Tag Archives: survival

Strangers in Good Company – Octagenarian chick flick

http://youtu.be/hxrDtnB4VnU

Hi readers.  One hell of a fine movie streaming on Netflix.

Strangers in Good Company 1990PG 100 minutes, Eight elderly women are left stranded in the wilderness with only their wits, their memories and eventually some roasted frogs’ legs to sustain them. More Info, Starring: Alice Diabo, Constance Garneau, Director: Cynthia Scott
 
A nun, a lesbian, a grandmother or three, artist, birdwatcher, farm girl.  They talk about life, death, love, fear, war and death again as they struggle to catch fish, frogs, find sustenance in the wilderness long enough to survive.
 
*****, Five Stars is how I rate this movie, how tickled I am to have overcome my male prejudices against chick flicks and watched it.
 
Jack

The white man’s burden: My lucky goozle

The arrow indicates the crowd pleaser point of interest.  "I can't believe it ain't cancer!' Chorus of GI specialists declares.  "Go back in and biopsy that SOB again!"

The arrow indicates the crowd pleaser point of interest. “I can’t believe it ain’t cancer!’ Chorus of GI specialists declares. “Go back in and biopsy that SOB again!”. It ain’t all because I’m a white guy. White guys, it turns out, are one hell of a lot more prone to cancer of the goozle than non-white guys. And nobody likes to see anyone win in lotteries of this nature. It makes everyone look bad.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I just this morning had my third endoscopy in two months.  Not to mention various CAT Scans, etc, and one of those big things involving a donut and a magnet on a rolling human-scale tray.  Jeanne tells me it’s the MRI, which I can’t have anymore because of my electric cow-prod defibrillator.

This week I had a manometry, gastric emptying tests, and fights with the VA hospital concerning whether I ought to be letting them do nothing instead of going to the private physicians and them doing stuff.

In fact I’m bankrupting Medicare with my heartfelt cardiac flaws and my Disneyland esophagus darling of gastroenterologists and Asian male physicians.  They do the snake swallowing a camera routine, take pics and biopsy it.  Look at the pics and say, “Ohshitohdear!”

“It MIGHTN’T be malignant,” they cautiously confide.  “We won’t know for certain until the biopsy results come back.”

Well, the nice Asian GI specialist today came after I regained my cogitude to give me a puzzled frown and tell me it ain’t cancer again this time.  But it’s inflamed as hell, got a grotesque growth about it, and has every right to rear up on its hind legs and be what it damned well wants to be.  Thinks they’d better have another look at it as soon as they can forget it ain’t.

What I haven’t confided to them is the part about Caisse’s herbal tea.  Black burdock, turkey rhubarb, sheep sorrel and slippery elm all boiled together half an hour in stainless steel, left 12 hours, boiled again, strained, and taken in increments of an ounce morning, another nights.

I call it making my own luck.  I’m not evangelical about it, but if anyone ever tells you you’ve got terminal cancer and you might as well go home and tell the heirs who’s getting what, consider remembering it.  Black burdock, turkey rhubarb, sheep sorrel and slippery elm.

My lungs and goozle think it’s death to oncologists.

Old Jules

 

Typical Kansans outside the KC metro area

Hi readers.  A lot of you have been asking me to describe my impression of Kansans from a newcomer, outsider-looking-in perspective.

My general impression is that outside the KC metro area they’re not much different from typical, or average Texans.  Stereotype from the movie Trains, Planes and Automobiles seems to cover it as accurately as you’re likely to find anywhere.

Old Jules

Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of insignificance

KC VA Med Ctr

VA Medical Center, Kansas City, MO, 100 acres ofparking lot, 20 acres handicapped parking, 100 active hospital rooms serving a shrinking population of US Military Vets who didn’t make a career of being lifers. Draft-era vets are dying like flies, robbing the macho of facilities such as this one.

VA med ctr elevators

The ‘Valor’ elevators. Yeah, but if you think that’s a bit overkill in the nomenclature department the hallway getting there is ‘Hero Hall’. Goes to prove there’s no limit to the lengths the US Government will go to in order to keep all us gullible burned out has-beens who use the place thinking Vietnam, Korea and other Presidential Wars were places where heroism could manifest itself.

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

I said in my last entry I might post anew if anything different happened and by gollywolly it did.  Different as hell, in fact.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska of different.

