August 27, 2009
Haven't blogged much lately......just haven't been in 'the mood' to do so.
Not much happening around the Mad Mikey household - getting settled in to our new place, going to dialysis, and generally trying to not be sick. So far.....so good.
May 02, 2009
Today the Mad Mikey family moved from delightful La Jolla, California to even more delightful Rancho Bernardo. We got all of the heavy furniture moved and all that's left is to get the smaller things in the old apartment that are luckily boxed up.
As much as I loath moving, we had to do it since the university - that would be the University of California - decided to become a significant pain-in-the-ass. Since I had recently gotten out of the hospital, I wasn't really in any kind of shape to resume classes; the hassle here is that if I'm not enrolled in classes, then they get all kinds of snippy about living in university housing. So after trying to jump through all the hoops of fire that they required, both my wife & I said fuck this and just started looking for a place to live. And luckily, we found a nice condo to rent up in Rancho Bernardo.
Yeah....I'll be paying more for rent but at least I won't have to contend with all of the complete morons that call themselves 'UCSD graduate students'; it really boggles me that some of these people that were my neighbors are influencing students at school and cannot function as normal human beings.....at least IMHO.
So....school is on temporary hold until I'm strong enough to return. And belive me - I do intend to return to get my engineering degree.
Who knows.....money permitting, I might check into some online courses to finish up some of the 'general education' requirements that I still have to contend with.....maybe some military history courses since I had been toying with the idea of getting a minor in U.S. History.
Have to wait and see what's out there.
June 08, 2008
I received an early Father's Day present a few days back and it wasn't a tie.
My wife had informed my nonchalantly last week that she's already purchased my Father's Day present and that I was really going to like it; I couldn't even begin to guess what it was and I was going to have to just wait and see.
Well, both she & my daughter thought that I would appreciate what it was and getting it early; the reason for the early delivery was that all of us would be out of town on Father's Day - we've got friends coming in from Ohio and we're all making a road trip up to Los Angeles for a couple of days of tourist-type stuff.
I received a Father's Day card which was totally cool by itself and inside the card were three tickets to see "Weird Al" Yankovic on June 30.
Now, there might be some of you that aren't "Weird Al" fans and if so, it's your lose.
On the other hand, there are those of you that think "Weird Al" is the best and I'm in total agreement with you.
I've never seen "Weird Al" in concert before and the last concert that I went to was to see Van Halen back in the late-90's. Seriously....it's been that long.
And the really nice part is that all three of us will be going and it'll be the first exposure to "Weird Al" that my daughter will have - he's part of the 'Old Rock' regime that we're teaching her so that she'll be properly taught by the time she gets into college.
Additionally, the wife said that she'd be putting some money aside so that I can get the total concert experience by getting me the ever-coveted concert t-shirt that will allow me to 'brag' about seeing "Weird Al" in concert.
May 13, 2008
Back in the Saddle Again
It's true: I'm back from the hospital today and resting at home.
I didn't even realize I was in an auto accident until the wife told me; kind of weird cause most people can remember a segment or two of the accident when they wake up in the hospital.....not me. Not one little bit.
The highlights that have been told to be were that I wrapped my Toyota Tacoma truck around a tree while coming home from hemodialysis, that it took several fire personnel and EMT's to hold me down since I didn't exactly cooperate with them, and that it's confirmed that I have some sort of personal angel hanging on my shoulder these days.
And since it was determined that I blacked out right before the accident, I'll have to fight to get my drivers license back in a couple of months. That's no big deal.....the truck is totaled.
I'll sit down in the next few days and try to write out a more-detailed accounting of what happened - both before and after - the accident, but for now I'm going to kick-back in my 'command console' chair and try to rest up.
Thank you to everyone who supported my family.....I really do appreciate it.
January 25, 2008
Friday Evening Lessons
Due to a programming change on CBS I'll be expanding the education of my daughter in the finer points of being....geekish.
Why Mikey you ask....what method shall you be employing?
Quite simply, I'll be introducing her to the box-office-failure but absolutely-hilarious movie 1941. I figured that this is a slight expansion of her education into Star Trek (TOS), Monty Python, and Rush.
Yeah, it's Friday night and although my daughter will be 'learning'....she'll get a kick out of it.
December 31, 2007
New Year's Eve 2007
Tonight, many people around the world will usher in the new year. My family and I will be included in these festivities.
What is the MM family doing? To be honest, I don't know.
We were planning on going to a friend's house and mostly doing karaoke until midnight; my best karaoke feat is to sing songs I know in an Elmer Fudd-style voice. As luck would have it, our hosts have both picked up some sort of nasty bug and it was deemed 'safer' if I weren't exposed to them.
So....the family and I will most likely be staying home (which is something we always do if we're not at a friend's house) and watching movies.
It is my sincerest wishes that everyone has a good time doing whatever you do on New Year's Eve and that the coming year brings the things that eluded you in the last year.
