Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Roto Router

Well, it's official, I need someone to go up my nose with power tools and high powered explosives and vacuums to clean up the mess that I have been carefully nurturing for the last eight months. This news came hard for me as I have come to love the several billion bacteria that call my sinuses home. What are they going to do? Where will they go? There's too much homelessness as it is and now my head has fallen victim to the rampant "Throw the Bastards Out" mentality that is pervasive in our selfish society of today. It's a heartless action if you ask me.

So, I've been thinking about it and as long as I am going to be out for the procedure, I might as well have a few more things cleaned up - like a vasectomy and maybe a toe amputation. Maybe they could re break my nose and get rid of that oh so slight twist that I have had since 1970. And now that I think of it, there are a few other cosmetic touch ups that could be done. How about a few hair plugs and a dye job, a tightening of the jowls, a silicon six pack injected into the abs, and a body wax.

I mean once you are out, why not go ALL out? It only makes sense. Just think of the economic stimulus benefits that would be created by all of this work. Why it's enough to send a surgeon's kid to at least two years of college. Maybe I could get a Presidential Commendation from Washington. Who knows?

There will be downsides to be sure. I'll have to stop pouring entire bottles of hot sauce on my eggs and pasta just to blast a sensation of taste past all of the gunk currently masking my taste/smell receptors. I will once again be able to smell my own farts (this one benefit almost makes inoperable sinuses worth it). And my voice will return to its "normal" tone rather than the "bottom of the well" pitch that has been my bane now for months. Who knows, I may be able to sing again.

One pitfall that may take a turn for the worse is my relatively new relationship with a wonderful woman who has known me only six months. I have been sick with this sinus infection every day of our time spent together. What if it is my nasal voice that she truly loves? Will my attempt to regain my health torpedo this young love? Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beautiful Day

Today was the kind of day that you wait for as the season slowly sheds its winter coat and contemplates a whole new wardrobe. It was still pretty cool up here where Canada is closer than our southern neighbor, Iowa. The great heat-sink of Lake Superior keeps things in the immediate vicinity a bit cooler than what you can find just up over the hill.

Still, a clear blue sky and temps in the low fifties were enough for us to put on our walkin shoes and head for the lakeside boardwalk that is accessible at the bottom of the hill I live on and takes us on a meandering path toward the redone waterfront district full of shops, galleries, and restaurants. We took advantage of all of that during the three and half hours that we were gone.

Upon returning, Marisa went off for her guitar lessons while I attended to my lame car as I gave another shot at freeing a recalcitrant brake fitting on the rear wheel that ruptured a couple of weeks ago. I was finally able to get the old hose off after days of soaking with penetrating fluid and taping a flare wrench carefully to break the fifteen year bond of rust on steel without kinking the solid brake line itself.

It was then that I discovered that the replacement hose that I had intended to put on was a lesbian where I needed a heterosexual model. Oh well, it was off to my favorite car repair shop, "Foreign Affairs" to see if they had a couple of replacement hoses for an old, fat, wagon. Much to my surprise, they did and I was finally able to get a new hose on the passenger rear wheel.

Unfortunately, the voice of prudence was whispering in my ear telling me that if one fifteen year old brake hose failed, then the chance that its partner failing was a lot better than Minnesota choosing its next senator anytime soon. So now the other side of the car is jacked up in the air and I am lying on my back gently tap, tap, taping the other rusted on hose to see if I can free that one up. So far the answer is "no" but tomorrow is another day as they say.

In other news from the northland I finally finished my last round of antibiotics in an attempt to beat the snot out of the snot that has turned into some kind of super powered cheese that has packed my sinuses for the last six months. It does not seem to have had much effect and so it looks like I am in for another CT scan of my head to see if there has been any positive change or not. If not, I am a candidate for a nasal roto-router session. Ack.

The next few weeks are shaping up to be busy ones. I need to get the White Whale back on the road because I need to shimmy down to Madison and collect my little girl from her first year away at school. Then there are the weekly trips to the Cities to check the house down there and water the plants. There's also another Mayo visit coming up as well.

Well, that's about it. Hope you are all enjoying the change in the seasons too, but I maintain that it is only in places like northern Minnesota that it is truly a religious experience.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Broken Brake

It's the day after max tax day and I still haven't filed my kid's returns. Yesterday, I was trying to do them with the help of a friend who did the keyboard work while I tried to supply answers to the questions while shuffling through all of the tax related documents (W2's, 1099 ints/divs/oids/B's/sqeeze/please/shootmeinthehead) and drinking beer left over in the keg from my birthday party (pretty flat now Moose).

