Friday, March 30, 2012

Costco Stopped Sucking...

In all fairness, I report them as I see them and Costco gets a big thumbs up for this move. I found myself in the area of Business Costco and I thought I'd stop and see if they had any of my little red and white candies from Brach's, that I'm addicted to. Then I realized I had been off of them for about a month, why start the addiction going again? I filled up my tank and when the total was a gazillion buck's, for some reason I remembered the package of chopped sirloin burgers that I had to throw away because they were spoiled. I've been buying those burgers for many years and have never had trouble with them in the past, but it kind of bugged me to have to throw away an item that cost about $18. No, in all fairness again, I was able to consume about 1/2 of them, but Costco is so good about standing behind their products and I seldom return anything, except for that cell phone that went haywire last year, when Costco got the new reputation of sucking, since their reaction to my problem was. "Go screw yourself". So there I stood at the return station and no one was working it. I was there about 5 minutes when another customer asked if I worked there and could I help her? I rethought my attire and politely said, no. I patiently awaited someone to assist me. Several employees asked if I needed help and promised to send someone and eventually, about 10 or 12 minutes in total, someone came and asked if she could help me. 

I told her of my problem and she asked if I brought the tainted beef in? I gave her one of those looks that said, would you bring spoiled meat directly to the store where you purchased it or would you eat something else because it was dinnertime and throw away the smelly stuff? I told her that storing spoiled meat in my car, even in cool weather was not a crowd pleaser and I'd lost more than one friend doing so, not to mention being followed by numerous cats. That I did not bring it in and she should be thanking me, since she was about 8 months pregnant and the smell alone would have brought on labor! Once again I casually mentioned that I was a customer back when they were Price club and she looked up my account and saw it was almost as old as her. She ran for a manager and the combination politely refunded my $18 plus tax, crediting it to my credit card. I told her that I was headed to the freezer to repurchase the exact same burgers, as they have become a staple in my diet and she said not to bother, as they no longer carry them, since they've had trouble with them. Humph!

Monday, March 26, 2012

My Career Ends......kind of

Last June and I know that's 9 months ago, I bought a truck from an old from of mine in the car business. Over the years I'd bought quite a few vehicles from this gentleman and made quite a few bucks off of them. This vehicle was an old work truck, with a 1 ton rating, making it very desirable as work trucks go. In any other setting, a 1 ton truck under $5000 would be like money in the bank, so to speak, but there is just one thing I forgot to take into consideration. There is NO CONSTRUCTION going on in the valley of the sun, Phoenix, Arizona currently. Once I realized my error, I figured it would take just a little longer to market. Last week, through "Davine Intervention", that transaction finally took place. I took the liberty of advertising my truck in the Auto Trader and paid the extra $25, so the ad would run for a full year. That happened in January. The deal went something like this.

I received an email from a gentleman that left his email address, telephone number and name for me and wanted to know if the truck were still available. I wrote him back that it was indeed. I told him I'd call him tomorrow, since it was too late in the evening tonight. The following day I did precisely that. He started off by telling me he was looking for a truck, as a gift for his soon to be 18 year old son. I stopped him short and explained that this was not a truck for a child's gift, it was more of a work truck and has had a hard life. Now you may not believe me, but I've been doing this long enough to know you can't make a size 10 foot, fit into a size 6 shoe. In other words, if I had a son that was having a birthday, I certainly would not buy him a purse and matching shoes, because he clearly would not want those items. He also would not want an old work truck to show off to his high school friends. It would waste my time, as well as everyone elses. I explain all this in detail, without the reference to his son wearing a purse and shoes, of course. That was just for us on the blog. He counters with, "I'd like to see it anyway". I'm flabbergasted, I actually took the phone away from my ear and looked at it, like a dog that heard a strange noise!

The following day, as arranged, I'm down at the old lot with a bucket, soap and a towel, full knowing that the truck is going to destroyed from rainy weather. I wash it and the old girl looks pretty good for an old work truck. Nothing I can do will remove the pitting from hail, that the roof suffered. It's got plain old tires and factory work wheels, absolutely nothing fancy. One thing I'd like to note, is that it ran better than any truck I'd driven in a long time, in spite of the fact that it showed an amazing 177,000 hard miles on the odometer. Even though it did not smell from cigarette smoke, it did have a couple of cigarette burns on the seat and was missing one visor completely. I'd had the tail gate repainted, as it was all chipped up and it passed emissions, of course.