Just curious: I gave up trying to fulfill them years ago, but is anyone going to announce any 'New Year's Resolutions'? If so, what are they and how confident do you feel that you'll keep to them?
Happy New Year!!
P.S. - For the love of God, don't be a complete asshole and drive while you're hammered.
I mean seriously......would you want to be lumped into the group of numbskulls caught each year that I make fun of?
June 06, 2007
Nuts for Jerico
Back in April, I posted about a television show that I'd recently started watching and was 'hooked' on - that show being 'Jerico'.
And as I feared - because *I* liked the show and the rest of the family was looking forward to watching it in re-runs that I thought would soon be happening, what happens? Freakin CBS cancels the show due to poor ratings.
All I'll say about the ratings scheme is that the Neilsen rating system is complete crap and about 30 years old. And I feared they'd cancel this show because it was IMHO good and that the big three networks CBS, ABC, and NBC have for decades started and subsequently cancelled shows that the audiences loved. Of course, why should they act/react so differently, especially since they're always whining about the competition with cable networks.
Anyways....Michelle Malkin posted something that I wasn't aware was happening - a concerted movement to get CBS to keep the series running:
Nuts for JerichoThe cyber-muscle behind this effort is NutsOnLine. They've got lots of stuff happening there (more than I can absorb this afternoon) so you should click on over and check it out.
Lots of readers keep e-mailing me about the campaign to save the CBS show, "Jericho." I've never watched it, but readers tell me it's a conservative-friendly program. Paul M. e-mails: "This show was about a devastating nuclear terrorist attack on the US (multiple cities) and one small Kansas town dealing with the aftermath. The show promotes family values, the power of communities, and the harsh reality that millions of Americans would face if such an event were to ever occur." Fans are really nuts about the show. Literally. To protest the network's sudden cancellation last week, viewers have sent some 20,000 pounds of nuts to CBS headquarters.
There is one thing that I'd like to ask those of you reading this and especially if you're like me and want to keep 'Jerico' on CBS: go sign the on-line petition that's being sent to the people in charge (I think) at CBS. The petition is located here.
UPDATE: Well, I had hoped that CBS would see the error of their ways in cancelling 'Jericho', and do you know what? They were impressed enough with the e-mails sent in and with the shear amount of nuts shipped to their offices....so much that they're bringing it back - partially:
THIS JUST IN FROM CBS:At minimum, I had hoped that they'd release the rights to the storyline and that maybe the entire story would be continued in books, but this is even better!! Now I have to hope that they get that 'warm-n-fuzzy feeling' however they get it so that they'll continue the series; at least, continue the series so that if they end it for good, they end it at a logical closure point.
To the Fans of Jericho:
Over the past few weeks you have put forth an impressive and probably unprecedented display of passion in support of a prime time television series. You got our attention; your emails and collective voice have been heard.
As a result, CBS has ordered seven episodes of "Jericho" for mid-season next year. In success, there is the potential for more. But, for there to be more "Jericho," we will need more viewers.
A loyal and passionate community has clearly formed around the show. But that community needs to grow. It needs to grow on the CBS Television Network, as well as on the many digital platforms where we make the show available.
We will count on you to rally around the show, to recruit new viewers with the same grass-roots energy, intensity and volume you have displayed in recent weeks.
At this time, I cannot tell you the specific date or time period that "Jericho" will return to our schedule. However, in the interim, we are working on several initiatives to help introduce the show to new audiences. This includes re-broadcasting "Jericho" on CBS this summer, streaming episodes and clips from these episodes across the CBS Audience Network (online), releasing the first season DVD on September 25 and continuing the story of Jericho in the digital world until the new episodes return. We will let you know specifics when we have them so you can pass them on.
On behalf of everyone at CBS, thank you for expressing your support of "Jericho" in such an extraordinary manner. Your protest was creative, sustained and very thoughtful and respectful in tone. You made a difference.
President, CBS Entertainment
P.S. Please stop sending us nuts :-)
April 03, 2007
Too Stupid to Live
Have you ever heard someone say something and found out that:
- It wasn't who you thought it was that was actually talking, and
- You'd never heard such an arrangement of words coming from that person?
Since we don't have cable anymore, we're pretty much compelled to watch one of two broadcast channels here in San Diego - Channel 8 which is the CBS station and Channel 10 which is the ABC affiliate; luckily, we don't get any Mexican/hispanic stations.
Anyway....I was in the kitchen doing something when I heard a female voice call out from the living room You SUCK lady!!; I naturally assumed that it was my wife horsing around with my daughter as they have taken to doing lately - tickle fights, general torture stuff.
I walked out to see what was happening and discovered that what I had heard and who said it were completely off - the statement You SUCK lady!! came from my 12-year old daughter while she was watching 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' (on one of the two channels we get). Apparently, there was some lady contestant that blew a simple question and my daughter reacted.....differently than I had ever seen before.