This was made all the more interesting because I was blind in one eye and wearing dark glasses. This was because earlier in the day, after driving back up to Duluth with a car full of tools, parts, and miscellaneous junk (like my golf clubs), I foolishly attempted to unload my tool box from the car. Now, this tool box is sizable and has the mass of a small black hole. The car sighed gratefully and rose three inches as I did the strongman squat and grunt (pants survived) and with a mighty heave, lifted the chest just far enough to slide it out of the back of the car. Not having thought this plan through I realized as I staggered backwards that if I fell or dropped the chest the headlines on tomorrow's paper would read something like this "Man posthumously nominated for the Darwin Award after being crushed by his own tool box. Found in his garage, pinned under his tools and apparently crawling toward the beer keg in the corner."

And as much as I would have liked a beer, it was in the opposite direction from where the tool chest must go. As I staggered in that direction, straining with all I had to keep the bastard box from amputating anything important, vision blurring and turning dark, I eventually reached the spot designated as the temporary tool storage area and came to another realization - I somehow had to get the chest to the floor without dropping it. Have you ever tried to gently lower something that weighs as much as an elephant without killing yourself in the process? It ain't easy.

Fortunately for me, I had an ankle to break the fall as the toolbox won the contest with gravity and slammed down to it's "temporary" location. Stifling the normal response to such an event I walked (well limped) away congratulating myself for not spilling blood on the new cement floor, or scratching the paint in the process.

Having deposited my butt into a soft chair in front of the computer to recover from my recent strenuous exercise, I noticed that the left side of my peripheral vision in my left eye was being wonky. This began to worry me a little because I recently learned that the fluid pressure in my eyes was above the normal limit and the doctor kept whispering to his assistant during the exam and of course I understood none of it, but he deadpanned a lecture to me that contained the words "retinal tear" and "vitriol explosion" and "if you keep that up you could go blind" and here I was going blind and counting myself lucky that I didn't just shoot my entire eyeball out and then step on it while foolishly lugging my tool box when I should have just told my teenage son to do it for me (not that he would have, of course).

So, I called the eye doctor and after much hushed conversation just off the phone handset, I was instructed to come right in, which I did - not wanting to go blind just after finishing the house project that resulted in wonderful views of Lake Superior. I went broke do that and now I'm going to sit and look at that damned lake for a good long time.

Once at the office I went though the normal drill - eye drops that dilated the eyes, but in this case it was just the left eye AND they gave me TWO doses of some super secret extra strong dilator that should probably wear off in about twenty-four hours the tech said. Then the doctor came in and shined an industrial strength light into my eye that finished off the going blind process. Then he tipped the chair back so that it was finally comfortable, but before I could go to sleep he blasted me again with the light business which was to distract me I guess as he started pushing some sharp tool into the exposed portions of my eyeball.

Now I heard that the genius Issac Newton once explored the regions behind his eyeball with a butter knife just to see what was back there and I can now empathise with how difficult that must have been. I don't want to EVER do that test again.

In the end, the doc said that I was probably going to be OK and to come back and see him in four weeks. Hopefully, I'll be dead by then.

So anyway, that's why I couldn't do the taxes myself. We finally stopped the effort and resorted to gin and tonics over some grilled burgers and the night ended on a high note.

Oh, PS The Wonder Dawg has made a good recovery from her little episode a few weeks back. She still looks at you with her head cocked to the side like the RCA Dalmatian and she staggers a bit when she walks, but then so do I so I call it even steven.

Oh, PPS I started out wanting to tell you about the "fixing the brakes on the Audi" but that will have to be a story for another time.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Dawg is Better

The Wonder Dawg is making a slow but steady recovery from her stroke like symptoms of last Saturday. We had a professional dog sitter (my 9 year old niece) stay with her while the party swirled around.

It was quite the deal. Lots of people from all strata. Loud music, good food, wine, and beer. We counted 29 empty wine bottles the next morning and I have been working on the keg for seven days now and I still can't lift it off the floor. I'll still be sucking on it come the Fourth of July.

My co-host and BD girl suffered a bout of narcolepsy about 10 pm and stubbornly refused the entreaties of her rock-star girlfriends to get up and rally for the cause. There was talk of taking sharpies to her for some sonombulant decorating, but it turned out to be all bluster (fortunate for the sleeping one).

I got to bed about 2 AM and was not too much the worse for the wear the next morning. I spent a slow hour picking up and washing things. All in all, it was a good time.

For those of you who missed it, you can still stop by and help me with the beer.

As for the Dawg, she is still staggering a bit, but the worst of the symptoms seem to have passed. It is not known if she will make a full recovery, but I am just so releaved to see her getting better and not dying of a stroke that I will be happy wherever she winds up.

So that's it for now. Just wanted to give you an update in case you were wondering how things went.