Monday, November 21, 2016

Unsolicited Advice to the New Government – Part 1: Overview

This series of posts is my attempt to help guide the political discourse directly to the center of the political spectrum, and aims to help influence legislation that the Congress will undertake this year. It is based on what President-elect Donald Trump has stated as the goals for his administration and my personal views of what is right for the country. Feel free to disagree with me as you so desire.

In no specific order, then, this is the advice I would give to the President-elect and Congress. The posts that follow this will provide more detail to the various items. I reserve the right to add more, too, as needs dictate, but this is the list that comes to mind today.

1) Ignore the “social stuff” – gay marriage, abortion, transgender bathroom use, et al.

2) Fix immigration. More specifically, fix illegal immigration. Deport criminals, not hard-working immigrants.

3) Replace the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare”. But don’t throw it out without a well-thought-out replacement plan, with input from healthcare providers, insurance companies, economists and others who have the skill and knowledge to come up with a workable plan.

4) Bring jobs back to the country with targeted tax laws that encourage hiring and discourage the movement of jobs overseas – even to the point of severely punishing companies who have moved jobs off-shore in the past twenty years.

5) Fix welfare, with an eye toward putting welfare recipients to work and getting them a solid education in order to get them off the welfare rolls and start contributing to society.

6) Work with other countries on global climate change, but don’t destroy our economy in doing so.

Short list, yes, with so many things demanding attention. However, it’s a start.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ol' Bo

The other night I looked at this blog and found that not only had I not written a post this year, I only wrote one in 2015, and have only written eleven in the past three years. Woeful. Of course, I'm not a writer. I write well, I'm told, but I've never professed to be a writer.

Having said that, I read through the blog and found this post about our dog Bo, who has been gone since 2007. That got my to thinking, and writing, and here's the poem that appeared. I call it, "Ol’ Bo". I hope you enjoy it.

Ol' Bo

Were I writing in the 1800’s I’d call him "Ol’ Bo"
And everyone who read this poem would know
That he was part of me, as I was of he
Because we gave him his name (my wife and me)

Preachers will say (those who know their stuff)
That your life is changed when God says, "Enough!"
"A different name shall I give thee!"; and it is done
But "Ol’ Bo", bless his heart, didn’t come here with one

He came as a pup, just a tiny little mutt
He was hairy and black from his nose to his butt
And prob’ly lost enough hair to make ten more, too
If we could gather and shape it like the good Lord would do

He wasn’t really a "dog’s dog", not really, no
He didn’t play fetch, though he’d romp in the snow
And come in all covered, his fur packed in ice
And we’d towel him off dry, while he stood there so nice

When we moved to our house he came with us, of course
Two cats and a dog – lots less work than a horse –
While we went to sign papers it was Bo on the floor
With grandpa and Tim napping just by the door

So we moved our stuff in and Bo watched our kids grow
Getting bigger and smarter with each year, you know
And we went for walks, and we played in the yard
While Bo was around life was tough, but not hard

My son Tim will attest to this; the other kids, too
That Bo was a dog who was loved through and through
He was played with, and fawned over, at times got a treat
And was petted and cuddled by the kids on our street

But we all do grow older with each passing day
We noticed that Bo’s hair was showing some gray
Then he couldn’t quite stand at his bowl while he ate
And he whimpered at night, sometimes . . .
So we knew his fate.

I guess we all surely know this to be true
There are just some things you don’t want to do
But to know that your friend is so deeply in pain
There’s a term for it, isn’t there: to be humane

We’d been in our house for fifteen years or so
When we drove to the vet in the car with "Ol’ Bo"
And said our good-byes, and hugged him and cried
Then the doc did what we asked and Bo quietly died

So it is that our God who we pray hears our prayer
Granted peace to our friend Bo, who waits with Him there
It may be our dear Lord gave him a new name
But I’m sure I will know him, "Ol’ Bo", just the same

And we’ll play and we’ll romp, we’ll be family again
I’ll be happy to see my black, furry old friend
So when it’s my time, and I’m smiling, you’ll know
That I’m near to the presence of God, and "Ol’ Bo"

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I Am A Happy Man. I Have A Duty To Be.

