Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Open Wide

This is a "repost" of my very first "real" blog post.  It received exactly ZERO comments. I guess that is understandable, because I had exactly ZERO followers...  I hope it does a little better this time around...          DrSoosie, I apologize in advance...


I just spent an hour in an oral surgeons chair having an abscessed upper molar removed.

If you haven't got to enjoy that particular experience yet, when it does happen, insist on the "twilight sleep" or what ever they call it that PUTS YOU UNDER!

I have some questions and observations relating to the entire affair

  1. Why do the numbing injections hurt so much? Seriously, "this may pinch a little bit" isn't even in the same galaxy with what it really felt like. I know what a "pinch" feels like
  2. Do they really have to stick the needle all the way up into your eyeball? As a matter of fact, it felt like it was just passing through my eye on it's way into my brain.
  3. Why do they have to spill or squirt so much of it on your tongue? It is the nastiest substance I've ever tasted.  Do they do it just for kicks?
  4. Do they purposely balance a small piece of your tooth on the back of your tongue? If you leave it there you gag! You can't swallow it because both of his hands, assorted torture implements, the Kirby vacuum, and maybe a crowbar or two are in the way.
  5. Why does it hurt so much now, than it did when I went there for the pain? Isn't there something wrong with that? Seriously, he was grunting and sweating for about 15 minutes before he said "there, one root gone, two to go." Oh my god!  If I could have, I would have conjured up a bloody nose sneeze at that exact second. And I'd aim it directly into his face mask
  6. I wonder if there is a world record for the most  time a person has spent balanced on only the back of his head and his heels. I'm sure I looked like the St. Louis arch.
Is this god's way of telling us to floss? Is this really medicine? I'm going to go take another pain pill (alcohol may intensify the effect) and another, and another if I have to.


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

One Year of Blogging

My lovely wife (Buymebarbies) just informed me, that the one year anniversary of my first blog post was last week. Although it was in fact the first thing I posted, it was totally introductory in nature. You all know what I mean! It contained all the obligatory “first post” statements.
  • “I apologize in advance if the content offends anyone.” (I was worried that I’d offend everyone)
  • “I don’t really care if anybody reads this, it’s really for me” (Total BS)
  • “I’m posting these things for myself!” (Yeah, right!)
  • “…feel free to tag along.” (Please follow me! Pick me! Love me!)
  • “Feel free to comment.” (I hope people are nice and tell me how much they like my blog)
  • “Blah blah blah! (Well, at least this part hasn’t changed)
My first 75 posts had about 20 comments. My first related “series” of posts about Marine Corps boot camp got a grand total of four comments. That’s too bad because it was really good! Yes, I did just say it! I'm going to post that series again someday.

Thanks to all of you that have tagged along and commented. I truly do appreciate it.

Tomorrow I’m going to re-post my first “real” post. Not the introductory post, but the one after that.

Thanks again...

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Bully Part 3 of 3

Next day, same exact story. Except this time when the kid came to our house he had his older brother with him. A lot of people from our apartments were already waitingto see what would happen.  Todays beating was no different than the previous two. I was about mid-way through my punishment when I finally figured out that if I timed it right, I could hit him hard. I’d still get my ass kicked, but at least I’d get a lick in. So that is what I did. I aimed for his mouth, swung as hard as I could, and hit him directly in the throat.

The kid wasn't breathing very well. My mom was screaming at me to kill him. The people from the apartment building were yelling at me to hit him again. I did hit him again, so many times that I was tired from it. His older brother tried to butt in, but my mom grabbed him by his shirt and flung him away. I don’t think my punches were really hurting him very badly, but he was through. My mom told me to stop hitting him.

When the kid could breath again in a fairly normal manner, my mom told us to start fighting again. The kid said he didn’t want to fight anymore. I couldn’t believe how good it had felt to hit him, but I think what I felt most, was hatred towards my mother.

What happened next, was probably more shocking than my mom making me fight this kid three times. While the “former” bully and his brother were walking away, my mom whispered something in my older brother’s ear. When she was done, he ran after them. He bashed into the back of the kid's older brother at full speed, knocking him down. Then he kicked the hell out of him while he was still on the ground.  I assume that was my mom's warning for him to not let his little brother bother me anymore.

