Tonight at the dinner table, Samuel decided it was time to do a little singing.
I would be richer than Gates or Buffett.
It’s a good thing, I believe, to remember the dead — especially in a culture that trivializes death. We shunt it aside to the fantastic realms of video games and movies, and call it by other names when we do it to old people and unborn infants, and all of this is a way, I think, of grasping life in the wrong way, in a way that reveals the underlying belief, for many of us, that our lives are about our gratification.
That’s such a big word for an experience that is so very small. Gratification is as far removed from joy as hunger is from a great feast, and yet we forsake the latter in pursuit of the former because joy, like a feast, requires sacrifice.
So it’s a good thing to remember those who gave their lives in sacrifice for others. Think on them, and if you like you can light a candle or mutter a prayer, a prayer that you and I and the rest of the world will, if only for a slender day, give ourselves over to loving someone other than ourselves, which means the great sacrifice of setting down our hurts and lusts and grievances and entitlements, all of which are chains with heavy anchors, but which we gather to us like treasures. But today, if only for today, what say we lay them down?
This spring, Davis started playing baseball. At the six and under level (6U), it’s coach-pitch. He did pretty well, and we saw improvements in his fielding from that first practice to the last game this past Saturday (May 22d). Hitting wise, he did awesome, going seven for eight in the first half of the season. He hit a slump, but rebounded for the last two games.
To see more photos, including a couple from the game, check out the rest of the set.
From back in March. While I was getting myself ready, the boys watched Sesame Street in Mom and Dad’s room.
So my question to you is, are you a slave to a jury of your peers? Do you always have to explain why you are right? How much do you care what religious people think of you? When somebody else is wrong, do you jump in quickly to tell them so, making yourself feel righteous? My answer to these questions is yes, I do. Doesn’t that stink?
I think we would be a bit more emotionally stable to understand self-righteousness gets us nowhere, and the jury of our peers is neither an accurate or authoritative judge. It really is a waste of your time to defend yourself to anybody but God Himself. And it’s even more of a waste of time to claim any defense other than Christ crucified.
Really good read.
[Wave of the phin to Brent for the link.]
…so let’s all celebrate by:
Happy birthday, bro. Love ya.
So I’m finally getting around to doing some photo processing. For Thanksgiving this past year, we spent the week with my parents at their home in the Birmingham, Alabama, area.
Wow. Seven years as of yesterday.
Seven years ago, I had a great job. A career in IT.
Seven years ago, we hadn’t been in our new house even a full year.
Seven years ago, we were churchless.
Seven years ago, we were childless.
Now, I do not have a career in IT, but I do have a job: being a stay-at-home dad. And it’s awesome.
Now, we’ve been in the house nearly eight years.
Now, we have two wonderful boys, six and thirteen months. They are absolute joys.
I’m blogging less. Twittering more. Chasing a little guy all around the house. Having fun.
It’s not all a bed of roses, but there are more ups than downs, and I thank God for all of these blessings.
Last evening, after arriving home from dinner, our family decided to take a walk. Our neighborhood has a small green belt with a walking/biking trail through it, the air was cool, but not too cool, and it just seemed like the right thing to do.
Our six-year-old, Davis, wanted to ride his Razor scooter. Donning his bike helmet, he did so, coasting ahead or behind us, as his pushing and balancing allowed.
At one point, while he was ahead of us, I noted his problem keeping the scooter fully upright while pushing. I thought it might have something to do with the fact that our normally right-handed son was using his left leg and foot to push the scooter along.
I verbally made note of this observation, and suggested he try switching his feet, placing the left on the scooter and pushing with his right. He tried this for a few moments, felt it was worse than before, and switched back.
My wife, thinking along the same lines as I, remarked that he hadn’t really given the right-foot push enough of a try. His reply?
“I’m just left-footed.”
To pass along Jon’s advice, “[g]ive this some time to load before watching…otherwise you won’t have smooth playback.”
In its boundless ambition, the Left understands that the character of a people can be transformed: British, Canadian and European elections are now about which party can deliver “better services,” as if the nation is a hotel, and the government could use some spritelier bellhops. Socialized health care in particular changes the nature of the relationship between citizen and state into something closer to junkie and pusher. On one of the many Obama Web sites the national impresario feels the need to maintain — “Foundation for Change” — the president is certainly laying the foundation for something. Among the many subjects expressing their gratitude to Good King Barack the Hopeychanger is “Phil from Cathedral City, Ca.”:
“I was laid off in mid-January from a job I had for 12 years. It’s really getting hard to make ends meet, but this month I got some great news. This week I received in the mail official notification that my COBRA monthly payments for medical, dental and vision insurance will decrease from $468 to only $163, all due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This is a $305 in savings a month!
“I can’t tell you how much of a weight off my shoulders this is. I am living proof of how the president’s bold initiatives are beginning to work!”
But just exactly how do these “bold initiatives” work? Well, hey, simple folk like you and I and Phil from Cathedral City don’t need to worry about the details. Once these “bold initiatives” really hit their stride maybe the cost of everything over four hundred bucks can be brought down to $163. Wouldn’t that be great?
The problem in the Western world is that governments are spending money faster than their citizenry or economies can generate it. As Gerald Ford liked to say, “A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you have.” And that’s true. But there’s an intermediate stage: A government big enough to give Phil from Cathedral City everything he wants isn’t big enough to get Phil to give any of it back. That’s the stage the Europeans are at: Their electorates are hooked on unsustainable levels of “services,” but no longer can conceive of life without them.
