Saturday, February 25, 2012

Turn and Face the Strain

(Turn and face the strain)
Don't want to be a richer man
(Turn and face the strain)
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can't trace time

Yeah, my life is all about changes these days. Some painful changes and some quite the opposite, but changes none the less. When last we talked I confessed to having a heart attack, which seems like a real game-changer in the game of life, but in my case it was only the tip of the iceburg. Something happened to me that was unexpected as I lay on the table in the Cath Lab at Pomona Valley Hospital.

Like I said before I had an angiogram, angioplasty and three stents placed in my Left Anterior Descending artery during the hour and half procedure. I was awake through the entire thing and to be honest even through the wonderful morphine haze I was scared shitless. I knew as soon as I got on the table that I would be a different man when I was wheeled out, if I was wheeled out. As they cut open the artery in my groin and began pumping dye into my blood I knew with 100% certainty that I had put myself on that table, that the poor choices I had made in my life blocked my artery, though at the time I didn't know it was 100% blocked.

Something else happened that changed me as well. While I was laying there at one point I could feel them working inside my heart. It felt like my heart jumped and at that moment I did not know if something really good had just happened or if I had just died. So I held my breath and waited to see what the afterlife was like, if there was one. And while I was waiting I felt the deepest sense of regret for the way my life had gone, in particular for my marriage.

I've been married 26 years and neither my wife nor I are the same people who tied the knot lo those many years ago. We had drawn apart; where we had few common interests in the beginning, over time we had even fewer. For a number of years now my wife would tell me, once a month or so, how unhappy she was being with me, how I brought little joy into her life. With these changes came a decided lack of passion and desire in our relationship. Still, it wasn't deplorable, it was livable, hell it was comfortable and that was the problem. My wife was not happy and I was not really satisfied but it was a comfortable existence, so we stayed together even though we maybe should not have.

When the moment ended and I was still alive I knew that my life had really changed, that I could not live causing my wife pain and that I could not live the rest of my life longing for a passion that just no longer existed. So, while recovering from a heart attack, while my wife was being the sweetest to me she had been in years, I hurt her again, hopefully for the last time, because though I still love her deeply, it was no longer enough, and I moved out of our house and my comfortable existence and into the unknown.

When I try to make a list of the things I have lost in the past two weeks, it is scary, but I have to feel it is worth it. My wife will no longer be hurt by me and will have a chance at finding someone who doesn't make her unhappy, but instead fills her with joy. And I have, amazingly and unexpectedly, found the passion and desire I so missed. More on this next time.

Friday, February 10, 2012


That's me,, missing in action. I have had quite an interesting threee weeks. First I had my gall bladdre surgery, which messed me up quite a bit. Then, while home recupterating from that I had a heart attck. Good one too. I had a 100% blockage of my LAD (Left Anterior Descending) artery.Through the absolute magic of the Cath Lab they wre able to repair my heart while the attack was occuring. My attach started just abert midnight and the blockage was cleared completely by 4:00 AM. I was awake through the entire proceeding as they broke up the plaque blocking the artery, expanded balloons and inserted three stents. I cannot even come close to describing how this all felt as I lay there on the table.

It was one of those life changing experiences, and more than that I cannot at this time say. As a nifty souvenier I did get these wonderful picture of by heart, before and after stents:

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Besides being an old TV game show hosted by Hugh Downs it is also something I totally lack since my operation. I thought I would be able to use all this "free time" I have on my hands, you know, while the holes in my body seal up, for posting to my blog and doing some painting and some writing and, shit, I just can't concentrate on anything other than how shitty I feel. What a wasted opportunity this is turning out to be.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Gettin' Real in the Hyundai Commercial

last month I saw this commercial making the rounds and something about it seemed familiar. Talented people get to do their thing:

If you are like, "Huh?" check out the Whole Foods Parking Lot video This one always creacks me up:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Alive!

Well, I got that pesky gall bladder removed and as the Hollies say, "I'm Alive!" I'm in pain, but I'm alive. I don't know what I would feel like if it weren't for the Percocet. I have four new openings into my body, two of which rip right though my abs and make it frankly hard to pee. But things could have been worse and I thank everyone who was in the operating room on Wednesday and who helped me in my room that night and the next morning.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

How Smart is This?

This has got to be the smartest commercial I have seen in years. Man I wish I had written this!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Just Hold Your Gall Bladder

So two weeks before Christmas I am driving home from work and I start to get this ache in my stomach, really high, just under the rib cage on the right side. My first thought is indigestion, though it is getting worse with every passing minute and so my second thought is pancreatitis. This nasty ailment is something I have had once before, about four years ago and it hurts like a, well, let's just say, it hurts. So is the pain I am having that day driving home. About a third of the way home it starts shooting through me like a knife drilling through my body and then the pain starts spreading across my back. I am waiting for it to begin shooting laterally across my stomach, like it did the time before, only it doesn't do that. So though it feels really reminiscent of pancreatitis, I'm just not sure.

