Workin’ in a coal mine goin’ down down

I work in a large company. Very large. On top of that I know a lot of people in Portland because Portland is pretty darn small. So I saw this guy in the hallway today and I thought I knew him. But when I tried to recall how, I realized that he just kind of looked like a friend’s dad. I thought I’d double-check, though and looked at his name badge (the kind of thing you have to wear in almost every high tech company.) His name was PAUL NEWMAN.

Yeah, not that Paul Newman.

OK, so what is up with this dizziness?

I was staring at some very, very, very, very dry work documents today and I started feeling dizzy. It happens from time to time, but today it was especially bad. I got home, laid down for a while (on the floor, so I wouldn’t be asleep too long) and when I got up I just about fell over. It cleared up after I took a short nap (in the bed, I gave up) but sheesh. I’ve taken it easy the rest of the night.

I didn’t sleep all that well last night either. I can usually hold it together on a Monday morning, but I was giving the opposite advice to people asking questions. I did take it easy and avoided the gym again, which is fine by me because I’m feeling more tired than I am feeling fat lately. It’s a basic balancing of my neuroses and right now I’m OK with staying at home watching the Cowboys play the Indians on Monday Night Football, especially if I don’t feel like I can stand up for very long. I won’t have that excuse tomorrow, I’m sure.

I need a weekend to survive the weekend.

Friday turned out OK. It only took me two-and-a-half hours to make it from Portland to Seatac and the traffic was fairly light. My interview at DHS was really quick and I’m now on a special list. Whether that’s good or bad is not quite clear yet.

Then I went to visit my friend in Kirkland, only 25 miles away, through hellish Seattle traffic. I’m always saying Seattle is sort of like Portland, it just sucks more and I hate to go up there and be proven correct. Again. Kirkland was an interesting beach town, though. Women in bikinis at the lakeshore and a fairly unique drive-in with passable burgers. THe best part was visiting with an online friend, and his 1YO kid. The trip back was much worse, of course. It took two-and-a-half hours to get through the Seattle traffic, and then less than two hours to get from Olympia to Portland. The whole trip was pretty darn tiring.

What was more tiring was Saturday night when my mom started coughing up blood. I called her doctor who said she was probably fine. Not exactly something that puts you completely at ease, but she does seem fine now. Not a restful way to spend a Saturday night.

Fortunately, today was fairly uneventful, and that’s the best I could have hoped for.

Making poor choices.

I wasn’t feeling too good about myself, so I got an American Express Platinum Card. I figured it would make me special. $450 + $85 per year kind of special. I’ve actually been thinking about it for a while, so I went ahead and did it. I’ve had some sort of American Express card since I was at MIT, so I have some sort of misplaced loyalty to them. Anyway, it’s supposed to get me into airport lounges, and I haven’t been in one since I was 14, so I thought it was about time.

I got the card and started looking through all the special perks it offers. Most of the perks are just ways for rich people to spend yet more money at fancy resorts and on their first-class airfare. Since hitting it big in Powerball has only gotten me $3 (that’s three dollars) I can’t afford any of the perks. But there are a list of “free” things including membership in car rental companies (Avis, Hertz, and National) and reimbursement for enrolling in “Global Entry”. This is supposed to get you through immigration faster, but since I’ve only been through the Portland airport from Narita lately, shaving time off a 5-minute process is probably not going to happen. But whatever, I signed up. So that means I have to travel to a DHS office and get interviewed and the closest one is at Sea-Tac, three hours away on a good day. Since I already started this mess up, I’m driving up tomorrow for my scheduled appointment.

I haven’t been to Sea-Tac since my aunt, uncle, and cousin’s kid visited about ten years ago so I’m not sure I’m gaining anything but I do have a chance for a minor adventure. I suppose that’s good enough for me.

Andy Ricker can eat a bag of dicks.

So I said it on twitter and I said it on Facebook and now I’m repeating myself here. I hear Andy Ricker is a nice guy but he killed my favorite Japanese restaurant, Kappaya, to put up yet another Thai restaurant. As if Portland didn’t have enough Thai restaurants. And while my brother-in-law looked exasperated and told me, “That sounds like something a tenth-grader would say,” Andy Ricker can eat a bag of dicks. And all the goddamn hipsters who follow all his shit around anyway. Oh, and speaking of Facebook, their new redesign can bite my narrow yellow ass as well.

I think I feel better now. Now if only all the swifts and their crowds would go away.

Doctor, doctor, give me the news.

I went to see my real doctor yesterday because my ear was still feeling funny. I figured it was probably because of flying, but I’d rather get the opinion of someone I trust. My doctor is a bit of a spazzy nerd, and he had all sorts of random questions that didn’t pertain to my problem (like usual). He wanted to know if he was right about his skin cancer diagnosis, since I ended up asking two other doctors about it. He said it didn’t matter that I asked for other opinions, but that he didn’t like to be wrong. I know the feeling. Anyway, he looked in my ear, told me that there really is a difference between Augmentin and amoxicillin (so the PA at Zoomcare was right), and then told me that he didn’t think the diagnosis was correct. In fact, instead of telling me I was a nutbag for looking in my own ear with a USB microscope, he asked what it looked like. He said if it wasn’t red, then he’s sure I didn’t have otitis media and just irritated my ear canal with the Q-Tip. He even told me not to quit using Q-Tips in my ear.

When I asked him if I should quit taking the antibiotics, he said he wanted to give me a prostate exam. I’m seeing him for a physical in a month, so he lightened up and finally gave me an answer and said I could quit taking the Augmentin (amoxicillin and clavunate).