Right on time, Ken pulls up in his Porsche 911, black convertible and all I can do is laugh. I'm thinking I haven't got a snow ball's chance in hell of selling this old beat up truck to a guy driving a fancy sports car like his. This is the worst possible scenario! With a smile on my face from laughing, Ken just thinks I'm a friendly guy. We chat for a time and he explains he just got the Porsche for his birthday. A gift for himself and now he's looking for some piece of shit for his kid. I'm starting to dislike Ken, just a little. We take it for a ride and Ken asks me if it's dependable. Frankly, it is. I would leave it sitting for months at a time and it always starts right up. He looks at the engine like he knew what he was looking at, but he didn't. He moves into chisel mode. I watch it happen before my very eyes. One minute he's a big successful executive driving a Porsche 911 and the next he can't afford full price. It happens every time! I felt like crying when he finished his sob story. He makes me an offer a full $500 less than I'm asking and I'm so anxious to sell the mother, that I merely say, YES! Ken was even shocked. One of the things I learned at UCU, Used Car University , was to never let the buyer think he offered too much by accepting his offer. So I told him a made up story about how I was losing about $1800 on it, after making a loan to a friend. I don't even think he was listening. The following day he and his wife along with his son, driving a Hummer H-2 in bright red pull up. His son was extremely shy and couldn't make eye contact and kept his hands in his pockets the entire time. Ken paid me and they all left and now I'm officially out of business........... kind of!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunny Days and Fridays...

Thursday night found me bent over with unrelenting pain. The pain in my stomach that brought me to the doctor's office on Monday morning had not been relieved by the idiot saying it was constipation and sending me off without any sort of remedy. The emergency room came to mind and I had not visited one since that eventful night on January 23rd 2005 when a baboon poked a hole through me heart and after said these words, "WHOOPS, I tore your heart".. So you wouldn't exactly call my memories of the E R, fond. Also, in the back of my mind, I'm picturing it being a Thursday night and all of the gun shot victims and gang fight casualties will be there. As since I just didn't feel that I had the patience to wait while they sewed up the belly of an an opposing gang member, I simply took 2 Ibuprofen and tried to go to sleep. That method worked pretty well and I only got up a few times.

 Friday morning arrived about 8 AM and the pain was still there. Previously on the night before, the pain was at a full 10 and didn't seem to release for about 3 or 4 minutes at a time. (Sounds like a birth!) Friday morning it was a lot better, but no sign of it going away. So the decision was made, after suffering with it for about 3 weeks, to go do something about it. In my brain, I make these snap decisions right between the motor section and the sex drive area. Neither have been too active lately, thus the 3 weeks.

There must be an unwritten rule somewhere that says, "NO NOT DRIVE YOURSELF TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM", because the parking lot is a good 1/2 miles from the ER at Banner Thunderbird Hospital. The location of the parking lot to the ER is my one and only complaint about the facility. They were WONDERFUL! I kind of felt a little strange being standing upright because everyone ahead of me were in wheelchairs. First there was a 17 year old kid with Cerebral Palsy crying really loudly. He unable to communicate was clearly in severe pain. He was quickly sent off to a interviewing room that turned out to be right next to mine. I learned a little of his situation. He was 17 and a foster son of the man that brought him in that day, truly a saint. He'd been his foster father for 12 years when his biological parents abandoned him at age 5. This poor kid whaled for a good 30 minutes until they wheeled him away to a private room and I listened to his sad howling as it distanced itself down the hallway. Next was a homeless man with a gash that was about a week old, that required sewing up, but it was too late to try that. All they could do was clean it and bandage it, as he howled in pain. I got the impression that it was on his face and when questioned about how he got it, all he would say was that he didn't remember. You should have been there as they tried to pry $25 out of him that he clearly didn't have. They finally gave up after giving him an envelope to send in the payment when he gets home to his park bench. It was embarrassing to listen to, as he was clearly a welfare victim of our economy.

After a couple of hours, I was seen and someone took my history. Blood was drawn and I was promised a CT scan. Many hours had gone by and suddenly, out of nowhere, just as he was a dream, a kid came to my ER bed and announced that he was going to wheel me to the imaging section. Keep in mind that I have not eaten now in 24 hours, but this kid in a pizza aficionado. He had a picture of his favorite pizza on his phone, really! In a couple of weeks, he's headed to Chicago because he's been told that they have the best pizza. (probably from a Chicagoan). I told him to be sure to try Uno's on Rush! I kind of liked being wheeled around by another person. When I get nervous, I tend to get pretty funny. Friday and Saturday, I was hysterical. As he wheeled me around I warned him that if anyone attempted to put a toe tag on my, I was gonna make a run for it! Let's call my new driver, Joe. Joe took me to a few places and gave me the grand tour of the first floor, mostly in error, since he really had no idea where he was supposed to take me. I got parked for awhile while he found out just where they wanted me and it turned out to be, back to the ER, since after all these hours, my room was still not ready.