I don’t think anybody called the police and I don’t think they came to our house. The parents of the other kids never came to our house either. Another of many examples, where my mom should have been in trouble with the authorities, but wasn’t. I know my mom was scary crazy to her family, but this was the first time I’d seen her effect on others.

I would never say that what my mom did was right. It was horrible. It did teach me one thing though; I never let anybody hit me first again, ever...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Bully Part 2 of 3

When I got up the next morning my mom told me I wasn't going to school. I was very happy to hear that, because my bottom lip was busted and I knew the guy would come after me again. My good feelings flew out the window, when at about five minutes before two, my mom told me to go outside and wait for the kid. My heart sunk. I couldn’t believe she was really going to make me fight him again.

This time she went outside with me. We waited for the kid to walk by. After a short time we saw him walking up the street towards us. When he saw my mom he crossed the street. She yelled to him to come over to us. I was hoping that he would be afraid to, but the cocky bastard wasn’t. I was hoping that my mom was going to tell him to stay away from me. She didn’t. She told him that I wanted to fight again…

I felt totally helpless! My mom pushed us over to the parking lot in front of the apartment building and told us start fighting. By this time a small crowd had gathered. My mom told me to hit him, but I was afraid to. She again told me to hit him, only this time she screamed it. When I didn’t do it, she told the other kid to hit me. He punched me in the stomach. As I was doubled over trying to catch my breath, my mom told him to hit me again. This time he punched me in the face. I tried to fight back, but this kid was just too big and experienced.  He had no problem beating me up again.

While all this was going on a couple of people told my mom to stop what was happening. She yelled at them to shut the hell up, because she “knew where they lived.” When my mom thought that I’d taken enough punishment, she told the kid to stop and to come back tomorrow after school. I felt lost. I wanted to die.

To add insult to injury, my mom was once again raging at me for not hitting the kid or putting up a better fight. I didn’t know how to fight! I was shutting down. I no longer cared what happened. She told me I was going to fight this kid every day until I decided not to let him beat me up…

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bully - Part 1 of 3

I haven't posted anything relating to my childhood lately, so here's another three part bit of insanity!

We were living on Rose Street, in Bellflower. I was going to the second of three schools I attended during first grade. There was this jerk of a bully who lived on our street. He was in 3rd grade and much bigger than me. We had just moved there and this idiot zeroed in on me right away, to be his next target. His bullying mostly happened at school. I tried to avoid him on the way home and in the neighborhood, but wasn't always able to do so.

One day he told me that he was going to "kick my ass" after school. I really didn't want that to happen and as soon as school let out at 2:00, I made a speedy exit before he got out of class. I made it home and felt like I was safe for a day.

After a few minutes there was a knock on the door. My mom answered it and told me that one of my friends wanted to know if I could come out and play. I went to the door and was shocked to see that it was the bully. In the phoniest "friendly" voice I've ever heard, he asked if I wanted to come out and play.

I told him I didn't want to play with him. My mom told me to go outside and play with "my friend." I told her I didn't feel good. She told the guy to wait a minute and closed the door.

She looked down at me and said, "There was nothing wrong with you five minutes ago! You need to go outside!"

"I can't go outside!" I told her.
"Why can't you go outside?" she demanded.
"If I go outside, he's going to beat me up!"

I explained what had been happening since we moved there and she got very pissed off...
Some of you who've been around here for awhile know about my mom. So what I'm about to say won't surprise you at all. For those of you who are new here, "may I present my mother, Letty Tillett..."
"What the hell do you mean; he's been picking on you?"
"He keeps pushing me around and telling me he's going to beat me up!"
"Get your ass outside!"
"But mom!"
"I'm not telling you again, get your ass outside and fight him!"
"But mom, he's going to beat me up!"
"Only if you let him!"
"He's bigger and older than me!"
"I don't give a shit! Get out there!"
"Don't make me go out there!"
"Are you more afraid of him than you are of me?"
"Then get your ass outside now!"

She opened the door and pushed me out...

