Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Well, to everyone that is celebrating... Happy Halloween.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Classic Film Friday: White Zombie

So this film is pretty old, 1932 to be exact. Bella Lugosi stars as Murder Legendre, a Haitian Plantation owner with mystic supernatural powers to enslave the locals. The sound is kind of crappy, and the story a little too slow, but for what it's worth the whole movie is in the public domain, you can watch it right here.

What would you do if you or someone you loved was turned into a zombie? Not the brain eating kind, the more historically correct voodoo kind?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And Now... We Go to Work...

Well it has been an "interesting" week. My wife had the baby, that is obvious, but then we had some difficulty. The TTN thing, that I have already talked about. But also, they (the hospital, or more accurately my daughter's nurse) gave her too much D5 (A drug that contains 5% dextrose) . So it made my daughter's blood sugar go nuts. What a bunch of dumbasses. Thankfully, it was only 45 minutes, and she went back to normal fairly quickly. But then she was jaundice. And we had to take a bili-blanket home. Which is a whole 'nother thing.

So you think that is all. But it isn't.... My other daughter, the teenager may have the flu. Never a dull moment I tell you. And the work has just begun...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Caught in the Wild

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Baby Lost

This is second hand information, but the story is good, and none of it really happened, so here goes. My wife was telling me about this dream she had. It went something like this: We were all at her childhood home, and my wife was arguing with my 14-year-old about how the baby (the one not born yet... or will be by the time you read this) needs a hat if she is going outside. So my 14-year-old gets a tennis visor. Well that goes over like a fart in church, which is to say, not too good.

My wife insists on a real hat and of course my 14-year-old does, what 14-year-olds do... gets mad and in a huff, and puts a real wintertime hat on the baby. So she (my daughter) takes to baby for a walk, but before she goes, she has to take out the trash, which she does (in a huff) and when she returns... the baby is gone.

She explains how she left the baby in this box. Why in the world she would do that? So my wife goes outside with my teenager and shows her where she left the baby, and there are all kinds of baby dolls, and my teenager say, just take one of these. I have no clue, this is not my dream. And the baby? We never found her. Who leaves a baby just laying around? These guys think it is ok...

Monday, October 26, 2009

The System

Ok, this is written a week ahead of time... for obvious reasons, but anyway. My wife said we would be ok on money with her being out of work for the pregnancy. She up'ed her disability insurance to compensate for it. That was almost two years ago. So when it comes time to collect... umm wait a minute... They don't want to pay us shit. They said it had to go to their doctor, and he would have to say yea or nay about whether or not it was a "real disability" and whether or not they would pay.

A friend of mine once said, insurance is nothing more than a gamble, they are betting that nothing will happen to you, you are betting something will happen to you. Either way you lose, which really sucks. Because even if something does happen to you, the insurance company can find a way out of paying you anyway, then you are a double loser.

It took the disability insurance company 6 weeks to pay us, 7 if you really want to be strict about it. That really, really sucks. I mean my wife is the "bread winner" of our family... by 10 or 15 bucks a paycheck, but you get the point. Take away 6 weeks of pay, and suddenly we are not ok with money. Now we had money in savings, so it really didn't hurt us. But it could have and this whole health insurance reform does not address this in the least.

One company makes it look like, if you get hurt or whatever, you have a duck take care of everything, while you concentrate on feeling better. Nothing could be further from the truth. (that wasn't my wife's insurance anyway) You have to prove that you are hurt or can't work, to them, and that can lead to stress. Now if my wife would have had the baby prematurely, it would have been paid for, cost a lot more, but paid for. Sometimes I wonder about the whole system and what if anything I can do about it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Endorse The Shot

Just to let you know... I took the annual flu shot and the H1N1 (swine flu) "shot" the mist up the nose the other day. And I can say, I feel nothing, which is what I'm supposed to feel. There were/are some reports of "hey I took it and now I'm bald", or "I did it and I grew a third testicle", or whatever. I really don't know what they said, but it was a bunch of hooey anyway.

If anyone is a prime candidate for having something bad happen to them, when it should be good, it is me. I came, I took, I went about my day, the end. I would say that unless you like to gamble or you like being sick, go take the shot. It's easy, it doesn't hurt, and it will if not make you immune to the flu, it will certainly make you better off than if you had nothing.