"I am a happy man. I have a duty to be.

"Americans are meant to live, love, laugh and be happy. The quintessential American philosophy: work it out - make the best of it - lighten up. We're optimists. Leave agonized introspection to the Swedes and cynicism to the French and Weltschmerz to the Berliners and Ich bin nicht ein Berliner. Problems can be solved. Don't sweat it. Play it for laughs. Where there is love, there's comedy. Don't hang out with unhappy people; don't go into a profession full of the humorless. Be happy."

Garrision Keillor - Love Me

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Christmas Came October First

This is a re-write of Carolyn Arend's song "The Last Word", in thanks for her new Christmas CD.

Christmas Came October First (Her Christmas CD)
To the tune of “The Last Word”
Mark Dopita

Verse 1
Sat down at my PC, I just had to smile
A Kickstarter message, top of the pile
I clicked and it opened, announcing for me
Her Christmas CD

Verse 2
Now I got me Comcast, it just doesn’t fail
Selected the hyperlink inside the e-Mail
I entered the code and there waiting for me
Her Christmas CD

Chorus 1
Yes, today’s the day
And the download’s done
And all those songs are playing one-by-one
With the volume up
People know for sure
Christmas came October First
Christmas came October First

Verse 3
I sit here distracted, as I try to write
The music is playing, I’ll listen all night
There’s no doubt a legion, listening like me (to)
Her Christmas CD

Chorus 2

Solo Chorus

Verse 4
I know it seems funny, what I like to do
Rewriting lyrics to songs old and new
This I give as tribute, most thankfully (for)
Her Christmas CD

Chorus 3

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Poem :: The Peak Toward Which He Climbed

The Peak Toward Which He Climbed

The peak toward which he
Climbed is not attainable
And he,
Falls back into the Earth,

And so, now, the joy is
Gone from his life
Was he just
A little feller
Whose parents had taken
His favorite old toy?

For some not-well understood transgression

Yes, it was old
Yes, it was dirty
But it had once been
New, clean, loved
As he had been
Those many years ago

But it is now gone
And so he sits deserted
Will he get it back
From his corner
Small, betrayed, alone

Does the punishment fit the what is the crime

And he now realizes
As was sung many years ago
This is his own Tapestry
As he reached for that something
Only for his hand
too, to come up empty

And soon, worse still
The whole world would
Soon know of his failure
And his utter embarrassment
Would shine in the light of day
For others to mock him

Would that I were not he!

I am he

Friday, March 14, 2014

"The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives."
Albert Einstein

Thursday, March 13, 2014

I Know I Talk Too Much, But . . .

"The worst of all deaths is to be talked to death."
Mark Twain

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Science v. Creationism or Putting God In A Box

A big topic in the news lately is the recent debate between Bill Nye the Science Guy and "creationist" Ken Ham. As I understand it, Nye won the debate because he used the observations of science - observations of the world around us we all can make - while Ham's big argument was "the Bible says such-and-so": that is, billions of years of evolution versus six literal days to create the world.

Being the quiet wallflower everyone knows me to be, I decided that I would do the smart thing and stay out of it . . . right? But no! Jumping right in am I!

First things first . . . I am a Christian. Have been for as long as I can remember. And will be, forever.

Next, I believe in science. It was not too many years ago that Christian scientists made discoveries about our world. Gregor Mendel, for instance, was an Augustinian Friar who famously studied the inheritance of various traits in pea plants (leading to the science of genetics). Nicolaus Copernicus, Catholic priest, observed that the Earth revolved around the sun rather than the other way around. Amongst others: Galileo, Rene Descartes, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler . . . There are many Christ-believing scientists, even today, I'm sure.

I believe in both the spiritual and the scientific. I don't know why anyone wouldn't. And that's why I can't back the creationist point-of-view. It's the ultimate in "putting-God-in-a-box".

Think of it - ages ago we were only trying to understand the world we were given. We identified and categorized various disciplines and investigated them. Hundreds of thousands of people have studied astronomy, biology, botany, chemistry, genetics, geology, mathematics, medicine, metallurgy, physics, sociology, psychology, zoology - all with the goal of adding to the understanding of the world around us. The world God gave us.