So now I'm in a new section of the ER kind of in a holding pattern, but no one would hold me! Because so many hours had passed and no one has fed me, I was just starved. The nurse gave me a menu, but just to appease me. As I viewed pictures of beautiful entrees from their artistic menu, a new doctor, an Italian this time, came in. He was to be my gastrointestinal dude. Little guy with a friendly smile. We chatted for a while, I liked him. Way better than the Indian doctor whose name had 42 letters in it, who argued with me about everything from my treatment to the weather. He worked out of the same office as my buddy Dr. Z, that I've been seeing for 7 years. This new guy wanted to change everything and I kept telling him to check with my doctor and all that did was piss him off. So now, I not only have to manage my own pain, which by the way, no one has addressed, but also the multitude of, and I'm sorry to say, male egos.

Now in his parting words, my little Italian doctor is walking out my door and announces that he's going to put me on a liquid diet for today! That's when I leaped out of the bed and grabbed him by the throat! (not really) I told him that I'd not eaten in 24 hours or  probably more now and I was really looking forward to a little something. He emphatically said no! I begged, I pleaded, I asked for oatmeal. I finally won him over with oatmeal and he gave me the okay! Just then a nurse came in and announced that they had a room for me and she took me away in my chariot (bed). 

I was assigned room 125 and a private room, no less. She took me on my grand tour and even showed me the bathroom, but I assured her that I was a bed wetter and wouldn't be bothering with that! She had a good sense of humor and we got along well. That's when she dropped the bomb on me, she handed me a menu and told me that if I'm hungry, I only have 10 minute left to order. A million things started running through my brain. Suddenly in my mind I was a scale of justice. On one side was a pizza with sausage and pepperoni and on the other side was a bowl of oatmeal. Sitting with the pizza was a little devil and of coarse the angel was sopping in the oatmeal. (poor guy). With a tear in my eye, I informed nurse Sweetie, that I was just told I needed to be on a liquid diet today. She picked up her instructions and announced back, that according to her info, I just need to keep my sodium down, so we compromised with a grilled chicken sandwich. By the way, it was so bad, I wished I'd had the oatmeal!

The next eventful thing that happened, other than trying to figure out the TV, was this beautiful girl that wandered into my room, kind of looking lost. She introduced herself as a hospital hostess or something like that and wanted my history again! *Fun Time* She had a distinct accent and she told me she was from Russia. I asked if she were 25 and she told me, a lady does not give up her true age, but she then announced that she was 31. I said, 25 or 31, same thing. Her first question was, What am I in here for? After giving it a lot of thought and deciding that Natasha can probably take it, I explained that I'd been a man all of my life and I was 65. I'd promised myself many years ago, that if I lived long enough to reach my 65th birthday and the technology was in place, that I would like to change, to be a woman. Now if you could have seen her naive face, as she went through all the contortions required to process this all, it by itself was just worth it all. Her last facial expression was one of a smile and she said in her Russian accent, "you are kidding me, of course". I said, yes I am and we both had a good laugh.

I must reiterate that the staff was so helpful and nice that it really made the experience pleasant. For example, I didn't have my battery charger for my phone. I had not expected to stay over. My nurse went around to several other nurses stations until she found one that would work on my phone. That was the sweetest thing anyone has done for me in a long time.

I finally fell asleep around 1 AM, only to be awakened at 2:30 AM by a pleasant young female voice that said, hi! I opened my eyes to a premonition and there standing in my doorway is a beautiful 22 year old blond with a female shape that was quite noticeable. Turned out she was one of those Vampire Chicks from the movies, because all she was interested in was my blood! 

I let my Ambien drag me back under and finally awakened at 5 AM due to the hustle and bustle of the floor. People walking by, voices in the hall, doors opening and closing. The day was starting way too soon! At some point, probably shift change, 3 people appeared in my room to be introduced. I thought that was nice. I met my day nurse, a guy named Adam, his assistant or aide, Chris. Both very polite and helpful and turned out friendly. I could not have been treated better. A couple of different doctors came by, the ones on call and said I could go home as soon as the paperwork is done, about 3 PM. I did wake up with a raging sore throat today though,  and I swear I didn't kiss anyone!

***Addendum to this post. Somehow in the confusion of the day, I neglected to mention that the results of the CT scan came back about an hour after the test and I was diagnosed with Diverticulitis, and inflammation of the Sigmoid section of the lower bowel, which would account for the pain I had been suffering. Sorry to Katie and MJ for neglecting to mention it in my rather confusing story. I'm on an antibiotic and pain reliever, as well as adjusting my BP meds to accommodate my condition. Feeling much better already.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Modern Medicine...Quack, Quack..

I had been putting it off, but I finally had to change primary care physicians. You know, it's not as easy as it seems. First you have to find a doctor for your insurance to verify is an okay guy for them, otherwise they won't pay him. After accomplishing that, you need to find one that is within a certain physical location, so you're not driving all over Tim-buck-too. With that accomplished, you need to find one that has an opening this decade, not always easy. Usually the ones with an open schedule kind of suck.