Tony Woodlief (yes, again):
Isaiah loves books. He loves to read them, loves it when people read them to him, loves to hit his brother Isaac upside the head with them. The boy hearts books. I hope he never stops loving them, even as the world around him transitions into a post-modern funk of hyper-links and text messages and overstimulating audio-visual mind sludge. Then one day he can visit me wherever he and his brothers have finally put me out to pasture, and maybe read to me there.
Davis is getting to this point, too. At times he will decide that he’s had enough playing with his Star Wars Galactic Heroes™ figures, or pretending to duel a dragon, or building with Lincoln Logs™ or LEGO™ pieces, and he’ll plop down in the play room and “read”.
My parents instilled a deep love of reading in my sister and I when we were growing up. Weekly visits to the local library (which was about as big as the downstairs area of our current home, minus the garage) were the norm. While we’re not going weekly, Kelly and I have both taken Davis to our local library (which is larger than the downstairs area of our house, including the garage), and he loves it.
Davis will often ask for a second or even third book to be read before going to bed, although I suspect this is as much about staying up as late as possible as it is about loving books.
I’d hoped to pass on this love of reading to both our boys, and so far, it’s looking pretty good.
Davis has lost his first tooth! It came from the middle bottom, and was kind of a surprise, especially for Mom!
Thankfully, the tooth wasn’t lost, though for a little while, we thought it might be. It had fallen out during dinner, and was still in the dinette, sitting on Davis’s chair. We cleaned it up, and Mom helped him ready it for the Tooth Fairy that evening.
WINTER DOESN’T OFFICIALLY END for another three weeks, but Daylight Savings Time arrives next Sunday, and with it the semiannual aggravation of resetting every clock and watch in our lives. (Don’t forget the microwave! And the car dashboard!) Must we be saddled forever with this World War I-era relic? Contrary to popular belief, daylight savings doesn’t reduce energy consumption, it increases it. And not everybody relishes late-evening daylight; plenty of people would rather see sunlight earlier in the morning.
We can end this spring-forward-fall-back madness once and for all — and we can do so without having to choose between daylight time and standard time. The solution is simply to split the difference: Let’s amend the Uniform Time Act so that clocks would be shifted by 30 minutes — then let’s leave them that way for good.
Davis threw an impromptu puppet show from Samuel, and as you can see from the latter’s reaction, the show got rave reviews.
When asked what the market would do, J. Pierpont Morgan is supposed to have replied, “It will fluctuate.” And so it has always done. For the time being, capital will be tighter than before, restricting credit—which is not always a bad thing—and businessmen will be reminded (as legislators, state and federal, seem never to learn) that neither bull markets nor recessions last indefinitely.
This is a fundamental reality of capitalism that seems never to penetrate the minds of journalists or politicians: Markets expand, contract a bit, and expand again, revenue streams are not always smooth, and for economic enterprise, the cost of overconfidence can be the same as the price of inertia: swift self-immolation. What appears to be huge, venerable, and financially indestructible today can be gone tomorrow.
The financial markets are unsteady at the moment, and Wall Street is undergoing elective surgery. But change, not stasis, is the hallmark of the free market […]
Our son, Samuel, tries out his crib and mobile for the first time.
Rebecca Walker is the daughter of founding feminist, and The Color Purple author, Alice Walker. Rebecca recently reflected on her life, and her disownment by her mom because she decided to become a mother herself. After reading this article, I’m left wondering what kind of person Alice Walker must be, to have been so selfish, and most recently, so hateful, toward her own daughter and grandson. She has never seen him.
Then I recall that selfish pride is the oldest sin in the Book.
Here are some choice bits:
The truth is that I very nearly missed out on becoming a mother - thanks to being brought up by a rabid feminist who thought motherhood was about the worst thing that could happen to a woman.
You see, my mum taught me that children enslave women. I grew up believing that children are millstones around your neck, and the idea that motherhood can make you blissfully happy is a complete fairytale.
In fact, having a child has been the most rewarding experience of my life.
I’m so grateful I never had to experience, as a child, being told by my mother that I was enslaving her, that she bore me as if a millstone.
I was raised to believe that women need men like a fish needs a bicycle. But I strongly feel children need two parents and the thought of raising Tenzin without my partner, Glen, 52, would be terrifying.
As the child of divorced parents, I know only too well the painful consequences of being brought up in those circumstances. Feminism has much to answer for denigrating men and encouraging women to seek independence whatever the cost to their families.
Walker goes on with a litany of how her mother’s feminist ideals robbed her of a normal childhood: divorce; being at the bottom of her mom’s priority list; being left when relatives while Alice vacationed for two weeks in Greece; feeling utterly alone in her femininity, not having an attentive mother to talk to and connect with; having sex—with her mother’s knowledge—at the age of 13, and becoming pregnant at age 14. She had an abortion, which “haunted me for decades. It ate away at my self-confidence and, until I had Tenzin, I was terrified that I’d never be able to have a baby because of what I had done to the child I had destroyed. For feminists to say that abortion carries no consequences is simply wrong.”
When she learned she was pregnant, Rebecca was hesitant to tell her mother, but she did:
Although I knew what my mother felt about babies, I still hoped that when I told her I was pregnant, she would be excited for me.
