Friday, October 22, 2004

More blasphemy

"Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night." Revelation 8:12

Mmmmm.... Soothing dark. That would be sweet. .


Early Voting

We've got it here in Texas, and I did it yesterday.

Once upon a time, I learned in a high school Government class (or maybe some other class) that a secret ballot was called an "Australian Ballot." I don't have anything against Australia--in fact, I'd love to go for a visit--but it's still uncomfortably foreign for my tastes, especially when it comes to politics.

So to heck with the Australians, I'm telling all.

I've never voted Libertarian for President before. It was fun "throwing away" a totally meaningless vote.

Voted Democrat for Congress (House of Reps.) for the first time. Those damn Republicans were calling me every day at 10 a.m. to play me a recording about how bad out incumbent Democrat Nick Lampson is. He voted against Homeland Security!!!! Ordinarily, these calls wouldn't bother me, because I'd be at work and I'd just erase them as soon as they started playing on the answering machine. But lately I've been taking time off and sleeping late. So screw 'em, sez I. Besides, I know Nick, sort of, and he's not a bad guy. (The NRA gave him an "A" rating and its endorsement. His opponent also got an NRA "A" rating. God Bless Texas.)

Anyway, the annoying phone calls from the Republicans were more than enough enough to beat out Nick's idiotic commercials whining that his Republican challanger (a former Houston judge) wasn't sufficiently harsh with a couple of the 25,000 criminal defendants that came through his court over the years. Plus, I was really offended by the redistricting crap that the Republicans pulled this year. I ain't votin for no damn city-slicker carpetbagger from Houston, even if he is in our district now.

And I voted Democrat or Libertarian in every judicial race where there was a choice. Now that Texas courts act like they're a wholly owned subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce, I can no longer bring myself to vote for a Repblican, regardless of the stupid positions most Democrats take on most issues near and dear to my heart.

In most other contested races, it was either a Republican of a Libertarian. In most cases, there weren't even any Democrats on the ballot. So I voted Libertarian. Can't hurt. Hell, can't even make a difference.

But I voted for the incument Republican for State Board of Education, because I share his far right-wing views. Plus, I think its funny to re-elect a home-schooler to the State Board of Education. And besides, he's sort of a friend of mine and I think he does a good job.

Just a hunch, but I don't think they're going to let me be Precinct 7 Republican Party Chairman again. At least I hope not.

Which brings me to my conclusion. I like gridlock. Gridlock was a friend of mine. I miss gridlock. Gridlock was the secret to Clinton's success. Gridlock could have prevented the war in Iraq. Gridlock could have derailed the idiotic spending bills that Congress has been passing and the President signing. Gridlock is the only thing that can save this country from it's government. From now on, I'm voting for gridlock every chance I get.

That is all.


Baseball. Part Deux.

Oh well. There's always next year.

Damnit. I feel like a Cubs fan saying that.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I do so hope that the Red Sox win just one more game. And that the Cardnals lose just one more game. And that I can wrangle just one pair of the firm's World Series suite tickets. That would be cool. Really cool. Really really really cool.


Tuesday, October 05, 2004

And now, a little blasphemy.

"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." John 3:19.

I can relate. But I wonder whether it wasn't just because the light hurt their eyes. I find the darkness--the cool, soothing darkness--such a relief from the merciless, burning, unrelenting light of day.

But that's just me.


It's 2:00 a.m.....

It's 2 A.M......

It's 2 A.M. the fear has gone
I'm sitting here waiting the gun still warm.
Maybe my connection is tired of taking chances
Yeah there's a storm on the loose
Sirens in my head
Wrapped up in silence all circuits are dead.
Cannot decode my whole life spins into a frenzy...

Maybe it's not that dramatic, but you get the point.

Or not. (Incidentally, the credits go to Golden Earring, Twilight Zone.)

And it's really 3 a.m., and I didn't have a connection. But still....

I did walk down to the office (driving is still a bit of a no-no). Checked my e-mail and so forth, and walked home. Maybe 3 miles each way. I haven't measured it.

It was a cool, though humid night, and not at all unpleasant. The dog seemed to enjoy it, anyway.

I love not having to get up for work in the morning.


Saturday, October 02, 2004

A word or two about "discomfort"

Speaking of Discomfort.

Okay. So after the surgery, Mom drove me to Galveston, where I would spend the next couple days recuperating. I was surprised at how little “discomfort” I felt. Then at some point I scratched my head and realized why I felt so little discomfort. The entire left side of my face, from the cheekbones up Was numb, as was my scalp on the left side of my head. The aftereffects of the shot in the eye, no doubt.