Is it possible to deny the facts of science? Take physics . . . what about gravity? Hold an item up in the air. Let go of it and what happens? It falls . . . every time, towards the center of the Earth. Why? Because the Earth exerts a tremendous gravitational influence on everything around it. Do the same thing while far enough out in space and the item will fall toward the sun. Again, why? Because the more massive an object is the more gravitational force it exerts. The sun is more massive than the Earth. Therefore, assuming one is far enough away from Earth, the sun wins.

What about geometry? Measure the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. Any circle . . . any size . . . anywhere on Earth, under its seas or in outer space. What number do you get? We call it (in English) pi: 3.14159, generally, but a number that has actually been calculated to ten trillion digits! A number that cannot be written as a fraction (e.g. 3/4), and never settles into a repeating pattern (e.g. 22/7 = 3.142857142857142857).

In those two examples alone we see the incredible work that God has done. (If you truly don't believe in God, the world is still awesome!) This is an incredible world we've been given, full of wonderful and amazing things. To say that we must believe that it was made in only six actual 24-hour days - or what, we're not Christian enough? - is ridiculous, when the science we've discovered over the past several thousand years tells us something different, but equally as wonderful. And if you believe God created the world, well, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, indeed!

Our intellect, the intellect God gave us, demands that we must use our minds to their fullest extent. Wonder. Discover. Postulate. Experiment. Prove. Pass on to the next generation a greater understanding of the Earth and the universe around us.

To those Christians who aren't swayed by these arguments, please remember that the Bible is full of metaphor - did Jesus actually tear down the temple in three days and re-build it, or was He speaking metaphorically? I believe it's the same with the creation story. But, assuming what I believe to be true actually is, I can ask Him myself when I die. And if I'm wrong, and it actually was six days . . . it was a heckuva six days!

Now, for those of you who don't believe in a God and think even my mention of such diminishes my arguments, I have to ask "what came before the universe"? I believe I know, and I invite you to seek Him, too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Has it been almost 10 months since I posted last? Hunh . . . wouldn't have thought that much time had gone by. I better post something soon. Something short but meaningful. Something like this. (He smiles.)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Anniversaries Bitter and Sweet

Tomorrow, 11 Mar 2013, will be a day both bitter and sweet. It's sweet because it marks six months to the day since my surgery to replace both hips. Things could not be better with my health since then, thank the Lord. I am doing quite well. However, it's also the birthday of my late friend Larry Dambeck.

Larry and I met when I first joined the Mount Prospect Midget Football League (the MPMFA) in sixth grade. He and I generally were the last two players to finish the opening run around the football field, which, no doubt, would still be true today. But while Larry played and started from sixth grade through eighth, I broke a hand in sixth grade and an arm in eighth grade, both on the gridiron; both injuries finished my season, of course.

It was during the second half of freshman year at Prospect High School that Larry and I found ourselves in the same gym class. Larry asked if I wanted to start playing softball and such with his other friends, and so began friendships that have lasted all these years. I met Hauslein, Brickwood, Drager and all the rest, as well as their siblings and parents.

Sometimes Larry and I used to ride our bikes to Randhurst mall, buy a Slurpee at the SS Kresge store and sit on our "freak bench" and watch the people go by. When we got our driver's licenses, and had cars of our own, the trips usually involved Jack in the Box, Luke's or Peep's. And, naturally, a little later still, some of our trips were across the state line into Wisconsin for a beer or six. When his folks moved back to Wisconsin, and Larry moved to Cedarburg with them, I often took the trip up I-294 from Mount Prospect to see him. He moved back to Illinois and lived with my folks and I for a couple of years too.

Larry was Best Man at my wedding, and at Drager's, too, though he himself never married.

As children came along our contact diminished, but it picked up some the last couple of years, aided by the cell phone. I'd call Larry once in a while as I drove home, usually a 45-minute trip (which is how long our calls would last). Went up to see him once in the fall, three years ago, and then four of us guys went up two summers ago. I'm certainly glad we did! We fell right into talking about all of the same things, reminiscing about school and old friends as if days had gone by instead of years.

