Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Scope

My fourth colonoscopy is in the books.  No problems.  But lots of memories.

A few notes on colonoscopies:

Anyone who has had one can tell you the prep is the worst.  My prep involved taking 4 dulcolax tablets and an entire 14 dose bottle of Miralax, along with 128 ounces of Gatorade (I switched in Cyrstal Light after a while).  It has to be light Gatorade.  My normal favorites (red favors) would, for obvious reasons, not look good on a scope.

Roughly 24 hours before the scope, you stop eating  Liquiid diet only.  This wasn't terrible.  After drinking 64 ounces of Gatorade, I didn't have the desire to eat anyway.

From around 4pm to 7pm I was running to the bathroom.  Things slowed down after 7pm, but didn't fully stop until just before the procedure.

I remember nothing of the procedure itself.  Put on the gown, get on the table, roll over, a shot goes in the IV, and that's that.

Perhaps the most memorable thing about it was the nurse - who told me.  "As part of the procedure the Doctor will blow lots of air in your colon.  You'll need to fart it out before you leave."

As requirements for getting out of the hospital go, this wasn't exactly a high hurdle to clear. 

In fact I don't remember doing that.  But I asked my wife when I fully woke up.  "They told me I had to fart before I left.  Did I do that?"  She just said "You don't remember?"  Apparently the nurse woke me up, told me I couldn't leave unless I "tooted" (this was a different nurse).  I said I couldn't, so she made me pull my legs up to my chest.   That got the desired result.  (Good to know)

I have absolutely no memory of that event.  As far as I knew I said hello to the Doctor, then woke up and drank a Mountain Dew.  Then went back to sleep for a while longer.


The whole idea behind a colonoscopy is to look for polyps.  I didn't have any this time.  I did 11 years ago when I had my first procedure (family history plus some other issue, sure enough, I had polyps).  Untreated polyps will eventually turn into cancer.  If I had ignored my family history and other signs, there is a good chance I wouldn't be here to write this blog.

(IF YOU THINK THE ABOVE WAS TOO MUCH INFORMATION, JUST STOP RIGHT NOW.)

Now for the fun part...

If you have polyps removed, there is a small chance (I think they said 1 in 200) that the solder or whatever they use to seal the polyp will break, and you will start bleeding.

In 2008 I was 1 in 200.

There are great ways to find this out.  Attending your son's baseball game is not one of those great ways.

I went back to the hospital.  They said "We're going to keep you overnight"  In the morning, the on-call proctologist will see you first.

Next morning he looks at my chart and says "You won't need to go through the prep.  We can take care of it."

I say "Good".

He starts to get things ready and I say "Wait - aren't you going to knock me out for this?"

"No, it's not that far up."

"Is it up your butt?  Because if there's something that's going to get cauterized on my body - I want knocked out."

Well, I lose that argument, and put me on the table, and let me watch the TV screen he will be using.

Scene one.  Camera is on.  We see, on screen, for the whole room to see, bigger than life, my butt.

I look at the nurse and say "Wow.  We don't have this channel on DirectTV".

Zoom in.  Zoom in.  Zoom and it's in.

"Holy crap on a stick are you freaking kidding me?"

He puts a garden hose in there.  It has a lamp to light the way (you know, I always meant to install track lighting but never got around to it).  And I come to find out later it has a water hose, just to clean off anything.  And of course it has this freaking needle to anesthetize the spot once he finds it.

Tears are running down my face.  I am channeling every ounce of hatred I have toward the guy who's using a PacMan controller to operate a Swiss Army knife in my - as far as I can tell by now - esophagus. 

And then he said it.

"Okay.  This might hurt."

Well shoot Doc.  If only there were some way to avoid that pain.  I don't know - maybe with a shot of Demerol???

And then I saw the heated soldering iron emerge. 

And then I said a stream of words that I won't repeat.  Let's just say that - had George Carlin been there - he would have said "Wow - there ARE more than seven."

Later (much later) I realized that the Doctor was likely just following procedure.  I was close to forgiving him.

Then I got the call from my Doctor.  He said "What happened?" 

I described it in meticulous detail. 

He said "How do you know all that?"

I said "I saw it."

And I will never forget what my Doctor said next:

"What?  They didn't knock you out?"

Monday, September 12, 2016

Fantasy Football Monday "Everything I know about fantasy football I learned from the Browns"

I don't play fantasy football any more.  But when I did, I played like a Brown.

