointment for tomorrow morning. Of course they won't see the whole family ( just all of us -- one at a time). I had a low fever last night, so I thought it was time to nuke this thing.


Caitlyn has a new thing...

Skateboarding! She has not figured out how to make it go straight yet (it keeps going off into the grass). Hopefully she will not do what her Papa did, and break a bone.

Ah, goodby March!

March has been quite busy for me and the family.

We have four family birthdays spaced evenly throughout the month, so every week we are getting together. Plus Caitlyn had three friends with birthdays in March.

Blogging has been light because I am working on the yard, which has been neglected for a year, and un-crashing my computer.

I somehow managed to trash both hard drives at once. Not a problem, I have Carbonite... right? Well, I restored some files (thankfully my Turbo Tax file restored), but I have 204,000+ files NOT restored, waiting in the pipe for replacement. It's just stuck. Won't transfer.


I guess I will have to interface with someone on the subcontinent to fix this, but I just haven't had the time.

Stay Well!

Neat manipulation of the picture

kinda cool, eh?
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Spring Training

Well, what can I say?

We went to see three games of Cactus League action. The Angels won two out of the three. Not bad. We met some players, and saw all the coaches and staff.

I saw:
Arte Moreno ( about 20 rows in front of me )
Tim Meade (was the MC of the BBQ we went to)
Two pitchers (to be named later)
Rex (the Hud Dog) Huddler
Tony Regins
William E. Dannemeyer

Oh, and we also saw the games.

It was definitely a different vibe at these games.

The Angels had a huge turn out at the Cubs park. Cub fans are a strange lot, I tell ya! And they don't believe in good beer... Bud and Bud Lite. That's it. We didn't spend ANY money there!

But, we are back home and gearing up for Ms. Caitlyn's big 6th party. Clean, clean, clean, garden, garden, garden.

Gotta Go Hoe!

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What a weekend

We just got in from a long weekend of Spring Training Baseball.

Way cool.

Way tired.

I'll tell you all about it later.

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One year ago...

... I was flat on my back in a hospital bed.

All anyone knew is that I couldn't walk, and had "something strange" on my MRI of my back.

It would take several more days before I was diagnosed with Multiple Myloma (IGD).

During that time, I had to have help doing even the most basic of all functions. Modesty and pride go out with the hospital gown.

I was fitted with a back brace, that kept me together for about six months. I was so glad to progress away from that.

Since then I have had three rounds of radiation, several different chemo therapies, and the big whopper, the massive chemo with stem cell regeneration of my bone marrow that happened at the City of Hope.

Lasting effects? Yea, a few.
  • After a year of various forms of sitting on my ass, I have little momentum.
  • I am up to 271 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been ( in April I was below 220, and had to use a belt to keep my pants up).
  • I have some memory lapses -- also known as chemo brain.
  • My fine motor skills are very shaky.
  • My legs swell up in the evening, so when I take off my socks for the night it looks rather shocking.
  • I have tattoos, but they are the remains of the radiation treatment.
  • I seem to have difficulty hearing things.
  • I smell smoke, a nice BBQ kind of smoke (the doctors are puzzled by this one).
  • My back is stiff (see the second item), and twitches when I stand still or lay down for the night.
  • I have a scar on my chest where the Hickman catheter was inserted in my chest and neck for 6 or so weeks.
  • I take chemo pills every night, and will have to for the rest of my life. A 28 day supply costs Kaiser $5200.
Perks? Some important ones.
  • Family and friends. Without them I would be long gone. Each well wish and prayer counted.
  • I can park in the blue spots (at least until June).
  • New perspectives, new attitudes.
  • I can pick up the girls again.
  • My wife.
All in all, it has been an emotional 365 days.

Looking forward to another few thousand days ahead.


Facist takover of private property

These supporters of Obama (and Obama worked with them) from ACORN have thrown out the rule of law, and confiscated private property.

It is on tape, but they will not be prosecuted. That would be racist.

Tell me, why the hell does my tax money go to these fascist anyway?


Yep, I'm hacked...

Since I can't trust the GOP to stop the pile of crap "(government) stimulus bill" in the Senate, and I can't trust the California GOP from increasing taxes, I am seriously thinking of changing my party affiliation.

This comes as a disappointment to me, as I can remember that I sided with Ford when I was in the 5th grade, dogged my history teacher in the 7th (he was a draft dodger), and created a name for myself throughout college as a conservative Republican.

But when the media voted for McCain, and worshiped "The One" into office, and the respectful Republicans rolled over (as they were told to do by everyone in the beltway), they betrayed my trust.

My concern is that we have entered a brave new world of "the third way". This is the way of the fascist of Europe, Mussolini, Franco, and yes, that other guy. The world of government owning or "partnering" with publicly held companies to work together for the good of all. Decisions are not made in the board room, but out in public. Labor unions are encouraged, so that the workers have a voice in the means of production. The public health is taken care of by the state in an efficient manner.

All things are political because the state is all things.

What does this mean for me? Move out of state? Move out of the country? Nah, just hunker down, buy ammo, and prepare for the inevitable stagflation, increase in crime, and social unrest. Thanks for uniting us, our saviour Obama.

I Like Etta James

  1. Etta James sings wonderfully.
  2. She doesn't like Obama.
  3. She sings wonderfully.

Etta James is not happy with President Barrack Obama or Beyonce. Apparently, at a recent show, the singer showed her anger while introducing her hit, At Last, the song that Obama asked Beyonce to sing during his first dance as President. Etta made a point to let the audience know that Obama was “not her President.” Burn

Etta told the audience, “You know, YOUR President, the one with the big ears-he ain’t my President?”had that woman singing for him at his Inauguration. She’s going to get her ass whooped. How dare Beyonce sing MY song that I been singing forever. Now I’m going to sing it for y’all….??

Did I mention that she sings wonderfully?


"I Won!"

Obama, after explaining to Biden what happened... the Chicago way!