I asked my kid why she had said what she had said - her reply was Dad, she's too stupid to live on this planet!!
Leave it to a GATE student to verbally condemn/berate someone on a game show for being (in her opinion) a little too stupid for the good of the human race.....
March 27, 2007
It's been a while (almost six weeks) since I posted about the 'Lovely Times' that I and my family were experiencing. I thought I'd post an update to it to let everyone know how we're doing.
Well, first off I want to thank those patrons who donated to my PayPal link on the sidebar. Sincerely: thank you!! While the monies donated didn't solve all of our financial problems, it did at least get us out of the denser part of woods.
Once again, it never ceases to amaze me that people can be able and willing to give someone....an almost complete strager money to help them along. It's the sort of thing that makes me put a little more faith into people as a whole and that there is hope for people in society.
For the most part, the fiasco that we found ourselves in concerning our past due rent was resolved mostly by my wife and the rest by family back east.
Well, without divulging too many details it was my wife who managed to come up with most (around $4,000) of the back rent; my family back east augmented the rest. My wife was able to borrow the money from someone who completely understood our situation and was willing to help and allow my wife to pay back the loan over the next few months.
And the 'good news' of all this is that we're officially caught up on rent - now we just pay the normal monthly amount and we're able to do that. We're still in deep for other finances and we're looking at all of our options, including backruptcy. Considering the B-word isn't something that we're taking lightly.....the situation is getting to be that bad and for the moment, all options are on the table.
And while the remaining financial woes are nothing to simply 'blow off', I am able to relax slightly because I don't have to worry about being evicted.
As I said - I just wanted to let everyone know that things are looking a little better these days and especially to thank everyone for their support and donations.
February 09, 2007
Well, other than having some leg cramps from dialysis this morning my day was going fairly well. Short day at school, no physics homework, and history was....well, history.
And then my wife called me.
I know that I previously posted that one of my goals for the coming year was to stop bitching and complaining and now I'm about to violate that goal.
For the last several months, the family budget has more and more been operating in the negative. We've fallen behind in our rent and luckily, the university (they're the landlords as we live in UCSD housing) has been allowing us to play 'catch up' on the back rent providing that we're not late with it again. My wife called me to tell me that she talked to the apartment management and that we're basically got until the middle of next week to cough up all of the back rent....all $3800 worth.
Now, why am I posting about such lovely news?
Well, I have to come to the blogsphere, hat in hand, to ask for help. If anyone can donate anything, I would be very thankful. Anything at all.
I have trouble asking because well.....I'm basically supposed to pull myself up by my own bootstraps. Normally, I have - several times, in fact, but being as sick as I am these days I face a huge Catch-22.
While I'm not restricted to a wheelchair or a hospital bed, I still can't work because of the severe fatigue I deal with. And the Catch-22 here is that if I could get a job, any prospective employer wouldn't hire me because I'd be a 'medical liability' and wouldn't be able to contribute 100% to my job; Geez, I face this even after I graduate from UCSD and can call myself an engineer....at least, I'll face this until I get a transplant.
I have to ask anyone/everyone for a little help and can honestly tell you that my family isn't living 'high-on-the-hog' lately - we've cut out every non-essential 'luxury' just to save money. As I posted last night, I brought my kid up to school to let her use the Internet for a homework assignment.
It's days like this that make me want to just go home and crawl into bed for a week.
Thanks for listening.
January 15, 2007
One Year Ago...
It's kind of hard to believe, but almost one year ago this weekend my life took a turn I had never expected....
In the time following my stroke and coming out of a medically-induced coma, life had been rough not only for myself, but my family's too.
My wife had been dreading this weekend coming for the last few weeks....mainly because the weekend that I had my stroke was the same weekend that my daughter was doing a Girl Scout camping trip much like the one that she departed for today.
As I said in my previous post about not having New Year's Resolutions per-se as opposed to having New Year's Goals, I refuse to allow this type of stuff to happen again nor do I intend to allow anthing close to it to impede my life or the lives of my family. Death tried once to take me down - never again. At least....not for a long time.
I won't let my medical crappiness get me down or otherwise 'plague' my life.
No way. No how.
Life tends to suck on occasion - I will not let an 'occasion' become the long-drawn-out-soap-opera that 2006 was.
UPDATE: If you're reading this, then I obviously did not have a re-run from last year.
Needless to say, my wife & daughter keep asking me How are you feeling? and then asking me to Please take my blood pressure.....just to make them happy.
And the one way I deal with this.....loving paranoia is to remark that I must be one-heck-of-a-guy to deserve all this attention. And both wife and daughter reply You got that right!!
It's nice to know that I'm well-appreciated.
November 20, 2006
I'm still kicking these days - just haven't been on the Internet much because I don't have internet (or cable TV) at the house.
Mostly....I've been putting out 'fires' in my life - everytime I get one blaze put out, another two pop up in its place.
