Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Medical Update and other stuff...

Its 10:25 am

   Its a bright cold day here in SE Michigan....I'm in Day 8 of a 10 day pull at work and I'm feeling it a little bit. But glad to have the job and am looking forward to going back today.

  3rd week of chemo has been a real nightmare even with hydration. Lori has 2 active infections and our old friend from the first round,C-dif,is also back. But when you throw in a fistula,its just almost beyond words.
The hydration has worked wonders,in fact,we're going to be doing two treatments for the last three chemo sessions,this has allowed Lori to eat faster and drink a lot more this round.
   But she has lost 26 pounds and while that is awesome,its not awesome when its chemo driven. Trying to find something she can eat is hard enough but the fistula is only making it that much harder. Now with the C-dif back...we're sort of lost.
  We ended up making a non-scheduled run to Ann Arbor last Saturday because of the C-dif,they ran some tests and gave us some medications that is supposed to help.Yesterday was our normal appointment and Dr. Johnston is recommending a blood transfusion and I just got off the phone trying to set that up for tomorrow morning at the infusion clinic.
  I think Lori will be staying home for the last three chemo treatments,she really needs the rest and relaxation and try to stay stress free. I'll be going into full work mode as far as finding another job,working the one I have the full 40 hours. Now,can anyone teach me to cook like an Iron Chef?


  Next week is Christmas....and I'm so sorry I didn't anytime to write and send cards out to a lot of my friends,I barely had time to shop for Lori with our hectic schedules. But I'm pretty jazzed with what I got her and also so blessed to have my brother Phil agree to give my gift to Lori this year as well.
  Last year he called me for ideas as to what to give her....we went with the first 2 seasons of the 70's classic "Mary Tyler Moore Show"

  That turned out to be a BIG hit so this year,we're doing the 3rd through 5th seasons for Christmas. Talk about perfect timing,with her most likely being homebound for the next 9-12 weeks,this should help pass the time away.
  Christmas is funny for me....the older I get,the less I know how to give suggestions to shop for myself. I mean,I love to shop for Lori,that to me is the real pleasure of Christmas. Trying to find the perfect gift or something I think she needs (like new cookie sheets this year) is what makes this such a great holiday. Of course I still can't wrap for poo and I have a secret elf help me year it was a All-American volleyball player from Madonna University!

Its now 12 noon on a Wednesday.....

   We're in Ann Arbor and just starting our blood transfusion. We got here at 8 am for labs and then had to wait until 10 am for the lab results and the orders for the blood. While we thought we would get a pint,her blood levels were too low so we are getting a full two pints of blood.
   This process takes 3-4 hours plus a 30 minute observation period. We won't get the effects until tomorrow and she should be getting stronger and feeling much better then.
We did take our Christmas cards with us and after I finish typing this entry,I'll be headed back to finish writing them up so we can drop them in the mail today.
  Funny how during this journey we have run into people who have helped us,my manager at my job is another case in point. He is also a cancer survivor,he battled leukemia many years ago and won. He was able to answer my questions about blood transfusions and said how benefitual they are. He said how much better he felt the day after and had so much more energy. This is what I needed to hear,he also said if I needed any time off,it would be no problem. Fact is,its the oppsitite,I need MORE hours at work...he also agreed with that point as well. I asked him for any possible overtime and he said he would try,OT is rather frowned upon at my job..
   Our ASM came down and used the computer a couple into my shift,she needed to plug in a person because of a call off. She just shook her head and wondered how people feel so casual about doing that...I had to agree....

  Not that we don't do this already but I am making it a personal goal in 2013 to do one random act of kindness a day for someone. We have really lost our way in this country in regards to this. Instead of arming ourselves to the teeth because of what "might" happen...maybe if we did more acts on a daily basis,we could lower the level of stress among our fellow citizens.
  I really try and do this in my daily a door,provide extra help at my job to customers even when its not called for,give a co-worker a ride home without expecting anything in return....small acts like that.
  This country is teetering on the brink of full blown hell on earth with all the talk of having 50 guns and 100,000 rounds of ammo in the house. People I know and breaks my heart seeing them so distrustful of people and the system that they rather embrace a bullet instead of a hand.
  Its just another example of how far away this nation has fallen from God,yet people still try and insist this is a "Christian" nation....

   Next week is the Military Bowl and the 24th ranked Spartans of San Jose State will be playing without Coach Mike McIntyre. Coach Mac decided to to take the job at Colorado and while I can understand it as far as the money is concerned,I'm lost as to why he would take a step DOWN  because Colorado has become a dark hole as far as its football team. I know what you're going to say...SJSU was 1-12 in Mac's first year but Colorado went 1-11 this year including a loss to Sacramento State!! The difference between SJSU and Colorado is the Buffs are supposed to have much better players then SJSU! Yet they still got crushed....Coach Hawkins from Boise State took the Colorado job after a monster run at Boise and he couldn't get the job done ....if a coach like that can't change the losing culture,then its not the coach,its the school. And with coaches getting the hook after 2 years instead of the 3-4 years it takes to establish a footprint for a new coach,will Coach Mac even get a chance if he goes 6-19 like he did the first years at SJSU? I personally think he should have stayed another year or if he had waited a little longer he may have landed a real gem like Gary Andersen of Utah State in hetting the Wisconsin job! Now that was a real coup....
  SJSU needs to start filling up the seats and making more money so it can afford to actually pay a coaching staff. Until this happens,SJSU will continue to be a place a young coach comes to cut his teeth and then head on to greener pastures. There will be no real team unity because the coaching staff can change at any time.

  Has anyone seen "The Hobbit" yet? How is it? Drop a comment below if you have seen and share your opinion...

Okay,that is it for now....I'll be back on Friday....

Sunday, December 2, 2012


Its 7:07 pm

    Just wanted to post something or another today....I see I gained another reader and even got 2 comments as well! For at least one entry,I feel like a real blogger!
  I just want to set the record straight....just because I shopped Walmart on Black Friday does not mean I support or condone their business practices anymore do I support the UAW or Teamsters for protecting sloppy,rule breaking,drinking on the job unionists. Both sides have serious moral and ethical question marks and in my eyes,one is no better then the other.
  I find it rather ironic that in this recession,more American employers took a page from Walmart and have started paying new workers despite their experience or resume,very low wages and very rarely offering full-time spots..Walmart is no longer the "demon" but in fact has become the American business model.

  Funny comment seen on Lock Up: San Antonio..."People think we have a easy,cushy job". That was said by a prison prison housing some of the most dangerous creatures this side of hell. Murderer,rapists,gang bangers,drug one I know has ever commented that prison guards have a easy job,cripes,I daresay its one of the most dangerous ones in America. Outnumbered and always at terrible risk...watching Lock Up has really driven the fact home that the men and women who care for these violent people should command our instant respect.

  Lori is at her store's holiday dinner...they will be coming here for dessert shortly. I helped clean up the house and will be serving as host once they get here which will be in a few minutes.
I'll type in a longer entry tomorrow or Wednesday.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Medical Update,Black Friday doings and other stuff

Its 12:43 pm

    The big news? I didn't win the Powerball lottery....I did however pick ONE number and that is reason enough to celebrate as I normally don't even get one right!
Its been a while since I wrote and when I checked my other writers,lo and behold Aaron Childs aka Scorpion,has resumed writing. He hadn't dropped anything new in 8-9 months and quite honestly I thought he had quit writing or had a massive case of writer's block. Just very happy he is back and I'm going to relist his blog on my front page. If you like a good all around interactive read,then Aaron is the blogger you want to check out!

  3rd week of chemo is this week...first we'll be doing labs on Monday,then our regularly scheduled visit with Dr. which she'll schedule a MRI or CT scan for Lori's fistula. Hopefully this will happen before the first of the year before our deductible will kick back in on 1 Jan 2013. Be nice to have this covered but it really doesn't matter does it,it has to get done,one way or another. One can't live a quality life with a chronic condition like that.
 Lori has lost about 95% of her hair...still looks sexy as hell however..I hold her very close at night and pray very hard for the both of us. We're half-way home and we're hoping Dr. J will see a clear sign of the current tumor being destroyed by the chemo. She said it would happen by the 3rd treatment and so here we are at the 3rd treatment.
  Thanksgiving was pretty mellow...we cooked a small Butterball turkey breast and had all the sides. As I was cleaning up the dishes and putting away the leftovers,I went outside to dump the trash,it was cold and started to rain a bit,a perfect ending to a nice quiet day.