Larry died on Christmas Eve this past December. He was found sitting in his chair, having just had dinner, TV still on. He went quickly, the doctors say. Too soon, I say, because I was looking forward to the next visit, when we could have renewed our friendship over a beer, some good food and conversations about everything . . . and nothing at all.

Happy Birthday, Larry! It was an honor to know you, and call you my friend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Linus and Lucy

Here's the popular Vince Guaraldi composition "Linus and Lucy" done by yours truly on our Yamaha Clavinova: Click for MP3 on


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Lyrics :: Dear Child

The following lyrics are scheduled to be sung in church the fourth weekend in Feb, 2013. They are sung to the tune of the Beatles song "She's Leaving Home", from the Sgt. Pepper album. (Note that there are two or three parts to the chorus.) Put on the song (or click here) and read (or sing) along.

There's a nice analysis of this song here.

Dear Child

Saturday morning, May 26, 1923
Fourth of six children, her family
Loses the youngest before he is three

She is raised Baptist in small town middle America
Reading her Bible her faith's confirmed
Over the years shares what she has learned

She . . .She always knew He was there
is living . . Offered her own life in prayer
LoveThe greatest gift any person can share
Her Heaven waits as she holds to her faith over many years
Dear child

California, she meets her sailor-husband-to-be
Moves to Chicago, is married, then
Becomes a Catholic, as she promised, when

They adopt two children and raise them both in suburbia
She shares her faith with her family
Worship and prayer and humility

She . . .She always knew He was there
is living . . Offered her own life in prayer
LoveThe greatest gift any person can share
Her Heaven waits as she holds to her faith over many years
Dear child

Friday morning at 86 her life slips away
Family and friends at her bedside, for they
Live now as she did, for her they pray

She . . .She always knew He was there
is living . . Offered her own life in prayer
LoveNow she looks into His eyes and He smiles
Home with her Lord in the place she prepared over many years
Now, she is home
Dear child

Lyrics Copyright © 2012 Mark R. Dopita

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Quotation :: Life at Every Age

Life at every age has its own compensation. I'm still looking ahead. I don't want to die. There's too much fun in this world and a lot of good folks. A lot of them. And good books to read and fish to catch and pretty women to admire and good men to know. Why, life is a joy.
John F. Smith, Speech and Drama Professor at Otterbein University

This quotation is found in AARP Bulletin, dated January-February 2013. It's from the editorial on page 3, The Magic of the Fountain of Youth.

John F. Smith was forced to retire in 1950 at the age of 70. He immediately went to work at the University as a custodian at the college gymnasium. The quote comes from an interview with the late Charles Kuralt, the legendary CBS reporter who travelled the country looking for stories. (Google "On the Road with Charles Kuralt" or click here.)

I guess Mr. Smith understood the meaning behind the Bible verse, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10 KJV).

For this same thing I must give thanks. For in reading this quote I understand that I have an abundance of the things that really matter: an abundance of family; an abundance of friends, young and old; and the abundance of spirit that comes from a deep, abiding faith in God. Without those things, life would be quite different!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Quotation :: Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

A Quotation :: Science and Society

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.
Carl Sagan

Friday, November 30, 2012

Surgery :: Post 12 (Final)

Yes, it's been a while, but here's the next, and last, surgery post. It's now been almost twelve weeks since surgery. I've had my last outpatient physical therapy session, and have been to my third and final doctor visit with the surgeon (or his staff).

According to the doctor, and his x-rays, everything looks good. They don't need to see me for another year.

According to the physical therapist, I've made substantial progress. I am doing as well as expected, but for a person who had a single hip replacement. For a double-hip, I'm doing even better! My flexibility is returning and my leg strength is improving, daily.

I feel so good that I even walked back to the train station from a meeting in downtown Chicago, to the tune of 1.4 miles. With no ill effects . . .