Apparently the kid heard my mom yelling and knew he could do whatever he wanted. And that's exactly what he did. He pretty much beat the hell out of me. After a few minutes of getting pummeled by this kid, my mom came out and told him to get lost. She drug me into the house, gave me the once over, and cleaned the blood off of my nose and lips. She then asked me if I hit him at all. After I told her no, she told me that I was going to fight him again the next day...

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Fish Named Boots

No, this entry is not about shoes. It’s about a fish that defies nature. It’s about a carnival prize that won’t die.

Almost seven years ago our granddaughter Taylor “won” a goldfish at a Japanese festival. It was just a little thing, not even an inch in length. We bought one of those little glass fish bowls to keep it in. So now we had a new pet in the house to take care of. Of course we didn’t think it was going to live very long, because they never do. We didn’t want it to die of starvation though, so off to the pet store we went for fish food.

We walked in and went directly to the fish section. They have a lot of aquariums set up, with various types and shapes of fish. None of them have more than 10 to 20 fish in them. Where is our fish? We walk a little deeper into the store and find a tank with some of our fish in it. I should say we found a tank with hundreds or maybe thousands of our fish in it. It seems that our new pet is a feeder fish! I had no idea that feeder fish were actually small goldfish.  Of course there isn’t anybody in the area to help us. So we start looking at fish food. None of the pictures look like our fish. We’re looking for food for a fish that is food for other fish! We need help!

Eventually someone who looked like an employee showed up. She showed us what to buy. Our granddaughter Taylor, named the fish “Boots.” It made no sense to me either at the time. It’s Boots as in “Dora the Explorer.” Isn't that "Boots" a monkey? 

After a couple of months it became pretty clear that boots was starting to outgrow his fishbowl. So we got Boots some new digs. It was a one gallon Sponge-Bob Square Pants themed mini-aquarium. This one even had a little filter on it. It was cheap and the fish was free, so what the heck!

Cut to almost 7 years later…

Boots in now living in, and has almost outgrown a 26 gallon, big boy, “Jethro Bodine” aquarium. It’s his sixth one, each bigger and more expensive than the last. He’s about 8 inches long and about an inch wide.

He’s never been with another fish (in a biblical sense, or any other), but somehow he’s contracted the full range of fish afflictions including about every kind of parasite and bacteria known to man or fish. Did you know that fish Vets use a lot of the same antibiotics on fish that they use on humans? And did you also know that you can buy them in any pet store without benefit of a prescription? Yup! Got an ear ache, soar throat, Chlamydia, or some other STD? Why not cut out the middle man, go to directly to the pet store, and buy what you need right off the darn shelf?

Boots has received treatment after treatment and now we notice that he’s blind as a bat! Kind of hard for him to eat the medication if he can’t see it! Luckily, most of it dissolves in the water. The counter next to his aquarium has so many different medicine containers on it, that it looks like the bedside table of a hypochondriac! Does he even know that he’s sick, or alive for that matter?

All of this constant treatment has caused my wife a tremendous amount of work. She has to change out some of his water every day. I watch and I try to be supportive; I even help if she needs it… But it’s a fish! Not a butterfly fish, not a Moorish Idol, not a yellow tang, it’s not even a regular goldfish!

There’s a part of me that wants to flush the darn thing down the toilet. But I’ve been married for quite some time and I’ve learned a thing or two about having a harmonious relationship with my wife.

I don’t even want to hazard a guess as to how much money this fish has cost us. Between the medication and constant aquarium upgrades, it’s an aquarium full.

How much money do you have to spend on a 10 cent feeder fish, before it becomes an issue worthy of prolonged discussion in Psychotherapy?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

El Sur Grande

PLEASE enlarge for best viewing

We've all seen color photographs of this view a many times. I think it looks equally stunning in black and white. If you've never been to the Big Sur area of coastal California, you've missed one of the most breathtaking drives in the world. Not only because of the view, but because parts of the drive is more than a little bit scary.  It's a must see...

Another view from a little closer to sea level.  The path leads to the water

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Telemarketing - Don't You Just Love It?