 So needless to say I was surprised when I came back in and was told we were picking up Marlene our neighbor and making a mad Black Friday dash to flippin Walmart of all places!! Really?? Walmart? On Black Friday??

Oh my stars and garters...against my better judgement I saddled up and we headed down to a local store about 3 miles from us. The doorbusters were at 8 pm,10 pm and midnight. Marlene wanted a TV for her son's basement and I decided to get Lori a iPad 2 for Christmas.

Quite honestly,while I'm sure Suze Orman may not have approved my choice,its been years since I have been able to get my  wife a "wow" gift for Christmas. I really wanted to do that this year and I had in fact decided to give her a iPad 2 but didn't expect to braving the Black Friday crowds to get one.
  The parking lot was packed but we got a good parking spot and headed in....there were no lines and while the checkout lines were full,it was quiet. We saw long lines curled around balloons with different door busters being offered. The TVs were being handed out in the produce section

Lori and Marlene headed over there while I went to sporting goods to stand in the iPad line....except there was no line! They gave us a card and said we could be rung up at 10 pm. We then were to register at the Walmart website for the iPad 2 by Sunday in order to get it by Christmas. Made perfect sense to me and I took my card and wheeled to my right and headed to produce.

Now where as my line was no line,the TV line was huge! It snaked around at least 5 food lanes when we landed and it was still growing. I kept a sharp eye on Lori and at the first sign of distress,we're gone. But she was a real trooper and seemed to really enjoy herself. Can't say I blame her because this Walmart was doing everything right....opened doors early,staggered the deals and had plenty of product. The crowd was very peaceful and in the 3 hours we were hour to wait,2 hours to check-out...we didn't see a single nasty incident.
  The three of us had a blast...we loaded our stuff on a cart and when the young couple behind had trouble carrying their stuff,we loaded it on our cart as well. The check-out line was the real test,it snaked almost throughout the entire store!
  Lori sent me to look at the door buster deals in the DVD section...I tried but it was so trashed,I had no idea what on sale or not. As I made my way back through,I noticed a senior man who was trying to hang there as he made his way through the line. He even brought in his own chair but you could see he was running out of steam.
  He was about 25 spots behind us..we started looking for help,I asked a young worker if he had a radio and if he could call a manager...he tried but with no radio,he was pretty handcuffed. He did manage to bring the man a bottled water but with at least a hour plus wait to go....a single bottle of water wasn't going to cut it.

Marlene found a manager with a radio and sent him down the line...I explained the situation and while the senior said he didn't want to hassle anyone (which we assured him wasn't the case) he was having a hard time. The manager was sort of frozen when a store manager came over and in 10 seconds had the the senior gentleman being escorted to the FRONT of the line!!! It was fucking outstanding to say the least...but when the woman behind the man said "really?" to the fact he was being helped,the crowd around her said "yeah,really". It was just one of those feel good to "pass it forward" moments that we all should try and strive for more often...
  The iPad 2 was a great deal...399.00 plus taxes pushed it to 422.00. Quite a bit over the 150.00 limit we had for each other but we also got a 75.00 gift card from Walmart which was the big hook that made it so great to get.
  It was my first Black Friday as a shopper and based on what we went through,it was pretty worth it. The employees were all very kind and helpful and seemed very happy to be there...I didn't hear anyone bitch about anything.

So the San Jose State Spartans finished up 10-2 this year! After watching the BYU game being so exciting,ESPN picked up the La. Tech game as well for the following Saturday. And once again,there I was at 10:30 pm at night watching the Spartans battle the nation's highest scoring team in college football.

The game was being pushed as a high scoring affair and while it was indeed that...San Jose State proved why they were a much better team because they have a DEFENSE! And while the score 52-43 for SJSU,the defense showed up at several critical moments including Bene Benwikere's 3 INTs that stopped Tech dead in their tracks.

^ Bene Benwikere

With the win,SJS finished 2nd in the WAC at 5-1 and 10-2 overall including wins over Navy,San Diego State and La. Tech. They are 25th in BCS standings and have indeed landed a berth in the Military Bowl where college football guru Phil Steele had seen them that....but as this entry,we still don't who we're beating.

 I finished reading my Clive Cussler novel called "The Wrecker" which I found rather good. Seeing an established "name" who teams up with another good writer to co-write a novel seems to be the "in"thing these days,see James Patterson for what I'm talking about.
 I think its a good idea but you better get it right the first time otherwise fans will get jaded and put off as their favorite writer's names are just being used to push bad books.
In this case,Cussler struck gold with his latest character,Issac Bell,and his co-writer,Justin Scott.

Alright,that is all I got....many thanks to those who keep on reading this blog....from the bottom of my heart,I thank you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Of Medical Update,Hostess and fun at Busch's Supermarket

Its 7:20 pm on Thursday

   Its a chilly night here in SE Michigan...its around 40 degrees and feels like winter except just like last year,there really has been no real weather to speak of. We had one day of decent rain and last Saturday we spotted our first snowflakes,which I could count on two hands.

  First off,my biggest fear about undergoing a second round of chemo is coming true. This has been far worse then what Lori went through the first time around. And we are meeting new "friends" that we hadn't met before.
   Monday saw us at the local UM infusion clinic for the first time. This is where we went for the last 5 treatments in the first go around and with a little luck,this will be the last go around. She checked in at 9:30 for labs and I joined her at 10:15 am in time for the chemo treatment. The room was pretty full and our favorite nurse Mel (Melanie) was able to not only steer Lori into her section but also place her by the bathroom. This is nice because at having so much liquids pumped into a person,a close bathroom is a must!
   The treatment went by nice and slow,Lori slept once she got her heated blanket and I continued to try and slog through my Martha Grimes mystery novel.
  But I had to work at 4 pm so I had to leave at 2:30pm in order to get ready,Mel said that Lori would be home at 3 pm....3 pm arrives and still no Lori. I knew she had one more I.V. drip to go and maybe they were running a little behind but I had to leave for work so I did.
During my break I was able to call home and Lori was there...she was upset because she had a bad reaction to the chemo. Simply put,she didn't a good breakfast and the chemo upset her stomach so much that she had to vomit. Her blood pressure also spiked high and after slowing the I.V. down,she was able to finish the treatment and get home at 5:30 pm!! Needless to say,I was pretty worried at first but Mel explained that a chemo patient has to eat a good meal before coming in. The clinic has muffins/bagels but those are mostly for the caretakers and not the patients.
  I wrote in a earlier entry about how we ended up at Oakwood Hospital because of a unrinary tract infection. Well Lori shared that with Dr. Johnston,including the mucus discharge. Dr. J said that was actually normal and not to worry too much,some things just have to be allowed to run their course.
 But this week Lori had a hard time in the bathroom,cancer patients often has this problem,this is why they are given stool softeners . This happened the first time as well. but despite going through this doesn't make it any easier.
  To help her system out,she also took Mulax...which opened her up in a big way. Good news,yes? Not all of a sudden that discharge is now looking like her poo. This was very alarming and once again we call the UM and explain was going on. Now we know....its called a "fistula in ano". Basically its a fissure between the rectum and the vagina. It causes fecal matter to come out both the rectum and vagina. Her radiation had weakened the area there and add the constipation,it caused the fistula.
  We will be getting a MRI scheduled where as they'll shoot a dye to track the fissure and schedule a small surgery to try and fix this problem.
  The condition is very painful as it totally irritates the tissue around the vagina. To help out,I had to install a new portable showerhead to help keep the area clean.
  Today has been very quiet,we were going to try and set up Christmas today but she has been too weak,she has almost no energy to speak of. The good news (I know,about time,right?) has been that the Nulasta shot aftereffects have been much better then last time because of a tip Mel gave take a Benedryl BEFORE the shot. This has really helped as far as the pain goes but as far as the energy go....its just not happening.
   I brought down our two little trees only to find that one of the leg stands is AWOL. I have to tell you,this has not been my favorite week! Got one tree plugged in but will have to wait til tomorrow to see if she has enough steam to decorate,otherwise,I will have her direct me. Lord have mercy!