Instead, when I called her one morning in the spring of 2004, while I was at one of her homes housesitting, and told her my news and that I’d never been happier, she went very quiet. All she could say was that she was shocked. Then she asked if I could check on her garden. I put the phone down and sobbed - she had deliberately withheld her approval with the intention of hurting me. What loving mother would do that?
I could go on and on, to the point where I’d quote nearly the entire piece, and I encourage you, dear reader, to read all of it yourself.
Ultimately, Rebecca has abided by her mother’s wish to not have contact with her. She’s accepted it for the better, that despite the good things feminism has done for women, for the well-being of her son and herself, “I can no longer have this poisonous relationship destroy my life.”
It’s a shame a child has to say that about her parent.
Remember Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan? Yes, yes, it’s still the best Trek film. But do you recall the end, when Spock is “buried” by being shot from the Enterprise within a photon torpedo?
Did you ever think, “Man, that would be a cool casket to be buried in!”
Scheduled to be available “mid-2008”, and pricing has not yet been determined.
Tony Woodlief, “The City Where Nobody Smiles”:
Millions of people visit every year, and I wonder, does a one of them find what he is looking for?
Do they even know what they seek?
Which I suppose can be asked of us all, not just the poor souls sitting numbly in front of those cold machines with the pretty, pretty lights. The answer, I think, is that we are seeking something that will fill the great Empty.
It runs right through the middle of you, this emptiness, and though every good writer has tried to describe it, and though we all know it is there, we are most of us terribly afraid to think about it, which is perhaps why a place like Las Vegas can exist at all.
This past weekend, we spent a few days visiting my parents in the suburbs of Birmingham. (That would be Alabama, not England. Just in case it wasn’t clear.)
My dad pulled my old rocking horse, Donut, out of storage, cleaned up the parts, and assembled him in the basement, all for my son to ride while we were visiting.
I got Donut about the same age as the little phisch is now, roughly 1974. The nostalgia from watching my own child ride the same horse I did thirty-three, thirty-four years ago, was overwhelming.
Oh, did I forget to mention my wife’s become a blogger?
And that she did so last year?
Well, that takes me out of the running for Husband of the Year™.
(And if you think that’s all I’ve done to take myself out of the running, I have some beachfront property in Scottsdale I’d like to talk to you about.) <rimshot> But enough about me…
The missus began blogging last May as an outlet for the angst and excitement she felt as a result of our seeking to add to our family through adoption. She’s also been talking about our struggles with infertility as we seek to add to our family on our own. At some point she began sharing little tidbits about our life at home, missing her mom, and other things outside the realm of adoption, and I suggested a name change for the blog.
In private conversations with friends, nearly all online, I’ve often referred to our home in general, and the study, from where I compute, in particular, as “the Phisch Bowl”. Seeing how I have no intention whatsoever of allowing the fish (phisch?) meme, courtesy of my anagramed moniker, to die, my abrupt suggestion to her was, “Life from the Phisch Bowl”. So there you go.
A small word of warning. The missus tends to use some shorthand and acronyms she’s picked up from motherhood/pregnancy/infertility forums over the years, and some might not be readily decipherable. Trust me, there was a time when I was constantly asking her what this acronym or that one meant. Should you need similar help, drop me a line, or better yet, drop the missus a line over on her blog, and ask her. Better still, just drop her a line and say hi.
Her latest post also deals with an issue near and dear to our hearts. Once again, Kel will be participating in the March of Dimes’ March for Babies, formerly known as WalkAmerica. Due to a commitment with the little phisch, I won’t be walking this year, but Kelly will, and she’s raising funds.
(Much to my chagrin, she’s already raised more funds for this than I need in total for my mission trip to Juarez, to build houses for the poor there, in June. This includes monies from my own mother, who was asked, along with several friends and family members, to support my trip prior to Kelly beginning her fund-raising. Hrmmm. Perhaps I should outsource my own fund-raising to the missus, since we all know she is far, far more charming a person than I….)
So, drop by her blog and say hi, and if you’re led, help us with the March for Babies.
I love you, sweetheart.
[Wave of the phin to Jack on the World_SIG list.]
I don’t think we have enough metrosexuals in the Flowerplex to keep a “salon for men” open.
Then again, if it’s the kind of place with a cigar room and single-malt scotches, I may have to rethink my disparagement of the establishment.
On Sunday, March 2d, here in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, one would have been able to wear shorts, if one were so inclined, due to the warm weather. By 8:30 PM CST on March 3d, however, one still would have been able to wear shorts if one were so inclined, but one would have gotten very cold and very wet from the snow falling.
Just after taking out the garbage last night (earlier tonight?), I snapped a few quick shots:
Raena tagged me. Normally, I’d politely ignore it, but I must give her props for the way she linked to me.
So, here are eight things you probably didn’t know about me. Well, maybe some of you know some of them, but not everyone knows all of them. Well, maybe my wife. Perhaps my parents. Whatever…
I have never tried Vietnamese food, nor do I plan to. Seriously, it’s like pulling teeth to get me to try non-rice-based Chinese or Thai dishes, so I’m not really interested in trying pho-anything. Noodles should be a form of pasta, covered with marinara or alfredo sauce.