I know telemarketers are just regular folks trying to make a buck. Can you imagine doing this for a living? Knowing that the person on the other end of the line is:
  • Not happy to hear from you
  • Is just about to hit you with a slur of some type
  • Isn't going to buy crap from you, even if they do listen to your entire sales pitch (unless it's my mother-in-law, who will buy anything) 
  • Is just about to slam the phone down in your ear 
The other night the phone rang...

"Hello!" I said
"Hello!" I said again, with just a touch of venom.
After a pause, I heard the phone connect on the other end.
"Good evening Mr. Tillett, our company will have home improvement crews working in your neighborhood tomorrow. They will be installing energy efficient, replacement windows. Would you be interested in lowering your energy bills, while getting a tax incentive, in the form of a rebate from your utility provider?"
"I'm really not inter..."
"But Mr. Tillett, several of your neighbors have already agreed to take advantage of our generous offer."
"Really? Can you give me their names please?"
"No sir, I'm not allowed to give out that information."
"I'll tell you what; I'm just about to eat dinner right now. If you will give me your name and phone number, I'll call you back in a couple of hours."
"I'm sorry sir, but I get off in 30 minutes. Can you just spare me a few minutes right now?"
"No I can't, but if you'd give me your home phone number, I'd be more than happy to call you later this evening when I'm free to talk about it."
"But sir, I can't give you my home phone number!"
"Why not"
"I'll be off the clock, sir!"
"Do you think I'm on the clock right now?"
"No sir."
"Then why in the hell is it okay for you to call me at home?"

He didn't say another word, he just hung up...


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Japan Color 07

This was part of an ancient water delivery system (still in use) in a small town outside of Kyoto. The water ran for several miles from a mountain lake.

They also used raised aqueducts that looked amazingly like those used in ancient Europe.

I know what I'm about to say is an oxymoron, but this looks just like a giant Bonsai tree.
Please ENLARGE the photo to get the best effect. You will really be able to see the results of all the hand trimming and shaping.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dirty Dozen Blogfest

I’m taking part in the June 21st Blogfest. It is sponsered by Alex J. Cavanaugh. The theme is my favorite dozen movies. It is impossible to pare the list down to a mere 12. In no particular order, here goes…

Godfather Part 2
It’s not very common that the second movie in a series is better than the first. But that is truly the case with this movie. I don’t have to say anything about it, because everybody has seen it.

This movie not only made me want to be Italian, it made me want to be a gangster.

Shawshank Redemption
Without Morgan Freeman it only would have been a great movie. With him, it was an incredible movie. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched it.

Pulp Fiction
I pretty much love all Tarantino flicks, this one is no exception. The dialogue is some of the best ever.

The Dark Knight
Heath Ledger as the Joker, was one of the best performances EVER…

The long unbroken scene when Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco walk into the back door of the “Copacabana” restaurant, go through the kitchen and all the way out to the night club in front, went 184 seconds in one continuous shot. IT WAS AMAZING… The coordination of that must have been a nightmare. The actors and roles they played were fantastic. Robert DeNiro was great (for a change).

Silence of the Lambs
Talk about a psychological thriller! An amazing edge of your seat movie.

Apocalypse Now
Realistic? Not at all! But it didn’t matter.

Forrest Gump
Great storyline and incredible job by Tom Hanks. “There’s my boat!”

Full Metal Jacket
The first 35 minutes is the most realistic and hilarious portrayal of Marine Corps Boot Camp ever done. The rest of the movie was average. Most people don’t care that much about it, but it’s my list!

The script was amazing and the offbeat actors in the movie made it run like a Swiss watch.

The Big Lebowski
You knew this had to be in here somewhere, right? If you haven’t seen it, you really should.  Know in advance, that when it gets weird, he's not dreaming, he's having acid flashbacks. Okay?

Seriously, I could go on for at least another 75-100 movies. But that is not the task at hand. I don’t apologize for my list. It's maybe not a list of the "best" movies ever made, but this isn't about that, it's about me! 

Cod Liver Oil

Do you (or did you) have a mother or grandmother who believed that fish oil was a panacea? That taking a regular dose would prevent you from catching almost any disease, either serious or minor? And if you had already caught something, fish oil would make it go away?

