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Thursday, August 31, 2006

I've been informed of all the formatting mistakes I made yesterday, and hopefuly have everything fixed now, at least, fixed in my head. So... on with the show!

Thursday, Aug 31, 2006


Have you ever thought about how good your carpet feels when you're walking on it in bare feet? I hadm't been barefoot since the stroke, so I didn't know anything about the carpet in our house. But now, I walk to the restroom every night, and, among being half asleep, I get to feel the carpet on my feet all the time, now. The carpet in our house is very luxurious and quite squishy. On any regular day, it's so squishy that it's hard for me to walk on it. But at night, I have to say that it's quite a thing to feel it against my bare feet. I would never have chosen this carpet myself... it was already in this house when we decided on buying... but I appreciate it more, maybe, because of that, I think. It makes me rather jealous of people who are able to walk with their shoes off all the time (walking barefoot is about twice as hard as walking while wearing good tennis shoes). It's so nice that part of me is sad that I need to go back to sleep when I do get back to bed. But I'm so much slower at barefoot walking than I am at walking with my shoes on that there's not much point in taking my shoes off during the day except to fold clothes, or play games with Ellie... things that you have to do on the floor. But I have to say, I really like our carpet then... So, here's to the floor!

Don and I walked around the house today, since I'm not going to therapy right now. It went pretty well, and Don makes a rather demanding therapist... Fred, my first therapist, would be proud of him. Don made me walk all over the place, and then we did some exercises in my parallel bars to work on not locking me knee all the time. He wore me out so baddly that I had to sit on the floor and rest! I'm still feeling tired and worn out. Ugh! Don makes too good of a therapist, I think. Maybe it's his second calling after math professor/computer administrator... Poor me!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Linda is sick and tired of waiting to read new posts, so she is taking over

Okay, since I stay at home all day, and have more time, and am... well... the better speller (please don't crucify me if you see a spelling mistake... Most of my mistakes are typos, not spelling mistakes, but they LOOK like spelling mistakes... oh, you get the picture), I decided that I should stop complaining, and take over writing for the blog. I may still not know what's going on (hey, Linda, Don doesn't tell me anthing, either, so don't feel bad... We can start a club of uninformed people or something), but at least I know a few things.
For example, I know that we are not going to therapy right now while Don and the Insurance Company fight it out over my bills for Physical therapy... The Insurance Company is saying that I should have a limit of 24 visits, while Don is saying that I should have unlimited visits... Now, I ask you, if I don't qualify for unlimited PT, who does? But the Insurance Company insists that we pay ourselves for any PT I receive, and as a PT visit is a little over $200.00 every time I go to therapy, we decided that I'll stay home until we get things straightened out with the Insurance Company. We can probably do more therapy on our own, anyway, as we will have more time to do therapy ourselves (no time spent on driving, or on waiting around this way), so it's home for me for... well, until they all figure out what's going on. That could potentially take a long time, so here I sit. I sit at my computer all the time anyway, so not much will change.
What did I do today? I got up at 5:00 a.m. (Don snores) and started writing on one of my stories, and finally came up for air at 2:00 in the afternoon. The story was finished, and my stomach was making a horrible grumbling sound, as I had forgotten to eat lunch, once again. I used to wonder in the past how this could happen to Don , but I now understand the way he often forgets to eat. I can't laugh at him for forgetting, as I'm just as forgetful as he is.
I'm sort of taking a break from practicing therapy all the time, and it's beginning to show. I did try to sing today to some of my CDs that I played in my computer. It's a good thing no one was around to hear me, as I sounded awful. But I will admit that I can now sing a lot higher than I used to be able to. However, awful is still awful. If I wanted to hear what a sick cow sounds like, I would go to the vet's office. As it is, I just won't sing if anyone can hear me. That's a nice compromise.
Other than that, nothing much is going on, and the only thing I can think of to rant about (well, actually, I can think of a lot of things) is how frustrated I get when I try to convince the computer to do anything. I can't even sign on to any of the secure websites out there. In fact, those 'secure' sites are just a pain in the... fill in the blank... and I leave them the minute I realize that I have to sign in in order to use the site. That's why my web page is completely open to the public. At least no one can say that he or she can't use my site whenever they want. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks the same way I do. But at least, that's one thing that Don and I can agree on when it comes to technology. (That's just about the only thing we agree on, though.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let them eat cake

Last week was Ellie's birthday, so I took her to the store to pick out a cake. Some people would bake a cake for their kids, but I've always been partial to store-bought cake, and especially store-bought icing.

I showed her the book with all of the fancy cake designs you can get. I figured she would pick a Dora cake. But my daughter walked down the display case, pointed at the double fudge chocolate cake, and said I want that one. So double fudge chocolate it was. We also bought a red velvet cake to make sure we'd have enough.