  Saturday saw us doing some Christmas shopping,Macy's was having a 1 day sale and since we had some great coupons,we went there first. The little Westland Mall was booming and that included Macy's. People were everywhere and they were really shopping hard! Its been a while since we have really seen this kind of activity,there were lines at every register!
   We shopped for Lori's folks,her aunt Emma and neice Carol. We also shopped for our neighbor Marlene as we got her a killer chafing dish for great price. We ate lunch at the Lakeshore and noticed that the gourmet foods were also on sale for 50%. As we were looking the clerk said that certain items were off 70% as in a bag of 11.00 coffee was on sale for 5.50 and then take ANOTHER 70% off that plus our coupon....we got 4 bags of great coffee for a buck a bag! Also picked up some Maurice salad dressing and some honey glaze for 3.00 a jar...just an incredible bargain to find. Very grateful to the clerk for sharing the sale with us. When cash is tight its cool to be able to get some great deals,especially at a place like Macy's!
  But the Force was still strong with us (thanks to fellow cancer fighter and Jedi Master Sean!). We saw that a local supermarket chain called Busch's was having a good sale on meat and we need some items for the deep freezer. We stopped at the Livonia store....but was told it was the Plymouth store who was having the sale as they had remodeled the store and were having a re-grand opening. That store was only 10 minutes away and so we headed there.
  Just like the mall,the store was packed with shoppers. Busch's had done it up right with some great deals,sample tables and drawings for huge gift baskets. They had plenty of staff to help guests and everyone was very cheerful. We poked around and got some items and met Norton the Penguin who walking around handing out popsicles.
  We filled out a card apiece for the many baskets there offered as prizes and then headed up to the check-out line. As we did so,a man grabbed my shoulder and said "Stay here,I'm going to give away a pasta strainer pot and you'll have a chance to win. But I need a big crowd." So hey,what the hell,right?
  Soon he had gathered a nice crowd and grabbed a box. He said he was going to write a number between 1-25 on the box and whoever guessed it first would win...I told Lori to guess 12 and I would guess 25....not only Christmas numbers but also Lori's momma's birthday. We then started yelling out numbers....and the man pointed at Lori and 3 other people who had shouted "12".
  He then said he was going to do a tie breaker by writing a number between 1-10. Now while I didn't SEE him write the number,I could see by how his hand moved what he wrote and I yelled "3".
And that was that.....we had won the pasta strainer bowl!.
  We walked outside and saw the first snowflake of the season....and then we headed home.
Sunday morning...I was at work when Busch's called the house...Lori had won one of the gift baskets! How cool was that?
Its 2:00 pm on Friday

   Lori is feeling a little better compared to yesterday but is still feeling very crappy. I set up our little Christmas tree and brought up the decrorations . And that is the extent of what I'm allowed to do..she enjoys fixing up the house by herself. Don't know how much energy she'll have but I know she'll give it her all.
  Yesterday was a complete washout for us...I insisted she rest and take it easy. I don't know how she thinks she will be able to go to work feeling like this and having to deal with the fistula-in-ano.
I canceled the trip we were hoping to make to Eastern Market in Detroit,just feel that would be really pushing the limits of her health as of now.
Am going to try and get out to a movie tonight....but again,just not quite sure if that is a good idea or not.
Just read that Hostess and their union can't agree to a new deal and that Hostess will be forced to shutdown. Wow....once again the union workers are showing just how stupid and clueless they are. Instead of taking a pay cut,they rather lose thier whole damn company. So now 18,000 workers are going to lose everything in the middle of the holidays and winter. I can't wait til they try and find another job...good luck with that,especially now in this new underemployed normal we are being forced to adjust to. The old days of striking and forcing companies to increase pay and benefits are long gone and if these 18,000 haven't been paying attention to what has been going on....they're going to find out the hard way.
   That said....we picked up a couple of Ding Dongs for the freezer....

Well,that is all I have time for,need to head to the bank and pick up some plumber's tape. Hope whoever dropped by and read this has a great day and leaves a comment or three. Its nice signing in and seeing that someone did take the time to do so.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Are you Red or Blue?

Its 11:43 am

    Its a beautiful crisp day here in SE Michigan. The house is very quiet as I type this entry.
Derek is curled up in his "batcave" as it has a thermal blanket that he loves to sleep on when it gets colder.
I am the 2nd day of a 6 day work stretch including a 11 hour day tomorrow. But no complaints,so very happy to have a job and very grateful to my co-workers who are supporting us in this tough time.

   I finally saw a movie I had wanted to see when it came out this past summer. It was "Seeking A Friend For the End of the World" and starred Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. It was labeled a comedy-drama and while yes,there were a few funny moments,I thought it was more of a love story.
 I wrote this after I watched Carell in "Crazy Stupid Love" and "Hope Springs"....give this man a SERIOUS role already! We know he can do comedy in his sleep but he is so vastly underestimated as a serious actor.

  I really liked this film quite a bit. The idea of re-connecting with a loved one when you know you only have a certain about of time left is a question that is a universal one,who would we want to connect with before "the end"?
  A chance to say "sorry","I love you" or yes,even a hearty "fuck off and die"...everyone has someone with whom they would like to go back and address. This film asks that question and also says 'Maybe the fantasy is better then the reality". Not every last encounter might not go as you would hope for and the time wasted in finding that out just can't be recovered.

  Caught the latest episode of "Arrow" last night....the writing is getting better and more even which is a good thing. Still some major plotting issues still to be ironed out but now that The CW has greenlit the show for a full first season,maybe the back half the season will see the creative team relax a bit and proceed a bit slower.
   I mean,having Laurel Lance see Oliver Queen's scars from his 5 year long ordeal on that island is almost as bad as him just unmasking in front of her. When you have too many people know the secret identity of a superhero,it sort of takes the mystery and aura away from the character,see "Spider-Man 2 and 3" as a prime example of that.
   I see that starting next week,Oliver will start to deal with the street level criminal activity in Star City,I was hoping that would happen rather soon

because the "Billionaire of the Week" list plotline had me worried. You really need to have all sorts of cool bad guys for the hero to battle every week. Without that,you run the risk of cornering your main character in a creative dead end and the fans will start to get antsy.
  So I am excited for next week when the Green Arrow meets the Royal Flush Gang for the first time...should be great!

  Talking to a co-worker last night...he mentioned that it cost him about 18,000 a year for daycare for his two sons. As it turns out,we were asked to catsit for our neighbor this weekend. Yep,we get to watch her kitty Crash like we did for a week this past summer. We're hoping Marlene doesn't charge too much for this weekend!
  In all seriousness,I'm really proud of Marlene,she and her son are really making a great effort of not letting Crash go outside anymore. This is a good thing as we need to put some poison out in our back deck area in case any other mice decide they might want to stick around.

    San Jose State's season is starting its final push....the Spartans are 3-1 in league play and 7-2 overall heading into today's game at New Mexico State. This is a perfect "trap" game for the Spartans. The Aggies are 1-8 and facing a unknown future as a Major Independent as their football team was unable to find a conference home after this season.