You might recall my state of mind as being a bit tentative during the period just prior to my taking a break.  I had what medico-oriented people might consider sufficient reason to be concerned about ‘suspicious’ whatchallits on my goozle and lungs, considerable intermittent pain, and a ticker that clearly was behaving outside the range of idealistic tickerism.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of lousy ticker behavior this side of croaking.

In short, Texas wasn’t working out as the best place to pursue my options in the less-than-optimum mobility direction following anything coming down the pike involving hospitals.  Two cats were depending on me being around and able to do everything necessary to provide them with sustenance.

Jeanne stepped in and save my life at precisely the right moment in human history to allow that option.  Suggested at a moment when I was able to consider it, me trucking up to Olathe, KS, and checking into the horsepital here through the Emergency Room.  Her taking care of the cats while I was inside.

And agreeing to keep them afterward if I croaked during the process.   An offer I dasn’t refuse.

So I loaded up Hydrox and Tabby, groaned into the RV the day before the worst storm to hit Texas in a number of years, I’m told.  The Strategic Air Command HQ, Omaha, Nebraska, of winter storms.

Drove most of the night and reached the end of my tether in Gainsville, Texas, north of Dallas.  Checked into a motel room to croak.

Jeanne sent her two sons down to interfere with the Grim Reaper by driving me on up to Olathe, KS.  Shortly after arriving I parachuted into the ER of the Olathe Medical Center for a week or so vacation.

Turned out after they’d done a lot of poking and prodding I’d killed off allbut about 15-20% of my heart back when all this whining and complaining I’d been doing started in November.  And my goozle was a thing to behold over in the gastroenterology end of things.  That poor old tube had more ugly mess going on inside it than I’d have dared hope.  But [after swilling a tea of Burdock, Turkey Rhubarb, Sheep Sorrel and Slippery Elm for a month before the Cat-Scan] not malignant.  Nor was the suspicious lung stuff.

Quicker than you could tell it they stuck a magic electric cow-prod under the skin of my chest/shoulder and ran wires from it down into my heart.  It’s there to remind my mildly functioning heart muscle that it needs to keep trucking without any drama if it doesn’t want to get struck by lightning, kicked by a mule, as many times as it takes until it decides to behave itself.

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been sleeping in Jeanne’s recliner, wearing a restraining thing so’s I can’t raise my arm above my head, thus protecting the wire running down into my heart from getting yanked out by the roots.   Another couple of weeks and that shouldn’t be necessary.

The RV’s in Jeanne’s driveway, Tabby’s finding a new home for herself with Jeanne’s daughter, Julia, and her sons, Michael and Andrew, and Hydrox is here with me trying to become a Kansas cat.

I’m figuring I’ll be here a couple more months, at least.  I’m forming a new relationship with the Missouri Veteran Medical Center mainly because I was so impressed with what all they did in Texas to prevent me having to go to a private hospital in Kansas to find out what the hell was going on inside my body.

But hells bells, I’m grateful for all of it.  Been finding a lot of reasons why my life’s going to be a better place as a consequence of not having cancer of the goozle, lung cancer, and having a cow prod in my chest in their stead.

I’m thinking, for one thing, I’ve arrived at a place in life where Hydrox can no longer depend on my services.  When I leave here most likely he’ll be staying behind with Jeanne.

All in allI’m the Strategic Air Command Headquarters, Omaha, Nebraska, of grateful to be alive and feeling as well as I do.  Luckiest man on the planet, any way you cut it.  Don’t try this at home, though.

Old Jules

Bummer if that thing went off (from the drafts)

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Ever noticed how many people hang around discussion boards of every description watching for things they can tell other people NEVER to do?

NEVER play with matches! NEVER ride a bicycle with no brakes! NEVER point an acetylene torch at your face when you light it! NEVER try to get inside a tree shredder while it’s running!

I think there must be something about typing a command about never that feels validating, self-affirming. Telling people what they’ll either have better sense than to do anyway, or who will pay no attention and will do it anyway.

And the fact is, it could as easily be said in ways people might listen to because it wasn’t so offensive and presumptuously downtalking. How about, “Sure would be a big bummer for a person to get his hair caught in that fanbelt.” Something along those lines.

About the only response I can think of appropriate to the NEVER command is “NEVER say NEVER!”

