Thursday, October 28, 2004

Who is This Guy?

Every time there's an election, in the weeks prior, in the mornings, as I drive to work there's a guy standing by the side of the road with a campaign sign with his name on it, and he waves to people.

The name on the sign is Leopold (which always makes me think of the infamous Leopold/Loeb case... but I digress), and he seems like a nice guy, waving back when I wave at him.

I think he's either a very friendly guy looking for votes, or a very stupid guy for standing on the side of a busy road where people are killed on a daily basis by idiot drivers.

So this year I thought, fine, I'll vote for the guy, for whatever he's voting for, because at least he's consistent. I get my handy-dandy voter cheat sheet in the mail and I look to see what exactly he's running for... but he's not listed. Anywhere... for anything.

I want to stop when I see him and ask "what are you doing?", but if he's a loon....

Crazy people in Maryland.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Just Call Me Nurse


The visiting nurse came out. She shares our view about Kaiser (if you can't recall, our view is that they SUCK!). She also began to share our view of the rude surgeon that came in Saturday and discharged hubby, because she informed us that he must be insane to have told us not to pack the gaping icky wound. So she demonstrated, and my skills as a former vet tech came to good use, although I'd feel much better if hubby thrashed around and tried to bite me a few times while I was doing it.


Is a blur, I'm sure I have something to rant about, but frankly, sleeping in the guest room with two bed hog dogs is wearing me out. Hubby did feel well enough for a quick trip to Costco, where they have some awesome 250gb external fire wire drives for dirt cheap, so we bought one. They also had some scrubs in his size, so we bought two pair of those for him to wear around (sweats are too... sweaty).

I managed to get to be at a reasonable hour, and also managed to get a good portion of the bed after scooting the snarling Loki to one side. "AHHH", I thought, "finally a decent night's sleep". Then at 3:30 am the power went out for no good reason.

In our house, you know the power has gone out by the deafening sound of all the UPS devices beeping. Mad dash throughout the house to turn everything off. I thought fleetingly that my newly fixed XP would be fried (because that's just how luck goes), and after everything was powered down, I went back to bed... only to be awaken at 6:30 am by Meeshka, who was hungry.


Pretty good day actually, except for some dizzy spells that hubby had. I'm exhausted, trying to get some work done from home and FINALLY figured out a problem I had been having with something. The nursing duty hasn't been so bad, and tonight's soak went well. We went to Starbucks for decaf latte and met one of hubby's co-workers and gave him the horror story. He can sympathize, he's been through something similar. Got some tasty burritos at Baja Fresh and ate early.

The dogs must feel that he's making progress, as they've renewed their nightly riccochet throughout the house, minus the bed springboard. The bedroom is off limits until further notice, so they've modified their route to include the couch... but it's not the same.

Tomorrow the nurse comes back. Monday is his appointment with the surgeon. I hope my services are no longer needed shortly after that and I can go to work and nap.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Shoe Drops

I knew the incredibly good week was too good to be true. Last week my hubby began experiencing some pain, and we both thought it was a boil. His doctor on Tuesday thought it was a boil, but as each day passed, he was in more and more pain until even Vicodin was doing nothing for him.

On Thursday I took him back to the doctor, who told him to go to the Emergency Room at our local hospital. She called ahead to let them know he was coming, and they took him right away, which was cool.

After the usual 300 questions, they took him to a bed, hooked him up with IV fluids and squirted pain meds in the IV. It did very little to give him comfort. A doctor came in and examined him and determined that it wasn't a boil, it was an abcess, and a surgeon would have to look at him.

Insurance Sucks

We're both covered under two different insurance companies. Hubby's is Kaiser, I have Aetna. I've never had a problem with Aetna. You get sick, you go to the doctor, they cover it. Kaiser, apparently, has a different type of plan. Kaiser has their own hospitals and doctors, which I find to be offensive and a HUGE conflict of interest. Kaiser threw a snit because hubby was not at one of their hospitals, but the ER doctor explained that he was in too much pain to move, so they hesitantly decided that he could stay there (how nice of them).

Go in for one thing, get another

We arrived at the ER around 1:30pm, and at 5:00pm hubby was wheeled up to a room, where a flock o' nurses surrounded him, asked him questions (which I mostly answered because he was in too much pain), and then the surgeon came to see him. Really nice guy! He was suppose to leave for the night, but when he heard what was going on, and how much pain hubby was in, he stayed to do the surgery. They wheeled him to surgery at 6pm, and I left to take care of the dogs because they had been locked up most of the day. When I returned at 8pm, hubby was back in his room and MUCH improved.


I go in to visit hubby, he's doing a LOT better! I leave to try to get some stuff done, but when I get back, hubby tells me that Kaiser called him in his room and told him that he's all better now, and they want to dishcarge him. Excuse me? He's hooked up to IV antibiotics, IV pain meds, IV everything, and has packing in a gaping hole where the abcess was, and they want to boot him out? I call Kaiser and yell at them. They claim ignorance. The surgeon was delayed until late and didn't see him until 8pm, but told him there was no way they were releasing him.