I called the office of the infamous Dr. Doolittle, not her real name, only to find that she is not seeing any new patients, but her young associate Dr. Macadamian has an open schedule. So I made an appointment with the youthful Dr. Macadamian for this past Monday morning. I arrived promptly and checked in with a pleasant young lady with a peace sign tattooed behind her ear. I was told to take a seat and await my doctors nurse to request my presence in an interior room. I sat down next to an empty seat that was holding an elderly woman's purse and as soon as I sat down there, the old woman grabbed her purse and put it on her lap with that "don't even think about it" look on her face. So I didn't think about it!

After about 10 minutes of total boredom, a plump young lady called my first name. I approached her and soon learned that she was not capable of either smiling or making eye contact. In fact the more I think about it, she may have been one of those new robots. She took my history without incidence and asked if it were okay if a medical student examined me along with the doctor. I said yes and was secretly hoping that it would be Jennifer Aniston, but no luck there.

Soon and he was waiting outside the door, a young pleasant young guy came in and introduced himself. I'd say he was about 23. He examined me, asked me reasonable questions and gave me sufficient answers. I told him why I was there, that I had been suffering from severe pain in my lower left quadrant of my abdomen. He took notes. After about 15 minutes, another young kid came in and this one introduced himself as Dr. Macadamian. He was Middle eastern, about 27 and cocky, arrogant and incompetent, but I'll get to that. He listened to my complaints about my pain, kind of laughed and told me I was constipated. I would have asked for my money back, but Medicare was paying! Guess what? I'm soon going to be 66 and by now, I've had every malady that a stomach can give you and I'm NOT constipated. I had already pre-diagnosed my problem as Diverticulitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, but with no medical background I was just guessing. But then again, so was young Dr. Macadamian! He asked me when my last Colonoscopy was and I told him 10 years ago. He said, well you know you're due for that. I agreed, but at my house they're just not doing them, that's why I was there, but young Dr. Macadamian blew it off after that.

Another reason that I was there, was because I had a blister or a skin cancer on my forehead and it had been there for at least 5 years, but I wanted to have it biopsied. He explained that the owner of the practice specializes in skin cancer, so I've come to the right place. Once again he dropped the topic and it was over. No follow up appointment with that doctor and he was beginning to say his goodbye. Since I was still in pain, I asked if there were a way to confirm my pain is from constipation? He finally ordered an ex-ray and they handed me an ex-ray order to give to the nurse. I shook their hands and said my goodbye and I was abandoned, just standing there. I wandered around looking for someone to ask about the ex-ray and found a staff member wandering around too. I asked her about my ex-ray and she looked at my paper, then which insurance I had and was told due to my insurance, I'll have to go to another location for it. It was walking distance in the same center, so I went over there. I walked in and was told there would be a wait. Now the only employee there, was a man about 55 years old in dress slacks and a button down shirt. Kind of reminded me of the owner. No employees. 

He told me that there was someone on the table and they can't just pull them off to do mine. I was kind of shocked that he'd even talk that way to me. He told me that as soon as they were finished with that patient, I was next. That was a blatant lie. Everyone that was there sitting, went in ahead of me, as they should have. I'd say, I waited about an hour and fifteen minutes when a young girl called me in. She was the only technician working there. The place was clearly going broke. My ex-ray took me about 10 minutes and I left thinking, no further instructions, hmm..... 

I walked back to the doctor's office complex and walked in fresh. I approached the desk and was asked if they could help me. I talked to the same girl with the peace sign behind her ear and she didn't recognize me. I made a new appointment with the cancer specialist and that is for tomorrow. I held off writing this report for as long as I could, thinking Dr. Macadamian would call me with the ex-ray results, but no, nothing. 

I seem to have been pretty "regular" since then, but still have a severe pain in my lower stomach. I also feel like going to this doctor was a complete waste of time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sleeping in the Desert...

I hate making the bed, so I don't! No one is around to make me and it's so much easier to close the door than make the bed, that I cannot tell you. A few days ago I washed sheets, another job I hate. The honest truth is, there are only 2 things I really like to do in beds and the second one is sleep! Let me get back to my story. So I washed and dried the only set of sheets I have left after the move. Somehow, the other 8 or 9 sets just disappeared. So to have clean sheets, I always have to wash and remake the bed and as I mentioned, I'd rather scrub a toilet than make the bed. 

So it's late at night, I'd had a busy day and it was really comfortable weather all day and no pajamas are required. Dressed only in my shorts I climb into bed and move around to get comfortable and I notice that my bed for some reason feels like I just laid down on the desert floor to sleep, instead of my 400 thread count, well broken in only set of sheets. What the hell? I jump out of bed, throw on the light and inspect my fresh clean sheets, only to find that sometime during the day, Macy had slipped into my room and jumped up in my bed to enjoy a few dog biscuits in privacy, leaving a full assortment of crumbs where she laid! Oh woe is me!

