Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ahhhh.....

Greetings from Maui! I tell you, if any of you out there get the opportunity to come here, not only should you say yes, but you should quit your job so that you have enough time to truly appreciate it.

The first day we arrived the weather was a little rainy, but since then it's been *gorgeous*. Pretty much sunny and mid-80s every day, but unlike back in the midwest where heat like that is typically accompanied by awful humidity. But here it still seems really nice even when it's warm! Plus the air smells like candy!*

Sunday we drive around getting our bearings. We went to the ocean center (a small aquarium), drove up the Iao Valley (steep cliffs and lots of greenery) and had great seafood for lunch* down along the harbor.

Monday we woke up at 2:30 to head up to the top of Haleakala (the tallest mountain on Maui) to watch the sunrise. It was the most beautiful sunrise I've ever seen, but the winds were crazy - like 45 miles per hour. So we watched the sun rise and then headed back down to about 6500 feet** and then mounted bikes we had rented from the tour company which we then rode back down all the way - about 20-30 miles all told and since it was all downhill it was like we were riding gravity-powered motorcycles! Totally sweet. About halfway down we stopped for brunch at this great little restaurant called the Kula Lodge that had a great view. I had a great breakfast and also about half of the GF's bananas foster pancakes with macademia nuts. Mmm....

Today we woke up and went down to the beach to practice snorkeling before we head out on the main snorkeling trip on Friday. We were only there for about 20 minutes (with plenty of sunscreen on) and then a big cloud swept in to provide some extra protection. It was kind of like mother nature was worried we'd get sunburned even with the SPF 50 and sent the cloud in to take the bullet for us.

Tonight is the luau! Mmmm...pig-thats-been-roasted-all-day...

* Seriously. Candy.
** The peak is around 10,000 ft

Saturday, November 22, 2008

THIS MY JAM!

Because I forgot to post this before...here's something to watch while the GF and I wing our way to Maui!

It's the GF's second ad she made for the Current. This one didn't get on air, but honestly I thought it had better non-sequiteur one liners than her first one for the Prius.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Update on the eye

For those of you playing along at home, I'm taking a quick break from packing for Maui and doing laundry to relate the story of my followup appointment with the retinologist on Wednesday. At the first appointment she had given a bunch of different treatment options. We started with steroids for 10 days and when I went back in the spot was still there. When the doctor looked at it and ran some tests though she said that the inflammation had decreased, and she said she's put me on another round of steroids because she said that going off them cold turkey might result in a "bounceback" resumption of the swelling. Then, she gave me the prescription and, on her way out of the office, she said "You'll probably always have a spot there. See you in a couple weeks!" and LEFT!

Needless to say, I was a little stunned. I mean, sure, I was clearly the last patient of the day. But that seemed a little brusque. And she was *gone* - I didn't see her at all on my way out. Needless to say, when I go back in for my followup, there will be a reckoning...

Warning - don't read over a plate of noodles

A woman in Arizona was recently suffering from numbness in her arm and blurred vision went into her doctor for a diagnosis. After some tests, a CAT scan, and eventually an MRI, they discovered a tumor in her brain. Of course, surgery was scheduled. But when the doctors arrived at the site of the tumor, they found – not a tumor – but a worm.

The full story is here, but the most interesting part of it is when the journalist is trying to explain where the worm came from:
No one knows exactly where she picked up the worm –- doctors said worms can come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who don’t wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to the report.
And then at the end of the story, they are trying to give it a feel-good ending, by announcing that the woman has recovered and is leading a normal life:
Alvarez, who is now healthy and has resumed normal activities such a playing ball with family in her backyard, said she hopes people learn this lesson from her story.

“Wash your hands, wash your hands,” she added.
Obviously, whoever wrote this story hates this woman. Why else would they bother to add the last quote about “wash your hands” so soon after explaining that people get worms either from eating pork or not washing their hands after peeing? I mean, by saying so, didn’t she just tell the world that she doesn’t wash her hands and that’s how she got the worm? I mean, it’s not like she said “Cook your pork thoroughly!”.

Just goes to show – just because a journalist wants to interview you it doesn’t mean they LIKE you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Double Entendre anyone?

Umm...is it just me, or is this the most brilliantly-named "as seen on tv" product *ever*?



I mean, really? Shoulder straps are *that* uncomfortable? Really?

