Monday, May 22, 2017

Pat Has Arrived and the Kidney Stones are Gone (I hope)

Me, ready to go this morning for my kidney stone procedure

Long day folks!  Pat arrived yesterday afternoon. We went out last evening in Rehoboth and enjoyed a very pleasant dinner at Modern Mixture.

Up early this morning for my kidney stone blasting procedure. This was an all day affair folks.  Just got home about an hour ago.  Sore but hopefully those darn kidney stones are in thousands of sand like particles now.  I'm straining my pee but I haven't seen anything but blood clots but I'm sure (I hope) that those kidney stone that were ready to drop and GONE.

Of course it had to rain all day.  Torrential rains at times.  But we (Pat) persevered and got me to Dover in time for my procedure.  He took the lovely photo above of me with my hair net (that they wouldn't let me keep) and my eye bag luggage in full display. I hope I didn't scare too many people off today seeing me in my natural state.  My partial teeth were out too.  

Going out under anesthetic and coming too was fun (as it is always) I am having a rather uncomfortable after effect.  My throat is sore as hell, like someone put a toilet plunger down it.  I called and asked if they put something down my throat and the nurse said they did to keep my airways open.  Funny thing, I always sleep with my mouth wide open, like the Grand Canyon.  

Now my left side is sore.  I have a prescription for painkillers (Percocet) but I haven't taken them yet.  My left side is sore but not unbearable.  I'll hold off as long as I can.  

Now to recover and enjoy Pat's visit for the rest of the week here in Delaware.  We leave Friday for Philadelphia for another five day stay at my friend Don McK's co-op in center city.  Hope the rain stops.  Pat's last two visits to Philly, it rained almost every day  

Folks, I sincerely hope I'm done with medical procedures . . . for a while anyway.  Now to enjoy life with whatever time I have left.  

And thank you Don W. for filling in for me tonight at work.  I am so thankful for my friends like Don and Pat and Bill who help me get through life. I told Don about my kidney stone passages and he said he once passed a kidney stone.  He summed up the experience exactly right by saying "Just kill me".  That's the way I felt folks during my five (I think, I'm losing count) passing of kidney stones.  

Later folks, I'll try and keep up with my blogging posts while Pat is here.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Vacation Coming Up!

Pat and I with new friends we met at our Airbnb in Hollywood, California this past February

Looking forward to my quarterly get together with my Canadian travel pal, Pat of Toronto. 

Pat will be taking an overnight bus ride from Toronto to Philadelphia (14 hours) this coming Sunday.  He's coming down early to drive me to my kidney stone procedure in Dover the following Monday morning. Bill usually drives me to my medical procedures where I am knocked out (anesthesia) but since he doesn't have his license now I needed a ride.  So who do I ask, my good friend Pat from Toronto.  Talk about someone pushing the limits of friendship (me).  Pat is taking that long trip just to be my driver. Now is that a friend or what?  I'll treat him to a lunch at Nectar after my procedure (blasting my kidney stones on my left side).

Pat will be spending five days here at Casa Tipton-Kelly then we will spend another five days at our lodging of choice in Philadelphia. Four times a year Pat and I get together.  

February - California
May - Philadelphia and Delaware
September - Canada
November - Philadelphia (again)

I've always believed to arrange my life where I have something to look forward to.  I now enjoy going away and but I also enjoy coming home. I think after all these years I have finally found the perfect formula.  

I promised myself that when I retired I would make the most of my retirement and that is exactly what I am doing now.  As long as my physical and mental health holds out (and my money), I'll be traveling and living this good life. 

At seventy-five years of age, I know I am very lucky to have such a life.  

Monday, May 15, 2017

Am I Still Blogging?

Again, I've been absent from my blog.  My lame excuse is that I'm just too busy around here. That's a sad excuse, isn't folks? I hate it when someone gives me that excuse "I'm just too busy."  But here I am doing that very same thing.

So here you go folks. It is springtime and I'm outside a lot, doing yard work. We're having a wonderful spring here (cool temperatures with sun and rain evenly distributed) and I'm enjoying working here at Casa Tipton-Kelly.

When I'm not outside on our one acre sylvan oasis, I'm following the latest outrages of Donald Trump.  I have to say I'm not surprised at the way the Trump Presidency is turning out to be an unmitigated disaster but what really surprises me is the silence of the Congressional Republicans. They are looking the other way and letting the raging orange monster in the White House get away with his temper tantrums.  I have to say this is a "show" that I am enjoying.  It's just a matter of time folks before the guys in the white jackets take the Child in the White House out in a straight jacket.  That folks I am SOOOO looking forward too.

So here is what is on my agenda.  This time next Monday I will be under anesthesia for my shock wave therapy to remove my kidney stones.  My Travel Buddy Pat will be coming down early from his home in Toronto next Sunday to drive me to Dover for this procedure.  Bill normally drives me to these medical procedures but he lost his license last summer because of his cataracts.  He has one eye done but his other eye isn't scheduled until June 22nd.  Thus I roped Pat into hauling my carcass up to Dover for this medical procedure.