You’d think I was home free, but I kind of hurt my back at the gym again, doing something incredibly minor. Sheesh.

Back from SLO!

I was in San Luis Obispo for my brother-in-law’s nephew’s wedding and it was great! My sister and brother-in-law got married in SLO and then later moved to Templeton and Paso Robles, and my brother-in-law’s sister’s family moved down to Atascadero. So most of them are down there now. I got to tag along with my sister and brother-in-law for their reminiscent journey to their old neighborhood and even spent an extra day just driving around down there and spent $50 in gas. They left for home early, because they were using cheap tickets. It was fun seeing all the folks down there.

Of course, I only took a couple of pictures. Three, actually, though two were of different Double-Double’s from In-N-Out. I figured there were plenty of other people taking pictures of the wedding. Oh and my other picture was of my ribeye steak at McLintock’s in SLO.

My old school motel room didn’t have reliable intarweb (I think I was stealing it from a neighbor) but even worse was that it wasn’t that quiet and I didn’t sleep for crap. So I should probably try to get some sleep before I go back to work tomorrow. That would make sense, wouldn’t it?

The danger of Q-Tips.

My ear was itching last night so I stuck a Q-Tip in my ear, just like they tell you not to. I’m not sure how many people use Q-Tips for any other purpose, but there is a warning on the package, isn’t there? Anyway, I went to town on that itch, and I ended up with blood on the Q-Tip. It didn’t seem to let up much, so I went to bed sleeping on the opposite side. I woke up a couple hours into the night and had to got to the bathroom. I held my hand by my head and got up and felt something wet; when I turned on the light I had a hand full of blood. I wasn’t about to sit in the Emergency Room in the middle of the night so I just shoved a tissue in my ear and went back to sleep.

I got up this morning and I had some trouble hearing out of my left ear but went in to work. I called my doctor’s office and they told me to come in. Then the realized they didn’t have anyone to see me and told me not to come in, but to go to an Urgent Care Clinic. I figured whoever I got would just look in my ear, see blood clots, and flush it out with a bunch of water but the PA I saw said I had an ear infection and told me I was getting a stronger antibiotic for a week. I’m not sure I trust the guy because the antibiotic he gave me was THE SAME ONE I got two weeks ago and he thinks there’s a difference between Augmentin and Amoxicillin.

So now I have an upset stomach, another weeks worth of Amoxicillin, and got no help with my ear. I was told to avoid getting water in my ear, but screw the guy. I just flushed it out and now I can hear again.

More evidence that I need additional sleep.

I walked up to my car the other day and there was a scratch in the fender around the wheel well. It was definitely new. I rubbed on it to make sure it was a real scratch and not just some schmutz on my car. It was disconcerting to find a new scratch. I walked to the driver’s side and there was another scratch in about the same spot. Again, I rubbed on it to make sure it was a scratch. And then there was a scratch on the door, with a door ding I’d never seen before. Again, more rubbing. I figured there’s not much I can do about it, so I hit my remote unlock button and I noticed that the car two spaces away unlocked. It wasn’t my car I was looking at.

I hope whoever that is doesn’t mind that I was rubbing their car.

More old stories.

I remember my dad talking about being lightheaded or feeling sick to his stomach, and today I was feeling nauseous. Or is that nauseated? I think it probably doesn’t matter any more. In either case I wasn’t feeling so good. I almost felt good enough to go to the gym, but I figure I’m old and I could use the rest as well. For some reason I couldn’t get to sleep and I wasn’t at my best today. I felt a bit fuzzy. So now I may go to sleep before the fourth quarter even starts in this Denver/Oakland football game. And it’s not clear who is going to win and I’m kind of an Oakland fan. As long as they’re the Oakland Raiders, anyway, and not the L.A. Raiders. I may actually get to sleep at a sensible time!

In case you wondered, the stupid birds are back.

When I was younger, I never did watch a lot of sports. Now I can’t wait for football season to start and I can’t recall doing much this weekend besides watching football. It was in the 90’s, too hot for a native Oregonian (at least one from this part of the state) so it was just as well that I stayed inside all weekend. Oh, I guess I did take some stats classes from which is something you should check out.

It was my brother-in-law’s birthday yesterday so I got him a present off of his “list” and after that took him out to dinner. It’s funny how a meat curing facility has ling cod, polenta, and chicken for dinner (what my brother-in-law, sister, and mom had). I had the ribeye, which was almost as good as the last ribeye I had there.

Oh, and for anyone keeping track, 5000-6000 birds going in the chimney, 2000-3000 people watching. The birds are being counted, the estimate of people is just a wild-ass guess. The same guy was counting and estimating (not me).

A lot fewer people were at the soccer field dedication, but that’s a different story. $250,000 to let a bunch of rich kids play soccer but whatever. I’m all for kids getting more exercise.

Stupid DVR.

I stayed up late last night trying to figure out how to program all my shows on my blank DVR. I found shows online or on my iPad app and told it to record the series but all I would get on the DVR is an error message. Really, do they want me to get rid of my TV and just download things like a bad person? I gave up last night but tried again this afternoon and finally figured out that the DVR needed to download the TV schedule before it knew what to do. Ugh. So you can go on the intarwebs and tell the DVR all sorts of things but the DVR won’t understand until it gets its schedule figured out.

Well, I overdid it at the gym, like I knew I would. My legs felt wobbly yesterday and today my ass felt like it was cramping up. But I went anyway, and now my back is sore and I may have to sit out a few days. What a maroon. Can I blame the heat again? I think it was 91°F or something similarly unpleasant for us mossbacks here in Oregon.