  While NMSU got whipped by a terrible Auburn team,42 -7,last week....they had a real chance at upsetting 25th ranked Louisiana Tech two weeks ago...they played outstanding defense in holding the nation's 2nd best scoring offense to a mere 28 points in a 28-14 loss. SJSU cannot afford to come out slowly as they did against Idaho and except to just "turn it on",they just are not that good yet.
  This will be SJSU's last cupcake before they face BYU and the same La. Tech that put up 57 points on Texas A&M and is tied for 1st place in the WAC.
  Phil Steele,the renowned college football expert has San Jose State facing Ball State in a bowl game...I agree but ONLY if they win 1 of the 2 games at home against BYU and Tech. While the Spartans have two very good wins under their belts (Navy,San Diego State),the rest of the schedule has been pretty doughy with the weak teams in the WAC and losing by 22 at home to Utah State pretty much negated those two earlier wins. Since the WAC only has one bowl game for sure,the Spartans really need to impress people that they are for real....
  But there is one coolness factor kicking in....looking at the incoming recruiting lists. Most times we Spartans fans never knew who we were recruiting because players never signed with us until SJSU was often the last school picked by players. But after last year and now this year....this has changed. When you look at the lists,you can see that 5 players have already committed to come to San Jose. This is perhaps the most exciting thing to see,now that Coach McIntyre has signed to stay until 2017,players being recruited now are looking at SJSU in a different light! This will really help to add some quality depth to the team and will factor in as to how healthy the team will be late in a season.

 Of course this won't help the hoops team because they just suck...

I have a question.....when you go to a Christmas party,do you 1.) bring your spouse and 2.) drink any booze while attending such party? Can I get some/any input about this?

   Hope you took the time to vote this year. Seems like America liked Obama a little more then Mittens and he wiped Romney out by over 3 million votes. Am I excited about this? Only if the teapublicans can put aside their hate and deep racist hatred of the President. If they don't and won't.....I can see us sliding backwards,not forwards. The real enemy to us all is the mainstream media...why the fuck do we let them get away with this? "Blue state/red state" "battleground state". Terms meant to divide us,to polarize us and after watching the level of posting in my group,its works VERY well.
 Will we ever learn? When will we tell the people at Fox,NBC,CBS,CNN,ABC and anyone else that we are not colors but Americans. When will they help push for the reform of the electorial college and make every state worth the same amount of votes? The bastards keep on wondering if the President and Congress can work "together" when they themselves work very hard at dumbing down of America with the vile crap they keep forcing down our throats and working overtime to further the divide among Americans.
 Just hope we can wake up in time before mere shouts turn to actual civil unrest and violence. Don't kid yourselves,if we continue this path,we will be revisiting a civil war footing again.

Alright,I'm outta here.....hoping my next posting will be a "8 Questions with....." interview with my friend Michelle in North Dakota. This is one interview I'm sure you'll want to read.

Thank you to Amy who left a comment last entry.....that was very sweet.

Can't wait to watch the Fox 2 news this weekend and see Robin's reaction to what possibly could be our first snow of the season! The Queen of Snow will be very VERY happy I'm sure!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Medical update and becoming a Ace

Its 1:38 pm

  Wow......President Obama has won a 2nd term despite a strong effort by Mittens Romney. But that is just a sideshow as to what has been happening as of late.

I hadn't have much of a chance to blog lately....been trying to work as much as I can and my hours have been all over the map. Between that,dashing to Ann Arbor and the Oakwood ER,it feels like Superstorm Sandy landed in my own damn house.

  Medical update.

      The 2nd round of chemo is so much rougher then before. We are both tired and run down. Last Saturday saw Lori develop a 100.4 fever that landed her in the E.R. at Oakwood. For those of you who have been following this story,you KNOW just how much I love Oakwood.
  We got there at 10:30 pm....and left at 1:30 am. Turns out she had a nasty urinary tract infection which also happened to her the first go round as well. This is because her immune system is being flattened by the chemotherapy. It makes any illness a serious matter,which is why you see cancer/chemotherapy patients wear masks,especially in the hospital itself.

After seeing Dr. Weaver for the 3rd time,we went by the local CVS store and fill her medications that she had to have. We got home at 2 am and went straight to bed. Made it through Sunday okay and then on Monday we had our regular appointment with Dr. Johnston in Ann Arbor. Did our blood draw first,then had to kill an hour before our appointment.
  The waiting room was pretty busy,I had brought along a British mystery novel written by Martha Grimes...

Tried to get into it but just didn't have it in me. Lori was dozing in her chair when she suddenly had to use the restroom. She came back and said she saw blood in her urine.
 Sort of didn't surprise me,UTI cases often has blood,its because the urethra is inflamed and irritated. I just encouraged her to wait before seeing Dr. J before going to the restroom again so they could get a good sample.
   Finally they called her back....for her vitals. I tried again to get into my book when I saw a shadow fall across my lap. I looked up and saw Terry,one of our nurses from the infusion clinic near our house. Terry is a supervisor and Mel is Lori's favorite chemo nurse. We really bonded with them last year during Lori's first round. In fact,we had seen both ladies at the first infusion just 2 weeks ago. Terry was there filling in for a nurse who is expecting and Mel was rotating through the main hospital on Mondays for a while.
  Lori and I made both ladies coupon books as a way of saying "thank you" for their kindness.
I stood up and Terry gave me a big hug....Lori said while she was getting vitals,Terry popped up and sat on her lap....she explained Lori was "one of my patients" at the infusion clinic.
   We made some small talk and then Lori got called in and I waited outside.
Turns out everything is fine (as well as can be expected for a cancer patient). The UTI is being treated gently,no real string antibiotics because that would produce our old pal C-Dif and we don't want that!
 She had a mucus discharge that is also a good sign and the blood in the urine is also normal. I was told to have her keep pushing the liquids.

So we'll keep on  doing that as much as we can. That night Lori said she started seeing her hair starting to fall out now. This too was expected so we placed a call to her hairdresser,a delightful lady named Donna,who will take care of Lori's hair. We had to dust off the wig again and come next week,she'll be wearing that again.
  We both had a good cry....we really wish we had more friends. Lori was very upset because when she was first told she had cancer,suddenly all of these folks she had rarely heard from suddenly popped up. It was nice getting the cards and calls but when she went into remission,that all stopped.
  We have hosted many people in our house...but rarely do we ever get a invite back. Its a real mystery as to why that happens...I only know that we bust our asses getting ready for our guests and make sure they are  fed a excellent meal and have a good discussion about just about anything.
   It really upsets her,especially around the holidays...
I was thinking about inviting 2-3 of my co-workers over for a "orphan's dinner" for Thanksgiving but I don't really know them that well as to be comfortable with that idea.

   Derek becomes a "ace".

So last Thursday morning I get up for work at 5 am. I stumbled out of bed,got my clothes ready and headed for the bathroom. I turned on the heat light as its softer,Lori was still sleeping. As I came back into the bedroom,I heard Derek make a ruffling noise. Ruffling is catspeak for "I love you". I glanced down and there it was,a dead mouse on the top of the stairs,this is where Derek sleeps during the night....unless he is killing mice.
Derek got his first two kills in Northville.....then 2 more a couple of years ago when our neighbors had a bad mouse infestation problem. In fact,he killed those 2 a mere 10 minutes apart.
And now this...his fifth kill.
   The term "ace" comes from from World War I when a pilot shot down 5 enemy planes,he was a called a "Ace". Its requires great skill and daring to become a ace and despite being 13 years old and a strictly indoor cat,Derek still has lightening fast reflexes.

Doesn't look different then a Me-109 does it?

Lori had to work yesterday so I waited for her at home...we always vote together at our polling place. I had watched the news and heard about the crazy long lines in Detroit. People lined up around the block waiting for their chance to vote. The local branch manager at Chase Bank said he had to wait about 40 minutes but it went it by fast.
   So when 5:30 pm came,I was a bit worried.

If the lines were really that long,we might have to chance coming back because we can't risk standing outside
with Lori undergoing chemo. We decided to take a chance and brave it. We got there at 5:30....and left at 5:50 pm with  our "I voted" sticker proudly displayed on our sweaters.

We had no real lines to speak of and the process went smooth as silk in our town!

Well that is it for me.....

Thanks for stopping by and I'll and throw something up tomorrow as well!

- Denise in Texas,we're praying for you! Such an amazing spirit!
- Joan,DJ and I are proud of you on the new job!
- Theodore,thanks for having a open mind.
-To everyone who actually reads this blog and leaves a comment---THANK YOU!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Round Two,Green Arrow and some football!