My grandma Connie, was one of those people! Every time I went to her house she made me take "cod-liver oil."  I was at her house a lot! I'm not talking about fish oil nicely hidden in a sissy capsule. I'm talking about two tablespoons of vomit inducing "cod liver oil" right out of the bottle.  If there is anything nastier, I've never heard of it, or tasted it.  The smell was not to be believed. 

My grandma would always tell us that in addition to the "miracle" healing properties of the oil, it would keep us "regular."  I could not have made it any clearer to her, that I had no problems in this area! 

Seriously, what was up with this concern about my bowel movements?  And why do some old folks have a "fixation" on this subject? Is that what they talk about amongst themselves? 

If I EVER get to the point of answering a "how ya doing?" inquiry, with something like, "I'm doing pretty good thanks, but I'm just not as regular as I used to be!"  I want to be put someplace. Someplace quiet, with soothing lighting and regular doses of mind numbing medication.

She also said that her mother always made her take it and as a result, she was never sick.  So this was some kind of sick payback? Because she had to, we had to?  In addition, whenever we were at her house and wanted a snack there were two choices; peanuts and prunes!  Let's do the math...

Cod Liver Oil + prunes + peanuts = IHED
IHED = Improvised Human Explosive Device

I'm thinking granny may have had some type of fetish or bizarre interest in the scatological sciences...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Dad - I wish I knew you better

As some of you know I really didn't know my dad that well. I didn't see him at all between the ages of 6 and 40.  He's gone now, but from what I saw he was a heck of a good guy.  If you want to get a glimpse into the cut of the man go to this post.

Tillett family reunion in Kentucky. My dad died shortly after this.

Easy to see this is in the south. Not only a can of Crisco, but also a can of "butter flavored" Crisco along side of it.

In the Navy around 1950.

Tay 001


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Emma Pearl 001

Enlarge please

This little stinker is named Emma Pearl. She's about 8 years old and weighs only about 6 pounds. She was clearly the runt of her litter.  Please enlarge the photo and see if I'm the only one that thinks her eye is the "the eye of sauron."   Every time I see her in sunlight, my wedding ring starts spinning on my finger...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Late Afternoon Silence

Steadfast elm and willow
Cradle the timeless river
Perfect reflections flawed
By concentric circles
Of fallen leaves
Late afternoon silence
Broken by quick jumps
Of lightning trout
Feeding on lazy insects

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Japan 24

She is probably thinking, "Silly American tourists, always with their cameras."  There are times in Japan when I feel like I'm on the other end of the stereotype. I was wondering "how do they keep their streets and alleys so clean?" All of them...

Another one of my favorites. This is a very old four story walk-up.
I love how the zig zag of the stairway and all the sharp angles of the rest of the photo, fight for your eye.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Snow Shoe Rabbit in a Heavy Snow Storm


Japan 23

Oh come on! How about a little smile?

I actually know this guy. He is the uncle of Buymebarbies. His name is Yasiyuki Suzuki. You can't tell by the look on his face, but we really do get along well. We have something that draws us together...  We both know how to say "beer" in the other one's language!  We are just about to buy some "street food" in a local backstreet Tokyo shopping area.

Just another Tokyo side street. If you enlarge the photo, it's very interesting to see the total confusion of power, phone, and god knows what other type of lines, strung from pole to pole.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma - One Year After Scan Results

If you want to catch up on this before I start, you can go here.  Or if you want to start from the beginning you can go to the links below. If you don't want to do either of those things and just want me to get the hell to the point, start after the links.  If you just want to skip all this crap, go to the bottom of the page...

Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma Part 1 of 4   Diagnosis
Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma Part 2 of 4  Surgery
Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma Part 3 of 4  Post Surgery
Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma Part 4 of 4 Radiation
Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma - How I feel About It
Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma - One Year Follow-up

Last Wednesday I was given the radioactive iodine pill in preparation for Friday's scan by a Gamma Ray Camera.  I've had plenty of MRI's and CT Scans before.  The GRC scan is a bit different. It detects pockets of radiation in your body.

As I explained before, this radiation is affixed to iodine; it can only remain in the body if there are cancerous thyroid cells to ingest it. If there are no "hot spots" detected by the GRC, then my thyroid cancer hasn't spread anywhere and is gone. Fingers crossed of course. The scan lasted 40 minutes and of course I had to stay perfectly still, and of course every part of my body itched.  I'll find out the results of the scan today.