I utterly detest the song “You Light Up My Life”. Made popular by Debby Boone in the late 1970s, this was one of the songs we were forced to sing as a collective choir in fifth-grade as a tribute to our parents during the incredibly lame fifth-grade “graduation” ceremony we were equally forced to participate in. While I sincerely am thankful to my parents for all they have ever done for me, the repeated practices of this song burned it so deeply in to my brain, that even now, as I type this, I can hear Ms. Boone’s voice coming over the jambox we used to listen to the words and music, and I cringe in abject horror.
I managed to get a position I held eliminated. No, I was not fired, thank you very much. Half of the workload was redundant, given the responsibilities of others on the staff, and the other half could easily be folded in to the responsibilities of others on the staff. I eventually took this information to my boss, and, more importantly, his boss, and the decision was ultimately made to phase the position out. I made such an impression with the head honcho that he actually tried to create a totally new position for me elsewhere in the small management company, but I chose to leave instead, to pursue other endeavors I was passionate about. I like to think that this shows I can think outside the box, and think about the good of the company, if need be, rather than just myself. (Viz: “team player”.)
I have been a pallbearer in a military funeral. My sophomore year in college, one of my best friends was killed by a drunk driver. We were in Air Force ROTC together, and Brett’s fondest dream had been to be a navigator for the United States Air Force. It probably wasn’t as pretty, or as crisp, as a military funeral one would get if they were actively serving, but Brett got full honors, it was the best we could do, and it was from the heart.
I have been a jury foreman. The only time I was ever picked for jury duty was five years ago. It was a misdemeanor trial, and there were only six jurors. No one else wanted it, so I volunteered. Didn’t mean much, other than I was the one who interfaced with the baliff, and then read the verdict. The trial turned out to be a he said-he said situation, rife with reasonable doubt, and we acquitted the accused. (Aside: the judge on the case sent each of the jurors a hand-written thank-you note.)
I have met Michael Jordan and Oliver North. Jordan participated in a basketball clinic at the convention center I worked at (see item #3), and I was part of the staff assigned to show him around behind the scenes. No, I did not get his autograph, or a photo with him. The man had been at a charity golf tournament earlier in the day, and was clearly tired from that and the other events he’d participated in while in town. But he lit up when he saw the kids. Colonel North was doing a book signing at an area book store, and I got my copy autographed.
I have never been drunk. I’m not kidding. Not lying. Never been drunk. Don’t plan to be, either.
I don’t really listen to the radio any more, nor do I watch television news. (Yes, I’m kind of stealing this one from Raena.) Between the music I rip from CDs and download from Amazon or the iTunes Store, and podcasts, I have no reason to listen to the radio, other than traffic updates. I get my news online.
I shall be merciful, and break rules #3 and 4, by not tagging anyone and passing the meme along. Of course, you may feel free to share in the comments, or on your own blog, if you’d like me/us to know eight things about you that we probably don’t know…
I received this e-mail from a neighbor. It’s one of those things where you read their answers, then fill in your own and pass it on to the people you’d like to hear back from. Seeing as how while most of you will be getting ready for work or what-have-you this morning while I’m undergoing prep for surgery to get “unscrewed”, I won’t be in much of a blogging mood, and thought I’d leave this here for you to enjoy.
Please feel free to leave your own answers in the comments, or post to your own blog and link to it in the comments. Merry Christmas!
Welcome to the 2007 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends! You know the drill. Don’t be a scrooge! Fill it out, pass it on, blah blah blah. I would love to hear your answers.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
This time of year, I have to go with the nog. I can get hot chocolate any time.
2. Does Santa wrap the presents or just sit them under the tree?
Growing up, Santa just left stuff under the tree, or on the coach next to the tree, etc. Since then, he seems to have upgraded his process, as the gifts he leaves are now wrapped.
3. Colored or white lights?
I prefer white, though I do enjoy the colored lights when they’re done well.
4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nope. I’m already kissing the person I want to kiss the most.
5. When do you put your decorations up?
We have no hard and fast rules on this one. The tree just went up this weekend, and the lights were put on last night.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
Can I go with the nog again?
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
The older gentlemen, Mr. Gridley, who lived next door to my grandparents, would dress as Santa and come over to hand out our presents when we did Christmas at their house. As a child, having Santa right there, handing you the presents he’d brought all the way from the North Pole? Incredible.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I’d have to check with my folks, but it was likely somewhere around ten or eleven years of age. I overheard some other boys talking about, and I confronted my parents with the information. They told me the truth, but swore me to secrecy, as my sister, five years younger than I, still believed.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
That usually depends on where we might be, but generally, yes.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
White lights, with ornaments from my childhood, plus some that were gifts from my mother-in-law, my mom, and my grandmothers. They’re pretty much all personal momentos of one sort or another. No tinsel or garland. Pretty simple, the way we like it.
11. Snow: Love it or hate it?
Love it, just because, growing up in south Louisiana, and now living in north Texas, we don’t see snow often.
12. Can you ice skate?
Nope. Heck, I barely remember how to roller skate!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
So many were favorites at so many different times of my life, I really couldn’t say.
14. What’s the most important thing about the holidays for you?
Spending time with the family. It’s great to see Christmas through the eyes of a child—my son—once again.
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert?
A tie between my grandmother’s chocolate pie, and my grandmother’s lemon pie. The tie is always broken by having a slice of each.
