Wednesday, September 26, 2018

My Surgery Was Successful

    Surgery went well. Nothing like the above took place. Always nice to hear that, no? The hernia was repaired, but things did not go off completely without a hitch. I will get to that in a moment.
     I had to at the hospital by six AM, so I had to get up at five. No easy task for a night owl like me who gets wound up with anxiety no matter how much I try to chill. The six AM arrival time wound up being a suggestion. I figured that was likely to be the case. I rolled through three different desks with paperwork before I even got to the per-op section. Then I stared at the ceiling in one of those airy gowns before a nurse started the IV. She nailed it on the first shot, too. If you are familiar with my tiny, rolling veins, you will know how impressive that is.
     It was nearly three hours in before I went into the operating room. The IV had been pumping in some happy juice for quite a while. I was not too bothered by anything. I do not even remember passing out. One minute, I was looking up at the lights with staff chattering around me. Then the next, I was screaming in horrific pain in the recovery room.
     I had just been laid down when sharp pain from two areas of my back abruptly snapped me awake. A nurse and the anesthesiologist lifted me on my right side. There are two hematomas rapidly swelling. One originated near my right shoulder blade. The other was nearer the waistline on the right side. They had used one of those small trolleys to slide me from table to bed. The hard wood did a number of my boney self. Hematomas are a frequent injury for me, but I have never endured two simultaneously, nor have any been as large as these two eventually became.
     They doped me up with painkillers quickly. I was promptly propped up on my right side with a huge ice pack under. The left I obviously had to be admitted for observation since it was not clear when the hemotomas would stop bleeding. The bleeding stopped quicker than usual. I enjoyed pain medication the entire time. Aside from the awkwardness of my positioning, it was not such a bad night. I was discharged yesterday morning, but promptly slept through the whole day. Today was the fist day of anything resembling normalcy.
   A friend visited before I was discharged and brought muffins for breakfast. That was nice.
     So what has it been like since going home? My back is more painful than the incision. This morning, I spent ten minutes looking for my glasses while I as wearing them. I managed to slip my shoes on, but then stared at them for who knows how long figuring out how to tie them. So the medication is good even though I require extensive babysitting while taking it. I need to take it slow for several weeks. On the plus side, I removed the bandage and gently cleaned the area. There will be a long scar, but there is no other indication a hernia was ever there. The surgeon did a fine job. I will update as events unfold.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

My Surgery is Tomorrow

     Tomorrow is the big day. My hernia will be repaired first thing in the morning. Literally first thing in the morning. I am supposed to be at the hospital at 6 AM sharp. This means rolling out of bed at 5 AM. Ouch. Not the best arrangement for one as adverse to mornings as I am.
     The butterflies are already fluttering around my stomach. It is not fear. It is more of a dread of the recovery process to come. This is not my first hernia. The excessive amount of scar tissue from previous colon surgeries have taken a toll on my abdominal muscles. While hernia surgery is right up there with appendectomies as the easiest surgery one can have, I obviously have a few complicating factors which might drag out convalescence. Hopefully not. While I am not what I used to be, I am still a tough old bird.
     Nothing to eat or drink after midnight tonight. Now there is a test of will.
   I have no idea how quickly I will bounce back enough to go online. The surgery is outpatient, but anesthesia usually does a number on me. I am likely to pass back out the moment I get home. Tuesday is probably the earliest you will hear from me under the best of circumstances. It all depends on how well I feel. So I blog when I can blog.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Inalienable Rights

     Are there any rights you have under our government but should not? 
     No. What are you, European?

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Future of the Internet

    What will be the long term effects of people constantly staring at their screens”
     Bad eyesight and brain tumors once it is discovered WiFi causes cancer.
     But seriously, constant use of the internet will continue to erode traditional media's influence while making tech companies wealthier and power powerful. At some point, anonymity is going to completely disappear because of the influence social media users have demonstrated since the 2016 election. I imagine a universal identification will be required within a few years in order to post anywhere on the internet. Putting your name on what is posted will make a lot of people think twice about expressing their true thoughts.
    I hope it does not come to that. The internet ought to be the wild frontier where people are free to speak their minds as they see fit.

The First Sunshine in Five Days

     Take time to appreciate the clear, blue sky.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Endangered Social Contract

     What is the biggest threat to the social contract in the United States today?
     The social contract can best be explained by Jean Rousseau's opening sentence in The social Contract” “Mean are born free, but everywhere are in chains.” These days, the chains by which Americans are shackled are self-inflicted in the name of security. We have given up privacy in the name of anti-terrorism measures and free speech in the name of not being offended.
     Should this problem be labeled as fear? The fear of potential harm is more important to Americans than freedom? Whatever you would like to call the problem, it is that Americans no longer value freedom over all else. The sad part is most Americans are deluded themselves into believing the exact opposite is true. If you do not believe so, tell someone reasonably politically astute they have nothing to lose but their chains and watch them associate you with collectivism instead of individual freedom

Saturday, September 15, 2018

We 325 Million Kings

     Is it more or less difficult to be successful now than in the past?
     Less difficult. Even the poorest people have a higher standard of living and longer life span than the wealthiest people from centuries ago. Especially in the united States, everyone lives better than ancient kings, but have little knowledge or appreciation of that fact.

