I Am The Dog Walkerer


I got a call this afternoon from Cousin Melissa. She had that ‘can I ask a favor’ voice as I picked up.

Somehow, in a coordinated time goof, the whole family was gone from the house and tied up. Would I run over to walk Scout?

Of course. This is no big deal. They’re close. I understand.

IMAG3207Walking Scout is not liking walking Doppler! Scout is a big dog and strong.

My right arm is now noticeably longer than my left!

How does Scout find pee-after-pee-after-pee for all those trees and bushes? When Doppler goes, she’s done. Scout is never done. There’s always a little held back just-in-case.

Next time I walk Scout, left handed.

I Spoke To My Dad

12096355_1081310728547192_6818768067160338363_nI finally got a chance to speak to my dad Wednesday afternoon. No phones in ICU. He’s in general population now… or is that just a prison term?

The last time we spoke was Sunday night. There was fear in his voice just before his operation. We both knew the surgery could mean kidney failure, stroke or even death.

I ended that call saying, “I love you, Daddy.” He cried. I cried too. There was the unspoken realization this might be our last conversation.

Today, he’s on the comeback trail. A leaky, partially blocked heart valve replaced. More oxygenated blood should fix his shortness of breath and a host of related problems.

As far as I can tell, he’s now on track to live forever!

He’ll need physical therapy. Between heart problems and sciatica my father spent most of his time sitting. He needs to walk and rebuild.

My dad turns 90 in a few weeks. His goals are age appropriate. There’s a lot he can still do and wants to do. He’s plenty sharp.

Stef and her Cousin Melissa are anxious to take grandpa to Costco. Is there any better reason to get in shape?

Hopefully he’ll be well enough soon enough to exit Wisconsin for a little SoCal therapy this winter. That would be nice.

The Martian: Liked, Not Loved

the martian posterThere has seldom been a movie I was more interested in seeing than The Martian, Ridley Scott’s slightly too long story of an astronaut left for dead on Mars. It’s based on Andy Weir’s novel, itself an interesting story of victory over adversity.

Matt Damon is the lead, Mark Watney, the astronaut mistakenly left behind.

“I’m going to science the shit out of this thing.” – Astronaut Mark Watney

Matt Damon spends the entire movie doing just that. His character uses science fact to weave this science fiction. He is MacGyver on Mars!

Spoiler alert: The movie has a happy ending. No surprise there.

I spent the entire movie looking for tech errors. NASA and space missions are two things I know about.

Martian gravity is less than half Earth’s. Using Watney’s motion, Mars looked 1G. Zero-G was shown for interplanetary travel.

Everything about the dust seemed right. Mars is very dusty and the dust is electrically charged and sticks to everything.

The movie acknowledges, then through editing downplays, the round-trip light time to communicate with someone on Mars. It can be anywhere from 5 to 24 minutes before a question can be answered.

There are dust devils, the tornado like spouts seen in the movie and real pictures from Mars. I don’t think the wind has the intensity shown, especially in a much thinner atmosphere.

Playing the part of Mars was Wadi Rum in Jordan, a beautiful red desert valley with sandstone and granite cliffs. Wadi Rum has played other planets before.

The movie was entertaining, but too long. I became fidgety.

Matt Damon was the right Mark Watney.

I’m not sure why Kristen Wiig was in this movie. She played a NASA PR exec. It was a nothing part.

I Am Ward Cleaver

IMAG3195I am on a schedule. I tape my first weather hit around 6:00p CDT. My last begins at 2:37a CDT (12:37a here). The forecasts are produced in spurts every few hours.

I’m home all day in a shirt and tie. I am Ward Cleaver.

My Dad Has A Certifiably Big Heart

daddy at st lukesMy dad has a big heart. We always knew. Now there’s proof.

My sister, brother-in-law and dad had a meeting today with his cardiologist at the hospital. Dad’s CT Scan shows he needs a valve larger than the type originally planned. He’s GO for the operation Monday.

There are still concerns about his kidneys, but not enough to stop this train.

My dad’s time at St. Luke’s/Aurora in Milwaukee has been an enjoyable, but somewhat boring, vacation. The staff loves him. He jokes. He flirts. He laughs–and they laugh back.

We were just on the phone. “You know the term ‘F**k you rich,'” I asked him?

The term refers to having so much money you can say anything without worrying about the consequences.

“You’re ‘f**k you old,'” I said. He agreed.

Just by virtue of age, my dad can say or do anything he wants. He’s been given a license to flirt or tell dirty jokes and still come off as adorable.

Now we wait until Monday. We’re told the TAVR procedure will take around five hours.

If spirit and will to live are any indicator, my father will be flirting and telling jokes by Monday dinnertime.

There is danger here. Make no mistake. But the potential payoff is so great, it’s worth the risk.

My dad wants to live life fully.

Joaquin Gets No Commitment From Me

On the GFS, Joaquin jogs right-left-right. I’m not sure I’ve seen that before. I’m wary of things I’ve never seen. The path is less than certain. No one’s sure if the computers have latched on to the right solution. I certainly don’t know. The forecast tracks have varied widely day-to-day. There have been complaints raised […]

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Smog Check Done… But Why?

I took Helaine’s SUV to have its emissions checked. Pass. Was there ever a question? In California auto emissions are a big deal. Because of our topography we are prone to smog. A few decades ago SoCal’s air was horrendous. Mountains you can see today were invisible back then. Strict auto emission rules have gone […]

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My Dad’s Back In The Hospital

I read his hospital consent form last night. Twenty pages of scary but unlikely outcomes. I’m not even sure I understood everything. It makes no difference. There is no choice to be made.

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We Don’t Have Everything Here In California

I am older than the city I live in. Let that sink in for a minute. Irvine’s expanding at a rapid pace. Four years ago an avocado orchard stood where I sit. We have all the conveniences of a modern city. It’s built for the way people live now, not the 1600s. On the other […]

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The Pope Of Many Names

One of the more interesting parts of the visit was his introduction to the House of Representatives. It’s done by the US House sergeant-at-arms. He’s the guy who opens the door, walks in the chamber and shouts, “Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States,” at the State of the Union.

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