Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Doc's Daily(ish) Dump

Thought for the day:

To embrace the blessings of liberty one must first embrace the responsibilities of liberty. What are these non-enumerated responsibilities? Good question.


They're not what the tee-vee tells you they are.

Good luck and good hunting.


How 'bout a bunch of baloney...

Or should that be Bologna? Or Bologne?

Which calls to mind a non-sea sea story. One day in the distant past our crew caught an R&R hop across the Adriatic to Venice. We didn't like the Venice vibe at all so we rented a Fiat and drove to Bologna to try the sammiches. Bologna was very cool and the sammiches were wonderful. Then on a whim we decided to drive the 850 kilometers (530 miles) to Bologne (not Boulogne! There are about 5,000 Boulognes' in France, one around every corner it seems) to see if the two cities were clones of one another. Our drive through the alps in high summer was spectacular. We'd left Bologna after local noon and overnighted in the tiny Swiss town of Russ, part of the municipality of Silenen, which had nothing to offer except clean beds in a quaint and creaky inn, spectacular beer and a home cooked meal, and locals who were hugely amused at our attempts to converse in Italian, French, and German. Fortunately for us, everyone we talked to spoke much better English than we did. And the waitresses were spectacular examples of Swiss Alpine beauty. Bologne was not a clone of Bologna, and we didn't come within 400 kilometers of Boulogne-sur-Mer, which is up by Calais. We stayed in Russ on the return and were greeted like family. All in all it was a wonderful bit of rest and relaxation. Then it was back to Venice, hop on the VR-24 Greyhound, and back across the lovely Adriatic, where we had work to do.

Those were the days!


Saturday was the very last day the little one would ever be two years old.

Sunday morning she woke up and it was her third birthday!

A year ago I was sitting on a couch in a crowded living room in the midst of a grand second birthday party. In the middle of all that chaos and excitement and love I got blown up by a smile and the most spectacular eyes in the universe.

In that moment I realized that I was orders of magnitude happier than I'd ever been in my life.

Today happy is still a thing for me, and I'm kinda surprised that that's the case. As it turns out, happy is a choice I make, and it's up to me whether I go to happy or not. Surrounded once again by chaos and excitement and love it's an easy choice to make. I wish my Alexzandra were physically here, and I'm forever crushed by her physical absence, but I know she's here in spirit.

As I left off writing this to go do birthday party stuff I was feeling pretty sad. I asked God to give me strength and lift my spirits. I didn't want to be a big crybaby raining my chosen misery on everyone else. As always, God hooked me up. I asked Alex to be with me, and she was. Everything was okay after all.


What's better than playing outside on a beautiful day?

The four year old taught his great-grandma his favorite song. It's the theme song from a computer game (properly a video game I guess) that had something to do with Freddie. I believe the lyric is actually "fire, fire, fire, I'm dancing with my deepest dark desire." That makes sense to me, but the Z-man says I'm wrong. It actually goes, "fire, fire, fire, I'm dancing with my deepest Doctor Zire." He's more likely than I to be correct. In this video there's a bit of three year old finger slime on the camera lens.

Later it was time for presents.

And cake.

The cake was made by our local bakery, and Mary Sue's cakes are awesome.


Physical therapy has been super. My muscles and joints are working better every day and increasing flexibility is making me feel and move like a much younger me. This all makes cardio, strength, and endurance training so much more pleasant. It's hard and joyful work and it pushes me farther and farther away from old-guy land.


Here's a Corpsman Chronicle re-run. This one got missed when I fixed (?!?!) the numbering scheme and put CC's on the sidebar.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Babble and triple D

Mostly sunny today with air temps in the mid-50's. Also breezy, and that northwest wind is blowing over a lot of melting snow and cool ground, so it's a bit chill.

Nevertheless, I did a five-mile prairie run (jog, actually) in shorts, sleeveless tee, and trail running shoes. It was awesome. I found some death camas and larkspur along the way.
Toxicoscordion venenosum, or death camas.

Delphinium spp., or larkspur.
Nature is awesome, even the toxic parts.


Thursday I had nerve conduction tests and physical therapy.

The PT was great, though I got beat up a little bit. Physically and mentally. "No one in your age group," said the therapist, "can bend over and put their palms on the floor like you can." Yay, I win!!!

"However," he said, "everyone in your age group can bend backward better than you. We've got some work to do." Ulp!!!

So I learned stuff which is good. I feel like it's stuff I should have known, but I'm open minded enough to listen and put criticism -- especially self-criticism -- in the proper scale, context, and perspective. It takes work to do that, but I'm willing to do the work.

Among other things he gave me a bloody good "hands-on" stretching, which was great. Made me feel better both physically and mentally. One of my body's reactions to the new regime is pain. Not a lot, but enough pain to be a hard challenge. That's okay. Hard challenges are good.

