Monday, March 26, 2007


My family and I ate at a Chinese restaurant yesterday. We have a ritual where we enjoy opening the fortune cookies after we have eaten our meal. We always joke about whether we get a "statement cookie"...i.e. "Manners make you a better person" or a "fortune cookie" i.e. "Happy news is on the way to you."

Yesterday, out of my FORTUNE COOKIE came this..."Sorry. Come back later...I am sleeping (yes, cookies need their sleep , too).

What is that? A no fortune fortune cookie that's taking a nap? What's that say about my future?

I need a nap...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A Conundrum

While my wife and I were waiting in the local Social Security Administration office we were witness to a conundrum.

A very frustrated lady came into the building where part of the process is showing the guard your ID. (I imagine to thwart any old lady terrorists out there.) At any rate, he stopped her at the door, "Maam, I need to see your photo ID.

"I can't." she growled.

"Pardon me?" the guard replied.

I lost my driver's license and I just came from the DOT and they said they could give me a driver's license with my Social Security Card. But, my husband is out of town and it's in the lock box and I can't get into it."

Now nearly in tears, "I have to fly out of town tomorrow and I need an ID to get on the plane."

The guard, trying to be kind told her, "Maam you need your driver's license to get a copy of your Social Security Card."

The last I heard was the lady telling the guard she was going to have a nervous breakdown.

Monday, March 12, 2007

They Bleed for Their Art

My wife and went to visit our son and daughter-in-law and grandkids in Cedar Rapids this last weekend. They own The Stained Glass Gallery in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and were working on creating a new stained glass piano light lamp shade for our church’s organ. They have, what I think is a clever slogan for their business, “We Bleed for Our Art.” And, it’s true; they work with glass and occasionally will get a small cut which requires a band aid and some antiseptic. Last Saturday however...

John, our son, was walking through the shop and ran his leg up against a protruding piece of glass. It ripped through his jeans and into his leg. It made a nasty cut and it was obvious it needed stitches because it was gapping and bleeding (a lot).

[Before I go on, you need to understand a bit about me and blood. I faint. I’ve gotten better over the years, but I do faint when there is blood, mine, or anybody’s for that matter. The first time I fainted was as a kid when my parents took me to the movie The Greatest Show on Earth. I fainted during the train wreck sequence when there was a fair amount of blood. My mother had to take me out. This history continued in high school biology labs, doctor’s appointments, movies, boot camp get the idea.]

I remember when one of my daughters cut her lip and there was a lot of blood, it was all I could do to grab a washrag and a piece of ice and stuff it in her mouth and tell her to be brave---before I passed out.

This wasn’t the first trip to an ER I’ve made with John for stitches. And, as I recall I nearly fainted the first time, but controlled it BEFORE we got to the ER. John did have to drive the car however.

At any rate, we arrived at the ER last Saturday and John checked himself in and we began the wait in the ER waiting room. I started feeling the feeling that I get when the blood starts leaving my head and my blood pressure drops. Since I am also diabetic I thought perhaps I was just having a low blood sugar moment I sent my wife off in search of sugar. No sooner did she disappear than the faint came on strong. I could no longer sit in the chair and I went down on one knee...

One of the ER nurses who was coming into the waiting room to pick up someone else noticed my dilemma and came to my rescue. The first thing she did was run over my foot with the wheel chair, and then some how managed to get me into the chair, dropping me only once. I was totally passed out by the time she got me to the ER and she, with I assume the help of others, got me on a table. And, then they all got IV, an EKG, and removal of my clothes.

I understand that they were doing what they had to do, I do have a cardiac history and am diabetic and I imagine when someone is flopping around on the ER room floor they feel obliged to check the individual out. They checked me out.

I also typically pass out if when they are taking blood and aren’t successful the first try. The phlebotomist was not successful the first time, nor the second, but I imagine she was successful the third time because when I came to again...she was gone.

John and I were in cubicles next to each other so my wife could bounce between us checking on our progress. As it turns out John had his wound cleaned and received his stitches before I was released and he ended up waiting for me to recover. I haven’t received the bill yet, but I imagine it is expensive to faint in the ER.

Now if you don’t mind, I feel a need to lie down...

[COMMON FAINTING: Vagal reaction.
Fainting is a temporary loss of consciousness. It occurs when blood flow to the brain is reduced. A Vagal reaction is a reflex response that causes the pulse to slow down. If the pulse is low enough, the blood pressure falls and causes fainting or near fainting. Lying down usually stops the reaction within 60 seconds. This reflex response can occur during sudden fear, severe pain, emotional stress, overexertion or suddenly standing up after sitting or lying for a long time.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


My wife recently retired from retail and has been "furiously" cleaning and sorting household goods. She recently came across her old Coronet and decided that she was going to take it up again and started practicing. Well, I'm an old trombone player and I was feeling left out, so I went to "resurrect" my old trombone, but it was in a sad was a 55 year old horn and had seen its better days. I played in a community orchestra in 1976 for a couple of years, but have not touched it since then (accept to move it).

I couldn't have my wife have all of the fun, so today we went out looked for trombones. The first ones we saw hanging on a wall went for $2000 to $3500 dollars. Yes, thousand!!! I'm not going to spend that kind of money on a horn I may decide I don't want to play. The manager of the store came over and I expressed my dismay and he offered that they have several student versions available for a couple of hundred dollars. Now, that was more to my liking. I am now the proud owner of a new (used) trombone.

I finished my first practice session about a half hour ago, and I must say this will take some work, but I did enjoy it. When we bought the horn we learned of a Community Band, New Horizons, which is for people 50 years of age and older who want to play in a band. After a month of practicing - I believe we'll give it a try. I have fond memories of "blowing my brains out" when I played for a community orchestra before. So, I look forward to the stress relief...I wonder of my neighbors can hear me practice?