I had the flu one time, and that is not an experience I ever wish to repeat. I have been in healthcare pretty much my whole life, via my work, or my mom's work, or as a patient for different things. I have seen the insides of doctor's offices, emergency rooms, and various other clinics, go take the shot.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Well an Update... Sorta'

Well, I really don’t know how to say this, but anyway, our baby spent some time in the NICU. She is still in there as you read this. It is hard, because I thought everything would be fine and I would have time to post this…. Now I can’t really leave the hospital, and the hospital has no network, so who knows when I’ll get around to posting this.

My daughter has TTN. Basically it is a common problem, ok not common, but they do see it with C-section babies. She is breathing too fast. It was pretty bad in the beginning. She had to be put under a O2 hood, she had a tube going up her nose down into her stomach as her stomach was distended, had an IV, ECG leads, and a pulse oximeter on her foot. To look at her it was worse than her actual condition.

From the beginning she started out at 40% O2, and she has improved to needing only 25%, normal “room air” O2 is at 21%. So we are hopeful. And that is all we can do, is wait and hope. She is getting better, it is just a question of when and how much.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Conrack

This 1974 movie sparked my interest immediately when I realized how close to home it hit. Based on the autobiographical novel by Pat Conroy, it tells the story of a young teacher heading out to an isolated barrier island in South Carolina which is made up of a small black community most of whom had never been off the island, not even to nearby Beaufort. In the movie the island is called "Yamacraw Island" but as I suspected it was the fictional name given to our very own Daufuskie Island.

In his ventures, Conroy (Jon Voight), or as the kids call him Conrack, has a lot to learn about this population of kids. There is a 2 room school house with as the kids call her "bitch woman" on the other side. She talks down to them and belittles them and they don't like it. The principal/other teacher doesn't like Conrack and the whole thing goes round from there.

Conroy seems to be making headway until a couple of visits from the superintendent heed his disapproval. Conrack, having really bonded with these needy kids now, goes head to head with him and loses. There were some very telling moments about the way people thought in a small southern town in 1969. One that comes to mind is when the superintendent warns Conroy, "You keep those kids on that side of the river....don't bring them over here (Beaufort)."

This film, nominated for an Academy Award, captured me from the beginning. Yes, I am a teacher and yes, I lived in Beaufort, South Carolina for 8 years, so of course I'd feel connected. But putting that aside, it's a good teacher overcomes obstacles for the sake of the children kind of flick. You can watch a clip here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Today is the Day!

Well today is the day. I am shocked and amazed that she made it. I really didn't think she could go the whole (ok not completely whole 37 out of 40 week is good though) time. I foresaw trips to MUSC and all that. I was wrong, and I never could be more happy to be wrong in my life. We welcome a new life into ours. Whoa Nelly.

I am writing this ahead of time, for obvious reasons, but come Thursday around 7:30 am, we should have a new little girl. Thanks to everyone and way to go Mrs. MadHatter, I didn't think you could do it, but you did!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Surf is Up!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Different Experience

The excitement and suspense is building. I really find it hard to believe that I am going to be a father again. But there is no magic like when my first kid was born... who I thought was a puppy. It is kind hard to explain, but I'll try. See she was a natural birth, and as she was crowning, and I could see was the back of her head. They don't really teach you or you really don't see that on TV, so I thought I would just go with it none of the nurses or doctor acted like anything was wrong, so I wasn't going to either.

My second kid, well, we thought it would be natural, and we went through everything to have it natural, but it just wasn't to be. The doctor cut my wife open, and bam, we had the baby. With this one, we still have the pregnancy issues, but there is a time scheduled, there is no randomness to it. That doesn't mean that once she is here I won't love her, because I will. It is just kind of... fake, though I know it is not. So this is a different experience. I think it's that there is no surprise in it, but I could be wrong.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Van Halen

So Guitar Hero has come out with a Van Halen version, which is kind of like of like GH's Aerosmith endeavor. I like "Panama"

while my wife likes "Jump"

It is all a David Lee Roth affair (meaning no Sammy Hagar or Gary Cherone) Which really isn't all that bad. I always thought Van Halen without Roth was never as good as with Roth. My wife concurs. Even though, "Jump" has got to be.... well it aint like any Van Halen song, and we could say that is a good thing, but I don't think so.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

There Can Be Only One

Now I don't claim to be an expert or anything else, but I woke up early on a weekday and this is the second time it has happened, and my daughter, the 14-year-old was in bed, asleep. I think it is a case of proportions. Only one can wake up early. It is usually my daughter (except weekends) but every now and then when she oversleeps I spring into action.