Why do I get this feeling that this whole thing is just a joke dreamed up by some millionaire who just wanted to buy ad space for his made-up product with the somewhat pervy name...anyone know what Bill Gates is doing these days now that he's not making commercials with Seinfeld anymore?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Also note: no black people?


Am I the only one who gets a little annoyed at these ads? I mean, so there's no difference between a Bounty Hunger and a Criminal Investigator - they both just wear fedoras? Redheads are only suited for being a psychologist or a therapist? Where's the bald guy? What am *I* supposed to do for a living? Is there no place for me?

Let me tell you I have friends who are CI's and he is *SOOO* not the...well, all right he is *totally* the type to wear a fedora. Maybe these ads *are* fact based...creepy...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quickie - Love is all about communication

Earlier today through the magic of the internet I was listening to 89.3 The Current out of Minneapolis at work when they decided to play “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees. Being a hopeless romantic, I decide to call the GF and tell her about it because she lurves the Monkees. She wasn’t at her desk so I just left her a voice mail of the song by putting the headphone up to the mic so her voice mail would record the song. I know, awwwww….

Of course when I talked with her later today I asked her about it and she said “Oh, that was you? I thought it was just some weirdo stalking me at work.”

Not the response I had expected, exactly.

Future Generations of Bears will Praise Me

Those of you paying very close attention* may have noticed that my position in the Cubs queue has changed! That's right b*tches, I'm now only 60 people away from crackin the top 30,000! Woo-hoo!

Of course, this means that only 65 new people got tix this year. Doing the math, that means if we keep up this rate I'll get my season tickets in...um...about 462 years.

Congratulations great, great, great, grandkids! Now where's the burnt offerings of thanks** and testimonies to my greatness!?!?

* Probably *too* much attention, frankly
** Pastries, please. No charred meat, we all know the trouble that got Abel into.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stress and travel

All right, time for an update.

After wrapping up a particularly intense travel month for work (October) I woke up a few weeks ago with a small, odd distortion in my left eye. I didn't pay it much mind for a few days until I saw a work report that was supposed to have text in a box had a warped corner in the lower right instead of a right angle. Being a big fan of right angles in boxes, I took this as a sign that something wasn't right and went into my eye doctor. Having lived near the Mississippi and Ohio River valley most of my life, with numerous visits to both, I am among the 62% of people in that area who have a condition called POHS - basically a fungal infection of the retina. Most of the time it doesn't effect vision, but on occasion issues will pop up.

So I went in and spend the next 2 hours having my eyes dilated* and being put through a barrage of tests that in retrospect must be illegal under some convention. Picture bring exposed to flash photography from 1 inch away for 15 minutes straight. Yeah, kinda sucks. Then the eye doctor showed me the test results and told me something was definitely not right so she referred me to a retinal specialist in the next suburb, went to get a card, and came back into the room *with* the retinal specialist she was referring me to!**.

The specialist looked at my eye and agreed that more tests were needed. So I followed her over to her office where they used the special dye to reveal bloodflow in the retina and make sure there weren't any wayward blood vessels growing where they shouldn't. There weren't, but there was some odd inflammation in the area. So after 4 hours of tests (fully dialated the entire time) I was done and was sent off to the Walgreens to pick up an order for steroids to reduce the swelling. It's a first attempt, and the doctor is optimistic because we caught it so early and there are a lot of options for treatment at this point beyond the steroids. As it is it hasn't been so bad. My neck hasn't swelled up like Barry Bonds' at *all*!

I've got a followup appointment later this week where we'll see what progress has been made. Honestly it doesn't seem like much at this point, but we'll see. I'll keep ya'll updated.

------------RADICAL TOPIC CHANGE ALERT--------------

Regardless of what happens with the eye I'm leaving this weekend for a week with the GF in MAUI! We have good friends who are doing the "destination wedding" and we decided to go and make a vacation out of it. And frankly, it's gone swimmingly! Apparently, Hawaii is *dying* for tourists to come because nobody is going there at the moment, so you can get great deals on airfare and hotels and it's not crowded! So TOWWAS, maybe you need to go to Hawaii to research for the knitting book?

Anyway, we've got all sorts of adventures planned for while we're gone. I'll post pictures while we're there so ya'll can keep up! WOOOO, MAUI WOWIE!

* MULTIPLE times.
** I KNOW! What are the odds the specialist was just stopping by to followup on a different referral case?