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Watching my son open his presents on Christmas morning.
17. What is on top of your tree?
18. Which do you like best giving or receiving?
Definitely the giving, though I won’t lie and say the receiving—especially when it’s something from my carefully assembled wish list—comes in a close second. Hey, at least I’m honest.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song?
I’m a sucker for a well done “What Child is This?”, and I also love “Joy To The World” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”.
20. Do you like candy canes?
To eat? Not really, but I don’t mind them otherwise.
21. What is your favorite Christmas movie?
Technically not a movie, but I love “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
So, what am I thankful for this year….?
My wife. Those who know me know that she has to put up with a lot on a regular basis. However, when I injured my left foot earlier this year, a ton of extra stuff fell to her to take care of, and she’s been absolutely wonderful. I love you, sweetheart.
The little phisch. Our little man is a never-ending source of joy—and frustration, but that’s just part of parenting. That smile of his just lights me up any time, and his laugh is the best sound I’ve ever heard. He’s a gas to play with, and it never ceases to amaze me when I see his mind at work on something. Being his dad is the greatest job I could ever have, and has given me a larger appreciation of the love my own parents have for me.
My folks. I had a perfectly normal childhood. My parents, while strict at times, were never abusive in any manner, and I always knew I was loved. I grew up in a nice house in a nice neighborhood, with lots of other kids my age. My folks provided everything I needed, and more. They made sure I went to college without incurring a large financial debt. Since I’ve left the nest, they’ve been a source of encouragement and help in ways I never imagined.
My family. My sister, my grandmothers, my aunts, uncles, and cousins whom I’m lucky to see even once a year. We may not all talk often, and see one another even less, but it’s nice to know that when we do get together, after a few minutes of catching up, it’s pretty much just picking up from wherever we last left off. My life would be more shallow without them.
My friends. I have friends in this nation from coast to coast, and from the far north of the 48 states down to their southernmost. I am blessed to have quite a few right here in my little corner of the world, and more in many other corners. You have all enriched me in some way, and I’m thankful to know you.
The men and women of the United States armed forces. I’m proud to count members from the prior category in this one as well. Thank you all for your tireless sacrifice on behalf of the rest of us. You are never far from our thoughts and prayers. May those of you in the line of fire return home safely upon the successful completion of your mission. In the mean time, watch your six, and God bless.
God. You have made all things possible. You have blessed me in ways far beyond my understanding and worth. You offered Your own Son in my place, so that I might have a place in Your kingdom forever. I am humbled that You, the Creator of all things, would deign to know the number of hairs on my head, much less want to be my friend. All of the above things for which I am thankful are gifts from You, and I am eternally grateful.
This past Thursday marked another check-up with my orthopedist. More poking and prodding. More x-rays were taken. (Still kind of cool to see the screw just sitting there in the middle of my foot.) The prognosis? Everything’s looking good, and I am free from walking with the cane.
Surgery for me to get “unscrewed” is scheduled for December 11th. I’ll go back in to the walking boot for a couple of weeks after that, then hopefully back in to regular shoes. Whether or not I’ll have to go back to assisted walking with the cane remains to be seen.
The screw-removal surgery came up this past Wednesday night at the sophomore guys Bible study I lead, and the guys were pondering what was used, exactly, to remove the screw? Was it some specialized, medical implement-only, seven thousand-dollar, cordless drill-type device? It’s not as though they’d just jam a Black & Decker Philips head in there and pull it out, right?
So I asked the doc: “What exactly do you use to get the screw out?”
“Yep.” Then, reading my face, and the grin at the corners of my mouth: “Granted, it’s not like it’s a Dewalt we picked up at Home Depot and sterilized, but all the same, it’s just a screwdriver.”
I love my orthopedist.
Today I had another visit with my orthopedist. New x-rays were taken, and my foot was poked and prodded.
The bad news: not yet time for surgery to have the screw removed.
The good news: I can ditch the walking boot for regular shoes, though I did have to go buy an insert for my left shoes that has a hardened plastic bottom to help support the joints where my injury took place.
(An aside: Kudos to the manager of our local Walgreen’s (I got it wrong when I said CVS in my tweet) for not trying to sell me a product I couldn’t really use, and instead, sending me to the neighborhood pharmacy down the street. This pharmacy had a lot more specialty items to choose from, including the very insert I needed. My thanks to both pharmacies and their respective staffs.)
I’ve only been in the regular shoe, with the insert, for a few minutes, but I can already tell that my ankle and calf will be aching by the end of the day, as they have not been exercised in a normal walking fashion for a few months now. I go back in six weeks (sigh) for my next visit. The doc is hopeful that at that time everything will be back to where it’s supposed to be, and we can then schedule the surgery for me to get “unscrewed”. Oh, and I still have to walk with the cane.
At any rate, thank the Lord I’m out of that boot, and hurray for progress!
This is all part of the game of being a parent. When I signed up to be a dad I had to leave my cool and my self-respect at the maternity room doors. On our white minivan we have no less than three life-size decals of Britney Spears’s face stuck to the windows. A friend saw me driving the wife and kids in it and said he was going to the record store to trade in all of his Pennywise records. I told him to get me the new Christina Aguilera while he was there because the kids were begging me for it.