UPDATE: Although I'm too busy to blog about recent events, this has made me chuckle heartily.
And the LLL wonder why no one ever takes them seriously.....
October 29, 2006
It Could Be Worse, Part I
It Could Be WorseThere's one line from the movie Young Frankenstein that I love to apply to life:
[Froederick and Igor are exhuming a dead criminal]When ever something would happen in our lives, I'd always look at my wife and say those infamous words: It could be worse. And almost every time, my wife would chuckle and say That's true.
Dr. Frankenstein: What a filthy job.
Igor: Could be worse.
Dr. Frankenstein: How?
Igor: Could be raining.
[it starts to pour]
Well, after a period of time with this being our 'catch phrase' for bad situations, we started to notice a trend: when I'd utter those words....the situation would get worse.
It got to be such a predictable event that my wife started admonishing me when I said or started to say that phrase. In fact, it got to be such a harbinger of doom that I started referring to such crappy luck as my family's UN-luck of the Irish.
And why am I pointing all of this out? Well, it seems that even though I haven't utter the phrase It could be worse, it would seem that I no longer have to even say the words. In other words, my life and the lives of my family seem to have taken on all the charms of a Greek Tragedy, i.e., just when I thought I was out of the woods after recoverying from my stroke.....it just seems to get worse.
NOTE: I will be the first to admit that what I'm about to write about might and will come across as whining and I don't think there is anyone else on the planet that hates whining as much as I do. But I have been told that writing (or talking) about one's problems helps to lessen the stress that they put on people. Maybe so.....maybe not, but here it is anyway.
To start off with, I lost my job about three months ago.
What job? you ask? The engineering intern position that I had with the Department of the Navy. In the history of this blog, I've never come out-right and told anyone what I did for a living lately nor have I indicated exactly which section of the Navy that I worked for.
Well, the 'company' that I worked for was NAVAIR, which is short for the Naval Air Depot here in San Diego, specifically NAVAIR at NAS North Island.
It was an intern position that I basically stumbled upon; I started working for NAVAIR in May of 2002 and was still employed with them in January of this year when I suffered my stroke. The job was held open for me while I recovered; I wasn't let go from the job because of my extended absence.....instead, I was let go because of poor grades at UCSD.
As I said, it was an intern position and as such, how I did in school did figure into my 'job performance'. Ever since I transferred to UCSD back in early 2002, my grades have dropped compared to what I was doing at Southwestern College before my transfer.
The long-and-short reason(s) of my declining grades can be pretty much atributed to my declining health: increasing difficulty in concentration, increasing fatigue, and more & more trouble with short-term memory. (Ever wondered why I don't go into multiple pages of reasoning(s) when I blog about something political? I basically cannot recall all of the facts pertaining to any specific political situation and just worked with the overtones).
So....because I was almost constantly on double-secret academic probation at UCSD, I was also getting 'warnings' from my bosses and it came to a head this past July.
Now the part about 'losing my job' hurt in two ways: (1) the loss of income and (2) the loss of my family's health coverage.
The loss of health coverage initially hurt, but was soon 'taken care of' by way of a program called HIPP, which is short for Health Insurance Premium Payment program. My health insurance is basically being covered by the National Kidney Fund and the nice part is that my wife and daughter are included so we're all covered.
Now as to the loss of income.....that's hurt a lot.
(As a side note, I've been writing this over a week or so and I am somewhat saddened that it is looking like only so much whining, but I knew that would happen).
The loss of income on my part is somewhat covered by the benefits that I receive from Social Security because of my End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD(, but the loss of significant income from my ability to work is.....well, the best analogy is that of a house of cards imploding in upon the occupants of the house.
As I stated a few days back about loosing my cable service - including my Internet connections - we're finding that we have to make bold decisions as to what we can and cannot afford to buy with the limited income that comes from my wife's barely-making-it business and my Social Security benefits: cable bill or gasoline for the family cars? Part of the monthly rent or food for the next two weeks?
Well.....you get my point.
The main decisions to keep food in the fridge and on the dining room table especially considering that I've got a 12-year old daughter to raise isn't tought at all - it's what to do about the multiple creditors calling constantly and what to tell them is what perplexes me. They're basically nice people, just doing their jobs but the basic line I get is "We're sorry to hear about your troubles Mikey.....where's our money!?!"
And the crappy part is that I've always stood by the principal that if you're going to buy stuff on credit or using credit cards then you better be able to pay for it. Last year, we were able to afford those payments, this year....I just want to take a long nap and wake up to my wife saying The bills are paid!!
(Ahem. No, that wasn’t any sort of 'hidden call for help'...I am far from looking for a permanent way out of my troubles.)
And then there's my school tuition problem.
What tuition problem you ask? Well, normally I don't have a tuition problem as my tuition for UCSD has normally been covered by my Cal Grant. Cal Grant? Basically, my tuition and other 'fees' are covered by the State of California since I was a 'superior' student while I attended Southwestern College.
