Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On the Way To Central DuPage Hospital

I called the nephrologist today.  We're setting up an admission for the hospital for today, once they have room..

I'll be in for a couple of days while they administer heavy doses of diuretics to get the excess fluids out of me.  So it looks like I'll miss the Dove Season Opener on Thursday, but should be out (and in better shape) for the Cub Scout Campout this Saturday/Sunday.   I'm all packed and am bringing the laptop and Firefly DVD's.  The dog is going to the neighbors to stay, while I'm in.

I had my Fall planned out through the end of November.  I had a clear path.  Now, it's all chaos.

It feels like the end of Serenity (the movie):

          Sir, we have a green light.
          Inspection's pos and we're clear
          for upthrust.

          Think she'll hold together?

          She's tore up plenty. But she'll fly true.

          Make sure everything's secure.
          Could be bumpy.

          Always is.

And they weren't talking about the ship.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Just got back from the Oncologist's.

No Chemo (Velcade) today.

He's conferring with the Nephrologist.

And I'm sitting here waiting for him to call.

The diuretics are not getting the water off.  I'm up two pounds since I saw the Kidney doc last week.  I should have been down 5 or more.

The Neprologist  wants to put me in the hospital for a couple of days to get the water out using massive doses of diuretics where they can monitor me.

The Oncologist says that the water problem may be signalling that my light kappa chain to light lambda chain ratio may be going bad.

They drew blood today and the results of this blood work should be back by the end of this week.

If that's the case, that the ratio is bad, it means that the maintenance chemo is not working any more.

So it may be time for a stem cell transplant.  He said probably within the next month.

I had hoped it would last longer.  I thought I would be on maintenance for years.

I have my fall planned out.  Several camping and hunting trips with my son, going to see my Army buds on my way to and from the APS SE meetup, spending practically all of November deer hunting with friends and the remainder of the month with my parents.

I wanted to make it through to at least December before Dialysis.  Looks like that won't happen.

I was prepared for my kidneys to fail. Dialysis would be something that I would simply "add" to my life.

It would become another daily chore, something to hook-up to before I went to sleep each night, and something to "empty" in the morning.

Something that would buy me time.

I wanted to make longer before the stem cell.

I wanted years, not months.  I wanted time.

Time to be with my son.

I need time. 


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Gun Show and a Blogmeet.

Got to attend the Indy 1500 Gun Fun Show today.  I should have arrived earlier and brought large bags of cash.

For someone from Illinois, to go to show where you can touch it, simply by asking politely and not having to go through the "I'll show you mine" FOID card song and dance is one thing, but being able to (not your humble scribe, but others) to take your purchase home the same day, it simply incredible.

The other thing was the size. It was easily 3x the size of either the Kane County or DuPage County shows we have up here.  And the selection!!  If you could name it, I'm sure it was somewhere on a table there.  I saw not one but TWO M2 Browning Heavy Barrel .50Caliber Machine Guns for sale (with "optional" tripods), well, one was actually marked SOLD by the time I passed it.  

I did pickup a leather holster for the LCR for $20, some Large Pistol Primers, and tumbler (with FREE media!) Got a deal on the Tumbler and primers because I made a "package deal" offer near the end of the show., OH HEY, it's an hour earlier in Indiana and I promised Brigid I'd save her a seat at the Blogmeet!

So I head up too Broad Ripple and get to the Brew Pub, with checking the Blackberry, 5 minutes to 3:00pm.  Good, I'll just go in and see if I can find our...Holy Crap, that's a lot of people!!   So we start a second table going, by grouping a couple of tables end to end.  Then more people show up, so before the waitress can even bus the dishes of the horrified family, that was forced to watch the blogmeet, we grabbed two of those tables and and add them to the second table we've started.  Much to the waitresses chagrin.   I got to sit with Don, Old Grouch, Brigid, Mrs D. Peter, Mad Saint Jack, Jeff, and Kerry.

Thanks to Jeff, I'm officially a recipient of Wheel Barrows of Cash from the NRA  I'll post a picture.  I'm truly honored.  Even more humbling than going to a Blogmeet and being able to call these great folks my friends, were that we had two "lurkers" although I think groupies would be a better term (just kidding guys).

So I had a great time in Indy, got Mom a wireless mouse, hopefully that will make her more comfortable using the computer.  I'm asking Kelly and Sydney to give her encouragement so that she gets on.  I think if you guys spend some time with her, she'll get more comfortable with and that will get her to re-connect with all her relatives, (and give Dad a break).

Anyway, I'll be back in Indy the weekend of 1 Oct.  I think there's a group of us going to the ISO to hear Mahler's #1.  Should be another good time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This business will get out of control, and we'll be lucky to live through it.

In the movie "The Hunt For Red October", there's a scene were an American and Soviet aircraft have bumped into one another and the damaged American Tomcat is attempting to land on the carrier.  It doesn't make it, and crashes on the flight deck.

The Admiral (Fred Thompson) rushes up to the flight deck and says to Jack Ryan: 
"This business will get out of control, it will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."

It's crap like this that's going to be the next spark:

Now, I'm not exactly sure what I would have done in this situation, but I sure as hell, would have been cuffed and stuffed for going batshitfarking crazy.