3. Scenario: Jeffrey won’t be still in class, disrupts other students.
1957 - Jeffrey sent to office and given a good paddling by the principal. He returns to class, sits still, and does not disrupt class again.
2007 - Jeffrey is diagnosed with ADD and given huge doses of Ritalin. Becomes a zombie. School gets extra money from state because Jeffrey has a learning disability.
6. Scenario: Pedro fails high school English.
1957 - Pedro goes to summer school, passes English, goes to college.
2007 - Pedro’s cause is taken up by state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files class action lawsuit against state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English banned from core curriculum. Pedro is given a diploma anyway but ends up mowing lawns for a living because he cannot speak English.
There are six others, but I’m sure you get the general idea. Be sure to read the comments as well.
I recall being paddled in fifth grade by the principal. A classmate, and neighbor who rode the same bus as I, was bullying some younger kids during recess, holding a rubber ball, which they had been bouncing against a wall, out of their reach. I confronted him about it, and he puffed up, demanding to know what I was going to do about it. My response was to deck him in the nose.
A random teacher hauled both of us off to the principal’s office. I told him what I saw, and didn’t blanch from what I had done. I got paddled, but so did the bullying classmate. I can’t speak for him, but I’m certainly not the worse for it. It was the only fight I ever got in throughout all my years of schooling, if you can even call it a fight.
|What American accent do you have? |
Your Result: The Midland
|The Inland North|
|What American accent do you have?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Nothing really surprising here. Though I was born in Mississippi, and I grew up in Baton Rouge, I do not have the country-Southern flavor of speech so many of my relatives have, nor is there a hint of Cajun to my tongue. (Note to the oblivious ones out there: Just because people are from Louisiana doesn’t mean they all sound like they just stepped off the pirogue in the bayou.) Many people have expressed surprise, upon learning of my heritage and upbringing, that I do not, in fact, retain a discernible accent.
“[A] good voice for TV and radio.” Hrmmmm. Tom, remember that podcast idea…?
Remember when a few hours ago I said I was really thankful about living in America, and I wasn’t going to get in to some diatribe regarding socialized medicine? After reading the latest from Walter E. Williams, I’m doubly—no, make that triply—thankful:
Before we buy into single-payer health care systems like Canada’s and the United Kingdom’s, we might want to do a bit of research. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute annually publishes “Waiting Your Turn.” Its 2006 edition gives waiting times, by treatments, from a person’s referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist. The shortest waiting time was for oncology (4.9 weeks). The longest waiting time was for orthopedic surgery (40.3 weeks), followed by plastic surgery (35.4 weeks) and neurosurgery (31.7 weeks).
As reported in the June 28 National Center for Policy Analysis’ “Daily Policy Digest,” Britain’s Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients waits more than a year for surgery.
(Emphasis added. —R)
Now, class, who remembers what kind of procedure I’m having in just a couple of hours?
That’s right, Nathan. Orthopedic surgery. Orthopedic surgery two weeks after sustaining injury. Two. As opposed to forty. Two.
Thank you again, God. Thank you.
My friends, as I go about my business on the eve of foot surgery, I thought I would take a moment to offer thanks.
Thanks be to God that I was born in America. The United States is, contrary to what a few of our countrymen and very many outsiders would say, quite simply the greatest nation on planet Earth. No, we’re not perfect. Far, far from it. But if you could pick any place to be born and grow up in, surely, this is the place, and this is the time.
I injured my foot the evening of the 17th. Between that time and now I have visited an emergency clinic and been treated, seen a specialist (twice), and had a CT scan taken of my foot. At the two-week mark, I shall undergo surgery to get the foot’s interior cleaned up and have a screw inserted to help hold things together. Hopefully, at the end of four months, the screw will come out, and I’ll go back to normal mobility.
This would have happened in the same way and at the same pace in very few places elsewhere on the globe. I’m not going to get in to some diatribe regarding socialized medicine, but I wonder if I would be as far along in the process in other Western nations. I certainly wouldn’t be here if I were in a Second-World nation, and I might be permanently crippled if I were a resident in the Third World. Thank God I’m here.
Thanks be to God for close friends. Like Drew, who was helping me with a ceiling fan installation when I stupidly injured myself, and who took me to the after-hours clinic so my wife wouldn’t have to deal with that burden, too. And who called this weekend, after being out of town for a week on business, to check up on me, and offering whatever assistance we might need.
Like Nathan and Brent, who do their best to joke around and keep my mind off the injury. For nabbing primo tickets to the local minor league baseball team, so I could have one last hurrah before my mobility is limited for a couple of months. (Thanks so much, Nathan!) Like the folks at our minichurch, who are always so supportive and caring, wondering what it is they can do to help out. I love you guys!
Thanks be to God that I have such an awesome wife and family. If you’re the praying sort, beyond any prayers concerning my injury and recovery, pray for my wife. The Lord knows what she goes through in putting up with me on a normal basis, much less when I’m going to be in a cast and on crutches for a couple of months. Outside of physical pain and lack of mobility, this will probably be harder on her than it will be on me. So please pray for her.
I am so richly and humbly blessed, I can’t even really put it in to words, other than to say thanks. Thank you, Drew, Brent, Nathan, Donna, Bill, Geno, Liz, Brad, Becky, Susan, Larry, Marlie, Carolyn, Veta, Sam, and Brenda.
Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your encouragement. (And yes, Dad, I did feel the eye roll over the phone when I told you what had happened, and I just hear in my head, “I thought I taught you better than that.” Come on, you know you were thinking it. And yes, you did teach me better than that. What can I say? I had a moment of stupidity.)
Thank you, Kelly, for loving me. You are so wonderful and awesome, there are times I can’t believe you’re even in my life, much less my wife.
Finally, thank you, God, for delivering me from sin, for calling me to Your Kingdom, for blessing me with my nation of birth, for my many friends, and my family. You are, indeed, an awesome God!
So the follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon was today, and we went over the results of yesterday’s CT scan. Of course, we got the worst possible news: surgery. I’ve got bits of bone loose in the foot, so those need to come out, and a screw needs to go in to help hold stuff together long enough to heal.
So I’ll get sliced and screwed on Tuesday, be in a splint and bandages until mid-August, then it’s in to a hard cast for six weeks. All that time, no pressure on the foot, totally on crutches. For two months.
Then, after I get the crutches off, it’s back in to the boot for, well, we actually didn’t get that far. The end of the road is approximately four to five months away, when we’ll have another procedure to remove the screw.
So I won’t be doing much swimming the rest of the summer. I definitely won’t be playing softball this fall, which really bums me out. I won’t get to enjoy the little phisch’s birthday party next week nearly as much as I was looking forward to, which really really bums me out.
At least I’ll be in a position to get a lot of reading done and a lot of movies watched, right?
So I had an appointment with an orthopedist today (technically, the doc’s an orthopedic surgeon), as a follow-up to the emergency clinic visit last week. Had some additional x-rays taken, as the good doctor wanted different angles than the three which were shot at the clinic. He’s concerned by what appears to be a separation between the Cuboid and the Third cuneiform, at the base of my first and second metatarsal bones. We shot a reference x-ray of my right foot, and when comparing the two, you can certainly see there’s more of this separation on the injured left foot.
Now, it could be nothing; it could simply be the way I’m built on that foot. But it could be indicative of this injury, and the severity of it would determine the remedy, up to and including surgery. Since the x-rays are inconclusive, I’m going in on Wednesday morning for a CT scan and 3D imaging. This will give the doc a better look at the intricate bits, see if it’s just ligament damage, or if there are bone flakes getting in the way. Then I’m back in his office on Thursday morning for the results.
Worse-case scenario: I have to have surgery on the foot to clean up any messy bits, and possibly have a screw installed to hold things together while the ligaments heal. This is okay by me, because the worst-case scenario is that if things are really bad and I don’t have the surgery, my arch could eventually weaken to the point of collapse. And we don’t want that, do we?
So Wednesday should be interesting. I’ve never had a CT scan before!
Earlier this evening, I set about installing a ceiling fan and light kit in one of the bedrooms. It’s the room the little phisch is going to be moving in to, and for this week, we have a temporary addition to the family in the form of a one year-old, and he’s sleeping in this particular room. Because of this little man, we put up one of our kiddie gates at the bottom of the stairs.
I did as much as I could with the ceiling fan, including learning that I’d picked out the wrong light kit. At least I could get the fan done. However, I ran in to a problem with the wiring, and my good friend and neighbor, Drew, was kind enough to come over and help. (Drew did a lot of contracting work growing up and during his college years, so he’s handy that way.)
Thank God he did. On my way down the stairs, to go to the garage and hit the circuit in the breaker box for that particular bedroom, I didn’t quite make it all the way over the baby gate. As I was stepping over it with my left leg, my foot/shoe became entangled in the gate, and proceeded to turn in to a fulcrum. Great pain ensued as my foot twisted ways it shouldn’t, and I went down, taking the gate with me.
The cry that erupted from my throat, along with the noise of my crash, proceeded to bring Drew running from the second floor, my wife from the kitchen, and greatly upset the little phisch. The thought which immediately ran through my head was that I’d managed to break my ankle, which would give me something of a matched set. (Eight years ago I fractured my right ankle.)
I crawled to the love seat and Drew helped me up off the floor. My wife got an ice pack out of the freezer while Drew got my foot elevated. After about twenty minutes, we made the decision that it would be better to be safe than sorry, and off to an after-hours clinic Drew and I went.
The good news is no broken bones. The bad news is that it’s a really severe sprain, the tearing of ligaments and tendons and whatnot. I’ve got on a boot, and will have to do the crutches thing as well. And I’ve been typing this whole blog post loaded up with some Demorol, so if it seems a little off, it’s because I’m on the good stuff.
In the mean time, I thank our Father in Heaven for friends like Drew.
Nanny statism run amok:
No running on playgrounds. (The second paragraph of the article is the one which will fill you with utter disbelief.)
No microwave popcorn allowed. (Maybe.) Granted, I know former coworkers who were too…um, challenged to pop popcorn in a microwave without burning it, thus endearing themselves to the entire office by way of the clouds of smoke pouring out of the device and bag, but I don’t think a blanket ban is the answer.
Both via Cam.
I am pleased to report that my fears yesterday were reassuringly calmed today, as both the battery grip and flash were delivered. Both have been attached to the camera and tested successfully. Hurray!
So the new flash and battery grip I ordered are both sitting in Mesquite tonight. For those of you unaware of Dallas metroplex geography, the center of Mesquite is roughly 35 miles from the center of the little burb I call home. I could drive over there in about 45 minutes.