Another good example of my hectic schedule is that I just got a call from one of my co-workers to come into work two hours early today.  There goes my schedule again.  Sometimes I feel like a substitute front desk agent instead of a part-time front desk agent. But I am off next Monday and one of my co-workers is filling in for me so I guess I should be flexible.  Check that previous statement:  I SHOULD BE FLEXIBLE.

Pat will be visiting for ten days. Five days here and five in Philadelphia at my friend Don McK.'s co-op in center city.  So looking forward to visiting Don and Philly again and checking out new venues with Pat.  Pat and I get together four times a year.  My next get together with Pat will be after Labor Day at his new home in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Well, I'm rambling now but I did want to let you all know where I've been.  I'm still here folks and will keep blogging.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Medical Update

Bill having his right eye check after his cataract surgery 

Hey folks, much to the relief of some of you I'm going to take a (temporary) break from my political rants. Oh don't worry, I'm still ranting.  This time on my Facebook account (which is driving some of my far right wing nut Tipton relatives into bombarding me with their vile comments) and my Twitter account (which I rarely use).  

I also want to apologize to my favorite bloggers because I haven't been reading your blogs. My feeble justification is that this is Springtime and I'm spending a lot of time outside trying to relax and get away from this nightmare called Trump.

So here is a medical update.  I just received news today from my new urology doctor that I have several kidney stones ready to "drop." That means I have several time bombs ready to go off . . . at anytime.  By the way, I visited my new urologist yesterday and I am very happy with him.  Unlike my previous urologist, who was the only game in town until this new urology doctor came into town from Dover.  I asked his office why they opened an office here in southern Delaware and they told me they were receiving a number of patients from Sussex (southern Delaware).  They felt there was a "need" for a choice so they opened an office down here in Lower Slower Delaware, aka LSD.  Tell me about it.  My other urologist never seemed to have enough time for me.  During my last kidney stone episode one of his staff was very dismissive and rude to me while I was suffering a kidney stone passage. She literally hollered at me. Of course I hollered back at her but the dye was set.  I could no longer go to that office and subject myself to the way they were treating me now and have in the past. Two big problems I had with them other than the fact that the doctor was always rushed, was that he didn't believe into minimizing pain nor basic privacy practices. I guess this is what happens when you're the only game in town. Thank goodness that office now has competition.  The doctor I went to yesterday had time for me and explained things very clearly. They treated with me respect.  They listened to me.  The only downside is that if I have to have a procedure I would have to go to the Dover hospital.  And that folks is where I am today.

I received a call from my new urologist and he told me about my "time bombs."  He said it was up to me what I should do.  Well, that decision didn't take too long.  I'm going to have the procedure which "blasts" my kidney stones into many small pieces through what is called a "water bath."  This is not invasive surgery but I am put out. Hospital gown, IV's, and (best of all) knocked out with anesthetic. I've already had this procedure back in 2013 during my last kidney stone nightmare.  I went to La La Land and when I woke up my kidney stone time bombs were pulverized into many tiny kidney stones which, when they passed wouldn't cause me the "I hope I die" pain.  All I ended up with was bruises on my lower back.

I've opted to have this procedure now because I don't want to be on a plane headed to California when one of these kidney stones decides to drop.  You think that was brutal the way United Airlines took Dr. David Dao off the plane when he wouldn't give up his seat?  I think airline security would probably shoot me if I was writhing in pain in the aisle and putting the whole airplane and passengers at risk.  I also don't want my kidney stones to drop when I'm visiting Pat in Canada later this summer.  So the choice was easy, blast those kidney stones.

An update on Bill's cataract surgery.  All went well with his right eye.  Now we're going to get his left eye done in June. Now to juggle all these doctors' and medical appointments. I've said it before and I'll say it again:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Trump's "Saturday Night Massacre"

Donald Trump, our national embarrassment

President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey today.  He used the excuse of Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. This is the same Trump who praised Comey's handling of the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation. Folks, don't buy the latest Trump con. Trump fired FBI James Comey because Comey is investigation of the Russian ties to the Trump presidential campaign. 

Folks, I remember well former president Richard M. Nixon firing all those prosecutors who were investigating Watergate ties to his White House. I voted for Nixon (twice) and believed Nixon until he showed his real hand by firing the prosecutors and shut down the special prosecutor's office. You students of history know how that ended.  And this is how Trump's presidency will end.  

The blowback to Trump's heavy handed way of firing anyone who gets close to getting to the truth of the Russian ties to the Trump campaign.

Finally, this is the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency. Now to see how many Republicans, who up to now have been all too willing to look the other way of Trump's incompetence and breaking of normal rules of the presidency. 

Folks, at best we have a con man as president.  At worst we have a criminal and a traitor as president.  Tonight is the beginning of the end for the Trump presidency. 

One good thing will come out of this nasty and unsavory state of affairs, Trump and his supporters will see how American democracy works. 