Would you believe that Ellie didn't eat a single piece of either cake? She was more interested in playing with her friends and her new gifts. She blew out the candles, and we gave cake to all of the other kids an parents, but she wasn't interested. In fact there was cake the next day, and I asked her again and she said no again.

Oh, well. More for me!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Caught up in life

Wow, school starts tomorrow. Like any normal kid, Ellie is looking forward to being with her friends, but not looking forward so much to the structure of school. I, of course, am completely excited to be getting back to a schedule for myself. Ellie seems to like hanging out with Linda and me, but I can't imagine why. She seems bored so much of the time.

I'm getting a little end-of-summer programming in. Once the semester starts, I expect to be too busy with things to program for fun. All of my programming will aim at lofty projects and work. As usual, I have more projects than I have time. That's probably a good thing, though, because it forces me to have students involved. I've almost always got good projects for them.

I'm also keeping up with Jim and Jen (although I've never talked to any of the family, it's all been email). Jim had a stroke much like Linda's, i.e. same area of the brain. All strokes are different because all brains are different (which you've noticed of course, although we usually say all people are different).

Still there have been lots of similarities, and that makes me something of an informal expert. I can say, "Did you think to ask him this... or that..." They'll be going to rehab next week. As much as I enjoyed rehab and the people at Rusk, I'm glad we're not there. It was an aweful lot of work.

Speaking of Rusk. We were there this week. Another 6 month visit. Dr. R changed Linda's medication again because he thought she was slower than in February. I think it is better already now, but Linda says it feels about the same to her. We missed seeing most of the therapists who were busy or off that day, but we did run into miss Molly. She was chipper as always.

One nice improvement to Rusk: they are going non-smoking inside and outside. I wish the whole world would do that.

Classes start for me on Monday. I'll be a bit busy this week, too. I volunteered to do a group discussion on Wednesday with some of the new freshment. Thursday is division day, so we'll be meeting the new majors. There will be computer things to get done somewhere in there too.

Still, fall is my favorite time. I love that first day of classes; new people, new energy and excitement; the uneasy anticipation of the freshment. Ahh, and fighting for a parking spot...

Monday, August 07, 2006

Dr. Bindner,

I don't know if you remember me or not, but I attended some of the FSCK meetings a couple years ago. My wife, Amy, mowed your yard for a while our last semester. I graduated Dec. 04 and now work for a company called NISC.

I'm sending this note under unfortunate circumstances... A fellow employee here at NISC (Jim B., age 37) whom I do not really know personally but have met him once, suffered a bad stroke last Thursday night. Through the grapevine, I had heard that he had trouble with his vision a few days earlier, but didn't think anything of it. Then on Thursday, he was sent to the hospital unconscious. The hospital he went to spent a few hours trying to diagnose an unconscious patient, and eventually had him transferred to a bigger hospital in St. Louis, that performed an emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain early Friday morning.

As of Sunday, he is conscious and can only move his eyes up and down, and move one of his index fingers. He can't blink, but can communicate 'yes' by moving his eyes up, and 'no' by moving his eyes down.

I hope I don't bring back nightmares, but believe that any thoughts and/or prayers from any community you have become a part of can only help things for Jim and his wife Jennifer (who also works for NISC).

Thank you, so much!
-Justin W.

Friday, August 04, 2006


You'll wonder why I haven't posted of late. I just finished a 3-week academy where I taught computer programming to junior high students. That pretty much meant I was busy from sunrise to sunset with work. In fact, I'm still writing their evaluation letters which have to be done by Monday.

That reminds me of an idiom, burning the candle at both ends. I've looked this idiom up, and people have all kinds of wacky theories about what the heck its literal meaning must be. There's speculation that it refers to physically lighting a candle on both ends. You get twice as much light (work) from the candle but it gets used up quick.

Personally, I wonder if there isn't a more sensible explanation for that idiom. Burning the candle at both ends means getting up early and staying up late. So until modern electric lighting was invented that meant you were burning the candle at both ends of the day. Getting up when it was dark, and staying up after dark. Doesn't that seem much more plausable?

My dad always used to say, You know what you get when you burn the candle at both ends: a short wick! That of course is a reference to dynamite (it originally was a short fuse).

So, what does all this have to do with fishing? Nothing, but it's my blog. Actually, though, I do have a fishing tale. I took Ellie fishing last night with a friend. Actually, to be completely honest, Ellie has been asking to go fishing, so I talked a friend who has more experience to take us.

So Steve and I and Ellie and Steve's daughter Hallie all piled in a boat on a nearby lake and fished last night. I didn't catch anything, but not for lack of trying. The most exciting part, of course, was that Ellie caught her first fish. It was a small bass, which we reeled in and let go. She was very pleased.