So, again, thank you to everyone who prayed for me, to everyone who visited, or sent a card, or called, or even thought about me! Thanks to the surgeon, his staff, the nurses and physical therapists who helped me when I was fresh from surgery, and in the two week period that followed post-hospitalization. Finally, a big, big thank-you to my lovely wife Nancy, who visited me almost every day when I was at the hospital or in rehab, who helped me with the many things I couldn't do for myself once I returned home and who has supported me from the decision to have the surgery through today.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Surgery :: Post 11

I'm into the second-to-last stage of my bilateral hip replacement. Being home, I'm now getting outpatient physical therapy (PT). If I ever thought I was over the "hard part" I was sorely mistaken (with emphasis on the "sore")!

I'm now being asked to stretch, bend, strengthen and generally abuse (well, not really) all of the various muscles around the hips and throughout the legs. I've been asked to cut down the exercises I do from inpatient PT from 25 reps to 10, and from four sets per day to two. In their place, I have about twelve new exercises to do twice per day, with two sets of ten reps each. Progress!

Oh, and two of the exercises are done on my stomach!!! I didn't know I could turn over onto my stomach! I'm going to check with the doctor tomorrow and see if I can sleep on my stomach . . . I've been sleeping on my back for weeks!

Finally, I can walk all I want, provided I don't do so much I can't move the next day.

I said I was into the second-to-last stage; here's what I consider to be the list of stages:

  1. Pre-Surgery Office Visits, Blood Donations, et al
  2. Surgery and Hospital In-Patient Stay
  3. Rehab Center In-Patient Stay with Physical and Occupational Therapy
  4. Home on Short-Term Disability with Out-Patient Physical Therapy
  5. Return to Work with Continuing Physical Therapy

The "next big thing" for me is being able to get into the car and drive. I'm limited by the "hip restrictions" that are in place, things I cannot do without the potential for dislocating a hip. And I do not want to dislocate a hip! So I'll practice getting in and out of the driver's seat, and test going around the block several times, before I believe I can try a longer drive. Currently, I can't sit for any length of time (in the car) without some little discomfort.

So this week continues PT, on an outpatient basis, and has me trying to drive, comfortably. We'll see how it goes!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Texas :: Quotations

I think these stand on their own!

"Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement."

"Always drink upstream from the herd."


From the site Washington Apple Pi found here.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Surgery :: Post 10

I have only one thing to say . . . I'm home!!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Surgery :: Post 09

Yes! It's true - I am going home tomorrow! While my time here at the rehab center has been well-spent, getting in shape for returning to work, I am sooooo ready to go home.

I went to the doctor today, with all indications that I am recovering very well. The circulation in my legs is good, so no more TED hose (those white stockings that help protect against blood clots). They also took an x-ray of my pelvis and I got to see the prostheses in place. Quite interesting . . . in a creepy sort of way.

I still have to respect the "hip precautions" that are in place for the newly operated-upon (no crossing the legs at the ankles while laying down, no pigeon-toed stance, no bending at the waist so that the angle between trunk and legs is less that 90 degrees) for the next three weeks, at least.

I can try to drive, but whether I can depends on whether sitting in the car breaks the precautions. I'll see about that this weekend, or early next week. And until I can drive to work, I'm still on short-term disability. No working from home.

The other good thing - I will play with Sing-A-New-Song the second Sunday in October.

In any case, tomorrow, at 11:00 AM, Nancy will arrive and I will depart! Yippee!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Surgery :: Post 08

Hey there, sports fans! Yes, my jaunty mood may indicate to you that things are going well, and, well, you'd be right! I have graduated from a walker to a four-prong cane to a regular cane during the past few days. I went outside to walk today during PT, both on asphalt, on concrete, on grass, through gravel, over brick and over wood. (The rehab center has it set up specially for folks like me.) I still have little to no pain - just muscle soreness - and am ready to move to the next step: going home.

I have a discharge-planning meeting tomorrow and a doctor's visit on Thursday. Provided nothing major happens I believe my last day here will be Friday. I've been getting great care, but I can shower on my own, take care of all my personal grooming needs, dress myself, handle all toilet needs and get around my room and this facility without a problem. Heck, I even made my bed today (before the CNA did)!

