Sunday, April 24, 2011

Odd Bits - The Easter Eggs With Bacon on the Side Edition

There’s nothing like a new edition of Odd Bits to empty out the random stories, triumphs, cartoons and odd notions that wind up in the old mental inbox.

Best Laid Plans Gone Wrong
I try to be efficient, I really do.  So when I know I have a number of possibly time-consuming errands to do, I try to commit a day to get them completely taken care of.  That day was supposed to be last Tuesday, so I took the day off work.

First of all, I’ve got a bad shoulder.  I don’t want to go into a lot of boring health details (yet) but it started hurting last July, and has been steadily getting worse ever since.  By fall, I couldn’t even throw a Nerf football to my nephews.  Every week, it seems like I lose a little bit more range of motion.  I eventually came to the painful conclusion that this was one thing that was not going to get better by itself.  So I found a nest of orthopedic doctors nearby and set up an appointment for a diagnosis.

Knowing that may take a while, but not exactly all day, I also had plans to take my car in to a local tire shop.  When I first bought it last summer, the mechanics at the place I took it to get checked out told me I should replace the tires by that fall.  They looked pretty good to me and had been driven less than 25,000 miles, I let it ride for a while.  But with a pair of trips to Pittsburgh scheduled for the end of May, I didn’t want to take any chances of a blowout, so I figured I’d get a second opinion.

I figured that would take enough of the day to make it worth my while to burn a Floating Holiday that my company gives out in lieu of closing on President’s Day, MLK Day, Columbus Day, etc.

So, first up, the visit to the doctor.  I already had my paperwork filled out, thanks to their website and downloadable PDF files, so I was in the door, registered, and called in to the little room within about 10 minutes.  The doctor’s assistant had me get set up in the awkward hospital gown.

Let me ask you, aren't those things just diabolical to get tied up in back?  I mean, even on a good day, you have to be a contortionist to get that backwards, upside-down string bow tied.  Now imagine doing it with a bum shoulder.  I think there are hidden cameras in there, to ferret out anyone that’s faking it.  Then they post them on YouTube and laugh.

Given that I could keep my pants on, I only tied the one behind my neck.  I couldn’t come close to reaching the lower strings.  I supposed I could have asked for help, but that’s like asking for directions.  Guys don’t do that.

So I got my X-Rays done and went back to the little room, where the doctor came in within minutes.  He had me go through some range-of-motion exercises while he felt, poked and fished around in my shoulder joint.  The X-Rays proved more or less negative.  He could see some kind of lesion in the joint, but nothing that would explain all my particular symptoms.  What I needed was an MRI, he said, so he could look at the soft tissue.  This would show the ligaments, rotator cuff, labrum and all that other stuff that you hear about when a baseball pitcher goes on Injured Reserve.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t do the MRI there, because the MRI people don’t go with my insurance.  They told me to call into another place, (where I have gone before for other things) and have it done there.  Then I could bring the films back and we’d discuss my prognosis.

So I was in the office at 8:45 and back out on the street by 9:30.  Pretty darned efficient, if you ask me.  Other than the MRI part, but hey, it’s the medical profession.  Things are never as simple you want them to be.  (Right Cassie?)

Now, on to the tire place.  They looked busy so I was prepared to wait.  Or even come back.  But the guy came out and after a quick look at my tires, said that there was nothing wrong with them and I had no need to replace them.  I mentioned how another place said they were beginning to dry rot and recommended replacement 6 months ago.

He said they may be able to tell more if they got the tires off, and hey, did I need my oil changed?  If so, they had a special: oil change and tire rotation for $19.99.  They could check out the tires further when they rotated them.

In fact, I WAS planning to get an oil change before my trips, so I was all over this.  But then the bad news… they couldn’t do it that day… too busy.  I offered to come back the next night after work and he said that was fine.

I’d been planning on walking down to the McDonalds that was by the tire place and having lunch there while I was waiting for my car.  It was only 10:00 and too early for lunch, so I went home.  Turns out, I could have gone in to work after all.  So now, what am I going to do with myself for the rest of the day?