But situation is different these days.
As with my last Spring quarter back in April, this quarter (Fall 2006) I opted to take only one class which just happens to be the continuation of the course I took back in April: Linear Control Systems I & II. Now the reason that this is a problem is because while I asked the university to allow me to take less than a full class load this year because of my increasing health problems (and they immediately approved it), there are some goofy rules/regulations with UCSD's Financial Aid department as to how much of my Cal Grant I'm supposed to get since I"m only taking one class. And the answer to that is that I'm basically entitled to squat; squat in this case meaning I'll be getting around $300 from my Pell Grant entitlement (which is part of the Cal Grant program) and that's it. Nothing more.
And of course this means that I'm suddently stuck with a bill of approximately $1800 for one quarter's tuition.
This is the type of crap that I've been dealing with for the last few months - just when I get one problem handled, along comes something else. And every time, I think to myself Well, it could be- and I stop myself immediately because I do not want to put another WHAMMY!! on top of all of the other things challenging me lately.
I've heard many people often say that God does not put anything on you that you cannot handle and/or that life's problems like these are supposed to build character in a person. Well, I'm here to tell you that I've got enough character now to last quite a few more lifetimes.
As indicated from the title of this post, this is just part of the fun stuff that's happening to the Mad Mikey family.
October 20, 2006
with life's crappy situations.
I'm currently writing up a resounding post that will delve into a lot of crap.
ADDENDUM: I'm also looking over my friend Elly's resume since she is an offcial graduate of the University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.
It's good that she's graduated from UCSD.....but it sucks since I'll have to find someone else to study with.
October 03, 2006
Too Close to Home This Time
Motorcycle officer injured in crashAnyone who has read my stuff for a while knows how I feel about drunk drivers. And this time around, I'm even more angry: Officer Rainey is my brother-in-law.
TUSCALOOSA | A Tuscaloosa police officer was injured this morning when the motorcycle he was riding was struck by a motorist on University Boulevard.
Tuscaloosa Police Chief Ken Swindle said Officer Shelby Rainey appears to have a broken left leg. He said that as of 9:30 a.m., doctors at DCH Regional Medical Center were performing CAT scans and other tests on the officer to verify the extent of his injuries.
Rainey was on duty at the time of the accident, and Swindle said a witness had told arriving officers that Rainey had been operating speed detection radar in the area shortly before the collision.
The accident took place on University Boulevard across from Audubon Place, near the entrance to Pinehurst, Swindle said.
Swindle did not have additional details, including which direction the vehicles were traveling. He said the investigation, despite occurring in the Tuscaloosa Police Department's jurisdiction, had been turned over to the Alabama State Troopers.
"When an officer is invovled in an accident, we always call in the state," the chief said.
This time, it's too close to home for my tastes. This is something that I do not like posting about.
I heard about this from family back east only a few days ago. I haven't heard of any updates - yet. That's a good thing at the moment - no calls telling me that Shelby has gotten worse.
If you're into praying for people, I think that Shelby could use all the help he can get.
As I find out more, I'll post updates.
September 28, 2006
The Cliché that Applies
Ever heard of the phrase 'when it rains, it pours' ? Well, I just happen to be the living example of that phrase.
My mother was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. She went through kemotherapy and the other standard treatments. And while the treatments seemed to shrink the tumor in her lung, it also spread.
In the last few months, she's experienced more and more difficulty in simply living and taking care of herself. Keeping track of her medications became increasingly difficult....remembering if she had eaten lunch or dinner was a guessing game. All in all, it was just plain misery for her.
A few days ago, the doctors and my family back east thought that she'd be better off in a hospice where she wouldn't be alone and would be cared for by the medical staff right there. Plus recently having a seizure was the 'final straw'.
The phrase 'when it rains, it pours' comes in here: while she was sitting in a wheelchair while getting checked into the hospice, my mother decided to get up to walk to her new room. Just at that moment, the nurse that was helping her had her back turned getting my mother a cup of ice chips and had her back turned; my mother took one step and promptly took a header into the floor.
The medical staff rushed her to the nearest shock/trauma unit to check her out; there wasn't anything in the x-ray or CAT scan (at least, that's what I remember from by brother telling me the details). So they took her back to the hospice.
When she was returned to the hospice, the staff there noticed that she was unresponsive and that the left side of her face was 'dooping'; it was concluded that she had suffered a stroke.
For the last few days, friends and family have been sitting with her and talking to her; she appears to take notice of the familiar voices but isn't talking or moving. Actually, the only movement is a slight tremor that moves her head a little.
When I asked my brother whether she had weeks or days to live, my brother replied days.
So now the added 'bonus' of when it rains, it pours is for me trying to figure out how to get back east quickly, either to be with her while it's still possible or to attend her funeral and help my brother take care of her personal affairs that haven't been 'taken care' of.
And the only thing I can say for the moment is: F-U-C-K.