Oh, and I learned something you can use in case you're hospitalized. Know those TV controls in each room, that self-contained changer and speaker in one? The one that only allows you to move one channel forward or one channel back at a time? The ones that are prone to having a bad volume control? If you can't get it to stay at the volume you want, because the speaker cuts out, just give that puppy a sharp tap and it'll work! I've had to do this numerous times during my stay at the rehab center. Just a helpful tip . . .

Thanks to everyone who has visited, sent a card, called, e-Mailed or has had me in their prayers! I hope to see you/talk to you at home next time!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Surgery :: Post 07

Wanted to provide the latest information regarding surgery, and, now, recovery and rehab. It's been over a week since surgery, with a lot of PT and OT (physical and occupational therapy, respectively). I have little or no pain, to speak of, and have taken no pain medication since arriving at Manor Care, my rehab center. I have developed a rash, and that's being treated with a steroid cream and (starting today) Benadryl.

The major good news for the past few days is that I was able to walk with a four-prong cane, not a walker, during yesterday afternoon's PT. I've also gone up a set of three steps, using both feet to lead, alternatively. OT consists of several balance "games" involving stepping on a rubber disk and doing various things to test my balance, which, so far, is good. So things are progressing well.

The dressings covering my incisions were removed this morning, and the nurse told me that they looked good. But neither stitches nor staples - looks like they glued me together! (I'm not making this up.) I'd like to look, but I don't think I going to. I guess I might be stitched up inside. Won't know until I go to the doctor on the 27th.

So, for now, all things are looking good! Can't wait to get home!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Surgery :: Post 06

I have been unavailable to provide any updates as the Manor Care router went down last week and has just today been put right. I arrived at Manor Care on Friday afternoon, around 3:30 PM, and have been through several rounds of PT and OT (physical/occupational therapy). I'm following all of the instructions provided by both the PT and OT personnel. I am feeling remarkably well, I think, and continue to have little pain. I'm not taking any pain medication at all, and have only one spot on my left leg that needs special attention. It feels like I have a charley horse, but is most likely the result of some part of the surgery.

I don't know how long I'll be at Manor Care, but want to take advantage of all they have to offer here. I've heard anywhere from one to three weeks, but am uncertain of any specific end date. My surgical dressings are scheduled to be removed on Thursday. The nurses and doctor continue to say they're healing well. After Thursday, the surgical wounds will be left open to the air for additional healing.

I see the surgeon on Thursday, 27 Sep 2012, when my stitches will be removed. I have two additional follow-up visits thereafter, approximately one month apart.

Thanks for your prayers, care and concern! I think that's the reason I'm doing so well! (I give the Power of Prayer a lot of weight!)

And I've got my PC connection to the world again!


Friday, September 14, 2012

Surgery :: Post 05

This is my first post-surgery update.

Tuesday's surgery went well, from my perspective. It was delayed 90 minutes as the person scheduled to go in front of me was late getting to the hospital. I woke up in the recovery room at about 5:00 PM and was taken upstairs to my regular room. Sleep was haphazard that first night, but pain was under control.

I had a course of radiation therapy on Wednesday morning, about 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. Physical Therapy (PT) started that afternoon. I had two more courses of PT today, and have one more scheduled for tomorrow. Other than weakness, I'm in good shape, with no real pain to speak of. I'm now standing on my own and walking with the help of a walker. After the two rounds of PT I sat in a chair for an hour; it's a welcome change from laying in bed.

I'm scheduled to be taken to Manor Care in Libertyville tomorrow, either late morning or early afternoon.

The surgeon spoke to me yesterday morning. He told me that my hips were pretty much fused in place, due to the arthritis, and it almost led to him doing only one of the joints. Normally, he said, he dislocates the hips before cutting away the bone; in this case, he cut the leg bones while still in my body, and had to use every trick he knew to complete the surgery. Pays to have the best, I guess!

So now it's on to more PT. I'm much better able to move around than on Tuesday. Hopefully, improvements will continue at the same pace on into the near future!

Thanks to everyone for the prayers, kind wishes and compassion. I hope to return to normal living quite soon!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Surgery :: Post 04

Here I am, the day before surgery, and no head cold has manifested itself. I'd guess that there's precious little standing in the way of surgery, short of the doctor being unavailable.