Who Me???

Friday, March 16, 2012

Strange Thing Happened on the Way Home from the Strip Club!

I open my laptop and there's an email from someone named Sandi. 

Initially, I was pleased to hear from her, as she was pretty and of the same faith that my parents told me I was.. Then I noticed she was 62, right at the upper crest of my age limit. Then I read her email and about fell off my chair. The old expression "CONTROL FREAK" jumped out at me. I've listed our communication here for your reading pleasure.. I've been doing this long enough now, to learn not to take any guff from would-be social freaks. So the email that you see below came popping out of my laptop with a little coaxing from me. I thought I worded it well, but still made my point. However, her reply was pleasing enough that I reconsidered my decision to "just say no!" After the last email through the dating website, I wrote her privately and offered her my phone number, as per her request, showing that I'd given in, so to speak. Big Mistake! 

I'd say that we had chatted for about 3 minutes on the phone before the topic of what an asshole Obama is, came floating out of her one sided mouth. Then she asked if I were a Conservative, like her. I told her it was a little late to be asking, lol. I told her that it's probably not a good idea to discuss politics on our first conversation, in view of the extreme differences of the two parties, these days. For example, we Democrats drive with our family pets "inside" the car! We chatted for about 30 minutes, I realized that our having even begun was a mistake and said our goodbyes. I'd say, within 10 minutes, she sent me an article that read, "Obama Plans on the U.S. Tax Payers to Spend 1.76 Gazillion Dollars in the Next 4 Years" and an invitation to be her friend on Facebook. Seeing her full name on Facebook, I Googled her, a practice to be observed, and learned that the lovely Sandi was, ready?...........................Seventy Two years old! 

Can you see in her second line of her first email where she says she's honest (in almost everything)? That's what she meant! I'll post her picture, so we can all say together, "SHE DOES NOT LOOK 72"!!!!! 

 HI Mel,
 You have an intriguing profile. Well let's see, I am slim,honest (in almost everything),cute, and probably would be attractive to you.My mind works overtime and I love my life. That seems to address a few of your caveats for a "person of interest." If you would like to talk, I will be happy to call you or, email me at I am not into long drawn out emails! Sandi

 My purpose is not to be critical of you, but reading your reply to me, only one thing jumped out. You took "control" of everything. You responded favorably initially, then you instructed me on how to reply to your email and even the length of my email back to you. You mention men that flat line does not work, but then you take charge. I think we just had our first fight! If I'm wrong, please explain, if not, I doubt we would get along. I tend to be my own man. Mel

 Hi Mel, Right, first fight and I never fight with anyone. I never mentioned the length of your email. Don't know where that came from. Was not trying to be instructive either, but, u r clearly right...we would not get on well. I sincerely wish you good luck. Thanks for your interest. Sandi

 "I am not into long drawn out emails!" If you screen down, you'll see this as the last line of your email.

 Mel, It was definitely mot a comment or complaint about your email which I thought was lovely. It was simply a statement about me. I, personally, prefer talking on the phone rather than emailing. Sorry it was open to being misconstrued.

Ambien... Nuf Said!

It's no secret that I've been having trouble sleeping lately. I've mentioned it before. Dr. Harvey has been kind enough to prescribe Ambien for me and when it didn't do squat, he told me to try Melatonin that I can get at Costco, over the counter. I did. Unfortunately, I was up to 4 pills a night, before I spoke with Dr. Harvey, who told me to cut it back, I was taking too much. More or fewer pills really made no difference, still no sleep. Last night, after about 3 sleepless nights, and don't get me wrong. I sleep a little, then am awakened for no reason and just lay there for hours. Nothing seems to help. Already pretty tired, I popped a 5mg Ambien for good luck and began my evening routine, which is reading a mystery thriller, that I'm not finding the least bit thrilling. After about 15 minutes, I noticed that I couldn't concentrate on my book and repeatedly started the page over and repeatedly, nothing sounded even familiar. How odd! Another thing that was rather unusual, was there was another conversation going on in my head. I really couldn't make it out, but it was interfering with my concentration. Aren't I too old to become schizophrenic?

I decided that I wasn't tuned into the book and got up and played on the computer for awhile. Ah, Facebook. I saw that I had a friend request from a lady that I had spoken with earlier, a raging Republican and a hater of Obama, all rolled into 5' 2" and about 110 LBS. They don't have to be big, to be loud! I accepted her friendship and Facebook started suggesting other friends. That's when I decided that I should invite anyone that I went to high school with to be my new Facebook friend. I didn't even know these people. I must have invited about 15 total strangers to be friends with me, why not?