My wife claims I'm full of shit, and that is not it at all, but I think it is so, there can only be one...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nobody Gets Out of Life Alive

What an "interesting" week. On one hand, someone has died, and though I didn't much agree with what he had to say, somehow death takes all that away. I mean, it is hard to disagree with a dead man. It is just weird like that. I hope this person lived a good life and that his family will be ok. I guess, I mean my father told me, back when he had cancer (he recovered but it was touch and go at the time) nobody gets out of life alive. I'm sorry it happened to him, maybe there was something he could've done, but he is gone now, so it is time to worry about the living, as you can't do anything for the dead.

On the other, BT's "star reporter" which, you understand, I use that term very, very loosely got let go. She was the person who basically pushed me away from BT altogether and what caused me to to start this blog. (Look here.)

That doesn't really look good for her, and I really don't care. Now who will report on the "top dog" or see what this animal rescue group is doing or offer us all a great dog/cat/turtle/whatever a good home? I can see why BT let her go... I can't understand why they didn't do it sooner.

Now the rumors are starting in that BT is circling around the toilet bowl, that may be, I surely don't know, but the pool pooping is still going on around here. I mean, with vacations and all (I am going out next week... I don't know how much I'll post). So anyway thanks Steph, for pushing me away (via your editing my blogs on BT) and letting this blog blossom. Now if only I could locate like individuals...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Crossroads

This movie is a part of my childhood, I mean who wouldn't (at that time) want to be Ralph Macchio and play the guitar? Eugene Martone (Ralph Macchio) is a budding guitarist who is studying classical guitar at Juilliard. (Some highbrow upper crust school in New York City)

But what he really wants to be is a blues-man. And remember, this is the time before internet, so to do all of the hunting and digging on old blues musicians took a lot of effort. Which leads him to Robert Johnson's (a blues-man to end all other blues-men) epic life, death, and deal with the devil.

Willie Brown, a musician who knew Robert Johnson and made his own "deal" is an elderly man, in a prison/hospital. Eugene gets a job at the hospital and befriends Willie. Eugene is looking for a "lost recording" of Robert Johnson. Willie says if Eugene will spring him from the jail/hospital... he will teach him the lost song.

So they strike out on the road, headed back to the Mississippi delta. Along the way they meet a hitchhiker, and there is a love interest for Eugene. They finally make it to the part where Willie is looking for... that is absolution and freedom from the devil. The devil is having none of it though. He will have Eugene's soul too and Eugene (not thinking that it is for real) agrees to a guitar contest. And that is where I'll end it, so as to not ruin it for anyone that has not seen the movie. This is a must see for anyone who has the Guitar Hero/Rock Band games...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This is a Copperhead! Ok Not Really

You see this snake?

Yeah it is cute huh? It is a banded water snake, it is non-venomous, but anyway let me give you a back drop on the picture. See it was early in the morning, a weekday which means something inside me does not really want to get up. My 14-year-old has to get up earlier than I do, and she was taking the dog's outside to do their business. And then, the snake appears, or so I hear, at my back door.

My wife who also can't get up, tells my daughter, "take the dogs out the front door", so my daughter complies by the time she gets back the snake is gone and we think that is that. We were wrong.

The snake, being a snake, finds a place to hide, and hides there for several days. In the meantime we seal up the back porch, that is screened to make sure the snake or anything else cannot get back in. This involved fixing the sweep on the porch door. So then my daughter is picking stuff up on the porch later in the week and out comes the snake.

I did say he was non-venomous, but that doesn't mean he won't bite. Apparently leaving the snake trapped with no food for several days is not good for the snake's temper. We used to catch snakes all the time, and I can never remember them trying to bite, but this one was either ornery, or we made him that way by trapping him with no food/water for days. Yeah I screamed like a bitch, ok maybe not quite that bad, but still I shooed him along and everyone was much happier.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Not Putting Food in Her Dish

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Almost Time

It is all coming to a head. The birth of our baby that is. My wife's disability still hasn't kicked in, so there are money worries, and there are things not getting done that need to be done, but overall, time stops for no one or no thing. Neither do bills, but you know, it's just money. I find myself repeating this over and over... really everything will work out.

And we already have a list of people coming over, I really don't know why, but they are coming, from parents to friends they are a' coming. And that is a good, hell a great thing. I can't thank everyone enough. It is all just... a bit much. I'm not saying to not come... Come, help out, just don't expect much in return right now.