I'm on for tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM.

Our pastor prayed over me with our Sing-A-New-Song band at church yesterday. It was exactly what the doctor ordered, I think. And as she prayed for God's Spirit to be with the doctors, nurses and caregivers at the hospital and rehab center, and with me, a thought came into my head - I prefer to think it was spoken to me - which said, "I am already with you." For those of you who don't believe in God, all I can say is I do, and believe that He was speaking to me.

Now I'm really prepared!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Surgery :: Post 03

Okay, I'm getting a little worried. I feel like maybe a cold is coming on. Or not. My nose is running, slightly, but it's clear. And it rained so the mold count is up. But if it's a cold, my surgery will be cancelled and re-scheduled. And that probably means one of the pints of blood will expire (only good for 42 days). And surgery can't come less than ten days after a blood donation.

Am I worrying too much?

On the "up" side, I've gotten a lot of things done at work, implemented or ready to be implemented when I return. So I'll at least leave a clean slate. Even wrote my own "out of office" memo to the application owners I support. For the next one to three weeks, nothing but emergency fixes.

Saw "Dreamgirls" tonight at Marriot's Lincolnshire Theatre. Nice way to relax in preparation for surgery. Quite the good performance!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Surgery :: Post 02

Less than a week to go. All doctor visits completed. Blood work and urinalysis A-OK. All dentist visits completed. New crown to be put in place Saturday morning. Three units of blood drawn for use in surgery, as necessary. Both classes taken. Rehab center contacted. Exercises continue.

Plus . . .

Deck staining completed. Garage cleaned. New screen door installed. Ceiling in family room painted. New carpeting in family room (I didn't install it, but I took the old stuff out, with help from Tim.) Front door painted. Door to garage, and frame, painted. Bills paid.

Plus . . .

Final roll-ins at work to be done tomorrow night. Paper completed for 1 Sep 2012 Expectation. Back-up application support arranged.

Plus . . .

attended final wedding (of five, this summer). Attended a dinner with my Bible Study group (got cards for each hip!). Had dinner with Nancy, dad, Jan and Bill for summer birthdays. Had Randy, Lori, Ron & Edie over. Made a nice big first one evening.

Plus . . .


Friday, August 24, 2012

Surgery :: Post 01

Okay, sports fans . . . here's the first post about my upcoming bilateral hip replacement surgery. It's scheduled for Tue, 11 Sep 2012. I went to an internist this morning for a pre-surgical check-up, and, providing my blood work (and other tests) don't come back with any abnormalities, I've been cleared for take-off, so to speak. (I could make a joke about the first step in surgery being a take-off - taking off your clothes, that is - but I'll hold off.)

The run-up to surgery has included two classes - one at the doctor's office regarding the procedure and another at the hospital about the orthopedic floor, physical therapy and the rest of the support network. I've also given two pints of my own blood (with a third donation coming next week) which will be held in reserve in case I need it during surgery. Finally, there's been the aforementioned doctor's visit. It's been busy.

I'm also trying to leave work in good shape, as I'm the sole support person for three areas.

I have certain exercises to do each day, too, stretches that I'll be doing post-surgery as well.

Eighteen days to go!

Monday, August 13, 2012

On Defining Our Existence

Everybody needs work to do . . . Work makes us real. Unless you have work to do and people who love you, you don't exist.

James Patrick Kelly in the short story Mr. Boy.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Londoners Love Their London

Londoners do not idealize, real Londoners do not idealize their city so much as celebrate it with sardonic wit.
Robert Bucholz, professor of History at Loyola University, Chicago and author, with Joseph P. Ward, of London a Social and Cultural History, 1550-1750

Thursday, August 2, 2012

What I Have Done and What I Have Left Undone . . .

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

Life Will Love You Back

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.
ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN (1887–1982), Musician

Monday, July 9, 2012

Why Don't People Know This Phrase????

You Must Have Been Vaccinated with a Phonograph Needle

To me, this means that someone talks too much. (Another way of saying this is that someone is "too talky", interesting in itself.) Many people I've asked recently have never heard this phrase. Not people who don't know what a phonograph is - people my age. How 'bout you?