Archive for January, 2016

In THAT Case . . . You’re Pretty Much Guaranteed To Learn Something

January 29, 2016

(Inspired by a true story.)

MRI, while a useful diagnostic tool, remains just a tool, and you don’t always learn something when you enter an MRI scanner.

Unless, of course, you’re didn’t know that you were claustrophobic before you entered . . .

I Am Uncomfortable With This

January 28, 2016

All of us have been fighting a cold here recently, some of us more successfully than others.  So far I’ve been holding the line against the worst of it, and last night I announced that I was going to take a hot bath to fortify myself so I could continue to “fight the good fight.”

Vaya con . . .” L’s Mother started to say, then stopped herself.  “Hmmm . . . I don’t remember off the top of my head how to say “bathe” in Spanish, but let’s make that ‘bathe con Dios.'”

Now, I know some people feel it’s important to have a close, personal relationship with the divine, but I have my doubts that level of relationship is strictly necessary . . .

Abe Vigoda Is . . .

January 27, 2016


(I’ve been checking that Abe Vigoda status site for years ever since I found out about it.  Not many men can mock the Grim Reaper for as long (He was first reported dead in 1982.) or with as much humor as Abe Vigoda.  Well played, sir.  Well played.)

IOU, One Mercury

January 26, 2016

Time for some full-disclosure follow-ups to yesterday’s entry:

1. I wanted to clarify that something unrelated to stargazing kept me awake until somewhere between one and two in the morning, and when I went to lie down was when I started thinking about the likelihood of me not waking up on time if I did.  That may be a small difference, but I don’t want to leave the false impression that my first plan was stay up all night.  (I made the right call too.  As a kid I used to plan to get up early to do some stargazing, but all too often found a warm bed more appealing than cold skies when the time came.)

2.  We did see the conjunction, and it was actually two five minute or so intervals that we were outside, and my son never complained about the cold.  He shivered a lot, but he never complained about it.

3.  It was the happiest I’d seen my son in a while, so, yes, it was worth it.

4.  But . . . uh . . . son?  When you read this some day, let the record reflect that I didn’t technically tell you that I saw Mercury, because we didn’t have a clear enough view to the horizon for that to be possible.  What I did is point out Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and Venus, then asked you if you could see Mercury just hidden behind the top of that tree, and you said you did.  That was a dirty trick, I know, but it made you so happy that you “saw” all the planets!  Even so . . . sorry about that.  Well catch Mercury another time, I promise, ideally before you ever even get around to reading this.

I’m SERIOUSLY Leaning Toward Idiot

January 25, 2016

So my five-year-old son has recently found a love for astronomy, and I made the mistake of telling him there was a rare planetary conjunction in the predawn sky, and that is why I’m still awake at four-thirty in the morning because he almost couldn’t go to sleep last night for fear that I wouldn’t wake him up to see it, which if I went to sleep I know full well I wouldn’t.

I do this also knowing full well that even IF we’ll be able to see anything, his attention span will have us out there five minutes at most before he wants to come inside, which is a good thing because he is also going to complain the whole time about the cold, and even that is assuming he wants to get up at all, but I promised him, so . . .

Here I am.

I can’t decide is this makes me a father of the year candidate . . . or just a huge idiot.

Making It Over The Lake (Part Three)

January 22, 2016

Lala, you see, had earlier stumbled into the same basic situation that I had just stumbled into, complete with the same sense of disorientation and confusion, but with one important difference.  When she came upon my son, he turned to her and asked one of his reflexive questions whenever he knows I’m nearby, but doesn’t know which precise square meter of the house I happen to be at that moment in time.  He asked her, “Where’s my dad?”

In that moment the strangeness of the situation took on a decidedly dark turn for her since she didn’t know where I was.

She figured it all out pretty quickly, I’m happy to say, but the whole experience left us both on edge, a lot more on edge than we would have been had I just been hit by my usual “flying alarm clock.”

But at least we made it over the lake, right?

Making It Over The Lake (Part Two)

January 21, 2016

Then, as I suspect most parents would since I didn’t sense any problems, I went back to sleep.  (It’s rare, but my son does on occasion sleep . . . not “late” exactly, but later than his norm.)

Waking up again (still sans pouncing) was a disorienting experience though.

I looked at the time, and though I still didn’t sense anything “wrong,” something was decidedly . . . different; I just couldn’t consciously put my finger on what it was.  So I stumbled out of bed, passed Lala on the living room couch without even noticing she was there, and into the family room to behold my son quietly watching his movie.  (It was the sound of his movie I was too sleepy at the time to identify before this point.)

To say I was confused here would be understating it.  This may be hard for some without young children to understand, but for me this was a like finding the dog in the process of cleaning up after herself, then her looking me in the eye and saying, “I’ve got this.  Don’t worry about it.”  Far from unpleasant, just profoundly . . . unexpected.

I got off easy though.  It was Lala who hit the tree on this one.

Making It Over The Lake (Part One)

January 20, 2016

The “lake” of my recent years has been sleep, and while my son has, for the moment at least, stopped waking me in the middle of the night, he currently functions for me as what others have described as “the world’s worst alarm clock,” and I never know how far over the lake of sleep I’ll make it before I’m rudely awakened by him pouncing on me.  Even on the days I get to “sleep in,” in practical terms what that really means is that I get to go back to sleep after the pounce.

Until yesterday.

Yesterday his mother not only successfully intercepted him pre-pounce (Having only occasionally managed to intercept him myself, I know how difficult this trick is.), but convinced him to let me sleep unless he actually needed something.  He’s certainly old enough to do this by now, so she left for work while he watched a movie.  Not knowing any of this, I heard her leave (I usually do), and waited for the pounce.

And waited.

And waited . . .

I’m Going Somewhere With This, Of Course

January 19, 2016

Many (many, many, many . . . stop that!) years ago, I watched a show about some people who amused themselves by skiing at top speed toward a lake just to see how far across the lake they could jump.  Now this was snow skiing in winter, and this lake was cold, to say the least, and hitting the water was just about the worst thing that could happen to you at the end of your run.  However, since this was a good-sized lake, hitting the water was pretty much guaranteed.

Pretty much.

People being what they are, eventually one person managed to jump completely over the lake . . . into the top of a tree . . . then into the middle of another tree, before they finally (not to mention painfully) hit the ground.  I learned an important lesson that day:

Sometimes the only thing worse than not making it over the lake, is making it over the lake!

A Follow-Up To My Previous Entry

January 18, 2016

I wrote what I wrote on Friday in personal response to something I saw a while back saying, in essence, “Be sure to compliment the writers you like, because the day you say something nice may be the day they otherwise would have given up writing.”

Now . . . I don’t want to sound like I’m dismissing the importance of positive feedback to a writer, because I most assuredly am not dismissing that!  A little compliment can go a long way, and a discouraged writer may indeed stop sharing their writing, which I’ll grant can amount to the same thing to the reader, so by all means give those compliments freely if you are so inclined, but take it from me:

To a writer, “giving it up” is akin to giving up oxygen.  Oh, you can hold your breath for a while, but the consequences keep getting worse and eventually you have to either breathe or die.