Archive for May, 2009

The Pixie Dust Express

May 31, 2009

Yesterday, the 30th of May, Lynette and I rode the Pixie Dust Express – this was a train ride, fund raiser for the Duluth Playhouse and consited of an hour and one half ride on the North Shore Senic Railroad with delicious snacks and a birthday cake for Tinker Bell – the original that is –  Margaret Kerry.  Margaret was celebrating her 80th with family here in Minnesota.  Margaret played Tinker Bell in the Disney animated feature of Peter Pan. Lynette and I had a chance to visit with her and for about five minutes and she even gave Lynette a hug – so my wife has had a hug from Tinker Bell – cool eh?

Margaret told us how they filmed her doing everything with props and such so that the animators could get her facial expressions, movements and personality into the animated version of her. Margaret still has the twinkle in her eye when she talks about Tinker Bell.

The time was enjoyable Saturday afternoon on the North Shore Senic Railway with very active and charming special guest.  You can find out more about Margaret / Tinker Bell at her official web site.

Tinker Bell on the Pixie Dust Express

Tinker Bell on the Pixie Dust Express


It has been a while since I posted – heart and Apple(tm)

May 19, 2009

Good morning world! As the title says, I have been lax in posting here and have decicded to correct that.

First, the Heart.  As you may remember, about three years ago, I had two stents placed in my heart and lost some weight, went through a cardiac re-hab program and have been pretty good in that area.  Last Friday (the 15th) I started feeling the same chest tightness I felt three years ago.  I also had the same feeling of impending doom or dread.  I was just sitting at my desk so I waited a few minutes and it did not get better.  I carry Nitro (old stock) and placed one under my toung.  They are over six months old so it desolved very fast with only a small amount of “bite.”  I waited about four minutes and took another one – I started to notice a reduction of the pressure and a headache – the less pressure in the chest told me the Nitro was doing something and the headache is a side effect of the drug.

I called my wife and she drove me to the urgent care – they in turn sent me to emergency (across the skywalk) and there they assumed that I must be having some kind of heart problem.  I got the IV, blood thinners etc.  The ER heart doc on call saw me and said my blood looked good and the EKG was fine but choice again (just like three years ago) stay in the hospital over the weekend or we can get you into the Cath Lab for an Angiogram today and you should be out tomorrow one way or another. I don’t like hospitals so I said “lets do the Angiogram.”

It is amazing how simple that seems to be, they don’t even make me remove my hearing aide or glasses.  They help you onto the big flat (cold) table and it appears you are awake the whole time (this time it was only about thirty minutes because they found everything in my heart looked great!  For that I am happy!  No blockage and the previous stents are just fine.

I got back to the recovery room and I was expecting a clamp on the groin thing.  No, now they just slap a bandage with a sponge under it over the hole in my aorta and tell me to hold pressure on it for a half hour or so.  They tell me to release and they look at it and tell me it is fine.  Okay, they move me to my room in the heart intensive care uint (just in case I have a problem) and I spend the next four hours flat on my back.  around 8:30 pm they let me raise the bed a bit so I can eat a sandwitch and I am munching away thinking this is not bad when I felt a spray of liquid against my leg, I though – is my bladder bursting and I am peeing the bed? – NO! I am bleeding like a fountain and a lump the size of a golf ball is just below the bandage.  I press the help button a few times and start screaming I am bleeding here!  Help!

They come in very quick and bring the Clamp – I could have lost over a pint of blood in a few minutes and my life in about ten from that.  They clamped it and I had to spend the rest of the night pretty much flat on my back.  I did move the bed up a small amount at a time and they took the clamp off around 3:00 in the morning.  My leg hurt so much about 1:00 am I asked for morphine (great stuff when you are hurting, I don’t remember ever taking it before.)

I got out of bed about 7:00 in the morning Saturday and was home before noon.  The doctor told me they don’t have a clue what caused the chest event but my heart is fine.  The doctor did not suggest follow up unless I wanted to spend a lot money and time on tests that may not find anything wrong. Could have been mind over body or the fact I have been taking various things for my really plugged nose at night – some of these are not good for people with high blood pressure like me. So now I know my heart is fine and that is comforting – I hope I don’t have to go through that again but I am very blessed to live in a town like Duluth – we have one of the top 100 heart centers (where I went) in the nation and it is only used at about 75% so you can get into have an angiogram very easy – both times I have gone from ER to rehab in less than five hours, in a bigger city, that would probably be impossible and a smaller city would have to move me to a bigger city to have it done.

Now – Apple(tm) – they really do STINK!  I hope I did not offend any Apple users out there, Windows(tm) is not any better as far as an operating system but at least they got the hardware right.  I am a hardware guy for the most part and can take a PC apart and put it back together with one hand behind my back and my eyes shut.  Apple – I still don’t know why the do what they do and I hope it is different with the modern Apple.  The one I just bought (my first) is a 1997 vintage PowerPC G3 mini-tower.  I guess from what I read, it is an awesome Apple.  My thought is WHY?  Why did they put this stupid odd-ball video connector on a pretty much standard IBM PC video card? Why did they have pins that “sense” what monitor you have attached?  The only reason I can figure is they wanted everyone to “bow down” and open your wallet and buy ONLY APPLE!  That is the reason I never liked them in the first place!

I better stop ranting about Apple(tm) or the Steve’s will find a way to make life miserable for me – wait – they did that when they decided to be so proprietary and non-conforming in the first place.