No Choice But To Do It


I am about to break open a new box of “BD Ultra Fine Pen Needles.” These are the ‘sharps’ that puncture my skin when I inject insulin. They screw onto the end of the pen device that dispenses it. #30 needles–close to microscopic.

Clearing out a box means I’ve injected myself around a hundred times already! That’s crazy. I am running out of fresh places around my tummy.

Like everything else inserted into my life recently it’s a bother more than anything. An inconvenience. There’s really no choice but to do it.

Playing The Part Of The Idiot: Me

I was visited by Wayne and Joshua Friday afternoon. They came in their blue shirts and white truck. It was a DirecTV trouble call.

“Two of you? Has word gotten out I’m tough?” I asked as they walked across the street toward me.

They were here to fix a weird problem. Last Sunday we couldn’t get all the football games on the downstairs TVs. I know, 21st Century problem. After Channel 707 the guide skipped to 719. The Eagles played on 708.

I won’t make you wait. Months ago when I (me… the responsible party) programmed out infomercial and other unwanted channels, I also programmed out half the NFL. Not on purpose. Then I forgot about it entirely.

I’m a nerdy guy who prides himself on knowing his way around. I wouldn’t have found this error on my own in a million years! I am embarrassed.

I tried to apologize, but they were having none of it. It was fine. Shit happens. They didn’t actually say that, but you get the idea.

In a few minutes they were gone. I will live with this forever.

Pot Is On The Ballot


Here in California we’ll have more than people to vote for in November. There are proposals to be decided. Ads are running on TV and radio for some of the more controversial items. No ads yet for California Proposition 64, Marijuana Legalization (2016).

I thought this day would never come. And it looks like it’s going to pass.

It’s already easy to buy some California grass. Our medical marijuana laws set the bar low. All that’s needed is certification from a doctor whose sole job is selling certifications! It can be done online, sight unseen.

Any time I speak with “we smoked in college” friends passing through or staying in Colorado they offer up the temptation of buying weed is too strong to ignore. I suspect there will be a lot of that here too. Fly to and in California.

When November rolls around I’ll be voting to make pot legal. I can’t believe it. 18 year old Geoff especially can’t believe it. Quoting Bill Murray, it’s “cats and dogs living together.”

One word of warning. I also voted to allow casinos in Atlantic City. Look how that turned out.

How Are You Feeling, Asks Everyone?

imag0307As you might imagine a lot of people have been asking how I’m feeling? The totally unexpected answer.


As far as I can tell, I have no major symptoms you might expect in a cancer patient.

Yes, my bile duct led to jaundice. Other than turning me a swell shade of yellow the jaundice had no effect I felt. It’s a moot point now. A tiny plastic drain pipe opening the duct went in Monday. If I hadn’t seen the images I wouldn’t know it’s there.

I’m down around 30 pounds, though my appetite is healthy right now. A few people complimented me on my loss until they heard about my ‘diet.’

Too thin? A little gaunt? I am happy in a very guilty way about being this size. Make sense?

I’d been getting tired a lot. No more. Getting my blood sugar levels reasonable has helped there. You don’t want diabetes. Just sayin’.

My stomach is upset, usually at a very low level, for long periods of time. That’s why I saw my primary care physician in the first place.

I am pretty close to asymptomatic. Everything I do from here is based on faith in my doctors’ word there is something inside me. If things go according to plan they’ll hurt me worse than cancer… which is just what I want.

Another Bad Day For Journalism

the_record_bergen_county_front_pageSad to read about the job slaughter announced today at the Bergen Record, just across the Hudson from NYC. Whether you read newspapers or not, please understand, they are the originator of most news you read online or see on TV.

At one time the Record had a great reputation with a Pulitzer and loads of other awards. Its readers were upscale, so desirable to advertisers.

Yes, newspaper people, I have seen your nightmare scenario — TV reporters heading out, carrying your story in their hands. Your hard work goes unattributed. Most viewers think TV found the story.

Someone needs to find a sustainable model for the kind of journalism newspapers do. They deliver (or delivered) both in-depth and esoteric reporting. They follow school boards and town councils. Their reporters have beats.

Newspapers always out-reporter TV stations they compete with. It’s more expensive to support a TV reporter. Meanwhile revenue for both newspapers and TV is falling rapidly as more-and-more voices appear online. Death by a thousand cuts.

The Internet helped drive inefficiency from the advertising market. You are less expensive to reach online.

But at what cost?

Journalism in many ways is what sets our country’s history apart from most others. Newspapers kept an eye on pols and business. They exposed corruption — more than anyone else, ever.

“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” – Mark Twain

Who’s gonna do that now?

Beware The Hospital Industrial Complex

It is a non-profit hospital. What does that even mean in 2016? There are a lot more high earners working there than most non-profits. The last president made around $1.2 million a year. The hospital brings in more than it spends and is supported by a foundation with a nine figure endowment.

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You’re Giving Me Too Much Credit

When my commenters says this shows some form of strength they are wrong. Nearly everyone is capable of what I’m doing. Saying otherwise doesn’t help those on-the-fence.

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Another Probe Down My Throat

Another procedure today. I’m losing count. Four, maybe, so far? This one was a endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, or ERCP. A tube was inserted down my throat then a stent placed on my bile duct to allow it to drain. A clogged bile duct has left me with jaundice and the fear is an infection before […]

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Added Responsibilities In My Daily Life

I’ve got this machine that measures my blood sugar. When I wake up it I measure my fasting level. It measured over 400 the first time it was checked. Most folks are below 90. Everything’s kept in a small zippered pouch. I pull out a slender piece of plastic, an ingenious little chem lab with […]

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Amazing Medical Science

There’s a scab on my wrist. It’s 1/8 to 1/4″ long. It is the only evidence I had an angioplasty! A tube was inserted in that small incision, then a balloon down the tube and finally a stent. It was within inches of my heart. That’s the mark it left. If that’s not magic then […]

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