Now we're embarked on a twice-weekly regimen of therapy, which will include dry needle therapy. In simple but perhaps gruesome terms, it's basically jabbing needles into stiff and stenotic muscles to force them to heal both the needle trauma and the stenosis. So basically a fun but hard challenge.

The nerve conduction tests revealed that my nerves from spine through toes are in perfect shape. The nerves branching out from L-4, L-5, and S-1 are very irritated at being squeezed, but they are not losing conductivity or otherwise beginning to fail. That's all very good news.

The doctor who did the tests was very skilled and knowledgeable at the physical stuff. She was even better at getting me to talk about and assess the mental/emotional aspects of having this chronic malady. She got me to talk about navy, ranching, and new family, and remarked with awe and wonder that I've had three amazing lives. Very many folks, she said, only ever have one life, and the one life can often be mundane.

I'd never thought about my life trajectory like that. Pretty cool stuff. What an amazing physician.

I am blessed, and I think I know why.

Strike think. I owe it all to God. And I know it.


I'm quite vexed, as I always am when I sit down to compose a blog post on blooger, that I can't save my compose settings. So I get a goofy serif font and blooger's paragraph setting, neither of which I desire. This is one of the "improvements" the blooger team made. Who, after all, would want to compose a blog post in any way other than the way the norcal blooger team would do it?

So I begin every post with anger and resentment and even fear roiling away in my heart.

A couple of things though. First of all, every scrap of the anger and resentment and fear I experience is on me and me alone. Secondly, I don't know anyone on the blooger team and I have no idea what their blooger motivations are, so when I award them en mass with presumed motivations I'm missing the boat badly. It's said that holding a resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die. The poison hurts me, and the other person has no idea whatsoever that I'm bubbling with resentment rage. They don't know, they don't care. Which is as it should be. Thirdly, when I'm raging against imagined bloogerites who I've never met, I'm violating one of the most important foundational principles we ape-lizards have ever developed. I'm treating them as other, as things, rather than as human beings who are exactly equal to me in their fundamental humanity. I'm not treating them as I would be treated. I'm treating them as a means to an end, rather than as an end only. When I think and behave in a way which eviscerates fundamental principles, I destroy my own soul and I jump right off the path, the way. I no longer walk in the sunlight of the spirit; I walk the dark path which is a journey in a living hell.

It's a choice.

Wisdom reflects good or proper decisions, and the ability to make good or proper decisions comes from the experience of making bad decisions. Over time experience and knowledge develop into wisdom, and this is a grand achievement.

But for me, at least, knowledge and wisdom are not enough. I've been doing this life thing for decades, and I still make bad decisions. I make bad decisions all the time, every day, at the drop of a hat.

This is where spirituality comes in. I am weak, and I need God's grace and God's love to carry me back onto the path, back into the sunlight of the spirit. When I lean on God and trust God, all is well. When I do it my way, on my own terms, it's a trainwreck.

So now that I've asked God to take my anger and resentment and fear, He has taken them away. He has placed my feet back on the path and healed my soul. I am no longer a crying victim of imagined evil forces.

Besides, I am reminded, blooger is monetarily free, and no one is making me use it. When I choose to use it I choose to accept the attached strings. That choice and the consequences -- including dealing with the composition settings -- that's all on me.

So there, I tell myself.

And I smile.


As I noted, it's a beautiful Sunday. I'm preparing fried chicken and baked beans for the evening meal. The chicken is buttermilked and floured and fried by me, and while the beans come from a can, they are "baked" by me. One of these times I'll do the whole "home baked beans" thing. If I can get the logistics and planning down, that is.

Perhaps I've babbled on enough.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.

Friday, April 16, 2021


It's been over a month since I posted here. That's kind of shitty. Kind of? No, not really. it's just shitty.

Big thanks to John Blackshoe for the welfare check he sent out yesterday. I needed the prompting, and even more I needed the reminder that I've been ignoring my friends. I've got dozens of excuses. None of them are reasonably valid.

We just tripped over the eight month mark. I don't have anything remarkable to say about that. Maybe later.


carolina TURTLE shared a lovely video with me a couple of weeks ago. I love the song and the video is stunning. It's from World of Warships which is, I believe, some kind of computer game. Paddles. Wow!


I'm gonna try a 'speriment. Doc's Daily Dump. Can I post a snippet every day? I don't know. The heart and mind are willing but the flesh is weak.


Our major winter storm -- Storm Victimillia XXIX -- is in the process of delivering a gentle rain/snow mix. Which is strange because we all know that both rain and snow are impossible due to algoreism; that in fact there has been no rain or snow since 1998.



As you may imagine I've been rather the busy fellow of late. Yesterday I made the pilgrimage to Scottsbluff, Nebraska for nerve conduction/EMG tests and physical torture therapy. It was a grand and successful outing, which I'll try to describe in a follow-up post.

Just for fun...



This morning...

And that's it for today. I'm pressed for time and this will never get posted if I dick around and try to polish the tee you are dee.

I shall endeavour to return tomorrow.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.