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Three score and ten or more

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Head bumps---Nuts

I get really excited about some idea that I want to post then nature and cootdom come along and produce the incentive for another dang organ recital, but it fits into the whole coot milieu.  Last Tuesday evening (well it was pretty late at night) I got out of bed to go to the bathroom.  (a frequent occurrence).  As I rounded the head of the bed, I lost my bearings and balance, and fell (against the door with my head, the dresser with my hip and the floor with the rest of me.)  I must have made a heck of racket because Janet (who had been sleeping soundly) sat up in bed, called my name and turned on the light.  I was actually pretty disoriented and was glad for the light.  I explained that I was all right, and she asked why I had blood running down my face.  I felt my head, and indeed I had peeled off about a quarter inch of flesh, a pretty minimal scratch to which I applied some tissue for the blood and triple antibiotic just in case.  To be honest, I thought I would wake up in the morning with a black eye.

Came morning, and I felt fine, was embarrassed by the scratch on my head which stubbornly kept bleeding but I went along with my regular schedule, muttering a bit because just as the orthopedist’s shot to my left shoulder was bearing fruit and I was feeling no pain, my right shoulder was pretty tender, but not bad.

The next day I was off to my semi yearly appointment with the retina specialist at the Medical College of Georgia.  I had some tears (holes) in my retina repaired their fifteen or so years ago, and I have to go in for check every six months or so.  As the doctor was checking out my eyes he asked me about the bleeding (yes it was still bleeding a bit) on my forehead.  I told him about getting disoriented in the dark and falling, and he became quite alarmed.  I passed it off with the explanation that I have had some ataxia (dizzyness and balance problems ) for years and that this was some of the same. 

“No” he said and pulled out his little recorder (blackberry of whatever) and dictated a letter to send to my general practitioner, at the same time telling me to go see my doctor when I got home.

A the power of suggestion.  When Janet and I made our usual trip to Logan’s in Augusta for our usual “Anything and Everything salad” , I was unable to to finish, and for most of the trip home I was really quite ill.

The next day I went to my doctor, who took my blood and my urine, discovered a urinary infection (antibiotics again) and I am scheduled for a CT scan and sonogram on Tuesday.  I think the general conclusion is that I’m not getting a fair share of blood to my head (then why would the dang forehead not quit bleeding????)  I mostly staggered around with a cane yesterday when not reclining, and today, though I made it to church, it is a good thing that I didn’t have any responsibilities because I was pretty dizzy most of the time, (well, only when standing up)  I plan to be a lot better in the morning when it is time for water aerobics, but I anticipate some resistance from Janet about the idea.

Just one dang thing after another.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coot reflection—redux

I seem to come off with a few of my friends (I wish they’d comment on the blog instead of emailing me) as feeling picked on an persecuted on the subject of my teeth.   Irritated a little at my own dumbness but not picked on.   I don’t know how many people have false teeth, but the number must be in the millions (Vancouver, WA where I got mine had four or five full time labs wo when I was getting “mine” a bunch more were getting “theirs”.   Some no doubt are tickled pink but in the millions with “falsies”, I am sure that my experience is pretty universal. 

I just decided to use this blog, in part, to share experiences that are pretty common to coots, that non-coots might find interesting and even entertaining

Since I got home from Vancouver (Camas, actually) I have been up to my ears in coot experiences.   When I went off to the west, I left a back yard in shambles (has a nice privacy fence so I’m the only one who can see that it is in shambles.)  I had a really nice little workshop/studio in which I sculpted puppets, made dolls and generally got my creative urges satisfied.  When I moved here two years ago, my thought was to improve and enlarge the studio.  Since that time I have been “under construction”  with two other “sheds on the property serving mostly as storage space for the router table, scroll saws, band saws, lathe, cut off saw, and boxes of fabric, polymer clay (boy is it like to be a mess by now) and other stuff that had its home in the studio.   I have been at work two to six hours a day most of the time since I got home trying to get things finished and usable.  I came in yesterday after a tiring bit of sealing windows and finishing walls.   Janet turned to me and asked “How are things going)

“I am making progress”, sez I, “ But if I were  paying me by the hour, I’d have had to fire me several days ago”.  I have developed a coot knack of taking longer to do less than I am able to easily admit.