The scan was nothing, but the preparation SUCKED! As you know I've been eating nothing but apples, bananas, canned peaches, and fruit juice for the past 20 days.  I kept a record of what I ate every day. I averaged about 800 calories.  No weight loss diet is as strict as this one. Below is the running tally of my weight loss.

The diet lasted 20 days and I lost 20 pounds.

May  23 225
May  24 223
May  25 221
May  26 220
May  27 218
May  28 217
May  29 216
May  30 215
May  31 213
June 01 213
June 02 212
June 03 211
June 04 210
June 05 209
June 06 209
June 07 208
June 08 208
June 09 207
June 10 207
June 11 205

Of all the things I couldn't eat, for some reason the thing I craved most was broccoli.  As soon we were done with the test, we went directly to our favorite Chinese restaurant and I got my plate of broccoli.  I can't remember ever eating anything that tasted quite that good.

Oh yeah, I forgot why I was here! I just got the call from my Dr.  The cancer didn't spread and there are no cancer cells left in the surgical area.. 
Thanks to all of you for the kind words and for sending your positive vibes this way! I will forever appreciate it...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Japan 22

enlarge for enhanced viewing
Bullet train entering Tokyo main station.

Even though the train is the subject and focal point of the photo. Can you keep your eyes off of the long line of fluorescent lights running the length of the terminal?

The feeling of perspective  and depth caused by the light and the train, is crazy. When I turned to my left and saw the train and the light at the same time, I almost fell off the platform getting my camera ready. Please enlarge the photo and follow the light fixture all way down the terminal.  I don't usually have an opinion relating to my own photos, but I really like this one...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Japan Color 06

PLEASE click to enlarge these photos

Moat around the Imperial Palace in the capital city of Tokyo. The royal family still lives here today. It is a gigantic ancient complex, with the royal family living in a small isolated section of it.

Elevated view of the ancient Japanese capital city of Kyoto. Many of the ancient temples and shrines are in the background hills.

A peek inside the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. This complex is only open to the public, for one week a year.  The last time we were in Japan, we were very lucky to be there during that time.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Technocracy At It's Finest

I promised someone that I would do a vlog. Or maybe I didn't, whatever.  At this time I do not have the means to record a video, but I did find one of me recorded a short time ago while I was still working at the lab.  Please pay close attention...

You are correct, that wasn't really me. I'm much cuter than that...


thanks to John McElveen

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oh My Goodness!

I can't believe there are now 200 people following this thing. Of course I know that most of them probably don't even remember who I am, but still...  Wasn't it just several months ago, that I  had about ten followers?

To those of you who actually look at my blog on a regular, or semi-regular basis. I thank you! I consider most of you, much more than "followers" and I value your comments, support, and friendship...  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Japan 21

Kyoto Station glass roof

I don't know why. I guess I took it because I've never seen such substantial urinals

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coed Baby Showers?

Seriously people, I’ve got some questions (and answers)…

When did baby showers become coed?
My research seems to indicate that it’s been about five years since it became a rule.

My wife knows how I feel about these things. So why did she make me go to two of them in the last 11 months?
Okay, so what if they were for our own pregnant daughters?  I didn't want to go, but I did. One of them was full of policemen. Even they couldn't convince their wives not to make them go, and they were armed! I didn't stand a chance.

Why did this happen?
You don’t like us to have free time.
You want us to know who is in charge.
No other reason than pure torture.

Does your husband/boyfriend tell you he doesn’t mind going with you?
He’s lying.

Who in the world changed the rules?
Some alpha females with massive control issues.

Why do wives and girlfriends “expect” their husbands and boyfriends to go with them
Because the penalty for not going is severe.
They usually cook better than us.

Was some type of international women’s meeting held on the subject?
No, this is the type of politically correct nonsense that starts in the United States.

Will these "events" ever go back to women only?
No, the new rule is already established and recorded. It’s one of those things kept in the book of “unwritten rules.”

Why don't men know about this book?
Women don’t want us to know all the rules. 
They like to keep us confused.