I know I could have gone to McD’s anyway, but it’s not exactly my favorite fast food place.  Wendy’s is.  There is a Wendy’s up to the north of where I live, but I don’t usually go up there without somewhere else to go at the same time.  (It’s that efficiency thing.)  If only I could come up with something to do in that part of town, so I would have a convenient excuse to go to Wendy’s…

So where does one go when one wants to shop, but doesn’t actually need anything?  WalMart.  There’s a huge Wally’s right by the Wendy’s.  Problem solved.

I always find shit at Wally’s that I didn’t know I needed until I saw it there.  I mean, there are always staples for which I can lay in reinforcements, like vitamins, paper products, snacks, chocolate and of course DVDs.

As it turned out, they had all the seasons of South Park on sale for $15 each.  I’ve probably spent $20 to $30 a pop on the seasons I already have (which is most of them) so I as all over this.  I found Season 13 right away, but spend about 10 minutes looking for Season 12.  I looked behind all the other season, and in other areas, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  So be it.  I’d fill the hole in my collection later.

Of course, when I got home, I checked my DVD spreadsheet (yes, really) and found that I already have Season 12.  Idiot.  In all fairness, once I’d have seen the cover I’d have known that I already had it.  Still, I was pissed at myself for wasting all that time searching.  As if the day wasn’t a giant waste anyway.

To finish this thread, I have my MRI appointment on Tuesday and a follow-up with the doctor the next Monday.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.  I’m really hoping to avoid surgery… maybe if I’m lucky, it will be something simple.  Any procedures will probably have to be after the Pittsburgh trips though… can’t have anything interfere with my ability to pound bacon cheeseburgers over at Carpetbagger’s.  Or maybe I should just practice doing it lefty.

Also, I did go back to the tire place and they said the tires were fine, but I could use an alignment,  as indicated by some outer-edge wear.  I said "fine."  But then they couldn't do that either.  They needed a particular tool, which was locked up in a toolbox belonging to a mechanic that wasn't there.  I've never been to a garage that was so good at not taking my money.

Email Non-Fail
This week, I encountered a problem with my email Outlook.  It just stopped sending emails.  I could receive, but nothing I sent got out.  This is the kind of problem that at one time, would have had me curled up under the desk in fetal position.

But this time, I simply Googled the error message, found some prospective fixes and tried them out until it worked.  Holy shit, look at me fixing a real live grownup computer problem.  It was really just a change in settings, but it made me wonder how it happened in the first place.  One second, I could send emails.  Then I walk away from the PC and come back an hour later, and I can’t send emails.  WTF? 

Just another computer mystery, I guess.  Probably one of those things that guarantees that PC Help Desks always have work to do.

The Buck Rocks Here
I found this clip from Ginny/PittGirl’s Twitter feed and as a resident Baltimorean, I feel I can lay claim to the right to re-post it.  Around here, people feel that new Orioles manager Buck Showalter is the real Second Coming.  He has rolled back the boulder to lead the O’s out of their self-imposed basement.

Watch Buck as he gets a load of the awful version of the National Anthem being foisted upon him by a local college.  (It’s only a 12-second clip)

I haven’t seen an Anthem that excruciating since Frank Drebin channeled Enrico Pallazzo before a 1980s Angels game.  Apparently neither has Buck.

Good Riddance Dept.
Perhaps an outbreak of sanity and calm has embraced this nation because our Pied Piper of Idiots, Glenn Beck, is leaving the airwaves.  Don’t hurry back, y’heah?

Goofy Easter Shit
Now, to clean out some more crappola from the Vaunted Darwinfish Archives, may I present some silly things that I can peripherally attach to an Easter theme.

First, there’s this bit from  This isn’t exactly a “Fail” however.  They sometimes celebrate the rare “Win.”  This totally “wins.”
How is this related to Easter?  I’ll tell you.  Ever heard of Easter ham?  This is close enough to be cross between candy and ham.  Totally Easter.

On to the rest of it…

Happy Easter to all; may all of your eggs end up in someone’s basket.  Otherwise, a couple weeks from now, someone is going to be blaming the dog.


Raven said...

I hope that everything works out ok with your shoulder. Have a great Easter!

bluzdude said...

Thanks Raven. I hope so too. Would be nice to get back in the game again.

Cassie said...