Now, the last time I was expecting something of this magnitude—the camera for which these two items have been purchased—the item in question also spent a night in Mesquite. Then proceeded 121 miles south to Waco before then returning 121 miles to be delivered to me.
This couldn’t possibly happen again, could it?
Well, according to the Amazon status tracker, estimated delivery date is the 8th.
A few moments ago, I was watching Seinfeld, folding some clothes, and I looked down at my attire for the day: hemp-dyed Kauai t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts, Invisible Children reed bracelet, and new Keen sandals, and the title for this post was what sprang to my mind.
Somebody help me.
The first observation took place as I was nearing the end of my lunch. I was still masticating the remnants of fried corn tortillas, the rest of the meal vanquished, when a mother and her daughter were seated in the booth behind me. Seated as I was, I was able to view them as they entered the restaurant, interacted with the hostess/waitress, and moved to their table. The mother was on her mobile phone the entire time.
It was obvious from her side of the conversation this was a good friend, and the conversation was quite pleasant, resulting in a few giggles and laughs. The conversation continued throughout the seating process, the delivery of the menus, paused briefly to place drink orders, then continued. At about this point I lost interest, returning my full focus to the contents of the magazine I had brought with me.
The judgmental thought which entered my mind was this: what must this woman’s daughter think of the fact that they are out to lunch on a school day and her mother is on the phone?
Now this young lady may have thought nothing of it. She appeared to be the age of those attending middle school, and may have cared less that her mother was on the phone. Certainly there are those in their teen and pre-teen years who are thoroughly embarrassed to be seen in public with their parents, even if there is little or no chance of their being seen by their peers. She may have had this attitude.
She may have also wondered how in the world her mother could ignore her by continuing to chat on the phone with a friend.
Perhaps lunch between mother and daughter is nothing special. Plenty of us go out to eat or eat at home with some sort of constant interruption. For myself, we’re making a concerted effort to have media turned off and phones put away during dinner at home. The little phisch isn’t old enough for GameBoys or PSPs yet, so when we’re out to eat—and I don’t see why parents allow their children to play with such devices while they’re eating out—we don’t have that distraction, and we minimize the interruption by the mobile phone.
Behind my wife and child, I love my parents more than anyone else on this blue marble, but I’d still ask them if I could call them back when we’re finished eating. There is a part of me looking forward to the day when I say to a friend or family member, “Hey, I’d really like to talk more about this, but can I call you back? I’m having lunch with my son.”
The second observation took place shortly thereafter, as I transported from the restaurant to the grocery store for a few staples. As I entered the checkout line, I observed two women in front of me, of similar height and similar dress. The one closest to me was clearly a young lady, most likely high school age, perhaps early college. From the look and dress of the other woman with her, my first instinct was that of a friend.
I learned soon enough, however, when the second woman turned to pay the cashier, that she was in fact the young lady’s mother.
On the one hand, I think that if a woman has the figure to wear the same clothes as her daughter, more power to her. On the other hand, there is a part of me that wants to scream, “Grow up already!”
The final observation for this post concerned the time in transport from the grocery to my abode. I have long been fascinated by the concept of “talking with one’s hands”, and I do not refer to sign language when I say this. Some people can simply not help but gesticulate while speaking. This goes beyond the mere use of gestures to get a point across. It is as if, as my mother put it, some people would suddenly go mute if you were to tie their hands behind their back. Either that, or their bodies would convulse wildly to compensate.
Such was the nature of the man in the pickup truck in front of me. His left hand held a mobile to his ear, while his right hand gestured repeatedly throughout the conversation. He was, quite simply, driving with nothing more than one wrist. This was deeply troubling. Granted, we were never above approximately forty miles an hour with regard to our speed, but his behavior could have led to disastrous consequences. It made me ponder whether I should keep a stash of hands-free sets in my vehicle to toss at random to such persons.
So I have this email signature. Actually, I have about three. One is the somewhat standard signature I use for all ATPM-related correspondence. The other two are personal sigs which vary only in the email address contained in the signature. One is for the address at this domain, and the other is my Gmail address.
I have set up these signatures with keystroke shortcuts in TypeIt4Me, which I encourage you to check out. Without going in to too much detail, these three signatures are shorthanded “asig”, “gsig”, and “rsig”, and this works very well. For the most part.
I seem to have this memory muscle problem with the last abbreviation. The other two I can rattle off with nary a conscious thought going from my brain to my fingers on the keyboard, but the last has proven to be rather elusive. Instead of typing “rsig” I find myself typing “risg” instead. I even did it in the previous sentence, and had to backspace and fix it.
The obvious and lazy solution is to create a new abbreviation in TypeIt4Me that automagically puts in the proper signature when I mistype the actual abbreviation, because there’s little chance “risg” will ever be a real word in the English language, but that still doesn’t help with why I’m mistyping it in the first place. Bizarre.
I opened the drawer of the desk in the kitchen. I lifted out the sheet of peel-and-stick stamps. I carefully pulled a single stamp off. As I replaced the sheet in the drawer and closed the drawer, the stamp I peeled off fluttered from my finger toward the floor.
Have you ever had a thin, sticky-on-one-side something get stuck on a wood floor? Not so easy to get up, is it?
I did not have to attempt that today. The stamp landed face down. That is, sticky side up.
Thank you, God.