Do men in other countries have to go?
Not yet, but eventually it will spread like a virus and infect the entire planet. At least one country (I won't name it here) is already ahead of the evil curve, and have showers for expectant fathers. Okay, if you insist.  It's France of course!

Do women really “want” their husbands trying to guess the “circumference” of another ladies body?
Not a problem, if that lady's body is swollen and bloated.

Do women really want their husbands playing “pin the sperm on the egg?”
This game is never played at co-ed showers. Sounds too much like sex talk.

How about “guess the chocolate” smeared in the diaper?
I can’t even believe women play this one. If the husbands do play, at least one of them is going to taste it.

Finally, please god, why do they make us sit through the gift opening?
We don’t even know what the gift "we" brought is, so why do we care about all the others?

Why is there NEVER alcohol at these functions?
If there was drinking allowed, the men would gather amongst themselves and ignore all of the “activities.” That of course, is not going to be allowed...

Now you know how I feel about greeting card stores and coed baby showers. I promise you, there is more...

Monday, June 7, 2010

HB 004

This one was really tough and I was pretty lucky to get it. I was shooting directly into the early morning sun, from under the pier. I know this photo looks black and white, but it isn't. His surfboard had two colored swirls on it.  One red and one blue/green. If you enlarge it, you can just barely see them. This photo was so close to being a a total white out and a throw-away...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Capillary Thyroid Carcinoma – One Year Follow-up

It's been a little over a year since my surgery and it's time to determine if there are any "left over" malignant thyroid cells in my body. Unfortunately, a simple blood test and x-ray isn't enough. I have to submit to a Gamma Ray Scan to see if:

a. There are any surviving thyroid cells in my body
b. Any of those cells have migrated

The test is no big deal. I think I explained this before.
June 7th     Thyrogen Injection (over 2,000 dollars)
June 8th     Thyrogen Injection (over 2,000 dollars)
June 9th     Ingest radioactive iodine capsule (over 3,000 dollars)
June 11th   Gamma Ray Scan

Two injections, a pill, and a scan. I can handle that, no problem. The problem is the three week prep diet for the test. I have to totally starve my body of iodine. The only cells that can "hang onto" iodine in your body are the thyroid cells. So you starve your body of iodine, take a radioactive iodine pill, and let any iodine starved thyroid cells, if any, eagerly slurp the iodine and be visible under the gamma ray scan. The radioactive iodine is supposed to kill them at this point also. 

To totally starve my body of iodine I can't eat any:
Processed foods
Restaurant food
Fast food
Pre-packaged food
Canned vegetables
Green vegetables
Soy based products
Dairy products
Bread products

The items in red are the hardest. I'm sure many of you are thinking "what's so hard about not eating seaweed?" Well, look on the ingredient list of what you eat. If you see carrageen, agaragar, or alginate there, you are eating seaweed.  The same goes for soy. You would be amazed at how many items these two things are in.  It's not bad for you, in fact it's good. I just can't eat it now.  As you already know, we eat a lot of Japanese food. It's pretty much based on seaweed, seafood, and soy products. I'm so screwed.  This time I'm not going to load up on unsalted chips and popcorn.  If you remember, I actually gained a little weight last time I did this.

I started my diet at 12:01 a.m., on May 23rd. I'm living on about a 1000 calories or less per day. I'm not trying to lose weight.  I'm happy to be losing some, but sure as heck isn't the diet, I'd prefer to do it with!

May 23   225 starting weight
May 24   223
May 25   221
May 26   220
May 27   218
May 28   217
May 29   216
May 30   215
May 31   213
June 01  213
June 02  212
June 03  211
June 04  210
June 05  209  today's weight

Here is what I ate yesterday. 
1 banana
1 apple
1 cob of corn
2 all fruit smoothies 

This is pretty close to what I've been eating every day.
I have no energy
I'm tired
I'm hungry

Worst of all, I'm bored by all these little lists!

Hasta mañana...