Deny me my 1st Amendment Rights under color of law ?

Game On !!!  Go Ahead, Tase Me Bro !!!!

If the Congressman condones or ordered this, he needs to resign NOW.  The cop needs to be fired.  If he can't respect the basic fundamental 1st Amendment Rights of the people, he needs to go and the rest of that department needs to be re-trained on the fundamental rights and protections that EVERY citizen has in this country.


Met with the kidney doc today.  We again talked about dialysis.  It's coming, sooner rather than later.  He doesn't like the looks of my legs (not that they were all that great to begin with), but the amount of fluid is "shocking".  I'm up to 279lbs.  My stomach is distended and I look like I'm, well, "retaining fluids".

Crap.  He's doubling up (or doubling down) on the diuretics and adding another one.  I have until Monday to drop some of this water, or after chemo on Monday he's going to put in the hospital and give me industrial strength diuretics for a day or two and get this out of me.

And I'm planning on hunting the Dove season opener on Thursday.  Yeah, I know priorities.  So Mon-Wed in the Hospital then Thursday hunting.  I can do that.  I might even feel and do better. 

Either way, dialysis is coming soon, I had hoped to make to the being of next year.  Here's why.  I can either do hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.  Both options suck, it's just trying to choose the least sucky one.  I'm leaning toward peritoneal, which, while is sounds really gross to use my own peritoneal membrane to filter basically my pee, it does allow me the freedom to travel do certain things.  However, it also limits what I can do.  Hemodialysis ties me here, to a schedule of going and spending 3-5 hours at a treatment center every other day. There goes trips to Indy, Hunting, and anything else I want to do.  With Peritoneal I can travel, as long as I can find an outlet to plug in my machine at night.  And somewhere to dump all the waste fluid bags.  From wikipedia: 
It does free patients from the routine of having to go to a dialysis clinic on a fixed schedule multiple times per week, and it can be done while travelling with a minimum of specialized equipment.  
 Okay, not great, but do-able. It will mean that camping will be in the camper only, where there is power.  So Cub Scout camping will be out.  Or maybe I can do it before and immediately after.  I might be able to do that.  

Anyway, I'm heading to Indy this weekend to see my parents.  I'll spend some time with Mom and greet her more comfortable with her new computer and FB, I thought she would take to it like a fish to water.  Try, try again.  There's the Indy 1500 Fun Show and a Blogmeet on Sunday.  It's shaping up to be a good weekend before a week of suck. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Okay, first thing is that I always go to look for my camera immediately after I say to myself, "That would be a great picture!!"or after I get back from whatever event I just got back from.

I'm not a photographer, the only camera I have is on the phone and that's a pain to operate, and torture to get pictures up on the web.   I have to fire up Blackberry's Desktop manager, then get to the media manager.  Copy the pictures I want to the computer.  Then go to Picasa, find the damn pictures where ever they were downloaded to (it varies each time).  Download the pic's from computer to a folder in Picasa (and that seems to be pretty random, no matter which folder I pick.)  Then copy and paste the link from Picasa to the web.

What a flaming pain in the ass.

If someone knows a faster way to get pictures from my Blackberry into Picasa, I'd love to here it.

In the meantime, enjoy Robert enjoying banging steel:
 Got lucky on the timing of that one.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How jobs are created-101.

There's been a lot of debate back and forth about Rick Perry and Texas Job numbers.  First a couple of disclaimers.  I am not endorsing Rick Perry.  In fact, I do not have a candidate picked out, but I can tell you who I'm not going to vote for.  Barak Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Hillary Clinton, Rick Santorum.  The others I'm still considering.

Matthias Shaprio is an IT guy by day, math geek by night. He took the raw BLS* numbers and graphed them  Compared state to state and factored in things like population growth and contraction.

And he posted it all here:  Do read that first.  

Now as I said this post is about how jobs are created. So let's look at what Texas does to create jobs that other states don't.

The first one is actually what Texas doesn't do.  There is no Income Tax in Texas (well, there's the federal IRS one, but not a State Income Tax).  So people who work get to keep more of their money.

Second thing Texas doesn't do is require a bunch of bureaucrats to approve everything you do if you start or run a business.  Texas is one of the least regulatory states when it comes to businesses permits, applications, approvals and the like. They do a pretty good job of keeping the .gov out of your way.

There it is.  That simple.  And it has nothing to do with Gov. Goodhair.  He simply stays out of your way, and keeps his hand out of your pocket.

"Treat me with Benign Neglect."

*- Bureau of Labor Statistics

A Debt and Deficit Plan We Can All Support

Any Questions?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Well, that was fun.

Had Robert for the last two weeks.  Did a bunch of mad engineering, Cub Scout stuff, and turning Money into Smoke, Noise and Steel Target Clangs.

So tomorrow is Sunday.  I can either sit at home, clean house, and maybe get caught up on my blogging, or I can break out a shotgun, grab some ammo and head out to ASC for some Trap, 5-Stand and Skeet with some friends.

Well, that was a no-brainer. 