Juggling dogs, hospital visits and some sleep, same thing happens, I go in the morning and the nurses say he's staying, I come back that afternoon and hubby has been told he's leaving. This time a pompous asshole surgeon comes in because hubby's surgeon is off that day, informs hubby that he's leaving, demonstrates (roughly) how I need to change the dressing, and gives us instructions to call his office and see the other surgeon on Monday. The nurses were pretty upset, hubby was upset because we're paying a butt load of money for two types of insurance and now they're booting him out.

We get all sorts of fun medical supplies to change the dressing, and prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers. Hubby wanted a latte, so we stopped at Starbucks after the nurses took out his IV line and gave him a percocet. It's 4pm.

6:00 p.m.

Hubby is puking his guts out. We think it's the latte, but we're not sure.

7:30 p.m.

Time for a dressing change, hubby takes a percocet and eats some soup.

9:30 p.m.

Puke city once again. I'm thankful that for some reason my "join the party" puke reflex is on vacation. We decide that its the percocet and opt to hold off on that for a while to see if he can keep something down. Then we read the antibiotic instructions and find that those may make him urp too. Lovely.

A "day nurse" is suppose to visit once a day to look at the wound and stuff. That'll be fun. In the meantime, I'm there for bandage changes, fetching him stuff, and keeping the dogs from mauling him until he's maulable. Despite the puking, pain, and impending going to the bathroom for the first time event... he's in good spirits, and almost normal sense of humor-wise. I'm glad to have him back.

As far as work goes tomorrow... screw it, I'm staying home with him. He's my priority right now.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Debate II (Electric Boogaloo)

Once again we were sucked into the Presidential Debate on Friday (because we have no lives and weren't out partying and drinking).

Once again the usual jabs about the war, but Kerry said a few things about the war (that he hasn't run into the ground already) that intrigued us.

Of course there was the usual "faster, better training" thing, but now, he pledges to add an additional 40,000 active duty members... but he doesn't support the draft.

When Bush was asked about reinstating the draft he said "I will NOT reinstate the draft" (not a direct quote, he made it clear is all). When asked, Kerry said "I don't support the draft". Why does that scare me? He didn't say "I will not re-instate the draft", he didn't say "come hell or high water, I don't care there will be no draft"... he said "I don't support the draft". Kinda sounds like, well, while I don't support the draft, if we need to... Then he gave his "adding 40,000 more active duty member" speech.

Having never read any of his grandiose plans except for blurbs in the left wing news, I've figured out where he's going to get these 40,000 people. Being a democrat, and sympathetic to causes, especially of those homeless and out of work... Kerry is going to round up the homeless and unemployed and send them to Iraq!

It's a perfect plan! The unemployment rates will drop to 0, the homeless rate will drop to 0, he's providing people with jobs, food, health care, and they will solve that pesky Iraq problem for us!

Another thing that really (and I mean REALLY irked me), is when Kerry said "The american people can BUY into the same health care plan that senators and congressmen GIVE to themselves". Excuse me? They get their healthcare for free? I'm sure it's a really good health care plan then, but frankly, I doubt that anyone can afford that (other than those high paid senators and congressmen).

Another thing that irked me was his constantly saying "nobody knows how to do this but us"... as if we're all idiots and could never come up with a way to balance the budget (don't spend so damn much), or how to keep lawyers from driving up the cost of healthcare (shoot all the lawyers).

Here's another thing, Kerry is all for stopping outsourcing jobs to other countries, wants to keep jobs and money in the US... and yet he's all for buying drugs from Canada? How about we lower the cost of drugs in the US, keep the jobs here, keep the money here, and Kerry can go to Canada.

Very Strange Week

I'm having a very strange week.

As I last posted, my satanic Jetta's coolant light came one, so I had to drag it to the shop on Monday. I called later that afternoon and was informed that the coolant level was a bit low, no big deal, they put more in and told me to bring it back if it came on again, but they didn't see any leaks... no charge.

No charge?

Nothing is wrong with it?

It didn't cost me an internal organ to pay for it?

HP Quality team called me on Monday, and told me they were sending a technician to my house to replace my motherboard and hard drive... no charge.

No charge?

Granted I complained off and on for a year about it crashing every 5 minutes, and it was a week after my warrenty expired that they decided it was a hardware problem... no charge?

I've worked for the same company for 4 years (a major milestone for me, having usually "moved on" after 2 years tops), and have never won anything in their drawings for free goodies. On friday morning I checked my e-mail and found that I won a Baltimore Ravens football jersey (a $65.00 value), and it happened to be Jamal Lewis' jersey, which is funny to me.

Did I mention that a week or so ago the VA finally decided to give me back pay for a disability, and it was enough to buy an iPod with all the goodies?

Everyone at work wants me to go buy a lotto ticket for them.

