Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday musette

Who needs sissy-boy truck nuts?

Suppose you were walking or cycling along a city street with a non-working replica of an assault rifle across your back. I think in most places (outside of a presidential visit to Arizona, perhaps) you could expect to have an interview with the local police after an alert citizen called 911. Oklahoma allows citizens to carry concealed firearms after taking a safety course and demonstrating proficiency, but the state does not permit open carry.

What about things that are not firearms but replicas of potentially lethal devices? Last night, as I drove Mary home from library, we stopped at a light behind a Hummer. Stuck in its trailer hitch was what I assumed to be a replica of a claymore mine. These are anti-personnel mines consisting of a layer of explosive with ball bearings across the front surface. They are directional, so there's a printed warning "This Side Toward Enemy" on the front. That's what was at just below face height.

Now, I'm not presuming that this anonymous Hummer driver had a real claymore mine afixed to his bumper. Still, I wouldn't put it past some dullard to do so with a home-made version. There are some truly stupid people wandering around out there.

Also, I could generalize by saying that gun nuts and Hummer owners have ridiculous over-compensation issues, but this one has more issues than most others.

Regardless, I'm trying to remember to keep a camera with me. Next time - photos!

Here's a new one.

Let's add a new excuse to the motorist 'greatest hits' list. I've grown weary of hearing the standard ones like: "He swerved in front of me all sudden-like" or "The sun was in my eyes." In Austin, Texas, the police turned out because an alert citizen called in a complaint of cyclists "blocking the roads and using drugs."

"But officer - they're using drugs right on the road!" No, this is not a story about yet another drug bust involving professional bicycle racers.

"I'm high all right, but not on false drugs. I'm high on the real things: powerful gasoline, a clean windshield, and a shoeshine."....Firesign Theater

Police used Taser on Texas Tech student
Texas police taser student on a charity bike ride.

I had a Google search term set up for news of any Taser usage, but it's so common anymore and so utterly depressing that I dumped it. Apparently if you don't show sufficient deference to a cop, he'll use the Taser to teach some 'respect.' Now, granted, the Tour de Tech Terrace seems to be an excuse for drunk college students to go for a ride, but let's wait and see if the they're-using-drugs complaint becomes more prevalent.

Real drugs

I wrote about my blood pressure last week and said that it was dangerously high. The numbers - 190 over 112. That's well into stroke territory. The doctor gave me a prescription and said he wanted to see me in a month. I filled the prescription immediately.

I've been on blood pressure meds before, and through a combination of medication, exercise, and diet, I managed to bring it down to the point that I didn't need the meds. But I all but stopped riding last winter as a result of the damage to my knees and shoulder. Pain has a profound effect on behavior.

Fortunately, this new medicine doesn't cause the dry mouth and constant thirst like the last one. It does give me a runny nose and the diuretic could see that I get a side job as a volunteer fireman.

But I wasn't prepared to be doubled over in pain.

A couple of years ago, a colonoscopy revealed "extensive diverticula." These are small pouches in the wall of the colon that can trap fecal matter and become infected. The pain began on Saturday and by Sunday afternoon I was pretty sure of what was happening. Monday morning, I could stand up and sit down with difficulty as waves of pain punched into my gut. I called the doctor's office as soon as they opened. Now remember, the blood pressure medicine give me a runny nose with attendant coughing and sneezing. You do not want to cough with diverticulitis.

So now I have an antibiotic to go along with the blood pressure meds.

Maybe I should bget some Viagra if only for nostalgia's sake. "What the hell's that? I dimly remember seeing it before, but that the hell IS that? Maybe I should call the doctor!"

All kidding aside, we die from things that have no symptoms. High blood pressure is one silent killer. Colon cancer is another. And for men, prostate cancer is the third. So far, I have the high blood pressure and there's a family history of colon cancer. I do not want the trifecta. Thank you.


Blogger Pete said...

Keep taking care of yourself, Ed. I think Dr. Wally still has a few more bits of advice to give the eager cycling community!

6:22 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

All this 'getting older' stuff sucks. I really hate it when a doctor says, "A man of your age should..." All this will be easier once I can get back into regular exercise. Grumble, grumble, grumble.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Rantwick said...

I hear you man. Nothing as severe as you so far, but when I look at the number of pills and puffers and other stuff I rely on these days... Keep well.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Dingbat said...

Hey, just wanted to say (from a regular reader) that I hope the drugs help you get to the point where you don't need them any more. As one who's knee pain has limited my biking recently, I'm with you on that--and you've been a model for enjoying the other good things in life whilst unwheeled.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

I'm beginning to understand why some of the retirees I know say they don't know how they got anything done before retirement. They stay busy, busy, busy. It's like that around the CycleDog ranchero, too. There's always something to be done, something that must be read, something that must be written...and there's almost always some teenagers around too.

I see the doc again in 3 weeks. Maybe I'll be able to ride. At least I hope so, because the nurse who called with the blood work results said the meds work better with exercise.

6:06 PM  

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