 Its 10:52 am

     First day I have gotten a chance to post this week. The second round of chemo has started and its not going to be as "easy" as the first round was....
 Monday morning found back at the U of Michigan's Cancer Center for the first round of chemo. While last time we were able to to have the treatment closer to home,each time you start a new therapy,you have to have it done at the hospital so you can be watched by the nursing staff. Its fact our "anniversary" of our first chemo won't be hard to remember,its the wedding date of the UK's royal couple,William and Kate. And we spent it at the cancer center as well....
   We got to Ann Arbor at 7:45 am for labs and a blood draw,that was over in 5 minutes and we went upstairs to the infusion waiting room. There was a small delay from the lab and we in the waiting room 45 minutes. While it seemed like a long time,it really passed very quickly and soon our name was called.
The room was pretty active with patients and loved ones sitting and chatting while the RNs went about getting folks hooked up with IV drips.

   We were seated and soon Lori was being prepped for her chemo. The anti-nausea medication was given first as well as a mild seditive to help her relax. I got her a heated blanket and a bagel while we waited for the  first IV of saline as pushed. This helps allows the chemo to flow faster into the body as well as protect it from the harshness of the chemo.
   The saline is also kept going throughout the entire treatment so after a while,you're going to go to the bathroom and going and going....

   There was a nice older couple next to us,the wife was undergoing treatment for non hodgkin's lymphoma. She had once before and had been in full remission for 11 years before getting it again. She and her husband had to drive about 2 hours 3 times a week for her treatment as they don't have a infusion clinic near her home.
   She was so ill the first time that she had to undergo a stem cell treatment,while it helped save her life,she was a little uncomfortable with the prospect of having to undergo that again because certain people commented on the fact that perhaps that the cells were harvested from embryos of fetuses. Which is complete bullshit....because while the best way to to get stem cells is by a donor match,there are far too few donors to be able to help. (unless you're Dick Cheney or David Cosby). If getting stem cells from an embryo is what is needed to save a life,then yes,you bet your ass I'll take it in order to save my wife's life and I have no problem with it.
   We chatted with them for a while,she shared a huge bag of candy with the staff. It was easy to see that this woman was a favorite of the staff and cared very much for her.
   After she expressed her unease about the stem cell issue,I gave her my phone number and said if she needed donors,I would volunteer to help her. I don't know how they harvest the cells but if can save a life,does it really matter what is involved?
   I went and got Lori a salad from the cafe which she was happy to get,then she took a nap. I started reading a book about the huge tornado outbreak in 1974 called F5.

This is a excellently written book about a small area in Alabama that got hit with TWO F5 twisters and the utter havoc and heartbreak that it left behind. I picked this up about 2 years ago at the local Dollar Tree and put it on my stack of  "books too read" pile at home.
  After 2 hours the nice couple left and the infusion clinic sort of thinned out a bit at 2 pm. Lori napped or had to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes.
    Another woman came in at 2:30 pm....she was suffering from ovarian cancer and she was ill before she even got hooked up. She looked terribly ill and the staff was so kind and gentle with her.
  Her husband looked sort of shell-shocked as he sat there. I wonder if I looked that way my first day of chemo...some caretakers did but others did not. I try and keep a absolute poker face when I'm around Lori,always giving her encouragement and hope. Its not a lie,I know she can beat this and knock it flat.

  Finally at 4:45 pm,we were done and I drove us home....with taking 3 pit stops on the way to use the rest room. Our house is only 17 miles from Ann Arbor so that should tell you how full of fluids Lori was.
  The next day,Tuesday,I went to work and Lori stayed home....she felt pretty good and had no real after effects of the chemo.
   Wednesday was the 2nd part of the new treatment plan. She went to the infusion clinic by the house and received a shot of a drug called Neulasta.

What does Neulasta do? Its designed to jump start your bones to produce white blood cells at a accerlated rate. White blood cells are the ones that fight off infections and illnesses in the body,since chemo kills everything,a cancer patient is at a higher risk for infection then most people.
The problem with this is simple,the body produces blood cells at a slower rate and pushes them out of the bone marrow very carefully until they hit the veins,where they then are carried throughout the body.
Now imagine a 150 cells per second normally are able to slip through with no problem...but with Neulasta,it becomes 1,500 cells per second...that is one very nasty and painful logjam. And that is what happened with Lori Wednesday night,her ankles were on fire. At 3:30 am,we were about to hit the ER when we were told Lori could take a Narco pill to ease her pain and then Motrin afterwards. This was worse then anything we saw/felt in the first round by far.
    My work was kind enough to let me come home early and sit with her as the pain slowly went away to a tolerable level. But we have five more Neulasta treatments to go and I think each one will be a little rougher each time.
  As of today,she is coming home early from work to rest again....and I'll be heading off to close at my shop this evening.  This really sucks to say the least.....

  On a lighter note,I just caught up with the new Green Arrow series called "Arrow" on the CW and I have to say I was pretty impressed. Nice twist on the origin of the Green Arrow and enjoyed the action and respect the creators have towards Oliver McQueen.

The action is top notch and having a guest star like Kelly Hu in 2nd episode and featuring a well known DC anti-hero called Deadshot in the 3rd episode was pretty cool as well. It establishes this Arrow in the DC Universe while not risking becoming "campy" that sometimes will sink a superhero show like this. Its what enabled "Smallville" to last 10 years in my opinion...not showing Clark Kent as Superman until the last show.
  And while we won't be seeing any major DC characters in Arrow as of yet,there are a ton of minor ones who'll do nicely if the show can get a couple of seasons under its belt.
   One weakness is the "name of the week" plot line which has GL chasing down a rich baddie every show. That will get tired real quick and could cause problems.
   While I would have liked to see Justin Hartley back as GL,I can respect the CW to move away from that casting and bringing fresh faces to this show. I wonder where I have seen THIS picture before????

After losing 49-27 to Utah State in the WAC opener,San Jose State had to rebound quickly because they had to travel to Texas to battle the 5-1 Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio in the Alamodome.

The Spartans,after being completely hammered at home by Utah State,were not down in the dumps nor taking taking UTSA lightly. They flew into Texas and crushed UTSA 52-24 and it could have been much worse. The best part of this game was the fact several back up players also played,including highly touted QB Joe Gray with completed his one pass. SJSU moves to 1-1 in the WAC and 5-2 overall and playing Texas State tomorrow at home. The next 3 games are all must wins in order for the Spartans to secure a bowl win,a single loss will most likely end any chances of a good season becoming a GREAT one!
  Above is the video of the Spartans on their trip to play UTSA.

Alright,that is it for now...has anyone else seen "Arrow" and if so,what do you think so far? Pro and con...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Medical Update

Its 4:42 pm

   Not a good day....we just got a call of the U of Michigan Cancer Center. Lori and I are headed to Ann Arbor on Tuesday for a biopsy which they are now calling a "mass". Lori is starting to show a lot of pain around her bladder now and is having a hard time going to the bathroom.
   She was advised not to take any aspirin before Tuesday...which is fine,but couldn't they at least given her something for the pain and discomfort? Tuesday is a LONG away when you are having such discomfort.
What really is rather stunning is the fucking SPEED of this monster....I mean,it has presented itself very quickly...but then again,any pressure on the bladder will be felt very acutely. Try holding off going to the bathroom while watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy,right?
   I have to very careful here.....because I can't help but think about Amy Rauch Neilson. She too was in remission for almost 5 years....but when her cancer came came back with a vengence and ended up killing her in 6 months.
  We know that our next round of chemo will be a longer regime because of the location and the fact they already gave Lori the strongest chemo for uterine cancer that is on the books. We don't know if this mass is still uterine cancer.....we just don't know. I just know that I pretty scared out of my mind right now....and wishing Tuesday would hurry the hell up and get here already....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Medical Update: It's back....

Its 8:51 am

 Talk about a chilly morning! Its in the 40s again and the house is pretty cold already. Too cold in fact and I'm wondering if we have a leak somewhere upstairs. I actually have turned on the heat and that never happens until we have snow on the ground and we're a long way from that!

