Thursday, September 25, 2008


Ich hab' seit immer versucht, Ihnen die Wahrheit ueber mein Leben zu erzaehlen. Das kann ich nicht mehr. Von jetzt hoeren Sie nur die gewoehnlichen Geschichten des Lebens: was mein Kind gemacht hat; Erzaehlungen der Gesundheit; wie es meinen Kaetzen und meiner Frau geht.

Wahrscheinlich wollen manche die Wahrheit nicht lesen. Sie fuerchten sich davor, ihren eigenen Namen in diesen Zeilen zu lesen (obwohl ich keine Namen genuetzt hab').

Sie koennen dies uebersetzen, wenn Sie wollen (obwohl beide Google und meine Punkte ganz vermisst haben!). Mir ist's scheissegal. Aber die Wahrheit ist tot. Zerreisst aus den Haenden. Und Sie haben noch nur dieses uninteressantes langweiliges Blog.

Wenn ich Ihnen gern hab' (und besonders wenn ich mit Ihnen nicht arbeite) dann werd ich vielleicht Ihnen die Gelegenheit geben, mein neues Blog zu lesen:

Wenn ich Ihnen nicht vertraue, dann werden Sie noch nie meine Worte lesen. Und Sie koennen sicher sein, dass die ganze Welt Ihren Name nie wieder lesen kann.

Seien Sie gewarnt: mein anderes Blog ist nicht fuer Jammerer. Wenn Sie glauben, dass Sie ein Jammerer sein koennten, bitte meine Posten gaenzlich nicht lesen.

Seit etwa 11 Jahren hab ich nicht so viel auf Deutsch geschrieben!

They're gone

Here's some nice white-space to enjoy:


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Health Scores for 2008

I totally started the year off with a Woe-Is-Me approach, bemoaning my string of illnesses and putting off any significant testing lest anything dreadful should be found. Yeah, I look pretty petty in retrospect.

Amanda's HSCT has been bumped up by 24 hours. She's now going in for her port on 9/30 and being admitted 10/1 for The Big Suck. We're going to try to get to the fair at least once (if not twice) before then, enjoy our friends and our time together, and blast the holy hell out of some paper targets. I shaved her head the other night (my first time doing my wife's hair) since she was making a big ol' hairy mess everywhere.

Lucy's all better! She ran her full course of meds, finishing her last antibiotic on Monday morning. Now she's all ready for her battery of shots!

Vivienne is now overdue for her shots.

I'm well, thanks for asking.

Alastair is doing great. He's getting over a string of little colds that have kept his nose runny for over 2 weeks, but is in great spirits and seems to be loving the cooling weather.

Work sucks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Insurance: Auto v. Health

It occurred to me late last night that there's a fundamental difference between auto insurance and health insurance: if Amanda were a car, she would have been totaled at the first mention of leukemia. Right now I'd have a new wife and Amanda would have been either sent to the crusher or sold at auction.

Granted, with 8 years of depreciation, I might not have gotten a significant settlement, so I might have to settle for a wife with less power and fewer features, but then in the last 8 years, maybe some of the highly desirable features that I specifically optioned are now de rigueur. Maybe the power windows that I paid an additional $500 for are simply a standard feature these days. Heck, my new wife might even have come with XM or HD Radio at no additional cost!

Last year's BMW might be this year's Kia.

But then a fundamental similarity also occurred to me: when the car insurance company totals your car, you have the option of buying it back from them. You get a salvage title, and re-insuring the car is almost impossible, but if you're willing to put in the considerable time and effort, you can get your old beloved jalopy back to running condition and even restore it to pristine showroom shape.

So I'm going to be operating a wife with a salvage title. And while she won't have that new-car smell, I think she's well worth the time and effort to put her back together.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

And Me?

No fewer than 4 migraine headaches in the last 2 months (which is 4 more than I'd had in the last 10 years), and an occasional searing headache right above my left ear.

Other than that (and a sore throat), I'm fine.

And Lucy comes home today. She's accepting the syringe-feeding very well, and may have nibbled a little bit on her own last night. She's not snotty any more, and her eyes are clear. She'll still need medicine for a while, but just having her home will be a big improvement.

Of course, she'll have to go right back in for her rabies shot. Poor girl...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It's a daggone sickness competition

So Lucy manages to be just as sick as Amanda. If not slightly more.

Two weeks ago she was wheezing a little bit, right before Amanda went in for chemo #5. I kept an eye on her for a few days, and while her condition worsened, it just looked like a bad kitty cold.

