Thursday, December 20, 2012

The end is near!

This will probably be my final post on CycleDog since the world is scheduled to end tomorrow.  To the handful of people who read this, my humblest thanks.  I'm planning to take some photos of the apocalypse, and as usual, I'll post them here.  Or not.

Actually, the world probably will survive long enough for me to return to work next week.  I have to put in one full shift on Christmas Eve, then I'm on vacation until January 2.  This morning, I have two doctors appointment, and after that I have to clear medical at work.  It's going to be a busy day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Children have rights too.

I posted this on a local forum yesterday:

The NRA lost a lot of members over their support of so-called "cop killer" bullets that were designed to penetrate bullet proof vests.  I left the organization over that. 

The writer pointed out that even the NRA membership favors gun laws that would keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and disturbed people.  And yes, I know that crafting laws that would do so is extremely difficult without trampling the rights of legitimate gun owners.  We've been down this road before.

But those kids in Connecticut had rights too.   The NRA ignores them in preference to gun owners and manufacturers.  They're fond of the "shall not be infringed" portion of the Second Amendment, yet they do not challenge those portions of the 1932 gun control law or the 1968 gun control law that put some sensible restrictions on gun ownership.  If they challenged them and lost, it would set a precedent for further restrictions.

Part of the function of our courts is to balance one set of rights against another set.  Where should the balance lie when a child has the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" when a gun owner's right to keep and bear arms "shall not be infringed?"

As I said previously in another thread, I have nothing to offer that would preserve Second Amendment rights while removing guns from the hands of criminals and crazies.  I see no way to find a compromise between the two.  But I'm beginning to think that the Second Amendment is an obstacle in the way of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  


Today, I see on Google News that a GOP congresscritter says the problem is that there aren't enough guns, not that there are too many.  A man in Indiana threatened a local school.  Someone made a bomb threat against a church in Newtown, Connecticut.  Locally, a kid in Bartlesville was arrested for planning to kill his classmates.  And there's the usual Saturday night mayhem, including Tulsa's 45th homicide of the year. 

I enjoy shooting, and until my bird dog died many years ago, I enjoyed hunting.  Bullseye shooting requires just two things: sight alignment and trigger control.  Oh, and perhaps one other thing - a tight focus on the task at hand to the exclusion of all else.  There's a blissful state of awareness that is all too brief before concentration goes away and coordination goes with it.  For those few minutes, the bills, the mortgage, the troubles on the job simply do not matter.

I'm a lawful gun owner.  I was licensed to carry a concealed weapon at one time, and believe me, that revolver felt very heavy in my pocket.  No cowboy wild west bullshit for me.  I backed down from confrontation on more than one occasion.  Like I said, the revolver carried a heavy load of responsibility. 

So I can honestly say that I'm at a loss over how to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and crazies without imposing some restrictions on gun owners and gun manufacturers.  I can't offer any new ideas, but I think it's past time that our government sat down with the NRA, the manufacturers, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to find a way out of this morass. 

We're supposed to be a civilized country, yet we have an ever-increasing body count.  We deserve better. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Good news!

Catoosa's iconic Blue Whale along historic Route 66

First, this post contains nothing about prostate surgery, so don't run away and hide!

I've been bored sitting here on the couch.  A man can watch only so much daytime television, after all, and it's not possible to nap through the entire day.  I know.  I tried. 

The upside is that I'ver watched some wonderful old movies, including Casablanca, which never fails to bring a tear to my eyes.  Yes, I've been known to cry at old movies. 

But I've been writing some too, and as a result of that a plum fell into my lap.  Months ago, I contacted the editor and publisher of a local magazine about doing some writing for them.  Nothing came of it until last week when I wrote to the editor again about some biking information related to Route 66.  Within a few hours she wrote back asking for a column on it and offered a subscription in return.  OK, that's not great pay, but it was a foot in the door.  I did about 500 words and supplied some photos.  Now she wants a monthly column on bicycling in Tulsa, and better still, it pays!

Given the number of bicycling titles I've done here on CycleDog, the Examiner, and Wheel Issues, I shouldn't be at a loss for ideas.  And then there's my (ahem) slight tendency toward being talkative too.  Very slight. 

I will need to get more stock photos of cyclists around Tulsa, and especially any cyclists on one of the old Route 66 alignments.  I'm grinning in anticipation!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

I'm a 198 pound weakling!

That's the good news. I haven't been under 200 pounds for more than 20 years. I wouldn't recommend surgery as a weight loss method, of course, but I simply haven't had much appetite. 

Okay, here's a quick update.

As it turned out, menstrual pads were insufficient to keep up with my leaky waterworks. I managed to get through Monday afternoon, but it was unpleasant. Mary and Lyndsay went out for groceries, and I asked them to find some Depends in my size.

These things are horrible. They itch. Still, they're better than that damned catheter. Dr. Milsten's assistant, Paula, called on Tuesday to see how I was doing. She pointed out that I had a big tube in place for a week, and it takes the body some time to adjust to the changes. 

She was right. The constant drip, drip, drip has been replaced by 'oops' moments, mainly when my abdominal muscles tighten suddenly. This happens when I stand up quickly, cough, or laugh. 

I've been passing some blood in my urine too, which was worrisome until I talked with Paula earlier today.  She said it's normal when the lower abdomen is under stress, like when coughing a lot or having a bowel movement. 

Progress is apparent but slow. It gives me incentive to stay at those Kegel exercises.

Monday, December 03, 2012

One week after surgery

I never expected to be sharing these with my daughter," I said, dubiously eyeing the packet of menstrual pads.  I'd just returned from the doctor's office after he removed the catheter.  I was thoroughly sick of the thing.  Wearing pads to deal with minor leaks is definitely better. 

It was a long week.  The pain ebbed rapidly, and the only difficulty I had was in getting up and down or coughing.  For the first couple of days, I slept only on my back as rolling onto either side was painful.  That improved quickly and I slept better, though the catheter tethered me to one side of the bed.

Frankly, I was concerned that removing the catheter would hurt.  Dr. Milsten told me to take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  While I was thus occupied, he slipped the catheter out painlessly.  

So far this morning, I've discovered that both bending and coughing produce leaks.  When my abdominal muscles tighten, my bladder leaks, so it would probably be a good idea to avoid belly laughs.  (Note to self: Don't write anything funny this week!)

Duchess the Wonder Dog is snoozing right next to the couch as I write this.  I'll make lunch, and then the two of us will go out for a walk.  She'll like that.  So will I. 

Tomorrow I start Kegel exercises to strengthen my sphincter muscles and get better control.  Besides helping with incontinence, they're supposed to help with hemorroids and increase blood flow to the penis, the latter a "major element in penis enlargement."  If I'd only known!  I'm a middle-aged white guy so I need all the help I can get!  Maybe I can join old Smiling Bob in those Enzyte commercials, assuming he managed to stay out of jail, of course.

 Upcoming events:  In three weeks, I'll be tested for PSA again.  That will continue for five years.  Also, Dr. Milsten gave me a return-to-work date of December 24th.  Merry Christmas, grumble, grumble.  I'm expecting to take vacation time (one of the perks of being an old fart is lots of vacation time!) so I'll go back to work in January.