UPDATE: As Da Goddess mentioned in the comments, I was able to get back east. Unfortunately, it wasn't quick enough.
My mother passed away Wednesday, September 13 in the morning and I found out that afternoon.
By the extreme graciousness of my friend "Bob", both my daughter and I were able to get on a flight to Washington, D.C. on Thursday morning; my wife wasn't able to come with us as her business is still in it's infancy and needed her tender care.
My mother's funeral was the following Monday.
We just returned this afternoon and I wanted to post something quickly while it was still in my mind.
Thank you to all for the prayers, good thoughts, and well-wishes.
I'll post more later after I've gotten back on California time.
August 05, 2006
Happy August 6th!!
Twelve years ago today - right about this time in the morning - my daughter was born.
And if you clued into the date (and that's why you came here in the first place), you'll also note that the United States nuked Hiroshima 61 years ago.
I'm not going to repeat what I said last year about this event, but here's the short version:
- We nuked Hiroshima.
- We nuked Nagasaki three days later.
- Japan surrendered.
- We won World War II.
- The End.
May 27, 2006
The other day, my wife and I were driving to pick up our daughter from school.
We pulled up to the school and the kid jumped in and we started driving to the Vons just down the street from our apartment.
As we were listening to one particular song, my daughter blurts out from the back seat something I thought I'd never hear associated with the Crüe; the song that was playing was Track 03 - Girls, Girls, Girls and what my daughter blurted out from the back seat should be included in one of the Mastercard commercials:
Mötley Crüe Greatest Hits: $12.95
JBL Stereo system for truck: $300.00
Your daughter singing 'Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels': priceless
May 23, 2006
Good News Finally!!
Just got some good news this morning.
When I was in the hospital and had fully 'awoken' from the coma they put me into, I was told that I wouldn't be able to drive for at least six months.
This was some seriously crappy news to hear - especially when I was trying to get my 'ducks in a row' and get back to my life. And it has been especially hard on my wife since she is the only one who can drive in our family.
I have never had any difficulty in driving and not since I was in high school have I ever been limited in 'getting around' with the possible exception of when I was in the Navy and I was transferred here to San Diego and didn't have a car.
Anyway....since I've been feeling better and better each day since I was released from the hospital back in late February, I had been wondering if I could appeal my driving restriction with the DMV. I talked to several of my doctors and they all said if there was a form that needed to be filled out and submitted, that they'd be happy to do so since I was improving medically.
So, I called the DMV and tried to find out what was needed to get back to driving. Some lacky at the DMV said that I'd have to come down there and pick up the form.
Okay.....that I could do, at least I could get my wife to drive me down.
She went down there late last week and was told to call some company/organization called Driver Safety; she gave me the paper with their number on it this morning for one of my morning chores (every morning, I sit down and make out a list of things I need to accomplish that day).
So, I called them this morning and they were more than happy to mail me the form. The young lady I talked to asked me for my driver's license number and I gave it to her.
There was a pause on the phone while she typed it into her computer and she then said:
"There is nothing to indicate that you cannot drive right now."
"Excuse me?" I said to her.
"Michael, there is no indication that you doctor sent anything into the DMV."
I asked her "So as far as the DMV is concerned, I'm still okay to drive?"
She responded "I would say that is correct. If your doctor had sent in paperwork saying that you weren't able to drive safely, we would have sent you a letter stating that your license was suspended for such a period and we'd say exactly why and what state law was applicable."
"Well then......I guess I'll let sleeping dogs lie. I guess I won't be needing that form after all."
So the good news is that I'll be driving myself around when I need it. The down side is that my wife will have to give me back my truck and we'll have to get my old truck tuned up and get that flat front-left tire fixed.
FINALLY!! There's some good news for my family!!!
May 21, 2006
My grandmother passed away yesterday afternoon.
She had lived to the ripe old age of 97 years.
The funeral service will be held Thursday afternoon in Virginia. I won't be able to attend for several reasons - the biggest one being that I am not cleared to travel on an airplane by my doctors.
Rest in Peace Grandma.
May 12, 2006
Cat Peer Pressure
My cat's have an evil weapon: they're cute, cuddly, and they know that I'm a sucker for that.
My cat Katey (pictured above) is currently working her magic to get nummies - 9-Lives canned cat food.
I'd give in and serve them up some, but they'll get sick, puke somewhere in the house, and I'd have to clean it up.
Doesn't the United Nations have some committee to combat this type of pressure?
For those that are curious as to how 'well' I'm doing, here is a picture of me wearing a present I got at my 'home coming party' last month.
The scar from the surgery is healing quite nicely - I'm not too self-concious about it these days - especially since the staples and sutures were removed.
The shirt I'm wearing there is my 'Three Ducks of the Apocalypse' t-shirt and it was a present from my wife & daughter.