    So Lori had three days off and I had a favorable schedule as well so we were able to have time together.
Or so we thought.....cause she ended up working most of her Saturday,she is training 4 new people this week and she wanted to clean her office. What started as a two hour job turned into five as she didn't realize just how messy it was considering how little time she actually spends in there. I puttered around the house doing chores like laundry and the dishes as well as paying some bills.
  We were able to have a quick dinner then I had to go to work at my job,I closed so I didn't get home until 10:45 pm.
    Sunday we both had off.....and it was a cold chilly day. We decided we would go down to Bellevue and check out the Civil War re-enactment at a local park. We grabbed our chairs,dressed warmly and headed out. We turned onto a service drive that turned out to be a much bigger road that we had never been on before. We thought we would see signs pointing to the event as we were using our GPS and somehow thought it had sent us in a wild goose chase. Because yes,the GPS does do that once in a while!
  The service drive did lead us to the park which was tucked away between a couple of small hotels. We drove down into the park and saw a large group of folks....which was a reunion of some sorts and not what we were looking for. We drove on and same the tents that were set up. We came to the admission table we paid our 3 bucks apiece and talked to the gentleman there.
   As we did we saw that there were four tents set up....yes,you read that right....four tents.

The ticket taker said that their event was in its first year and that happened to be on a weekend of a much larger state wide event. So while they had President Lincoln in attendance,the turnout was very small compared to the day before and that weather didn't help much.
  We still went in,why not,right? We are the car and walked over to hear a minstrel and his lovely assistant singing songs of the Civil War era,another older woman was churning butter.

*This wasn't the singer....just wanted to give you an idea of what he was dressed like. Actually he was dressed in half a Union uniform and half in Civil War street clothes and he was about 60-65 years old.

The gentleman who dressed as Lincoln was spot on....he looked JUST like him! It was a little uncanny to tell you the truth. His wife was there in dress as well and she looked elegant as well.
 When we were buying tickets we asked if they were going to do any battle re-enactments....the gentleman was honest in saying that he didn't think so.....and he would be right as there were only 3 soldiers! Now I think you're getting where I going with this....there were ten people dressed up TOTAL for this event! But to their credit and to ours as well,we stuck it out there as a light rain began to fall.
  The soldiers were all dressed in Union/Federal uniforms and had erected their tents. They patiently answered all the questions and even drilled a small troop of about 6 boys and show them what boot camp would have been like back in the day.
   The big talk was about Gettyburg's 150th anniversary coming up and how they are expecting about 30,000-40,000 Civil War buffs to attend. They had 35,000 for the 135th anniversary and were able to completely re-enact Pickett's Charge. I can't even imagine what kind of emotions that would see how those brave men were shot to pieces on the field,almost to overwhelming to think about.

   We stayed for about 45 minutes before heading out as it had started raining harder and even the actors were talking about leaving.
   We went back out and turned left and discovered the back side of Bellevue that we never knew was there.
It was nicely built up and we drove through it commenting how nice it was and that it helped explain why the old downtown had so many empty buildings. Which actually is a shame since old downtown is very charming but the parking isn't very shopper friendly.
   We dropped by The Lunch Box,a small deli that has been open less then a fact they were working on their remodeling when we walked in. We each had a coney dog and a ice water. The owner was a very nice young man who had bought the shop when it was a BBQ joint and switched the menu. The problem he'll face is the same one that has caused 3 other eateries to fail,he is in "old downtown" and is about 3 south of where he really needs to be. But he has energy and good food so maybe a good of mouth will help him make it.

After lunch we did our marketing for the week and came home. Enjoyed a log fire and while watching TV before we hit the hay. I had to open at my job and Lori had to head down to get her results.
The day went by slowly at first but then we got busy at the store and before you know it,my time was up. Now normally I don't rush off the floor,I mean if my relief wants to drag their feet,that is fine by me. But not this day and I told him to step it up....I had a celebration to attend to.
   Drove home and saw Lori was indeed home...and knew something was wrong when she didn't greet me at the door. I walked in and asked "When is our removal date"?
   She was sitting on the couch and said "There isn't one.....the cancer is back". So there you have it....the motherfucker is two spots. The bad news is its in two new areas,including a patch by her bladder. Dr. Johnston is laying out a new chemotherapy plan and it looks like Lori will be losing her hair again. We also will be seeing a whole new battery of doctors because of the location of the new cancer. But there is sorta good news in the fact that the original areas are totally cancer free. The treatment worked there but of course that doesn't explain why or how this new growth got triggered.
   I admit it this time....I'm very scared this go-round. This is our worst nightmare because we had battled so hard this past year and a half just to make it through this and here we have to saddle up and do it again. Needless to say our spirits are very saddened and I hope my Inner Circle will rally around us again....and please pray for my wife.
   We should be hearing from Dr. J tomorrow after the tumor board has its meeting tonight (Wednesday) and we'll get a better idea of what we are facing. We do know that the chemotherapy will be different this time as the doctors don't like to use the same treatments back to back. We also don't know if we'll be facing radiation again as well.  I'll be writing about what will happen as soon as I know.

Well there it is.....

Derek Jeter turned 13 this month.

Tom and Denise - You two rock so much!
Phillip- God really blessed me with the best brother anyone could have hoped for.
Amy Lange- Happy birthday!

New "8 Questions with...." coming soon.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Rolling entry

Its 8:45 am

    Sitting in Ann Arbor on a cold rainy day. I'm in the family surgery waiting room...I was here last year when Lori was having her twin surgeries done. The room is packed with folks and most seem to be in a good mood. I remember I was as well....until about hours in and Dr. Johnston hadn't come out as scheduled. Then the butterflies started kicking in...but now its a little different as I am on the outside looking in.
   Still anxious but relieved we're "only" here for a PET scan and not a surgery.

Pretty stoked about my Spartans....watched the Navy game on Saturday and while on paper a 12-0 score isn't all that,it was to us fans. Its the first time a San Jose State team has won past past the Mississippi River as we have lost twice to Florida,once to Miami(Fla) and also to Virginia. So its pretty cool Coach Mac led us to a bit of history with this win. We'll have more chances to get more wins as we still have a game with Navy and a series with Army starting in a few years.
   I have been a fan of San Jose State for about 30 years now and Coach Mac is the 2nd best coach we have had,the first still being Claude Gilbert. The players have totally bought into his coaching style and it shows in the games now. The last 2 years were rough because the losing culture that the worst coach SJS has had,Fitz Hill,had allowed to grow and fester. Combine that with a low level talent base and you get a 1-12 season that Coach Mac got in his debut season. But now the team is so much better and even the recruiting is getting exciting as we are getting players on a national basis instead of just Californa and the JC ranks....this will bode well as the Spartans move into the Mountain West season next year.

Someone just brought in a cup of Starbucks,does that look heavenly!

My FB group is really perking along now....the political jabs are coming fast and furious. I added two Admins because I can't always be online to moniter the posts. Watching the exchanges only has proven one thing,teapublicans have the worst selective memories on the planet. I mean,I can agree and freely admit that Democrats have major shortcomings. But ask a teapublican about what they don't like about their party and you get a fanatical Nazi Party response. They can complain freely about "big government" and "crazy spending" yet fail to acknowledge that fighting two wars,creating a recession by allowing it to happen and ignoring the housing crisis and the insane cost of healthcare doesn't "count". Its very hard to actually try and have a discussion about issues because of thier lack of facts and unwillingness to do even basic research.
  Some of the comments on the group page just make me laugh,I can't get upset because I feel sorry for the posters. Watching someone who you know in real life standing on the corner yelling basic propaganda rhetoric when in real life they are NOT that insane sounding is a weird dynamic. Its funny,they do make some valid points but because they make so many crazy claims and sound looney tunes,no one takes 'em seriously when they do share some facts.

  Hey! I picked up my 10th follower! Thank you ever so much and I hope you aren't too bored by my rantings and writing.

Its now Friday and its 5:45 pm

      Its raining outside. Just finished up a Subway tuna fish sandwich and am just chilling now watching the rain. Another week has come and gone. Glad that I have a job,a warm bed,a beautiful wife and a awesome kitty. Glad I have such great friends and a kick ass brother who seems hell bent on settling down and growing some roots in Portland.
   Sent off my new interview and am starting to prep for my next one with singer Cat Beach. I will be sending that interview out as well next week. I should be doing one interview of week but still haven't managed to fit that into my schedule as of yet. I also have seen my traffic drop off because I'm not promoting my blog as well as I have before I started working. Which is all relative of course as working does seem to be more important at the second!