Monday, May 08, 2017

Trump and House Republicans Declare Health Care Victory

Trump and the House Republicans "celebrating" taking healthcare away from 24 millions Americans and taking the fist step to giving 880 billion dollars in tax cuts to the richest Americans.  All white, comfortable and powerful white men. Do you not know anything about images you dumb ass orange monster? "Look at me, I'm president!"

Take a look at this photo folks of all these white men declaring "victory" over repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as "Obama Care."

Yes, all comfortable well off white men of power and influence have just passed a bill that will take health care away from 24 million Americans.  

Of course this isn't law yet.  The Republicans were bussed over to the White House to feed Trump's insatiable ego.  The law they passed has to go through the Senate yet.  And the consensus is that it will never pass the Senate in its present form.

So what are all these comfortable, well off and powerful white men celebrating?  The fact that they could get ANYTHING out of the House of Representatives.  Did they actually read the bill? Very doubtful.  Does Trump actually know what's in the bill?  Highly doubtful.  It is a well known fact that Trump is too lazy to read.  Short attention span.

So here we go folks, the Republicans are now busy trying to pass more BIG LIES to the American public like those with pre-existing conditions will not be affected by this bill. So why pass another bill?  Just to get rid of the name Obamacare?  Certainly. 

So here is the TRUTH folks, this is the first step of a massive transfer of wealth from poor and middle class Americans to the very wealthy.  Eight-hundred and eighty-billion in tax cuts mainly benefiting the rich over the next ten years defunding Medicaid. Older folks will pay up to five times the price of their premiums that they pay now. And those with pre-existing conditions WILL lose.  People will die just so the rich can have more tax cuts, that they clearly don't need.

Two of the biggest monsters and liars in public life today - Paul Ryan is about to realize his lifetime dream of destroying the safety net of Medicare and Social Security.  One is clueless and the other knows exactly what he is doing - using the clueless one to advance his agenda.

So much for Trump's promise during his campaign that he would not touch Medicaid. But of course by now we all know that Trump is a pathological liar.  Even his most fervent supporters will admit that fact now.  

We are living in dark times folks. This is a test for our democracy.

A very self satisfied monster and his soulless enablers 

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Our Day at The Price is Right

Can you see me and Pat in the audience during the opening sequence of the first taping? We're in the back wearing custom made Price is Right white T-shirts. Pat has a red baseball cap on.  

Tuesday and yesterday our appearance in the audience of "The Price is Right" was on TV.  

For the past two years I have written for tickets to attend "The Price is Right" TV show taping during our visit to Los Angeles. 

Well, you don't see me and Pat down front. We're still in back (to the left in white T-shirts) during the first pricing game

Of course we were hoping to be chosen to "Come on down!" and appear on the stage with Drew Carey and the chance to win a prize.  Unfortunately, that hasn't happened . . . . . yet.  But as they tell you when you attend TPIR show, "everyone will appear on TV."  They were right.  

I think that is the genius of the producers of TPIR is that they do include the whole audience in the show.  They have three cameras on booms that are constantly sweeping over the audience.  

Our friend Antoinette from the line is chosen to "Come on down!" You can see Pat in the upper right corner (he in the gray sweater)

This year's taping that we attended was on February 14th, Valentine's day.  We were told that the taping would appear on TV May 2nd and 3rd.  

The Price is Right has two tapings a day. One at 12 noon, for which we get in line at 8 am in the morning.  The afternoon taping is three o'clock.  

Antoinette wins her bid and goes upstage to meet Drew Carey - you can see me (in the green baseball cap on the right) and Pat in the red baseball cap and gray sweater

This year they were short of audience members for the second taping so they asked for volunteers.  I volunteered me and Pat.  

Antoinette tells Drew she is from Texas while I bore the guy in blue sitting next to me about my story of standing in line with Antoinette and teasing her about not being called because she was last in line. Boy was I wrong!

Attending TPIR tapings may seem like a lot of time standing in line, and we do, but believe me folks, we're not bored.  We get to meet others in line and TPIR folks keep us entertained.  Quite a bit of time is taken passing the security clearance, including photos taken of each and every member of the audience of 425 souls.  

During the second show Pat and I were next to last in the line. There was a couple behind us in line who had also attended the first taping who volunteered to stay for the second taping.  I was talking to the woman and kidding her that we wouldn't get chosen because we were on the first taping.  This despite the folks at TPIR assuring us that many audience members included in the second taping have been chosen to "Come on down!" and won prizes.  Well guess what folks?  The woman I was kidding about not being chosen, WAS CHOSEN.  And he won a car!  I have included those photos of her in this blog, including me and Pat (the two old guys with hats) sitting in the audience.  You'll see me telling the couple sitting beside me in the audience the same story about this lady  

I'm still telling my story while Pat claps for Antoinette 

Always fun to attend "The Price is Right" tapings.  Can't wait until next year.  And who knows?  Maybe Pat or I will be chosen this time.  Stranger things have happened!

Below, Pat and I walk to the CBS TV studio to attend "The Price Is Right" taping on February 14th, 2017.

Random Observations on a December Morning

Late yesterday afternoon sun on our cozy home (in the background).    What? Yet another selfie of yours truly in a hoodie on his property in...