Old Jules
====================================================
Hi folks, Jeanne here.  That was from the unpublished drafts files…although it’s still possible that it was published and I just didn’t find it. So if it sounds familiar, let me know and I’ll be more careful pulling things out this way. There are 945 published posts on this blog, so I suppose you could just hit “random” and find something entertaining.

Fact is, Old Jules has an unstable phone line right now and can’t keep a connection long enough for the internet. It’s difficult to talk to him for more than a few minutes, although the breaks in the connection get fairly predictable. There’s a lot of repeating and frustration involved with a five minute conversation. But he did approve my putting up this old draft and an update.

Yes, but how is he, you ask.  Well…he’s not in the hospital. He sounds real good.  He’s got almost zero energy.  Drinking Caisse’s tea. Blood oxygen level normal. Blood pressure fluctuating. Reading a lot, generally staying warm and fed. Trying not to get dehydrated or winded. Although he’s isolated, Gale and his neighbor check on him from time to time and some others of us call him frequently and freak out (me)  if for some reason he doesn’t answer the phone (usually it’s on the charger).
I suspect it was pneumonia that caused things to deteriorate to the point where he went to the hospital. While treating him for that, they found other stuff to alert him about, and he’s tackling those in order of importance as he sees it.
A couple of us are standing by to take care of the cats if he decides to, or needs to, go back in for the rest of the recommended testing. Gale is out of town on a fairly frequent basis, so we are trying to make sure some satisfactory solution is found for them. I would just drive down there and get them, but 800 miles doesn’t allow for him to get them back easily when things settle down, so that’s not the first choice.
So basically, he’s resting a lot and trying to get his energy back, and I’m preoccupied with keeping tabs on him and passing on updates as needed.
When I can keep my head on straight, I’ll see if I can’t pull some posts out of the drafts from time to time, but I think my own blog is on hiatus for now.
Thanks, C.P., for sending the photo from last week.
And thanks again, everyone,  for all your kind thoughts.
Jeanne

A merry little dumpster diving year-end adventure

Hi readers:

When I left Andrews on Christmas Eve morning a cold fog wrapped the RV and a tasteful bow atop kept it all together for the felines and me until I reached Big Spring.  That’s where the brakes on the RV failed.  Roughly 100 yards before the entryway into the parking lot for a chain store for auto parts.

Great, helpful folks there while I was diagnosing the cause of the problem, feeding brake fluid to the pre-Christmas Universe.  Determining the next best guess to be a failed master cylinder.  And me with almost no tools along.

Ordered the master cylinder inside the store, arranged with them to park in their lot until it arrived the day following Xmas.  They showed me an electrical outlet where I could plug in to keep the heater and lights modern.

Hydrox, Tabby and I watched a store employee carrying boxes past us to the dumpster straining to get them over the side.  One plastic box appeared to be a great possibility for a litter box, so I went over to retrieve it.  I was astonished to observe the dumpster was home to several boxes with taped label, “Manager Disposal”, the contents scattered among the lowbrow cartons and candy wrappers.

The contents:  open end wrenches all sizes, box end wrenches, socket sets, miscellaneous other tools, a couple of which I’d surely need for the master cylinder replacement.  So early Christmas morning I climbed down the chimney of the dumpster and began digging out every tool I could bring myself to save from the landfill.

Finished in time to have myself a nice Christmas dinner of something-or-other, cuddle a cat, watch a vintage movie.

Next morning the master cylinder arrived, I installed it with the dumpster-tools, ran the RV around the parking lot a bit to test the brakes, and headed off to points south.

Easily the weirdest Christmas I’ve ever been blessed with.

Old Jules

Migration – New tire obligation – Respiration – Palpitation and Coincidence Coordination

Sheeze.  Hi readers .  Sometimes I disgust myself, make no sense whatever.

Went out to the tire place this morning and ordered two each 10 ply 16.5 inch tires to arrive Wednesday and have mounted before I even know whether I’m going to kick the bucket before I can wear them out.    Jumped the gun something awful, but it feels okay, me betting the Universe I can drive on those tires long enough to justify having them before the Universe can draw a tight bead on me and squeeze off a round.

Meanwhile I’m figuring to hear from the VA around Wednesday setting me up for a sawbones to look me over, poke me here and there, tell me to stick out my tongue and say “Ahhh.”  Once that’s accomplished he’ll offer up a theory of what I’d least like to hear from a person in his position and watch my facial expressions to decide whether he needs to trump it.