   Okay,I know this entry wasn't the strongest but hey,I can't hit a homer every time out,right?
I'll post the results of Lori's scan on Tuesday after we get back from Ann Arbor.

Nelson- Thanks for understanding!
Warren - You're the subject of my next blog.
To all of my supporters- thanks for sticking around!
Tiffany- Think Aaron would be open to a interview?
Michelle-Can't wait to see how you answered my questions.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Here and There.......(and freebies!)

Its 11:00 pm

     What??? A night entry? Yep....sure is! Haven't written this late at night before. At least not on this blog....back when I first started writing at the late Modblog,I did post several times at night. But that was years ago and life has changed a bit.

   Another pleasant day here in SE Michigan,grey hazy day with some late sunshine in the afternoon. I worked outside at my job today so it was pretty nice to be able to enjoy the weather. Am hoping for another  nice day tomorrow as I need to cut the lawn again.
  But first Lori and I are making another trip to Taylor to the Christmas Tree Shop. We held our first Holiday Planning Session last Friday after our weekly family meeting. We went over our holiday plans and gift lists for our families and friends. Its good to do this early so you can plan and budget for each person.

We're already ahead in the game as we both are planning to skip Halloween this year because we both are planning to work it. We'll use last year's decorations that we got for the yard and make small goodies bags for the neighbor children instead of spending the money for the 100 kids we get a year. I am actually looking forward to working a Halloween again for a change...

   Our microwave died last week. It had come with the house but it was already sort of beat up and we had long range plans to replace it. Well being out of work sort makes those plans hard to attain so we merely patched it up and when the door broke about 18 months ago,we replaced it.
  But last week the old timer gave up the ghost and we had to replace it. Lori went shopping for it and amazingly enough found it at one of the toughest places to shop at,ABC Warehouse. Now I have written about this place before,its a slightly slimy place to shop because all the salesman work on commission and they pretty much attack you as soon as you come through the door.
  I really didn't want Lori going there unless I was there,not because I don't trust her judgement (which is far better then mine) but didn't want to have to battle those salesman,who always remind of the movie "Hollywood Shuffle" where these two dudes are reviewing a parody of zombie movies called "Attack of the Killer Pimps". Personally,I think ABC Warehouse used the same clip as a training model for their staffs. Maybe I'm wrong but you be the judge.....
   Despite our dread,Lori was able to find really nice model and the next day after work,I drove down to pick it up. Now this was a heavy duty microwave and it hangs over our stove so we also had to pay to get it installed.

  ABC Warehouse has several freelance contractors who install whatever product you buy from the store and they come over to do just that. I was home when the contractors we got showed was a father and son team. Both were big fellas and while they were very professional,I was half scared one of them would drop from a heart attack. We made small talk and I asked the dad if his business was picking up as I had heard him tell his son that they had to be quick,they had 10 jobs that took them all over the metro Detroit area.
  He said that business seems to picking up...they were getting ready to start a 2nd truck. I commented how that was great news....until the dad explained they used to have FIVE trucks running. That sort of surprised me a bit considering how hot the real estate market has been getting around here. Two small communities close to us,Westland and Garden City,have been hit by a booming market of low cost homes being bought and renovated.

That often means brand new kitchens and appliances,or one would think. This economy is really a puzzle,its either getting better or people are making adjustments to earning less as the power of the labor unions continue to be eroded away. People are spending more now....just not as much. The local news reported that less people in SE Michigan have credit card debit now....they are paying them off quickly and not using them nearly so much. I know that is true with us,we may use the credit card because we don't want to carry large amount of cash....but the card gets paid off with 3-4 days.
   The dad and son finished our install and then left.
So how did I celebrate? By popping my favorite popcorn....Pop Secret! This is by far the best popcorn on the market and I am always on the hunt for coupons and sales. It rarely happens so when it does,I try and stock up because nothing is better on a chilly night then a bag of popcorn and a cold drink...

  Pretty cool.....I was invited to promote my blog on a group page on FB. I joined and whenever I post a new entry,I post a notice on the page. A young couple from Australia has been been reading it because I just got a request to be "mates" (that is Aussie for friends). So yeah,I am pretty jazzed about that and I hope they continue to support the blog here!

  Tomorrow,I will get off my duff and start working on my next last "8 Questions with...." has been my biggest traffic draw as many folks have stopped by to read my interview with cutting edge designer Evon Cassier. Now why has it taken me so long to deliver my new interview? Hell if I know.....but I do have my questions ready and I'll be sending them off.

  What will be it about? Here is a hint:

And with that.....its time to post this bad boy......

I still have that free book to offer and also,I have 3 free CDs as drop a comment and the first four folks who do will win.....

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Shorty

Its 12:31 pm

     Its another chilly day here in SE sky mixed in with grey clouds. I have the day off so after I post this,I'm heading out to do some serious housework....lots to be done and not much time to do it.

  Got home last night in time to follow the end of the San Jose State game...they were down 34-31 with just over 2 minutes left before marching down and scoring the winning TD with 50 seconds left. The defense was just ruthless after that and stopped San Diego State cold,sealing a 38-34 win and improving to 3-1 on the year. Now the Spartans travel to play Navy who also won yesterday,41-3 over VMI.

But despite beating the Middies last year at San Jose and this year's team in a somewhat rebuilding year,they will be along with Stanford and BYU,the biggest games the Spartans will play this year. And after seeing San Diego State rush for 300 yards against the Spartans,this will suddenly become a real test for the Spartans. They must establish their own running game to help control the clock,last night they only gained 70 on the ground and that has to improve,the offensive line has to run block much better. And Coach Mac has to use all of his backs,not just Irvin,Eskridge and Lainia.

Busted out another great read from the massive stack of books in my den. The book,The Fighting 69th is the story of the 69th Infantry Regiment (Light) of the New York National Guard. The men of the 69th were the first military unit to arrive on scene after the World Trade Center attacks. This book details the unit from that day to when they landed boots on ground in Iraq. This is a great read and also a subtle reminder on just how unprepared we really were in going to war in Iraq. This is a eye-opener of a book and one I recommend very highly to be read.

I picked up my copy at a local Dollar Tree so it is out there to be had at a good price,if anyone wants my copy,drop a comment below and I'll send it on to you...

Lori is feeling a little better today,she slept well and with a day off upcoming tomorrow,should get some well needed rest. Really hoping she feels better very soon....please keep us in your prayers.

Saw that a old friend the San Jose days is now engaged to be a huge shout-out to Sunny and I hope you have found the man of your dreams!


The above video is again from the crazy adventures of actor Craig Bierko and his beloved rescue dog,Boo.
If this doesn't move you to tears,you just have missed the point. Try looking at the video again and seeing what Craig sees.

Okay,that is all for now....a short entry but I just wanted to post something today.....thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Like a good a medical update.

Its 10:44 am on a Thursday

      A late morning blog........on a chilly day,just what the doctor has ordered!

Just looking at the days that are now flying by....each day getting us closer to October 2nd when Lori and I will venture forth again to Ann Arbor for a check-up and a PET scan. If this results are what we expect,we'll then be given a date to having the chemo port being taken out and needless to say,that will be a huge hurdle for us both. This will be the best sign yet that the remission is be a lasting one and we can fully move on with our lives. Of course I'll let you all know what the results are and when she will have her surgery.

I wonder if we'll be able to keep it and mount it as a trophy......