Friday, June 4, 2010

HB 002

PLEASE click to enlarge

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Japan 20

Purple Eared Pooch

Field trip to Sensō-ji (a Buddhist temple) in Asakusa area of Tokyo

Better view of multi-color cherry blossoms at Aunt Junko's House.
The color is a little distorted. It was so overcast, I brightened it a bit.

not a great pic, but I love the look on my wife's face

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Swimming Lessons?

I recently read a blog post relating to the torture of childhood swimming lessons.  Of course, almost every "family" or "childhood" related post I read, reminds of yet another bit of lunacy from my own upbringing.  This one was no different.
My mom scheduled me to take lessons at a local high school when I was almost seven.  I didn't want to go, but I had no choice. I was relieved when she made me walk there by myself. One thing I didn't need was her screaming at me (or worse) from poolside.  The instructors were clearly high school idiots with summer jobs working for the city. I didn't like them at all.  My "teacher" and I didn't hit it off very well.

He instructed, I ignored.
He pleaded, I turned my head.
He yelled at me, I told him to go to hell.
I then got out of the pool and walked home.  I may have only been six years old, but I had the swearing ability of at least a sixth grader.

My mother wasn't pleased.  She informed me that I would learn how to swim that summer, or else. Some of you already know that my mom rarely threatened, she usually just reacted. When she did threaten, if you didn't comply, god help you.  That applied to anyone in her life, not just us.  My older brother chimed in with a potential life saving, "I'll teach him how to swim!"  Whew! My brother usually only caused me grief. This time it looked like he was actually going to help me.

Several days later my brother and I took the bus to the Nu-Pike Plunge, in downtown Long Beach.

The plunge was a huge pool with fancy concrete fountains in the middle. We changed clothes and walked out to the pool area. It was very loud and crowded. He found a spot to put our towels down and walked to the edge of the pool. He told me to jump in.  I'm no dummy. I checked out the depth markers. We were at the deep end and I knew it was over my head.

"Jump in" he repeated.
"No way, I'm going to the shallow end."
'Mom told me I better teach you how to swim today and I'm going to."
"Not in the deep end, I can't touch the bottom here!"

He grabbed me from behind, put both arms around me, did a couple of twirls, and threw me in.

I thought I was going to drown. When I came to the surface (probably no more than three seconds), I was cussing at him with everything I had, right up until the time I went back under. As I'm bobbing up and down, my brother is telling me to swim to the side. I didn't know how to friggin' swim and at that point, I was just trying NOT to sink to the bottom. I finally realized that I wasn't very far from the edge and somehow I struggled my way back.

My brother acted like I had done something great.
I wanted him dead!
He said we should go to the shallow end and practice. He was acting very nice (danger!) and persuaded me (dumb dumb dumb) into letting him "take" me out to the fountain using a life saver stroke. He said it was "cool."  He very smoothly swam us both to there. Then he swam away.

Yelling from the edge of the pool, he told me to swim to the side. I told him that I didn't know how to swim. He told me that it was going to be a long cold night then, because he wasn't going to help me. I started yelling, but nobody except the kids close to us heard anything.  One kid offered to help, but my brother told him to butt out or he'd kick his ass. I hung there for what must have been 30 minutes. Eventually, I somehow half paddled, half drowned my way to the side. I've been swimming ever since. That bastard!

I did learn a valuable lesson from the ordeal...

I made my kids take swimming lessons at such a young an age, that they were very unlikely to remember enough about the torture, to blog about it as adults...


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Golden Pavilion

Yesterday, I posted a photograph of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. Because of the numerous positive comments about it, here are some additional photographs and information.  The Japanese name for the Golden Pavilion is Kinkaku-ji, it sits on an semi-island surround by beautiful ancient gardens.

Although the pavilion is an incredible place, the ancient gardens surrounding it, are it's equal. The many different shades of green plantings are amazing. Although I think I took some decent photographs of the gardens, in no way do they do the colors justice. 

These photos were taken on an overcast and rainy spring day, Other than a slight contrast adjustment, please note that these photographs have not been processed or "photoshopped" in any way.  It took a genius to plan out the garden and to select plantings for it.  The area has changed very little in the last 700 years.

for better viewing, please enlarge these photos

Normal tourist vantage point

Abnormal tourist vantage point (I'm probably not supposed to be there)

Certainly not supposed to be here

 Here either