At some point, I realized I was really kind of groggy and decided to quit fighting it and went to sleep. It was about 1:30 AM by then and enjoyed a restful wonderful night of sleep, until Macy barged in about 7:30 and jumped on top of me. It wasn't until about 2 hours later that I opened the old laptop and saw the strangers that had accepted my invitations and wondered initially where the hell they all came from? Then it all started coming back to me. Now, do I explain it all to them or just leave the course of events alone? I'm gonna take Ambien again tonight, just to see what kind of fun I can have!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Emergency Room Visit, Oh NO!

I recall my father suffered from insomnia and would be up all night reading. I remember thinking that I certainly hope that doesn't happen to me. So it did. It's been about 2 months now that about 5 nights a week, I cannot fall asleep and occasionally I do, but for only an hour or so and then I'm up for the rest of the night. I told my buddy Dr. Howard about the problem and he prescribed Ambien along with a strict warning about the possible side effects of sleep walking. I quickly learned that sleep walking was not going to be a problem with me, because the Ambien wouldn't put me to sleep.

I think it was Friday morning at about 5:30, was the last accurate reading of the time, when suddenly, out of nowhere, LJ was standing in my doorway saying, "I'm sick, you have to take me to the hospital"! At first I thought I was dreaming, I glanced over at the clock and it said, 6 AM. She repeated, "Hurry, I have to go now"! 

I leaped out of bed, explained that I had to pee and left her in the doorway. I took care of business, put on my pants and was just pulling my shirt over my head as I entered LJ's room, where she was just sitting on her bed announcing, "I called an ambulance".  She was in no condition to drill on why, that I could get her there quicker than waiting for an ambulance, so I helped her to the living room to await her chariot. This was my first time at calling 911 and didn't really know what to expect. I asked LJ what she told them, but she didn't remember. After about 7 or 8 minutes, I heard a diesel truck in front of the house and went outside to show them the way. What I found was a fire engine and a second vehicle, a car, and evidently the EMS folks inside had not seen each other for a while, because they were exchanging high 5's and greeting one another. After about 5 minutes of this, they came inside the house and immediately ordered the dog locked up. I complied, completely against little Macy's will. I locked her in my room, where Macy attempted to burrow under the door. 

I don't think I'd ever been less impressed with a group of lifesavers. They were disorganized and confused. The big guy, a man about 6' 6"was most notable. When one of them asked Julie what was wrong, she explained that she had severe pain in her lower right section of her belly, as well as other places. She indicated that she hopes it's not her Appendix. The big guy said not to worry, the Appendix is on the lower left side. Everyone including myself, looked at one another to see if they were going to correct him, but everyone decided it would be in our best interest to just let it go. Ten or twelve minutes more had passed and guess what. The ambulance arrived. I thought it was outside all along. More confusion and chaos. Eventually LJ was lifted up onto the gurney and wheeled out. As they were leaving, I asked which hospital they were taking her to. Someone answered, Arrowhead, it's at 67th Ave and Union Hills on the North side of the street. I found it on the South side of the street, but close enough.

Once the door closed, I rushed to get Macy out of confinement and she rushed out with that where is my Mommy look on her face, sniffing everywhere. I think she wanted to bite the big dumb guy!

Everything seemed pretty anticlimactic after they all left and in spite of the fact that I'd not had any sleep, I was too wound up to do anything but pace. I drove to the hospital. When I finally found the place, I parked and went in. It was a chilly 52 degrees and I hadn't brought a jacket. The sun was just coming up and it was going to be a beautiful day, as it turned out. I went in and started searching for LJ. I learned that she was inside the confines of the Emergency Room and I couldn't just walk in, I had to have permission. I'm not a relative so why was I there. I briefly explained though the intercom and finally got buzzed in. I was told to search for room 17 where she was being held hostage. When I finally found room 17, there was a woman the size of a linebacker just about screaming at Julie. She was the nurse in charge. Everything that came out of her mouth was in lecture form. If you asked me if she were a nurse or a prison guard, I'd have gotten that one wrong! LJ was trying her best to vomit into the pick plastic receptacle they had supplied her and Sargent Houser was yelling for her to keep her arm straight or the IV wouldn't feed. Frankly, when you're blowing chunks, do you care? I was ordered to a chair next to the sink and at about eye level with it. When Sargent Houser came over to wash her hands, she splashed the hell out onto me. I asked for a life guard and her assistant laughed really loud. Nurse Houser gave her a dirty look that cracked me up and I exited to the hall to not laugh in front of LJ, who was as miserable as I've ever seen her.

I could see that I was not going to be of any help and Macy was alone at home. I'd been there about 2 hours when I left. I called Arrowhead Hosp. a couple of times, one they hung up on me, because I wasn't family. The next time I was told they would not give me information over the phone and hung up on me, then they told me she was being admitted to a room but not the one they told me. The next time I called, I asked for her and told them she seems to be lost. That pissed off whoever I spoke with who insisted she was certainly NOT lost, just between departments. Either way, they just couldn't find her.