Last month in our sub-division,we had our annual meeting. Last year,I attended it for the first time with my neighbors,Al and Larry. Out of 280 homes,maybe 25 people showed was a decent meeting and we voted for new officers and discussed some community events along with HOA fees. We voted to raise the dues from 20 bucks a year to 40.00 in order to pay for a better snowplow service. Which would have been awesome had we HAD a winter last year. The fact is we only had one storm with more the 4 inches of snow all of the whole winter. That means we paid for the service but only used it once.
  But we didn't know that was going to happen based on the past years,right?
This year's meeting rolled up and our HOA treasurer,who fought very hard to get people to pay their dues (the dues are all voluntary) and had gotten 84% of folks to pay the 40.00 instead of the 40% who only paid the 20 year before,had proposed to not plow any streets in which less then 80% percent of the homeowners had paid dues.
   So at this year's HOA,we had about 75-80 people show up and were angry about this idea and overwhelmingly voted it down. Where as last year,the meeting was friendly and neighborly,this one was a far cry from that. People were rude,shouting over each other and hostile. What little community we may have had pretty much vanished that day.
  Al and I were talking about this the other day about what defines a community. I mean,I consider Lori and I to have 5 excellent neighbors,one good neighbor and one deadbeat one. When we go on trips,I feel pretty good knowing that our home will have several eyes on it in case something goes wrong and we do the same for them.
  And I have two examples....Lori's car hood is getting nicked up,pieces of paint are being chipped by our roads. Now before it gets too nasty,I decided to have the hood repainted and start budgeting for it. I started by calling Maaco ,they wanted between 300-1,000 for the job and that was the LOWEST estimate!

I asked Al,our neighbor if he would go with me to the local Maaco shop . He agreed but wanted to look at the car first...he had a nice laugh and told me to quit "worrying". He suggested I get a can of touch up paint and do it myself for 10 bucks. Sound advice and I did just that. That saved us a ton of money.
  The second example is our other neighbor "John". I knew John very slightly until one day I discovered we were co-workers. But just we started to get to know each other,he was suddenly and unexpectedly let go from the job. I won't get into details but lets put it this way,he and his new department head didn't get along.And the kicker,his department head may be on that same slope because John had a key skill his department has yet to replace. I know,mumble jumbo....but the fact remains that John is a great guy with a lot of skills. When he found out my lawn mower was having problems,he offered to fix it,he also told me the best place to get parts so I can get it running again.

One side note,John has a dog name Bruschi (as like the Patriots linebacker) except its a female. The dog is all bark and all love. We all enjoy watching her romp around her yard and "talking"to everyone she meets.
The day I brought my lawn mower to John's house,his dog came out all excited and started biting at the front left wheel. Now what was really funny,is that wheel is completely bald and needs to be replaced come next spring,yet somehow she knew that already. It was pretty amazing.
  But that is what being a good neighbor is it Lori and I noticing Al had accidently left his back door open,to Marlene and her son putting away our garbage cans to just talking among ourselves.
  I wonder where that has gone.....

1:05 pm Saturday

    This has turned into a rolling blog entry....its inching closer and closer to fall time. The weather has been cold and damp the past 3 days. The temps are in the 70s now and sliding into the 60s. My friend Michelle in North Dakota said she had a 28 degree who knows,maybe we'll have a real winter after all.
  Lori has been ill the past 3 days with what she thinks is a urinary tract infection. She has felt miserable and has run a fever. Now normally this is a issue that hopefully with the OTC meds she is taking,it would be contained. But not its a major concern and with our appointment being 10 days away,we're wondering if she shouldn't be seen now. We're going to have to take a "wait and see" stance since our last three primary doctors at Oakwood all have left within a year of our becoming patients.

  Today she says she feels much better but you just never know,especially when you are dealing with cancer.
Every little illness takes on a potential danger because of the earlier illness and you can't help but get nervous.
But I'll keep you updated.

  Well I better get this up and running,I have to get ready for work today. I'm closing at the store tonight,with the weather being sort of "ugish" and Michigan playing Norte Dame tonight,we should be sort of quiet. That won't be such a bad thing...
  And lastly.....good luck to the San Jose State Spartans tonight when they play the San Diego State Aztecs. The Spartans,after losing a 20-17 to 21st ranked Stanford,have bounced back to rout UC Davis,45-13 and Colorado State,40-20. The next two weeks are critical to see if the Spartans can go bowling as they tackle SDSU and Navy before taking on Utah State. When those 3 games and the world is a much brighter place!

Anyone catch the new show on NBC called "Revolution"? I thought it was pretty cool myself but was wondering if anyone else had caught it.

Well....thats all I got for now.....I better post more regularly again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Of Hope and Tigers.....

Its 10:39 am

      Ahhh.....Fall is making its way into SE Michigan. Went to work on Saturday morning and was pleasantly surprised at how cool the weather was. The funny thing was there was no warning,it was hot and humid the day before and then crisp and cool as Fall should be. And after a very warm spring and summer,I for one,am ready for some chilly weather.
   Been struggling a bit as of late with my sleep pattern again....I need to find a central bedtime and stay with it,been getting up far to often in the middle of the night and that is not supposed to happen with my CPAP machine. I think a walk around the block or a couple times up and down my street is what being called for. I need to tire myself out after work a lot more.
   My feet may have something to say about that but coming home and then flopping down is not wise or healthy and I need to re-establish my sleep habits.

   Last Sunday saw Lori and I make that rare venture to the movie theater. We went and watched "Hope Springs" with Meryl Streep,Tommy Lee Jones and Steve Carell. On paper,this looked like a winning trio and  a good movie to watch but in fact,it was the cast was let down by a storyline that seemed forced,especially at the end.

And trying to label this as a "comedy" when it fact,it was a real adult drama with some light touches thrown in   is also misleading. As drama and played straight,this might have been a very good film. But Hollywood just can't handle "real life" and has to force to a "happy ending" into these kind of films and thus ruining it. That said,Lori and I both agreed that Steve Carell stole this movie,it was perhaps my favorite of his so far. We all know he can do comedy but as in a serious role,he was even better. After watching him here,I can't wait for "Looking for a Friend..." when it hits on DVD soon..

  While I haven't been updating my reading list,I have been doing a lot of reading as of Mitch Albom's "Have a Little Faith" was pretty great and stayed local by reading Elmore Leonard's "Killshot" was pretty bland and not one of his best efforts. But the book I'm reading now is called "The Tiger" by John Vaillant and its the true story about a small crack Russian anti-poaching team has to track down a killer tiger in Russia's most rugged territory. While I'm only 30 pages into it,Vaillant's description on how a tiger is built and how it breathtaking. While the lion may be the king of the jungle,the Amur tiger is king no matter where he is. It sure causes me as a cat owner to take a longer look at my own little cat and how he is really built.  

I am reading this book at my job during my breaks,I was trying to read "A Mighty Heart"which was about murdered journalist Daniel Pearl written by his wife but I just found myself put off by the pure shrillness of her writing. I have read (and written) first person accounts of tragedy and can/do respect Mariane Pearl's loss but her book does her husband a real dis-service in my opinion and I just couldn't finish it at the moment. I put it back on my stack and will revisit it again when the time is right.

 I also read the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy,it was okay....not as good as I expected it to by but that maybe more of case of super high expectations then anything else. While the action is pretty good,the background story is really what I missed most both in the film and book....just HOW did Panem get created and what caused the total reshaping of the United States. Maybe that will be covered in the next two books but it is a major flaw in the first book.
Did anyone else who read this find themselves asking the same questions?

    The weight loss battle our store,they have a yearly contest called the Biggest Loser. You pony up 5 bucks,grab a partner and try and to lose as much weight as you can during a 3 month period. We do weigh-ins every week and your progress is charted. My partner is our store's trainer. We started with 12 teams but due to the fact one person is no longer with the company means we're down to 11. When I first started at my store,I weighed 282....(now we'll see who REALLY is reading this!) In the 5 months since,I have lost 22 pounds. I'm at 260 and am looking to get to get to 250 by 1 Nov. What started as a tactic to see if I had been hired in (I knew if they let me play the game,I was "safe") now has really turned into a real race as my partner and I are in 2nd place with 5 weeks to go....another reason why I have to fix my above mentioned sleep patterns,staying up late increases snacking and that will add up to weight gain..just trying to hang on....if we win,we each get 55.00 bucks and that would be really nice to have in time for Christmas.
Going to publish this now because I want my blog to stand on its own.