Generally the whole situation’s seeming better than it did a week ago, though.  Haven’t been toking the oxygen machine nights, generally been getting all the hyperventilating under control, thinking whatever it was happened was just some damned trick of anomalyism trying to rob my macho.

And hells bells, I’ve got a couple of new tires coming down the pike I have to live long enough to wear out.  Hell of a deal.

Got me and address here in Andrews, too, right here on the west coast of Texas, so’s to be able to be a Texas resident dangeriously close to the boundary with New Mexico.

Psychomosomatic heart attacks and similarly life-threatening imaginary events can be a blessing.  Boots a man off his ass and gets him out there betting against the Universe, buying tires and sneering into the future with reckless aplomb.

Old Jules

Why Snowden blew the whistle

Snowden made a grave sacrifice for you, me, us.  He was a person who knew all about computers, electric telephones, all kinds of technology things and what’s going on with FaceBook and Yahoo News and blogs.

He knew when you look down the isles in grocery stores and see people squinting at cans, plastic bags, bottles in one hand, talking on cell phones in the other, the NSA was listening.  Recording.  Storing.  Every word.  Every background noise.  Preserving it for the future.

Snowden worried about that because every moment a million calls between the same sorts of people as those in the grocery store isles are also being recorded, listened to, stored, preserved.  Along with the background noises.

And Snowden knew at a visceral level that anyone who’d want to listen to those calls, record them, store them, could only be profoundly insane.  And anyone working for the profoundly insane person who conceptualized it would also soon be insane after being exposed to the prospect, the concept and the reality.

Snowden also knew countless millions of happy faces and inspiring thoughts fly around the internet every moment.  Billions of inspiring platitudes.  Trillions of “I heart my [fill in blank]” messages and touching pictures of puppies, kittens, and baby whales. 

Snowden knew no nation could survive the onslaught of such chaos except by trying to ignore it.   Listening, recording, storing it to preserve it for the future is the most dangerous activity in the history of mankind, and not only because it’s being done by sociopaths, psychopaths and otherwise osterized brains.  Noone, Snowden knew, in his right mind would ever even consider such a thing.

Snowden had to try to save the planet.

Old Jules

Decided to kick

At least if I can.

This morning my blood pressure was 107/76, pulse 71 when I was about to take the pill some sawbones prescribed for me back in 1993.  After I quit going to doctors getting those pills has been a considerable challenge.  I was about to renew my passport so’s I could step across into Mexico to buy them instead of ordering them from wossname, India.

But I’ve been taking Serrapeptase, that silkworm spit enzyme about a month now, and Nattosomethingorotherase about a week now.  Yesterday I noticed when I took my blood pressure for the first time in a longish while it was disgracefully low.  High 80s over mid 60s, pulse high 50s.

My bp hasn’t been that low since I was 40 and able to run several miles trying to rid myself of pent up frustrations over being a white male in a society where everything is run by females and minority ethnics and a regular white male doesn’t have a chance to make nothing of himself.

Anyway, I’m going to be checking my blood pressure regularly, and unless it goes up enough to convince me I need those pills India and Mexico pharmaceutical industries can starve if they’re depending on my business to keep them going.  I’m fairly patriotic that way.

Most doctors and other medicos are the fools of books and that guy who prescribed the stuff for me back in Nineteen-hundred-and-ninety-three probably never read the book saying silkworm spit is better.

Old Jules

Note:  10:10 am – 110/71 pulse 63.  Still no Prinivil blood pressure pill taken – Normally I’d have taken it at 05:00 am.  JP

Note @1600 – 4:00pm – BP 111/71, pulse 70.

Giant oarfifh found on beach in California – Cecil the Feafick Fea Ferpent

This ominous portent from California last week:  Giant oarfish washed up on the beach.  Second one since I-don't-know-when.

This ominous portent from California last week: Giant oarfish washed up on the beach. Second one since I-don’t-know-when.

Beware the feafhoref and tremble in your homef when ferpentf of the deep emerge with their mouthf miffing.”  Josephus Minimus

I was fairly certain this was written down somewhere.  Maybe the Bible, or Nostradamas, or Mother Shipley, or some other trustworthy source.  Turned out it was Josephus Minimus.  Or would be Josephus Minimus once I post this.

Old Jules