Category Archives: Health

Not Enough Hours

Days get busy again…

Payroll. Audit is starting up. End of the month. Beginning of the next month.

MRI and CT scan this evening. No word on whether or not they found a brain, but I’m here to tell you, when they shoot that iodine into you it’s a RUSH! Boy, howdy!

Then back to the grindstone. We didn’t even get a chance to watch the Ted Lasso finale tonight. So, tomorrow’s another day isolated from social media. (NO SPOILERS!)

Meanwhile, I’ve had my first viral tweet. I don’t think I’ve ever had one that went beyond 150 or 200 likes before. Until I told off some sanctimonious woman who was “worried” about “protecting the children.” Yeah, right.

1,603 and climbing. For the record, something like 5 have been supporting @papeppers…

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Filed under Health, Social Media

Don’t Fear The Dentist

Another hour-plus in the chair with needles and drills and suction and procedures that are as close to waterboarding as I ever want to get. (Tying up loose ends from last weeks’ root canal and getting a temporary crown.)

I get home and get past the nasty tastes left in my mouth from the topical anesthesia and the upset stomach from whatever I was swallowing, finally hungry. The anesthesia and the adrenaline wore off and I was hungry.

But do I need to have another meal of cottage cheese and applesauce? Or can I have a normal lunch? My eyes catch the poster I have on the wall to my right.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.


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Filed under Health, Photography

Less Pain Day

Thank god for drugs.

Not gonna lie, yesterday was unpleasant. But I’m happy to say that by this afternoon the discomfort is just that, a nagging minor ache, and biting down on the affected tooth (accidentally, I assure you, still eating everything on the other side, very carefully) is sore and a reminder to not do that, not an invitation to passing out. I even got to eat a normal dinner, my first real food in about five or six days other than scrambled eggs, broth, bananas, or cottage cheese.

Tomorrow the plan is to start cutting back drastically on the pain meds. I appreciate what they do, but I’m a firm believer in paying attention to the “as needed” warning.

The pleasant surprise of the day was this batch of bright red flowers around the mailbox. I don’t think I’ve ever seen them before.

(This, of course, guarantees that there are at least two posts here, probably about this time of year, where I said the exact same thing and posted extremely similar pictures. I’m consistant, if nothing else.)

Whatever they are, they’re lovely! Some kind of roses, maybe, but not like the ones over by the driveway? Time for a little research.

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Filed under Flowers, Health, Photography

Odds & Sods for Friday, May 12th

When did fortune cookie fortunes become so bland and boring?

“The social scene can be fun these days” They don’t even try putting an exclamation point on the end to fake excitement. What happened to the days of, “A new lover will bring joy, adventure, and romance to your life!” Or, “You will win the Lottery and retire to your own private island in the Carribean!”

None of those things are actually going to happen, but it at least gave you something to fantasize about.

Why do they have tarps at the side of the field in domed stadiums?

Okay, maybe an aircraft is going to crash and break through the roof during a hurricane, allowing the field to get soaked. But I’m thinking that if the flaming wreckage of a 747 has to be moved in order to put the tarp out, there just might be other things that are going to delay the game.

Can wisdom teeth re-grow? Or at least can they come back and haunt me?

Getting a lot of “moderate discomfort” for months at the back of my jaw where the wisdom teeth were before they got yanked something like twenty years ago. I figured cavities or some sort of gum disease, but last July and August the dentist said there was nothing like that there.

Since then it’s gotten worse and comes with the added benefit of some massive headaches. It’s no longer a day or so every now and then, now being more like daily.

So I went to a different dentist and got told the same thing.

So next week I start bugging the doctors. Something’s definitely off, and my patience is shot. I want someone to figure out what’s causing this and fix it?

Some sort of massive but bizarre ear infection? A ruptured eardrum of some sort? Eardrum cancer?

Probe me, but figure it out!

I think we’re back to just Solo Junco, maybe a pair. Like previous years, all of a sudden I just notice that there’s only the one out there, where sometime in the near past (earlier this week? last week? end of April?) there would be a dozen or more out there every time the seed gets thrown out.

You would think with all of the hospitality we lay out that they would bother to stop by to say goodbye before they head off to wheverver it is that they stay over the summer. (You would be wrong.)

And why does the one (maybe two) stay here 365 days a year? I’m sure the seed helps, but are their teeny, tiny, miniscule bird brains capable of the logic involved?


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Filed under Critters, Deep Thoughts, Health

Sticking Out Like A…

There’s a reason that phrase sticks around.

A stupid, tiny little nick from cutting my thumbnail too close on my right hand. I’m so right handed that if I broke my right arm I would starve to death before I learned to feed myself with my left hand only. So now, nearly a week after my horrific thumbnail clipping incident, I still am extremely aware of my sore thumb every single time I try to type (and I’m typing all day long), or use my computer trackball, or try to get my phone or wallet or keys out of my pocket, or try to use a pen, or eat with a fork or spoon, or…

You get the picture.

How can one itsy-bitsy little nick cause so much grief and trouble even a week later?!

I swear, next time I go to a manicurist and let them do it professionally. I’m not sure how that makes sense, but this is ridiculous.

(Yes, I’m a whiny woosie boy. This isn’t news.)


Filed under Health, Paul, Photography

Ballot Deposited & Blood Donated

Getting things done, checking things off the list!