We have those hospital gowns so us nurses can have something to laugh about.

And it's a good thing that AA is on a different night than abused spouses. I doubt that church has really tight security, if you know what I mean. And perhaps those spouses also need AA. Hell, I'm sure that the abused woman could benefit from Monday through Saturday.

That's just plain sad.

Judie said...

Bluz, you just may have adhesive capsulitis. Or, you could have a torn rotator cuff. My bet, though is adhesive capsulitis. Physical therapy just might take care of it, along with a cortisone shot. Just make a check for $179 out to Dr.Judie, your Hot Arizona Auntie.

Unapologetically Mundane said...

Speaking of bacon, my dear boyfriend is somehow under the impression that the maple bacon sundae you shared with us is the work of the devil. He thinks it's just another corporate interest trying to appeal to our greatest temptations. And to that, I say "more power to 'em". But he's still not helping me get to Denny's.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a problem with your bursa sac. Actually, I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I just like saying "bursa sac."

Also, bursa sac.

Mrs 'Bagger will bend your ear for an hour or so about all the natural remedies you should try.

Jessica R. said...

Best of luck on your shoulder. And at least they let you keep your pants on!

bluzdude said...

I knew those gowns were a plot at our expense!

If that bulletin board was from a Catholic, I suspect the guidance in the Abused Women’s workshop is along the lines of “If you would just do what he says and stop nagging, you wouldn’t bring it on yourself.”

I hope you’re right. I really hope I don’t have to have surgery. Pinky thinks it’s a similar situation. In fact, she’s been after me to see a physical therapist for the last 6-months. And I will, if that’s what the doctor orders. It just seems to me that I should get a diagnosis first before pursuing treatment options. All I can say is that I know it’s not muscular. The problem is somewhere in the joint itself and not in the surrounding musculature.

If the Maple Bacon Sundae is the work of the Devil, I'm going straight to hell. He's obviously been leading me there for years.

Thank you for the Sacs Education. I don't have anything against natural remedies, but I have serious doubts that they can repair a torn rotator cuff or labrum. Like I said, I gotta find out what's wrong before I can worry about how to fix it.

That was a major win. Any time you can keep your pants on at the Doctor's is a good day.

Cher Duncombe said...

Bluz, you made me exhausted just reading all this! First, I hope everything works out well with your shoulder. They actually expected you to tie that gown? And...I totally love the two National Anthems. The first one especially was priceless! Take care, my friend. and stop with the spreadsheets already! You and Rich do have that in common. :)

bluzdude said...

Sometimes, that's just how long the story goes. But I admit that I probably should have left it at that. It's just that I had this all laid out in my head already... it just took me longer than I expected to tell the first story.

Mrs. Bachelor Girl said...

Oooh, you totally should've gone to McDonald's for breakfast! I can't resist a sausage-and-egg biscuit.

sherry stanfa-stanley said...

A DVD spreadsheet? You do know you no longer work in a retail store, right? And I'd have thought, after reading your Whatsername post, that you've learned doing inventories just leads to trouble...

bluzdude said...

Mrs Bachelor Girl
I love going to Micky D’s for breakfast, usually for Egg McMuffins. But I wasn’t in the mood for breakfast at that point; I had my eyes set on lunch. I could only do one or the other.

If I use the spreadsheets, I don’t have to take physical inventory! Keeping spreadsheets on stuff like that just makes good sense. What if I get ripped off? I’ll have a record of every DVD/VHS/Blue Ray that I have. Plus, when I let people borrow things, I make a notation on the spreadsheet because I’m notorious for forgetting to whom I lent what.

Logging the DVDs was easy because I started when I first got my DVD player. I started trying to log all my CDs over 10 years ago (of which I have hundreds) and I’m still just over halfway done. Way too boring to do en masse. Of course, when I’m logging, I’m also including data like the year, a rating (the actors on the DVDs) and general comments.

I also do a spreadsheet for attending sporting events. Again, I started it long ago and reconstructed what I could from ticket stubs. Then it’s easy to keep up by entering things as you go. Never takes more than a minute or so. And it’s proven useful as a reference, especially when evaluating seating for future trips to the same stadium.

What can I say? I’m a documentarian.