Going to have to find a lady to clean house soon anyway......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Free Swag

LuckyGunner.com has launched a Sellier & Bellot T-Shirt Giveaway for the Month of August.
With any purchase of S&B Rifle Ammo worth $30 or more, customers will get this free S&B Rifle T-Shirt:  http://www.luckygunner.com/cool-apparel-t-shirts-sellier-bellot
Here are all the details including the coupon code and how to redeem it:  http://www.luckygunner.com/sellierbellot-tshirt-giveaway
If you don't know S&B ammo, it's good stuff.  I've run several thousand through my 1911 with nary a hiccup.   You load it it goes bang, and it quite accurate.  More so than most other factory ammo. 

And of course LuckyGunner posts their inventory on-line so there are no annoying backorders and double shipping charges.  So order with confidence.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pay It Forward

$.89 for a box of Saltines from Aldi
$3 for 3 bags of balloons from the Dollar Store
$15 for 550 rounds of .22LR
2 - .22 Rifles
2 - 11 Year Old Boys
One Day of Pure Fun Shooting

(There was also a 1911, 150 rounds of 185gr .45ACP  and a steel target, Thanks Craig, for the loan!!)
Reactive Targets.  Kids get bored after about 10 rounds of punching holes in paper.   Steel  is a bunch of fun.  You know right away whether you hit it or not.  It's called BANG and CLANG for a reason.
Robert brought along one of his friends who lives around the corner from us and is also a member of his Cub Scout den.   Good kid, listens well, was very safe, and follow directions.  I have always encouraged both kids to bring their friends out to shoot with us.  It's not an activity that other kids get to do, unless they have relatives "downstate" or somewhere out "in the country".  But most suburban kids never get a chance to shoot and that's a shame and it's a problem.   I know, I've worked our club's Civilian Marksmanship Program when we had ROTC cadets come out and shoot our AR-15's (semi-auto, civilian version of the Army's M-16) to get some instruction in Basic Rifle Marksmanship, along with some live fire practice.  Well over half the kids had never had a real firearm in their hands before in their lives.  Ever.  And in 2 years or less, they were going to be somewhere in the ass-crack of the world, with real bad guys shooting at them, they are expected to complete the mission and bring home the 30 or so folks they had brought with them.  
That's a problem.
So I try to introduce as many kids as I can to the shooting sports.  Even if they don't ever pick-up another firearm in their lives, I want them to remember the one time they did.  
And that it was fun.
Because at some point they are likely to be standing in a voting booth.  And maybe they'll remember that time they busted clay pigeons, shot crackers and popped balloons, and they WON"T vote for the guy that wants ban guns.  Maybe they read the Constitution and learn what the Founding Fathers intended for this government, the limits they (tried) to put on it.  Maybe instead they'll vote for the person that wants to preserve all our rights.  And get us back to limits that the US Constitution places on government.  Maybe.
Anyway, that's what I hope, for everyone's sake.
Each one, Teach one.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

She's Here !!!

Well, not yet.  But soon. Very, very, very soon.  We'll be down there in Indy the later part of next week, so figure by Saturday, 13 August.

Who or what am I talking about?  My Mom.

After a several year hiatus, I broke down and got her a new laptop computer.  I pity the Comcast installer who will be coming out later this week or early next week to install the internet connection.  With any luck, they'll simply have to flip a switch somewhere and mail her a router.  Which I will have to install, along with getting her computer up and running.  Yeah ME !!!!

That however is not the bad part.

This is bad part.  Facebook.  And this blog. 

I have very eclectic groups of friends.  I have my family.  Lots of them.  I have the people I went to high school with.  I have my Army buddies.  I have the friends I shoot with.  And I have my friends from various internet Gun Boards.  We have very different senses of humor and common touchstones.  Things that are absolutely hilarious to my Army buds, generate looks of curiosity and puzzlement from my shooting friends.  And many of my high school friends have no idea when it comes to various 2nd Amendment issues and firearms.   So at any one time only ~20% of my friends have any idea what I'm talking about (if even that many).

But my Mom will be reading every (Hi Mom!!!) word.  All of them.  

So now my philosophy and practice (for the most part) of "Never write anything on the internet you wouldn't want your Mom to read or be read in court."  will be put to the test. 

So Mom.  Here's the way it is.

I was in the Army, sometimes in the Army we used bad words.  As both a solider and Officer, I learned how to use those words.  As some of my shooting friends will tell you, I was able to use them to great effect when I was President of the Aurora Sportsmen's Club.  Frequently.

I use them here.

I love you and hope you enjoy finding your family and friends and reconnecting with everyone there is out here.  Please, don't send anyone you meet on the internet money, your address or any info about you.  Especially, if they are from Nigeria.  You are welcome to read this blog, and I'm sure you'll read it to Dad.   You can leave comments, criticize my grammar, spelling, or punctuation.  

I love you both very much and hope you enjoy cyber-stalking all our relatives and maybe finding your old friends and maybe making some new ones. (Do NOT send them Money.)   I know your family looks forward to seeing you on here.  

And if you have any questions, you can send me an E-mail or call. I always have my Blackberry on and with me.

Or just call Kelly.