I know that there are vast stretches of this country where one of the two political parties has been working very hard for decades to make it extremely difficult for some people to vote. I understand why – it’s because they know that they can’t possibly win a free and fair election, they’re fascists who have to stay in power at all costs, and the ony way they can do that is by cheating or stacking the deck. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s documented fact. Just read the laws they’ve written and look at the gerrymandered maps that they’ve rigged up.

California’s the exact opposite of that and I sort of love it. When it’s time for voting, EVERY registered voter gets a ballot sent in the mail, and it’s easy to get registered. If you want to be kept in the loop on where your ballot is, sign up and they’re happy to overwhelm you with notifications. When they are going to mail out the ballots in a few days, I get a text, and email, and a phone call. Again when they actually do mail out the ballots. Again to remind me that the ballot should have arrived to remind me how many days there are to get it sent back.

Then when you put the ballot in a drop box (like I did tonight) you’ll get another round of texts, emails, and calls when they pick it up from the dropbox. And again when it’s scanned and counted.

Overkill, FTW!!

Every time I get even the tiniest little bit of annoyance or bother about it I think about Florida and Texas and Ohio and Mississippi and Georgia and I’m just fine with what California has going for it.

After dropping off my ballot, it was time to go donate a pint. I asked them to take only the blood that was saturated with those little hemoglobin H1C molecules and leave behind the ones that are still fresh and empty and happy. They smiled and nodded a lot, but I have suspicions about their sincerity.

The needle thing is fine, but I would really like to get back the arm hair on those patches where they yanked it all off  while removing the adhesives. Yanked it off gleefully, I might add.

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Filed under Health, Photography, Politics

Oxygen Is Good

We seem to be very divisive as a society these days, willing to argue passionately about just about everything.

Is there anything we can all agree on?

How about the idea that oxygen is good, especially in the lungs in sufficient quantities to sustain health and well being?

Now, if you’re a piece of iron and you want to avoid rusting – okay, oxygen might not be your friend.

If you’re a random cloud of hydrogen or methane and you want to remain uncombusted, you need to stay away from oxygen. And sparks. And especially sparks and oxygen together.

But for those of us with lungs and a design based around respiration as a core function, oxygen is good!

(Can you tell how late it is and how little time I had to write this tonight and how bereft I am of good ideas?)

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Filed under Health, Photography, Random Blatherationings

Side Effects

When last we left our plucky hero, he had chosen to get both the flu vaccine and the latest bivalent COVID vaccine at the same time and at least for the first few hours there were minimal side effects…

Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but the thought to use this occurred to me at about 02:15 when some side effects were kicking my ass, and it seemed funny enough then. Things have been slightly foggy since, so it might be as close as I get tonight to an original or coherent thought.

From 02:15 until about 09:00 I was up every hour with MASSIVE chills. Like, teeth chattering so hard that I thought that I was going to chip a tooth. Meanwhile, on the outside it felt like I was on fire with fever.

Yet, on the couple of times that I was semi-coherent enough to think at all, when I checked my temperature it was fine, never even hitting 99°. And the house wasn’t particularly cold, with the living room thermostat showing about 76°. Yet I was going to pull a muscle I was shivering so hard

Whatever it was, it was over by 09:00 or so. Since then I’ve been a bit foggy and tired, but not like I couldn’t think at all or couldn’t stay awake. Right now a handful of short naps have helped and I’m really hoping for a better night’s sleep tonight, but all in all, it hasn’t been that bad. And, obviously, even with the few hours of last night’s issues, it’s been many, many orders of magnitude better and easier than getting COVID, the flu, or both.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Make good decisions.

Welcome to October! We’re almost holidays adjacent!

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Filed under CoronaVirus, Health

September In The Rear View Mirror

After trying for a while to find the new bivalent COVID vaccine booster, suddenly our local hospital had appointments up the yazoo. It’s also flu season, and while I’ve heard from a number of friends that getting both at the same time will kick your ass, we didn’t have any plans for the weekend, so when we went in we decided to roll the dice.

The flu shot side.

The COVID booster side.

So far, so good! Tired and a touch of a headache, but that just means it’s a day that ends in “y.” The injection sites are sore, the flu side much more than the COVID side, but it’s far from debilitating. Minimal body aches, no fever, no chills…

Knock on wood, and we’ll most certainly see what tomorrow brings, but the first signs are hopeful. And, of course, even if it gets worse, it’s still orders and orders of magnitude better than either getting the flu or getting COVID.

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay cool out there!


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Filed under CoronaVirus, Health, Photography

Happiness Is Only One Line Showing On A COVID Quick Test

You know – sort of like this!

We tested when we got home from our Chicago/Chambana trip, and then again five days later. We’re good!

I pretty much don’t go out at all still, or at least compared to pre-COVID days it’s much less than 10% as much. A lot of that is working from home instead of going into the office, but also going to sporting events, the CAF hangar, concerts, movies, shopping, and so on.

And when I do go out, I’m masked. Period.

And I’m fully vaxxed, including two boosters, and I’ll be getting the bivalent booster as soon as I can, which should be soon.

I’m still just astonished that everyone isn’t doing that. When the zombie apocalypse comes, we don’t have a prayer if the response to COVID is any indication.

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Filed under Health, Photography, Travel