And meanwhile my wife's stomach has acquired a new zip code. I'm not trying to say she is fat, it is all the pregnancy, and man it is crazy. I don't mean, "Oh my god I live with a hippo" I mean, my wife's stomach has a definite aura about it and it wasn't as noticeable for her last baby.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Half Empty... Half Full... Who Cares?

I am still dealing with my stroke, it has been almost two years, and I think I will always feel a little off. Not to say that I have a bad life or I wish anything could be different, I deal, and that is about it. But it has been so long since I had a stroke that I can't really remember if I can/can't do something... if it is because of the stroke or I never really could ever do it... even pre-stroke.

What I mean is, let's say I'm working with tools (screwdriver, wrench, etc.) and I just can't get the angel right or something won't come loose... is it because of the stroke? Or is it just because it is what it is? I really don't know, and odds are I never will.

I still have a crooked smile, or I should say half a smile. My wife is the owner of the "crooked smile" and she did not have a stroke to get it. But still, I feel if I would have exercised more, maybe I would feel differently but then again, I could feel even worse (because nothing would improve, I would then feel I wasted my time).

Is a glass half empty or half full, it really just depends on who is looking at it. But I prefer to see it as half full. I am doing much better at Guitar Hero, and I know it sounds kinda of hokey but it really does offer me some therapy. I haven't gotten to the next level (I'm at medium now), and I don't know if I ever would have (stroke or no stroke) gone to the next level anyway.

I downloaded "The Stroke" a song by Billy Squire. It has nothing to do with this post, but the name... I mean hello? I posted what I found on YouTube... Enjoy!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Inside-Out Man

Ok, See when it comes to having things right-side in... instead of inside-out... I a bit of a klutz. I just don't think that much of it. My wife on the other hand, is very particular. Not to say that she she is overly so, it is just that she makes sure that everything is right, and I don't.

This became apparent from the beginning. It was the second or third date and I had a little trouble, put on my shirt inside-out and she told me about it... only after our date. She thought I may have put it on like that because we were taking the dogs out to the dog park, but I wasn't, I was just a schmuck that wasn't paying attention.

Which brings us to today. I wear my underwear, or drawz as I call them, inside-out or right-side in because it just doesn't matter, I mean it feels the same, looks pretty much the same (minus the tag), for all intents... it is the same.

It just doesn't matter, seriously it doesn't...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

School for What?

I was driving my 3-year-old to school the other day. Which seems normal, I mean no accidents were caused or affected by me, just an ordinary trip to school really. Then my daughter screams at me... "Why didn't you stop at the red-light?"

Now I was waiting at the red-light, in fact stopped at the red-light. But my daughter (seated right behind me) can only see the crossing traffic's red-light. And so she can't understand why I am going, when she sees the light as red. You see she is learning about safety in school.

My little back-seat driver. Don't you just love it? Safety is so overrated.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Cannonball Run II

So I simply had to pick this movie, I mean who doesn't like fast cars, hot women and a bit of comedy. Does this movie have a plot? Not really, I mean, it is about a race across the country. Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, the Rat Pack, Ricardo Montalban, Jamie Farr, Jackie Chan and a forest full of others.

The Sheik (Jamie Farr) has offered 1 million dollars to the winner. Watch as they drive fast, stupid, crazy cars and who will be victorious? in the race and the fights... Watch and see.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


So I was trimming the bushes around the house. Pretty normal right? Well I was cutting, and my 14-year-old would take all the clippings and throw them out back (I'm making a compost pile). That was going surprisingly well, that is until I cut this one branch and found this:

Lucky for me they were feeling ill from the cooler weather, and did not perceive me as a threat. But my daughter was looking for the next one, and the next one, thus slowing me down. The "next one" never came, but that was a close call.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Frog's Last Thoughts? Maybe...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where You Goin'?

In my house, we have 4 people, and they each go somewhere different. The 14-year-old gets up first, and for all intents and purposes she is gone away at school, she also get's home first. My wife is the next one up, though not while she is on bed rest... so that means I get up next. I start my day with taking my meds so we don't have to endure another stroke, everyday, I never miss them, and next participate in the three "S's" (it's an army term, two of the three is shower and shave, I'll let you figure out what that other one is).