Roger That, Mittens

     Over and out.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Money Talks

     Could societies exist without a way to transfer value?
     A stable society cannot exist with a currency system. Even a barter system would not work as it would be difficult to determine of many of one item is worth another. Every ideology out there addresses money as an issue in how society ought to function. The concept of currency exchange is thoroughly ingrained in society.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Zero Sum

     If people basically want the same things, why is there so much violence and strife among people?
    There is so much violence and strife among people because, even though we all want the same things, we cannot all have them. Resources are limited and deciding who gets what, when, how, and at what cost is bound to cause conflict.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Profit Motive

     What if a maximum income was implemented?
    The profit motif would be destroyed. The wealthy will stop creating businesses which will cause the economy to shrink will unemployment will rise. After a relatively short period of time, whatever the confiscated wealth beyond the maximum income funded will dry up and never be replaced. Basically, everything will fall apart.
     It would not be pretty.

"Living with a Hernia"--"Weird Al" Yankovic

     Seems appropriate under current circumstances.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

I Am Going to Have Surgery

     There has been a storm cloud raining down on me for the last couple weeks in anticipation of today. The rain is still falling, but I now have an umbrella until it ends. Yes, these are some forced metaphors. I am not even referring to the impending Hurricane Florence. I am going to have surgery sometime next week. Maybe the week after, depending on when a second surgeon gets on board.
    It began a couple weeks ago when I rolled out of bed one morning and-plop—a hernia the size of an emu egg plopped out my abdomen. Well, this is not a good sign. It was a recurring hernia that had been repaired by a mesh patch eight years ago. It was not quite so large the first time around, so the tissue around the patch must have not only torn from the patch, but a little—maybe a lot—more. My doctor confirmed it and set a referral to a surgeon.
    The wheels turn uncomfortably slow. I have learned to be patient through much tribulation over the years, but existing with a decent size water balloon bopping around on your tummy is a challenge for anyone. As a bonus, I have been on the lookout for complications that would necessitate emergency surgery immediately. So far, so good.
     I finally got in to see the surgeon this morning. There is unanimous consent—the tissue around the patch has torn. It needs to come out. The hernia itself requires a more extensive repair. It is a hollow victory I surmised all this the morning it emerged. The surgeon wants his partner, who is more experienced with hernia operations, to perform the surgery. My regular abdominal issues and much scar tissue complicate matters, but not so much to make this anything dangerous or with a high risk of failure. It should only take a few weeks to return to normal.
     So there is where I stand. It was obvious surgery was coming, but there is a certain relief in knowing that it will be on the books with a certain time frame even if I do not have an exact date yet. I am not looking forward to my first surgery in six years, but I am absolutely sick of dragging this hernia around. I am anxious to get it all over with. But, as usual, I must wait.
    UPDATE: Surgery is scheduled for the 24th.

The Future Will Be Automated

     What will the economy of the future look like?
     The economy of the future will be highly automated, particularly among the lower paying, labor intensive jobs.  Economies of the future will become increasingly more service economics rather than manufacturing.  It is already that way, but it will only shift more in that direction.  

The Seventeenth Anniversary of 9/11

     The remembrance I wrote in 2016 still resonates.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

The Spark of Life

     Is there a limit to what humans can create through science and technology?
     Yes. The most important thing humans can never create through science and technology is life. Living organisms are greater than the sum of their parts. Whatever the added spark is cannot be duplicated. If you want to call the spark in humans the soul, I will not argue. As for other livings things, your theory is as good as mine. The natural world will never offer an answer.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

They Don't Call Them Peacekeepers for Nothing

     Has the invention of the atomic bomb made the world a more peaceful place?
     In terms of large conflicts, yes. Nuclear capable countries know they possess the power to literally destroy all life in Earth. The potential of such devastation has made it more imperative than ever to resolve conflicts before they escalate to doomsday scenarios. Will this always be the cause? Probably not. Someone, somewhere will be desperate enough to use nuclear weapons. I cannot speculate when such a time will come.
     Non-nuclear powers appear to squabble and fight as much as thy always have. One can argue the nuclear armed nations have the clout to influence these conflicts towards a beneficial outcome, but we are talking national interests and geopolitics there, not necessarily peace. We should probably keep cynicism out of this answer in light of the spirit of the question.

Catch of the Day

     Kitty appears pleased with himself.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Burt Reynolds (1936-2018)

     Burt Reynolds died earlier today of a heart attack. He was 82.
    Reynolds began his career with roles in television series. After his breakout role in Deliverance, Reynolds became the man's man action star of the '70's. When his movie career cooled down in the '80's, he returned to television as the leading man in the sitcom Evening Shade. Reynolds enjoyed a renaissance beginning the the late '90's with roles in films like Boogie Nights.
     I am too young to remember Reynolds in his heyday as a movie star, although I have seen all of his biggest films from the era. I mostly knew him as a humorous former movie star now headlining a sitcom. In my mind, he was an action star who found a spot in television comedy. I was impressed by his later turn in highly acclaimed movies. In a few, he was the only aspect of the film to earn praise.
     Godspeed, Mr. Reynolds.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Selfie for Labor Day

   Here is the usual holiday selfie for Labor Day. It comes in just under the wire. It is labor Day, so I did not do anything, much less spend a lot of time working on the blog. The most effort I exerted today was to eat BBQ ribs for lunch. I was quite thrilled to do so, too.
     My hair looks good. It is long, but I am forgoing parting it in the middle and feathering back everyone dislikes. At least until I get around to having it cut.
     I hope everyone else had a fun holiday.

Happy Labor Day