Janet broke her foot just before our trip and she had to go to the orthopedist to get her “boot” removed.  They x rayed  her and removed the book when I , somewhat less than casually mention that my left shoulder, in which pain had been held at bay for fifteen years by 500 milligrams of naproxen had decided to hurt like heck regardless of the naproxen, could he do something for me.  He x-rayed me then, after viewing the pictures said something like”Some time, a long time ago, you had a tear in your rotator cuff, that was not treated.

“Oh, I didn’t know.  Perhaps instead of Naproxen my old doctor (long since passed away>)  should have refereed my to an orthopedist.”

“Well, the fact is that we can’t find any trace of a rotator cuff in there.”  I was a little shocked and asked “What Now"?”

The doctor says, if pain is the main problem, we can probably take care of that with shots (I knew he meant cortisone—obvious jeopardizing my future in Base ball)  or if we need improvement of function we have a procedure called a REVERSE SHOULDER REPLACEMENT”

I opted for the shots and spend most of the day contemplating a reverse shoulder replacement.  In this procedure does your arm go on backwards?   Hmmmmmm?

I actually googled it, and decided that my seventy fi--- er seventy plus year old body doesn’t need all that function.  We now have to go to the cataract surgeon to get Janet’s remaining cataract removed,  and a couple of other appointments that are “coot” typical.

I figure that on this day they are going to pass the health cared bill, which my get some physical help for a couple of my sons, but that I better hurry and get all the doctoring done that I can before these miraculous Medicare Reforms take effect.

Anyway in spite of my complaints, life is good, I have wonderful talented children whom  I love, who love me, grandchildren and great grandchildren who are beautiful and-- - - -Is that my RIGHT shoulder that is starting to ache?????

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Coot reflections

I have had an artificial, expensive Upper Plate (that’s Dentist talk for false teeth on top) for about two weeks now.  Today was the first day that the dang thing got properly glued to the top of my mouth so that  nothing I chewed hurt me more than I hurt it.  I may survive this project after all, though I doubt that I will ever look in the mirror again without a slight question “Who is that smilin’ critter anyhow”

I made a couple of stupid decisions in my discussion with the Dentist and the lab folks.  I have had a weird bit all my life.  It is genetic and effected my dad, my brother and myself.  Our teeth hit directly on each other.  The top ones crunch on the bottom ones and wear little ridges.  Before my dad went for “falsies” both his top and bottom teeth were worn about half way down.  I  hadn’t worn so far, but I was worn.  The dentist asked me if I would like to continue the bite as it was or if I would like a more normal, slight overbite.  I voted for the overbite.  I also have had, for most of my life (It was corrected for awhile) a space between my two front teeth.  (Not  quite a “Terry Thomas” space, but a space anyway.

Would I like this corrected?   My folks paid a pile of money to have it corrected once before, though it didn’t last, so why not correct it now?  The result was that I couldn’t bite anything. (gradually fixed by the dentist) and I looked like a gigolo or something in the mirror.  Thank heaven I went for my current color.  If I had voted for whiter teeth with that smile I would have had to wear a mask forever;

But I may survive.  Today they stayed where I glued them (dentists don’t like the term “glued” but it is in fact accurate)  I chewed raw broccoli without even any major discomfort.  I am beginning to get acquainted with the guy in the mirror.  Now if I could just eliminate the clacking sound when the top layer hits the bottom layer. 

More than that.  I have always been a public speaker, a teacher of public speaking. a radio announcer, an actor.  Now my ambition is to make a clear “s” sound.  Sigh!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

More on Robotics

I spent another day watching the Portland Regional Finals in robotics.  It was really exciting and wonderful and exhausting (just to watch).  This time I took some good pictures to illustrate what I said yesterday, but I am too tired (and my new teeth hurt) to download them.  Check out

www.OregonFirst.org to see a really interesting photo album of the whole robotics competition process.

By the way, my grandson’s team was a finalist in the competition but got beat out in the two out of three final round ( two of the three robots went down in the final match.)

Friday, March 05, 2010

New Experience

This afternoon I had an experience that was, for  me, unique.  I went to the Regional Competition for Robotics sponsored by Autodesk and other engineering firms.  The competition consisted of High school Robotic teams from Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, and Idaho. (These are the teams that I saw compete.  I was told that there were also teams from Utah and Nevada as well).  The contestants were required to build a wheeled robot that played soccer, that is that could dribble (that was what my high school PE teacher called it in 1949) pass the ball to another player and kick goals.  The course was sectioned into three parts, a home goal zone for each team and a center zone.  The zones were separated by barriers that looked like enormous “speed bumps” eighteen to twenty inches in height over which the robots had to climb in order to change zones.   I know thise is less that and ideal picture and I left my cameral behind, but I will post a better picture tomorrow.