I'm just sitting at home waiting for a gigantic shoe to drop on my head.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

That's Debatable

I watched the debates last week. All this hoopla over who won is ridiculous though. It's not the Olympics, there weren't judges holding up score cards after each round (and if there were, I'm sure there would be some sort of addition controversial afterwards).

I don't like Kerry, especially with his new tan, it makes his freakishly large teeth even freakishly whiter. I think Edwards is either a used car salesman, or an evangelist, both make me oogie, therefore he's the anti-Christ to me.

I did squirm as Bush lapsed into moments of silence, and looked a bit confused. But at least he talks normal. I'd probably lapse into moments of silence too trying to decipher what the hell Kerry is babbling about.

I made a list of things that really kinda freaked me out, and yes, they all came from John Kerry. I'll save the really freaky thing for last.

1.) "Weapons of mass destruction are crossing the borders into Iraq every day." Good Lord! I guess he's right in one aspect, that whackos from far and wide are coming in to cause chaos and grief. I guess you could say that a car bomb that kills a bunch of innocent people does cause massive destruction... But if that is the case, then we had every right to go into Iraq and stay there... STOP THOSE WMD FROM CROSSING THE BORDER!!!

2.) "The solution for Iraq is do to better training, faster" Really? That'll solve all the problems right there. Seems ridiculously simple, and simple minded. No shit Sherlock? It wouldn't possibly be that these poor people, who for years were terrorized, beaten down, and stepped on need a little bit more than faster, better training? I mean, what with all those weapons of mass destruction flowing over the border every day.

3.) "If we do what I say, we can start to bring troops home in 6 months"... But he didn't go on to say when all troops would be home. I take it that if one guy comes home 6 months after he's elected, he could say that he kept his promise.

4.) After saying that we need to exhaust all diplomatic methods before sending our troops in, he says "We need to offer the African Union logistical support". For those not in the know, "logistical support" translates to "troops". This was just after he explained to the world how we don't have enough troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Get busy growing those troop trees!

5.) He reamed Bush for taking a stand and even though he's "wrong" never wavering, then went on to say that his ideas are RIGHT and he will never waiver. Huh?

And the top oogie feeling comment of the night:

6.) "I will hunt down and kill all terrorists, I will hunt down and kill Osama bin Laden". Ok, so much for the American way of "innocence before guilt". I'm sure he's not PERSONALLY going to hunt them down, which means (yep) more troops hunting down and killing. ALL terrorists? Checheyan terrorists? Palestine terrorists? Israeli terrorists? Organizations that use "terrorist" tactics (as reported by the "oh we're not liberal, we're middle of the road" media)? Isn't that the same behavior that the US frowned upon when the Israelis started taking out "terrorists"? Sure, there were reports and film of one of our smart bombs taking out a van that "reportedly" carried a whole load of terrorists, but how do we actually know they were terrorists, and perhaps not some family on their way to a picnic? But even in the freak out time right after the September 11th attack, President Bush said that we'll hunt them down and bring them to justice. That probably meant "hunt them down and kill them", but when you have a potential future president vowing to "hunt people down and kill them"... that's really scary.

Personally, if he does get into office and starts hunting down and killing "terrorists", I hope he starts with some of these "animal liberation" organizations, because they're just plain nuts.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

I hate my Jetta

I have a 1996 VW Jetta, and I hate it. It knows that I hate it, and I don't care.

We bought it because we had to, our 4-runner's engine blew up and we didn't have another reliable car, so we bought it. Afterwards, we checked Consumer Reports and found that they advised NEVER buy a 1996 VW Jetta, it was a very bad year. Thanks.

The door trim falls off. That handy lump of rubber that runs along the door just oozes off, drags along the ground, makes people laugh as you drive. I've had it replaced at least three times (at 80 bucks per trim, per visit), until finally I just gave up. A myriad of electrical problems, things falling off it, expensive upkeep, and no matter what I do to it, it ungratefully falls apart a week later.

Not more than a month ago, I gave it brakes, brand new brakes. Before that, I fixed the oil leak it developed. Friday I go to start it and the coolant light is blinking. I should have known... we got some unexpected money, so it wants a piece of that action.

A few days ago, I put air in the tires. I really, REALLY hate putting air in tires. When I was a kid, I saw a news report about some guy that was putting air in a semi-truck tire, the tire exploded and took off the guy's head. EEEEP!

Ever since then, I contort my body into bizarre positions in order to reach the tire thing, but keep my head out of the way. Better yet, I'll just wait until the tire gets noticeable low before putting air in... like when it's completely flat. My other devious plan is to wait until hubby is in the car, then go get air because he'll do it for me.

So just when I start feeling somewhat better about tires not blowing up, I'm watching some tv show about a blind guy that works on race cars. Pretty cool stuff... until they announce that he lost his sight 6 years ago after a farm tractor tire blew up in his face.

Next time the tires are low, I'm just going to go get new tires... if the stupid Jetta will run.