Well, it all has to do with the state of mind I was in when I first woke up from my coma while I was in the hospital....it would seem that while I was under the influence of the 'ICU Psychosis' (being severally doped up on morphine and some other 'juicy' narcotics) I reportedly claimed that I witnessed seeing a duck sitting at the nurse's station while I was talking to my wife:
Mikey and the Mrs. were talking and Mikey kept asking if she saw the duck.The 'coming home' party that was thrown in my honor apparently was secretly themed after ducks - almost all of the presents I received were duck related....including this t-shirt. (I'm glad I didn't report seeing squids or Jack the Ripper there....)
"Behind that guy!"
"I don't see a duck."
"It's right there, behind the guy."
"Okay. I believe you're seeing a duck behind the guy, honey."
Some of Mikey's meds are bringing along hallucinations. That's not unusual. If he's still having them without the meds, I'll worry. Or if Mrs. Mikey starts seeing things...I'd definitely worry then!
Things are moving slowly, as expected. He's still in the ICU and it's a good place for him to be. The bone flap, the lines, the fact that he has a long way to go - I can't imagine a better place for him to receive care. The next stop would likely be a step down unit. He'd continue to receive close monitoring, but not be stuck in ICU.
22 days of unconsciousness. Brain surgery. Machines breathing for you. You don't just jump right out of bed after that.
But he's back.
And it's duck season.
I came up with the name 'Three Ducks of the Apocalypse' when I told my daughter they were initially named 'Quack, quack, and QUACK!!'
I'll try to get some photos of the other ducks and post them soon....
UPDATE: Here's a closer look at the 'Three Ducks of the Apocalypse'.
May 10, 2006
High Speed At Last!
I finally got high speed Internet into the house!
With a little finacial help from a family member, I obtained two USB wireless adapters (for the two desktop computers) and with the wireless router donated to me by someone who shall remain anonymous (unless they say otherwise). With these materials gathered in one place and after the Time Warner technician finished installing the cable-modem, I was able to get a wireless network established in less than 15 minutes.
Both of the desktops connected with no problems - getting my notebook connected was another matter.
After farting around for a while last night and this morning, I finally realized by mistake: I was trying to log onto the network using my router password instead of the 10-digit hexidecimal WEP code; once I plugged in the correct code, I was connected.
I do have to admit that this endevour was almost like the 'old days' when I would try to upgrade my POS 386 computer and would spend weeks trying to get all of the hardware to cooperate together - no IRC conflicts.
From now on, no more 'dial-up'!!
March 23, 2006
Disease Transfer Centers
After emerging from the hospital three weeks ago after missing the bullet of a stroke, I've now been broadsided by a cold.....a cold that was facilitated by my daughter bringing it home from the 'Disease Transfer Center' aka school.
On a lighter note, I have located the cable to download photos from this past weekend's Operation Proud Banner; I just have to get my head clear enough to put the after-action report together with the appropriate photos.
With that in mind, I'm going to lay down and take a nap.
March 15, 2006
My wife & friends are putting together a party - part 'welcome back Mikey'...part 'thank you to those that helped out' party.
If you're one of those people that helped out my family while I was doing recon in la-la land, send me an e-mail at mikey-AT-madmikey-DOT-mu-DOT-nu with the following info:
- Name(s) of those attending.
- Address where the invitation can be sent via snail mail.
- Phone number to confirm.
NOTE: The information sent to us will remain PRIVATE.
The party will be held here in San Diego (obviously), specifically in the Scripps Ranch area; some of our friends are holding the party at their community rec room. There will be a pool and a BBQ although I don't know if it will be warm enough to swim....but that's a judgement call that you'd have to make.
The date of the party will be on Saturday, April 1st and will be from approximately 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
If you'd like to attend, please let us know so that we know how many will be showing up lest we plan badly.
Once again, thank you to all that assisted my family during this emergency.
Die You Muther!
Here's one scumbag that's getting exactly what he deserves:
Carlie Brucia's Killer Sentenced to Death for 11-Year-Old's MurderActually, he deserves to be raped repeatedly by many angry gorillas....
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The 39-year-old man convicted of abducting, raping and killing 11-year-old Carlie Brucia was sentenced Wednesday to death by lethal injection.
"The scales of life and death tip unquestionably toward death," said Circuit Judge Andrew Owens.
Before announcing Joseph Smith's death punishment on the charge of first-degree murder, the judge said Smith faces life in prison without the possibility of parole for the assault and kidnapping of his victim.
Owens then agreed with the jury's earlier 10-to-2 recommendation that be executed. Smith showed no emotion as Owens read either sentence.
"Carlie endured unspeakable trauma, which began at the time of her kidnapping," the judge said before announcing the sentence. "The image of the defendant taking her arm and leading her away no doubt will forever be etched in our minds."
March 08, 2006
I'm Back (Part II)
During my time in the ICU while in a coma, the medicals staff had a plethora of machines wired to me......
.....so many, that even my little girl got in on the humor flowing around to keep everyone's spirits up. She was reported to have quoted some Monty Python:
"Oh look, it's the machine that goes PING!"