I get home and my son says, "Go to the ER Dad. You can go now or the ambulance can come and take you later." Me, I don't like going to the ER, so I say I am going to give it another hour or so to get worse or get better. It does neither. So, at 9:00 that evening, we go to the ER. As soon as they get me in and into a bed, I start to feel better. Now I feel like a fool. Indigestion I think. They run battery of tests including an ultrasound, but find nothing and I get home around midnight, my insurance company now $4,000 the poorer.

A few days later I go to my doctor for a regularly scheduled check up and he pulls my records from that night and tells me they missed the gall stones when reading the ultrasound that night, but the guy whose job it is to read these things sees them the next morning, so my gall bladder has to come out.

I see a surgeon a week ago and he schedules me for the Wednesday with the pre-op visit today. I go in, spend over an hour waiting to be seen, I see the doctor, I see his assistant, I see the doctor again and the assistant then starts asking me questions. The last question she asks is when did I stop taking my daily aspirin. I say, "What do you mean stopped? I took it this morning."

Seems they forgot to mention that I had to stop taking the damn aspirin, so I am now scheduled to have my gall bladder removed a week from Wednesday. I'll let you know if it happens.


I had said a few days ago that I was able to remote access my Kindle Fire using Slashtop and that was true up to a point. The point where it was not true was when I left my internal wi-fi and went out into the wild blooming yonder of open access wi-fi. From there I could not get to my desktop. I searched the Kindle Fire Forum and found another app mentioned, TeamViewer and downloaded it.

Today, from my Dr.'s waiting room, I was able to access my home PC and work on my novel. Pretty cool. The problem I had with Slashtop was that it only saw my internalal IP address, not the external one being generated by FIOS. TeamViewer doesn't seem to have that issue.

Monday, January 02, 2012

All Fired Up!

I am all fired up, Kindle Fired up that is. My son bought me a Kindle Fire for Christmas and I have been giddy ever since. I've had it for over a week now but I am really just beginning to see the potential in the product.

Bezos should have come out singing, "I am the God of hell fire and I bring you FIRE!"

I bought a nice leather case for it with a stylus. That comes in handy when I want to use Autodesk Sketchbook Mobile. It will take some getting used to the stylus which is not nearly as easy to use as my Wacom Tablet on the PC, but will suffice for now.

It's Kindle, so all of my Kindle books are available to me for reading at my leisurere. Though not an e-Ink screen, I can still use the Fire as a reader while on the go.

I'm not really much of a gamer, never owned a gaming device, though I have played with my son's XBox 360 and Kinect a number of times, but I seem to be loading the internal memory with  games like Asphalt 6: Adrenaline, Back Stab and Madden 12, all of which play amazingly well on the Fire and for each of which I paid 99 cents. The graphics and the response of the machine are pretty damn amazing.

Video is another treat on the Fire. From YouTube to streaming full movies and TV episodes, the Fire is a smooth experience.

A few months ago I ripped all of my CDs to my PC and then moved all of them to the Amazon Music Cloud so that I could listen to them on my phone or at work. With the Fire I have access to my entire music collection.

A few months ago I gave my laptop to my step-son who needed it for work and so I went through November's NaNoWriMo without benifit of a way to go out and socialize while writing. I wrote my first novel using Scrivener for Windows and put my Scriverner data files into my Dropbox folder which allowed me to have access to them on my PC and my phone and anywhere else I had a Dropbox folder. Well, though not natively supported on the Fire, I was able to side load Dropbox onto the Fire, so my novel is now there as well. My problem is editing the files. The Fire does not have an editor for RTF (Rich Text Format) files, which is what Scrivener uses, so though I have access to them on my Fire, I still cannot edit them. Enter Slashtop!

Slashtop is a remote access app that allows me to have access to my PC desktop on my Fire. Utilizing Slashtop I have been able to work on my novel from my Fire. Not a perfect solution, but it does work and for the time being, that is enough for me.

So let's see if I can bottom-line this. I can surf the web, play amazing games, read my books, paint and draw, watch movies and TV, listen to my music and write my novel all from a $199 tablet, all for $300 less than the cheapest iPad. Only a complete fool would waste their money on the big Apple.

I am So Ashamed

I don't know what to say, I laughed. I really laughed at this. I don't know if this bodes well or bad for this new year.