Julie had left her phone home, so I had brought it to her, but she was so sick, she had no interest in having it, so I took it home again. It started to ring and it showed Arrowhead's phone number, so after playing with it for a time, I finally figured out how to answer it and it was LJ. She gave me the info I wanted, like what was wrong with her and she explained that they found a raging colon infection (colitis) and were pumping her full of antibiotics. She called me later and asked me to bring her phone and change of clothes. I got there about 8 PM, but they were closed to visitors, so I had to wait for someone to leave, then sneak in. 

One of the problems was, that LJ wanted her purple purse. She asked me to put her things in it, it had all her necessities. Now there just isn't an easy way for a man to bring a woman a purple purse that's not contained in something, there isn't! So I found one those ecology bags the grocery store gives you instead of using plastic and put the purple purse inside it. Good thinking, huh? It was now sleepy time for all the sick people and the ones that aren't sleepy, they drug! That was the case with LJ. She was drifting off, relieved of pain and deprived of sleep, until just then. I gave her the bag with her goodies inside and I'm not even sure she knew who I was. When I got to the exit, there were two big guys waiting there, just the way that I had earlier. I opened the door and let them in and decided they needed a better plan for that door!

I went home and went to sleep, finally. I left my phone turned on right next to the bed, just in case, but it didn't ring until about 10 AM. Guess who! It was the Lovely Jules. She was feeling better and wanted the hell out of there. Somehow that made it to about 3 PM when they finally released her. I said, okay I'm leaving right now, should be about 7 or 8 minutes. She said, no rush, I still have the IV in my arm. I figured hell, I can pull that out. When I got there about 30 minutes later, giving her plenty of time to get discharged, she informed me that she STILL had the IV in her arm and was feeling just awful again. Keep in mind, I had just spent the entire previous morning watching her heave and didn't need a replay, but this wasn't about me. When I got up there, she had a roommate now and the docs and nurses were attending to her. It was a 20 something plump girl that couldn't poop! Ain't in great how you learn so much about everyone in a hospital?

Finally this short fat guy about 30 years old that was wearing navy blue scrubs, (I learned that meant he was an RN) came over and pulled out the needle and handed LJ a couple of prescription. Now all we had to do was check out and split, right? Wrong. The lady came up with a wheelchair that was so wide, I asked if I could ride along with LJ, but both LJ and the lady said no simultaneously. Humph. We had to stop at the cashier's office and there was a line. I asked if we could skip this part and were told, absolutely not! Our lady did get another worker to not go on break and help us though. Now keep in mind, that just about everything that I had anything to do with in this hospital went poorly. From the ride there to parting gestures. The lady wheeled Julie into this office where the worker smiled a really phony smile and started her closing approach. She announced that LJ's bill was $5500. and how does she want to settle it. Picture Julie with her head down, not answering or responding in any fashion. Long dead silence. She said, do you have any money for us today? More painful silence. LJ then lifts her head,and explains that shes feeling just awful and can she come back tomorrow to finish this? She's told a firm, NO! Then the bitch says, how about just $500 for now? No answer from LJ, just head down in misery. When she begged for $50 I lost all respect for the woman and her job, not to mention the hospital. Julie had come in within the belly of an ambulance. She had no checkbook, hell she didn't even have shoes! I almost offered the hospital her fresh set of clothes I'd brought yesterday, but instead we backed Julies wheelchair out of the room and we left! LJ told the lady pushing her that she hoped she didn't get in trouble for this, but we're leaving..... and we did.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pigeon Poop

You know how as life continues, you encounter various new experiences occurring in your life? Well today, awakening brought me to a new task that no matter how much I scratch my head, has never happened prior. First, Macy came into my room, something she doesn't seem to do without a reason. she hopped up on my bed and nuzzled up to me and went to sleep. I thought that odd. My room is a small 12' X 11' extra bedroom with a king sized bed with 2 dressers and an amour. There's a path to the bed and not much else. It gives me claustrophobia and I'm sure Macy our 80 lb pup feels the same. After a few minutes, Macy decided it was play time so I decided to get up and start the day. I threw on a pair of pants and a t-shirt and headed out, into the family room with Macy close behind me. That's when I saw 2 of the largest pigeons roosting on the drapery rod over our sliding door. I was genuinely hoping that the pigeons were on the outside and only appeared to be indoors. No such luck. These suckers were the size of chickens! Those two had somehow made it inside the house and were in just as much of a rush to get out as I was to have them out. Macy, about 18 months old, must have encountered the pair of nesting birds and decided to seek refuge in my room, explaining her unusual visit. LJ wasn't home, but has a habit of leaving her sliding door in her bedroom wide open, to give Macy access to the yard at her leisure. I tend to frown on this idea because even though it gives access to Macy, it also give availability to the variety of flies and desert vermin to the house and my worst fear is coyotes. We're on the golf course and the coyotes wander the 13th hole that we're on, as well as all the others every night at their will. Today pigeons, but tomorrow, who knows?