By Monday of last week, her eyes were all gooped up with sticky nastiness. I took to cleaning her eyes 3 or 4 times / day for a couple of days, and scheduled a Wednesday morning vet visit. Before we went in, I did some research and found that she had conjunctivitis, which is often brought on by feline herpesvirus and generally accompanied by an upper respiratory infection. It seemed a perfect fit, and required medical attention.

So we took her in. We got medicine to put directly into her eyes, and amoxicillin to shove down her throat (Amanda and I are both allergic, so it would be really fun to get scratched or bitten while handling that stuff!). We also learned that she'd lost about a pound, which wasn't too worrying since we'd switched their diet to a lighter formula a few months back.

So we went home, medicated our girl, and watched her condition improve overnight. And then worsen over the next several days. She wouldn't eat. We couldn't force-feed her.

Monday morning, I called and asked if I could hospitalize her. She was super-weak, super-snotty, and has been blowing bloody snot-chunks all over the house.

I took her in and she'd lost another pound in 5 days. She is now hospitalized, being syringe-fed, on a full course of slightly different antibiotics, and receiving IV fluids.

She was severely dehydrated, showing signs of liver damage, had a white blood-cell count of 30,000 (it should have been 19,000) -- don't worry, it's not leukemia. Another couple of days and her liver would have been irreperably damaged.

So it's kind of close, and the vet is being guarded on her chances. Just like the VCU doctors do with Amanda.

And our poor other cat, Vivienne, was left to wonder just what in the hell is going on. With Lucy, Amanda, and Alastair out of the house last night, she was extra clingy this morning when I had to leave for work.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Quarantine at Casa Amos

Amanda's back in the hospital as of this morning. She woke up with a fever of 101 and was horribly depressed at the aspect of spending more time in the slammer.

Alastair is still generating his fair share of snot, and sounds pretty good and congested.

I'm sporting a sore throat and periodic light-headedness.

Lucy is going to be admitted to the kitty hospital this afternoon. Her wheezing has not improved, and she hasn't eaten in days.

Poor Vivienne is the only one who's well, and while she's a really good nurse-maid to all of us, 4 patients is just too many for one well-intentioned cat.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Ask me about my birthday

Well, I got to see Amanda, though she was in the hospital. I stayed home from work that day and played with Alastair, had cake with him and Amanda, and got to go go-kart racing that night.*

I brought Amanda home from the hospital Saturday night and had a relaxing(ish) day with her Sunday. I bought myself a truck-box and mounted it (woohoo!).

Then our black cat Lucy got pink-eye (not from Scott Baio) and Alastair threw up twice at dinner. He's now getting over a cold, and has passed it on to me.

Giftage for Birthday '08 (#33, if you're counting):
  • Chocolate Cake†
  • Cheesecake*
  • Batman Begins†
  • Target gift card‡
  • Best Buy gift card†
I'm really not grousing: Amanda is still with me and moving rapidly toward her transplant. Alastair is getting better, and Lucy (after seeing the vet on Wednesday morning) is getting better, too. All-in-all it's what any adult should actually hope for on his/her birthday: (relative) health and necessities.

And I made a big space in the shed from all the stuff I was able to put into the truck-box.

†Thanks, Leigh!
‡Thanks, Peggy!
*Thanks, Randy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What is that thing in the road?

My drive to work this morning was rather exciting. It began on the James River Bridge, where I started getting pelted with little chunks of tire. It was everywhere, little shreds scattered here and there for well over a mile, far longer than I'm accustomed to seeing.

There was a rock-truck ahead, and I figured getting in front of it was going to be the best way to keep my car from getting banged up. So I sped up to pass him, but while I was passing him I noticed that all of his tires were intact. Then I saw something very large and out of place on the road: a tractor-trailer's wheel hub, complete with outer wheel, inner shredded tire, drum-brake, and axle stub. All in all probably around 700 lbs of steel and rubber coming to rest under the Bells Rd. overpass. I swerved, made sure the traffic behind me also passed it successfully, and put the pedal down to find out who had lost it.

Since it was still moving, I knew it had just recently come off. I hit about 100mph before finding the culprit: a big semi rolling down 95 S with a serious tilt to the right.

I got up to him, verified the damage, and pulled up beside him to flag him down. I waved him to pull over, which he did, and I told him about the damage. We went around to the back of the truck to inspect, and he said he didn't feel anything strange about the truck (ok, maybe, but it was leaning over significantly, and blocking his right-side mirrors).

Anyway, I have to assume that he got off the road, because he was clearly disturbed by the amount of damage. I wish I'd taken a picture, but I was kind of shaken up over the whole thing. That was the first time I'd ever pulled someone over on the highway.

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