When I had a cornea transplant 14 years ago, once the anesthetic wore off, the pain was excruciating and unrelenting. This time it was only burning and piercing. Still, a bit more than Tylenol was competent to handle. So I (okay, it wasn’t me, it was Mom) called the number on the post-op form and got me a prescription for Vicodin. It didn’t come close to stopping the pain, but it did take the edge off enough to let me sleep (something I didn’t get to do the night after my last cornea transplant).

Anyway, I still had the eyeshield taped over my left eye, and I kept my right eye closed most of the time. It was tolerable.

I had a follow-up appointment on Thursday, so Mom drove me back to Houston. My eyes were closed the whole way, but the light still hurt.
The doctor checked the pressure, looked at the graft, etc., and pronounced it “almost perfect.” He said he thought I’d be very happy with the results. They gave me some lovely parting gifts—some eye drops, wrap-around cataracts sunglasses, and a few other goodies—and sent me on my way, with the understanding that I’d call them immediately if the pain got worse, and that I’d come beck in two weeks for a follow-up.

So I went back to Galveston and watched TV with my eyes closed. I think there was a parody of a Presidential debate on most channels. It was pretty funny. One guy was a pompous blowhard who could only say “I would do better” or “I have a plan,” but never had anything substantive to say. The other one sounded like he was going to cry.

It hurt to open my eyes, or to move my eyes around much. And my left eye drips like a leaky faucet. And I have a Gollum-like aversion to light. Even with the dark glasses. Even the White Face, it hurtssssess our eyes, yessss, it hurtsssesss......

Then it was Friday. And much to my surprise and/or delight, the Sci-Fi channel was having a Farscape-a-thon (see previous post on “Firefly.”) I “watched” several episodes (to the extent you can “watch” a show with your eyes closed most of the time). I quite enjoyed it.

And then later on Friday afternoon/evening, I found my way home. Thanks, Mom.

And now it's Saturday evening and I'm bored out of my mind. It hurts to look at the computer screen (even though I'm wearing sunglasses and I have the brightness turned down to 5%) and I can barely read it. It's like looking through frosted class.

Oh well.. In another three months, the stiches come out, and three months after that, I should be as good as new (or atlleast as good as I'm going to get).


As sharp sticks in the eye go, that wasn't so bad

I had the surgery last Wednesday. That would be the cornea transplant surgery referenced in a previous post.

I arrived at the Gramercy Outpatient Surgery Center a bit before 7:00 a.m. I filled out a few forms, and after a not annoyingly long wait was taken back to the place where they stick needles in you and things, which they did in the nicest possible way.

They hooked me up to the blood pressure cuff and the machine that goes “ping,” the nurse/technician ran through my medical history, and then asked which eye they were going to perform the surgery on. I said “left,” and she asked me to point to my left eye. Which I did. And then she put a sticker over my left eye. Just so there wouldn’t be any confusion later, I imagine.

Next came the only painful part of the procedure. After spending a longer than average time patting the back of my hand trying to get the vein to do whatever it’s supposed to do, the nurse gave me a shot of something to numb my hand when the put in the IV. It stung a bit. The IV didn’t hurt at all.

Then the anesthesiology staff came around and ran through my medical history again and explained what they were going to do. Basically, this involved knocking me out for about five minutes when they’d give me a shot in my eye to numb it during surgery. The assured me that, although I’d be awake during the surgery, I wouldn’t care.

So the anesthesiologist told me there might be an ache in my hand when they started the anesthetic. I waited for the ache that never came, and next thing I knew, I felt like my eye had been taped shut. And there was something stuck in my nose that itched. It was an oxygen tube, presumably to wake me up. Which it did. I asked if my eye was taped shut, and they told me that it had a balloon on it. I didn’t ask what that meant.

I don’t remember a whole lot of what happened after that. I vaguely remember being wheeled into the operating room I remember looking up and seeing a sheet. I thought about asking whether they’d pulled the sheet over my face because I’d died on the table, but I thought better of it. Instead, I think I thanked them for covering my other eye so I couldn’t see what they were doing. I think they adjusted the anesthetic, because I don’t remember anything after that. Except vaguely seeing something through the eye they were operating on, but I think they were done by that time.

I somehow ended up sitting in a chair in the recovery room. I vaguely remember getting off the gurney and sitting down. I had a metal “eye shield” taped over my eye. I sat there for a not terribly long time, and was gone by 9:30. They told me I’d feel some “discomfort” after 6 or 7 hours when the shot in the eye wore off.

My compliments to the cast and crew at the Gramercy Outpatient Surgery Center. They were frighteningly competent and made eye surgery as comfortable as humanly possible. They all did a really fine job.

I’ll get to that “discomfort” part later. I’ve about exhausted my ability to look at a computer screen for the time being.