HOW TO PLAY LIKE A BROWN - PART ONE:

Draft Poorly:

In my last season I blew my first draft pick.  Maybe not as bad as the Browns did with Johnny Manziel, or Trent Richardson, or Phil Taylor, or Airmail Erving, or Justin Gilbert, or Brandon Weeden, or...

Where was I?  Oh yeah.  My draft.

I picked second.  This was the year that the obvious choice was Adrian Peterson.  Picking second there were a variety of good options.  The best was the Beast - Marshawn Lynch.  For some still inexplicable reason, I took LeSean McCoy. 

(Side note - Peterson only played one game, then got suspended.  But at least the guy who picked first had an excuse.)

Later, I somehow decided that the Eagles offense was the way to go, so I added Nick Foles at quarterback. 

I did make a good pick eventually, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.  We'll cover more about him in part two.


HOW TO PLAY LIKE A BROWN - PART TWO:

Trade Away Talent:

I traded Fitzgerald, got about nothing.  But I figured I'd be okay, because I had a receiver who was ready to come back and kick butt.


HOW TO PLAY LIKE A BROWN - PART THREE:

Overestimate your own talent:

My receiver was in fact, a Brown.  Josh Gordon.  When he came back he was awful.  He didn't light up defenses.  He did, however, light up something else, and got suspended yet again.


SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?

That was already covered in a prior blog post.  Stick with the survivor pool, and pick Browns' opponents.


HOW DID THAT WORK OUT?

Swimmingly.  I took the Eagles this week, and they looked like Super Bowl champions.  People will probably pick them later, and will be disappointed when they find out that a good part of the Eagles' dominance was things like:

1. The Browns calling a fake punt on their own 40.  With no punter on the field.  And only 10 men on the field.  Apparently they were banking on the element of surprise.  Surprise!  You lost 6 yards!

2. The aforementioned Cameron Erving snapping a shotgun snap over RG III's head and out of the back of the endzone.  That tends to make your defense look good.

3. Several dropped passes by the Browns.

All of that having been said, Carson Wentz, the man who could have been a Brown, played really well.  This is a triple disappointment because a) we could have had him, b) our talent evaluators said "he's not top 20", which means we STILL don't know how to evaluate talent, and c) I was hoping the Eagles would go about 3-13 this year (for a better Browns choice).  That's off the table.

SURVIVAL POOL - COMING UP:  Baltimore comes to Cleveland.  My original plan was to wait until the Browns played in Baltimore to take the Ravens, but I don't think I can wait that long.  The league might be over by then.  I'll take the Ravens.

Back to the grind

It's Monday.  You're back to work.  Will you hit the ground running, or will you have a Monday?

It depends on what you did Sunday evening.  Did you take 20 minutes and plan your week?  Maybe lay out your clothes, gym bag, etc?

If I do that, Monday is just another day.

If I don't do that, I have a week of Monday's.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

What to post on 9/11

I just completed a nice story about growing up, listening to Steve Martin and George Carlin.

I want to post that.  I want 9/11 to be just like any other day.  But it's not.  Every day on 9/11 I reflected back to 2001.  I was in my office at work when a co-worker came in and said "Did you hear?  Someone flew a plane in to the World Trade Center."  We started to wonder - was it done on purpose?  How could it have been anything else?  But maybe it was some sort of horrible accident.

Then the second plane hit.  And one in the Pentagon.  And another in a field in Pennsylvania.  And life as we knew it changed forever.

Eventually, unbelievably, both towers collapsed, killing thousands.  Many of the victims were fire, EMS and police officers who had gone in to the building to help others.

This year 9/11 falls on a Sunday.  We will have a special first responders service at church.  I am proud to be a very small part of it, and I am thankful for the men and women who put their lives on the line for us every day.  Now more than ever we need them.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

This Week's 8 track flashbacks

Supertramp, Breakfast in America.

Found it on Amazon music, and listened to the whole thing.  No track skips either!  I was always a huge fan of "The Long Way Home".  It had several songs that got solid air play, including "Goodbye Stranger", "The Logical Song" and "Breakfast in America". 

Other favorites for me were Gone Hollywood, Oh Darling and Just Another Nervous Wreck.  The last one might be my favorite song on the whole album.


Steve Martin, A Wild and Crazy Guy.

Found a copy at the library.  Listened to it on the way to work.  Found out that 35 years later I can still complete the punch lines.  And 35 years later it's still hilarious.


Best of The Bee Gees

Just because.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

We have a varsity golfer


Tommy is now on the varsity golf team.  There are only 4 varsity golfers left after a raid by the football team.  Okay, no one else is saying it was a raid, but when the coach’s son is asking Joe to come out for football (not realizing that Joe is a college freshman) you can about bet that they’re pulling kids from other sports.