Macy comes from behind me and squats and pees on the spot. Being a dog person, I realize she is doing her inborn reaction of marking her territory. She declared the family room hers and I went for the mop! At this point Macy becomes Macy the great hunting dog of Arizona and lashes out an attack at the birds, that are not only scared to death, but well out of harms way on the drapery rod. However, they decide to go airborne and fly without a flight course around the family room at will and flying at full speed into the windows. Now my fear is that they will knock themselves out and fall to the floor where Macy with have an early Thanksgiving dinner!

I need to extract Macy from the situation before it becomes a bloodbath. So I take her outside and lock her inside the pool area, a place that we usually lock her out of, since her unscheduled swimming lesson last winter. Macy had been going around topless without her collar and was not an easy dog to grab a hold of, however, where there is a will, there is a way. Back to the problem at hand. Pigeon herding.

My first thought is to get a cue stick from the rack and use it as a long roosting spot for the birds. This really surprised me. I lifted the cue stick up in front of the pigeon very slowly and gently pushed it into the bird's chest and I'll be a son of a gun, he hopped on and I ever so gently carried him on the end of the pool stick, out the sliding door. 50% done, I now approach the second and only bird left and attempt the same thing, but no luck. This time he goes airborne and is flying about and hides himself within the confines of a fake corn plant and he's wedged against the wall. Tough place to maneuver. This time he flies off and lands somehow under the pool table, where I try to herd him out, but he takes a left where he should have taken a right and winds up at the farthest point in the house from where I have to lead him, to get out. You could just tell from dealing with this bird, he was no genius! But then again, I'm the one that he's outsmarting. Now, I try to get behind him and accomplish that and kind of herd him out to the family room and with him waddling in his little pigeon walk, looking back over his left shoulder every so often to see if I'm still there or just a bad bird dream?

We find ourselves about 6 feet from the sliding glass doors that are now at full mast, wide open and I gently tap him on the bird butt with my cue stick and he flies out the door to welcome wings of his mate that was sitting in a nearby tree rooting him on. Mission accomplished and not a single bird was injured during the writing of this story!

Now all I have to do is clean up that puddle and a whole lot of pigeon poop.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The First Lie is Never Enough...

Last night, as I lay in bed reading a mystery novel, my Blackberry indicated that I had mail. It was a message from a lady on Plenty of Fish dating service, oh joy! It indicated that it was from AZSweet and the reason that I know the screen name is because she has written to me so many times in the past. Her name is Candy and she wanted to know when we were ever going to get together? Candy is 62 and frankly, between her plump size and advanced years, I never really even read her profile. I already know I'm going to catch some heat for saying 62 is advanced age, considering I'm 65. 

The book was kind of mundane and I figured I could use a break, so I got up and hand cranked the old laptop. I opened the website and found her email and went ahead and started reading her profile. The opening line was, "The website has be at 62, but I'm really 67 and they won't let me change it". The entire profile was 3 lines, double spaced and finished with saying how honest she is. By this time I'm in stitches. She opens with a confession to a lie, says she a happy person or some silly thing and finishes with her extreme honesty. I know, I know, but I couldn't resist writing her a short email. I explained in as nice a way as possible, that when a man reads her profile, he concludes that she's a liar, so she's sitting behind the eight-ball from the start. I was a lot more delicate with her when I explained it however, because I gots class! I delicately once again explain that this website will not let you change your age after a two week period and in order to correct her indiscretion, she will need to delete her present profile and write a new correct one and they will probably even let her keep the same screen name. Then I ever so gently explain that I personally am not attracted to her and that explains why I've never replied to her in the numerous attempts she's made to contact me. Once again using only the finest kit gloves.

I sent off the email feeling like I had accomplished a community service, gotten her on the right track and rid myself of a annoying pest. Back to my book. It's Patricia Cornwall mystery and I've read so many of them that they all seem alike now. About 20 minutes goes by when my cell phone dings in an email notice. Sure enough, it's AZSweet writing to thank me for my helpful email to her, right? Wrong. It was her alright, but she wanted to set the record straight. She simply explained to me that she started on the website when she was 62, then dropped off while she was in a relationship and now she's 67 and it's 5 years later and she's stuck with a profile that says she's only 62. I'm all alone in bed laughing my ass off, because this is a classic example of lying a second time to cover the first lie! Still laughing I begin my email to her on my cell phone. I explain in as nice a way as I can, that they don't ask you for your age, they ask you for your birthday, so they can advance your age as you get older. She had already told me how dumb this site is because they expect you to change your age every year and then won't let you. (All part of her master plot) I hit "SEND" and now I'm back to this boring book. Another little period of time goes by and yet another email from guess who. This time she's completely overwhelmed and tells me to stop contacting her........................... so I did.