A smart-ass in training if I ever heard that before.....makes me swell with pride!
March 03, 2006
I'm Back (Part I)
Just a quick note to say that I've arrived home from the hospital on Monday afternoon and have been 'recoverying' since then. Lots of sleep, lots of attempting to navigate my house unlike before the stroke, and having to somewhat re-learn some of the more basic skills of life - the hard way.
I havne't had a chance to read all of the blog entries on my blog that were made by Da Goddess or Smash or Pixy but from what Goddess and Smash told me in the hospital, there has been a LOT of people sending good thoughts my way and I wanted to say that I appreciate that more than you'll ever know or I'll ever be able to convey in words.
DG already posted a quick synopsis of what happened, which is a good thing since I had absolutely NO idea what was happening during all of this; I'm not really sure as to exactly when I was told that I had suffered a stroke (obviously it would be after I had been awoken from the induced coma)....the entire ordeal seems like a bad collection of dreams - you know, like when you've got the flu and you keep having weird dreams while you sleep that all are connected by a weird 'theme', except that I didn't know what was going on.
The 'situation' was so bad that as DG wrote a whilte back, I was convinced that there were ducks standing behind my wife on day in the ICU room....I was convinced that one of the physical therapists helping me was on 'loaner duty' from the FBI.....I was convinced that the ICU room I was in was really one of the small houses in Chula VIsta that I initially lived in when I seperated from the Navy back in the late-90's.
Pretty deranged stuff - serious enough that they had to keep me grounded in reality, but with enough goofiness that there was a definite chuckle somewhere in there.
These 'facts' were so serious to me (in the state of mind I was in) that the nurses would always be asking those cognitive questions all the time:
- Mike, do you know where you are?
- Mike, who won the last Super Bowl?
- Mike, who's president of the United States?
- Mike, do you know what state we're in?
- Mike, what year is it?
3974 and you damn dirty apes had better get your dirty paws off me me!!
- Mike, what is the next holiday?
Ground Hogs Day of course.
The State of Anarchy.
They're obviously inferior intellectually.....
I appear to have escaped any sort of permenant damage, i.e., no paralysis, no apparent dain bramage (other than really wanting to figure out the bassline to Foreigner's That Was Yesterday.) That's why I'm getting my Fender P-Bass repaired ASAP - playing bass through my amp as revenge upon my neigbors for their noisy kid and the concrete shoes that insists on running around upstairs at close to midnight.
This is one of those steps that I'm taking to reclaim my life - doing some of the things that I used to do before I decided that there more 'important' things in life.
It's now my mission to not only teach my daughter right from wrong, but to teach her some of the more 'classic' music from the late 70's/early-80's (Kiss, Rush, Supertramp, etc) lest she be brainwashed by todays' *cough* music (insert gag reflex here).
It's Old School or no school. Grrrrr.
One of my friends - we'll call him Bob - is coming out here this summer from Ohio and suggested that we put together another 'reunion tour' of our garage band Asylum Bound; he also suggested that we call it the 'I Need Another Reunion Tour Like I Need Anouther Hole In My Head' Tour. It's a bit long.....we'll work on refining it. All we really need to do is find a place to jam that will also rent him a drum kit. I'll have to dig my amp out of storage (the one that I bought in Saudi Arabia back in 1992....the one that runs off 220VAC) and I'll have to convince our guitarist to start honing his chops or die trying.
That's about it for the moment - it's taken me over two days to compose this post (as opposed to 38 minutes pre-stroke) and I'll have to indulge in my typical activity since coming home - sleep.
Thank you to everyone that sent me good thoughts & prayers - I'm still alive & kicking, so they must have worked. I cannot begin to express my gratitude to everyone for their support - especially to those that helped my wife & daughter while this happened.
December 30, 2005
Reach out and Touch Someone
Just got off the phone from talking to my older brother Scott and thought I'd post something about it.
We hadn't heard from him for several years and my brother was feeling severely guilty about it. 'Don't worry about it - we all get tied up in our own little world of stress and it will preoccupy you always' I basically told him and I meant it. As I'm sure most will agree, there are times when your world gets cluttered with daily dramas that eat up your time and attention; we think I've got to call so-and-so many times in a day or during the week and remember to do it when it's like 11:00 pm in San Diego and they're on the East Coast. It's not a question of whether someone is or isn't on your mind, it's just a matter of the following-through to reach out and call them.
We talked for a while and I'm glad he called since I've been a bum and kept forgetting to call him. I told him of seeing the Blue Angels flying at MCAS MIramar this past October and thinking about our Dad during the whole show.
He's living in Virginia and has been a bit under-the-weather - dealing with health issues. We were able to comisurate about being sick and trying to get along in life while dealing with feeling crappy.
I'll be sending along photos to him of the sister-in-law that he's never met and of the niece that he's never seen.