He looks great in his shirt and with his clubs.  He golfed at Wilmington yesterday.  He completed a couple of holes.  Mr. Jody said he isn’t ready, but Tom is willing to do it to help the team.  He will learn and he will grow.  Meanwhile, I’m a very proud dad.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Traders World

I was a little surprised when the boys suggested we go to Trader's World over Labor Day weekend.  We hadn't been there in a very long time.  But it was Trader's World.  Why not?

Twenty years ago Beth, Kenny and I used to go once a month or even more.  Of course back then we lived about 15 minutes away.  It's now an hour drive.  In the past we would go up in the morning, take a lunch break, and continue.  On this day we had two hours available.  Joe got off work around 1:30.  We got on the road by 2, and were shopping by 3.

All five of us rode in the Honda C-RV. Our three sons cramped in the back.  As we started to leave Kenny yelled "Shotgun!"  Beth vetoed him.

Trader's World itself has changed.  There is a covered area for some of the outdoor vendors   This area goes on for what feels like a mile.  We started in this area.  Beth and I spent almost our entire time out there (we had two hours).

The shopping at Trader's World has not changed.  In the past we would spend most of our time outside.  This was mainly because we never knew what would be out there.  The inside vendors are more specific.  We know that the vendor with Beef Jerky will always have beef jerky.  Nothing wrong with beef jerky per se, but the element of surprise isn't there.  We prefer the outside vendors, and the unknown.

WHAT WE GOT:  One vendor had tables with piles of miscellaneous items.  I got a couple  of things there.  Tom got a nice putter for two bucks.  The guy was selling entire sets of golf clubs for five bucks.  My first question is:  How little did he pay for the clubs if he can get rid of them for five bucks?  That question aside, two bucks for a putter is a nice deal.  It was a nice putter, better than anything I've handed down to Tom.  Tom still has a putter on his Christmas list, but we will be able to  sell this putter at a garage sale for two bucks next year.  Let's consider it a free loaner putter.

I also picked up a little puzzle at that vendor.  Beth got some antique dolls there.  Somewhere along the line I got a Kings Island salt shaker that looks like a stein.  I didn't even know that it was a salt shaker until the guy showed me.  The pepper shaker that paired with it was missing.  That didn't bother me, because I just liked the stein for my collection.  The guy said "You can just have it".  That didn't bother me either.

At the end of the day the fruit / vegetable vendor said "Four bucks for the rest of my strawberries."  This was seven of those containers they sell at Meijer or Kroger.  The best price I've seen there is 3 for $5.  I bought them.  The kids ate some on the way to Cracker Barrel.  We put some more in the fridge when we got home.  Roughly six of the seven conainers were cut up and put in the freezer.  Future smoothie material for sure.

WHAT I DIDN'T GET:  I thought about getting a Big Bertha driver but passed, this time anyway.  I also saw a book "Faithful" by Stephen King and one other guy - the story of the 2004 Boston Red Sox  I didn't want it for content, I wanted it for formatting.  I figured I can get what I want from the library.

Then there was the electronic football game.  The game where you put the players on the metal board and turn on the game.  I always wanted one as a kid.  But I passed.  It wasn't in great shape.  Besides, I can use that game as justification for another trip.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Great things that happened today

- Beth, Kenny, Joe, Tom and I went to Trader's World.
- Tommy picked up a nice putter for 2 bucks.
- I found another Bud Christmas stein for my collection Think I'm down to one missing year.
- Found a nice puzzle that I still haven't solved.
- All of us found some cool stuff - which we will likely put on a future Vlog.
- Stopped at Cracker Barrel on the way home.
- Trout, salad, baked sweet potato and corn.
- Beth let me have some of her baked apples which made a great dessert.
- Beth found a cool croc for 80% off at Cracker Barrel.
- Tom found a pen for 80% off, and
- I found a Sprite t-shirt for 80% off. $2.65 for an exercise shirt.
- Beth and I took a walk when we got home.
- That put me over 10,000 steps.
- Watched Ozzie and Jack's World Detour.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Related to yesterday's post

Today I will discuss my strategy for picking this year's work pool games. 

Every week you pick each of the games.  Whoever has the most picks right at the end of the year wins a gas card.  In fact, we normally pay somewhere between 3 and 10 people.

Last year one person picked games better than the Vegas line.  That person wasn't me.

This year, I guarantee I will pick games exactly as well as the Vegas line.  And hopefully place in the top 3.