The competition was held in the Portland Memorial Colosseum and was very well attended.  Different teams had uniforms ranging from matching T shirts to Viking Style Helmets with horns (cow type) on each side.  Teams also had a wide variety of Mascots in many different costumes.  (I helped with the design and construction of one of these---Hey, nobody is going to build a Mascot costume alone when one has a puppeteer in the house.)

You can hardly imagine the crowd, costumed in various ways to reflect their team names.  They made the front row of a college football game look pallid by comparison.  I have never seen more foot long Mohawk hair cuts , more hair held in place with heaven knows what kinds of hair sets, grease, varnish (I suspect)  and other stuff.

The noise, cheering and other wise backed up with constant music was exciting and intense.   The man next to me described it as Rock Concert for Nerds.  

By the way, no one should imagine that these teams are given designs to follow.  There are some size and format restrictions but they have to build things that will do tasks, and they were all very different, designed by the students and their “mentors” who are recruited from various local industries (in this area, mostly from electronic firms etc.)

It continues a second day tomorrow, and I will be there with bells on.

I understand that there will be another regional competition in Seattle later on in the year, which I will miss, and there will be Nationals sometime as well.  Admission was free, and I had a ball.

As a side note, among other things kids learn, my grandson (on the local team) wrote a grant proposal which raised almost two thousand dollars for his team.  Others did the same.  this team  raised over five thousand dollars to finance their own activity.  

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Deli Deli, Who’s Got the Deli?

I have some favorite deli’s.  Most of them are in New York and some are gone away.  I am particularly sad about the departure, a little bit at a time of Gottlieb’s deli in Savannah.  For my first twenty or so years in Georgia, we never made a trip to Savannah without a trip to Gottlieb’s. Sometimes we ate the Deli food which was delicious and other times we went mainly to the bakery which was a little bit of heaven.  After some years, they closed the downtown deli/bakery and moved to another part of town.  They gained something in space, but lost the sense of the history of the place.  Gradually it disappeared or moved but I lost a good friend.  Gottlieb’s was a deli infused with Southern Charm which made it very unlike a New York Deli, even though the food was often better.

Last week, and again today I went to a deli in Portland that had all the food appeal of Gottlieb’s but was the best “ New York” deli outside of Manhattan (there may have been some I missed, but I have made an effort to experience as many as my waistline could stand.  (A fair number of New York Deli’s have lost their reality by becoming tourist traps, and the atmosphere has gone away along with much of the food appeal)

This afternoon we went to Kornblatt’s Deli in Portland.  It was a deli to warm the heart of any deli lover.  We went, officially to get a cheesecake (some of the best your will ever eat) for my youngest son’s birthday party.  In reality we went because  we could hardly wait to get back after lunching there last week.  It was one of those delis where the bagels, made that day, seem to be just lying in wait for great cream cheese.  I’m not a lox lover, but just the appearance of lox being relished at a near by table almost made me weep.

The atmosphere is perfect with an intensely efficient waiter with a shaved head and the right accent, wearing a black T shirt with the sign “Shut up and eat” emblazoned on the back plopped a crock of dill pickles to die for on your with just the right degree of rudeness .  The pastrami was great, corned beef perfect and Janet had an omelete with cheese that almost chased the eggs down her throat.  If you are in the Portland area and are a deli fan you shouldn’t miss Kornblat’s


On a second point, I have someone who has stolen both of my E-Mail addresses and is using them to send out spam.  I first suspected when I began to receive Email from my self that was obviously spam.  For the last several months I have been receiving a hundred or more “Daemon” or postmaster message rejections a day.  The rotten shmuck (s?) sho do this are sending messages that have been rejected by the Netherlands, Russia, Germany, England and every state in the Union.  I checked with my computer saavy friends and computer engineer son to see what could be done and received the answer, Not a darn thing except lose the Email addresses and move to hotmail or . . . . . .

May the wiring on their computer servers  short out with bloody blasts of fire.