And then I go rouse my 3-year-old, or maybe my wife does, (she is not supposed to, but you learn to pick your battles) and we get ready, you know get dressed, brush hair, put shoes on, that kind of thing. God, I miss my wife, as she used o do all of that. And then we head down stairs, get our lunches/breakfasts and head out the door. Which leaves my wife, at home, lonely I know, but that is life on bed rest.

So at this point we all are at our different places and when it comes time to go home, the 14-year-old makes it in first, (technically my wife never left, but anyway) and then me and my 3-year-old. And we all come together for the family dinner. I mean, if I think about it, that is pretty amazing. We always have at least one meal together, and more often than not, it is dinner (who can get up early enough to do breakfast on a week day?)

So I'm wondering, am I strange, or do other people do this too? Or is it something completely different? Tell me and let me know.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Are You Hungry?

Are you hungry? Hungry like the wolf? If so you can sing/play along if you have Guitar Hero 5... It seems to be that song that everyone adds to their repertoire. I added a video in case you want to sing along... Enjoy!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I Got Bamboozled...Once

I let myself in on something my wife has known for awhile now. You see with the weather getting cooler, my 3-year-old wants to wear a jacket or sweater to school. Since I am the one taking her to daycare... well, I'm the one who takes care of all of this.

Now it really isn't that cold, but my daughter is a slave to fashion, hell she wants to wear one of those winter hats/beanies as it is, and it does no good to argue with her on this, because it will create much more whining and crying than I am prepared for, so I just get her whatever. She has a hook on the closet door, so it really isn't all that bad... at home anyway.

But when it comes to daycare... well that is a different story altogether. My daughter wants to take her jacket off once we are at school. And normally, we go to breakfast, I get her a napkin and spoon, lay whatever she picked for the day out, kiss her and I'm on my way. But now I have to take her jacket, which I learned the hard way, all the way to her room.

I say I learned the hard way because I spoke to my wife, and she tells me "Yeah, I just take it after I drop her off." See she (the 3-year-old) suckered me into letting her take it down to the room (all the way on the other side of daycare) and all of the things that distract her, thus slow everything down.

All of this wouldn't matter except I do have to get to work, and it is not exactly the ideal situation because her daycare is not exactly on the way to work. But all of that is not even thought about in the mind of a 3-year-old. So come next time I won't be suckered again, at least I don't think I will...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Save the Date

We got a date for my wife to deliver our child... October 22. That seems so far away, yet really it is pretty close. And then there is Halloween, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Years. I can just feel the life being sucked out of me. But in the back of my head, I know this will all be for a good cause... it may be 20-30 years away, but it is for a good cause.

But this is all if she makes it to 37 weeks.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Classic Film Friday: Holiday

Mrs. MH here….still some considerable time on my hands, so I am reviewing this week’s flick.

The story begins with Johnny Case (Carey Grant) returning from holiday brimming with excitement for his new found love. As his NYC cab pulls up at the address she’s given him, he is sure there is some mistake. He soon finds out, there is no mistake, his fiancé is big-time rich. Like a fish out of water, he makes his way up to the second floor in the elevator to find Julia Seton (Doris Nolan) and soon thereafter her boisterous sister Linda (Katherine Hepburn) and almost always inebriated brother, Ned (Henry Kolker). The three devise a plan to get their father to agree to a hardworking but from rather modest background, Johnny engaging Julia.

As the story progresses, I watched with delight the antics of the three siblings and mostly those of the “Hep” in amazement the whole time that I was watching this 1938 classic film in which Carey Grant in NOT involved with Katherine Hepburn. Still, the goings-on among the staunch Julia, drunken Ned and less than ordinary Linda were always amusing

Of course, you’ll have to watch all the way till the very end to see the twist of events unfold!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

New Lease on Life (The Fall Garden)

So it has come to pass, that I would inherently do yet another garden. Previous attempts have not done all that great. I think it's because it's located next to my garage, and therefor all the rain water that hits the garage, hits the garden, and also I was following some ill-informed advice of somebody that has no clue how things grow around here. So how am I going to fix that? I really don't know. I have a virtual swamp to deal with.

First I think I'll deal with drainage. I have to drain at least some of the water off. And that is what I did. Well, me and my teenager daughter, I mean I am lazy, and she usually did something wrong so I get free labor all the time... but mostly I'm just lazy. I mixed two bags of sand I had just laying around, and made two rows, or more like I dug a shallow trench down the middle.

I also plan to dig a little trench but still keep the grass, sort of like the seines between houses around here. Still, there is much work to do...