Thursday, October 27, 2016

Something different

Since I am unable to stand at my easel for more than a few minutes, I began using my digital software and a Wacom tablet to paint on. I've created dozens of paintings since then. And tonight I finished one that I've been working on for a couple of weeks. Not continuously working on it but off and on. With abstract expressionism, only the artist (me) can say when it is finished. I rarely say that a painting is complete. This one is. And I had better stop looking at it or I may change my mind.

This is titled Henry Ford in the Amazon. It's 24x16, although with it being digital I can make it just about any size I want. I saved it as a TIF file so it will remain quite sharp even after being enlarged to triple that size. 6'x4 1/2'.'

So sad

Such a sad little man. You know who I mean. And I am baffled by the hold he seems to have on so many people. Or so I have been told. That's part of my bewilderment; I don't know any of these people. And in our town I have seen only one Trump lawn sign; yet I am told that his supporters will rise up and demand justice if he loses the election. Maybe his supporters are waiting to see which way the wind is blowing before showing themselves?

When I read the stories about his supporters and read their quotes, I am baffled once again. They appear to be intelligent yet they are quite willing to believe in some vast conspiracy that will deprive them of their votes. It can't happen. The logistics of pulling it off are mind boggling. And pulling it off without someone spilling the beans? 50 states and thousands of independent polling places and thousands of county clerks to certify the results. How could anyone make that happen? I know the Trumpeteers love to talk about the 2m 'dead voters', yet no one can show us where or when any of those dead voters rose up and made it into the polling booth to pull a handle. The 2m were the number of voters that county clerks across the country had failed to purge from the rolls. Shame on them! Sloppy bookkeeping; that's all. Not a grand conspiracy.

Then there are these stories of how the people will rise up and shed their blood if necessary to reclaim the 'stolen' election. There are stories of seemingly intelligent people that have gun collections "I have north of 40 guns". Collecting most things is an innocent pleasure. But stamps are not the equivalent of M-16's. And there has to be a special place in Hell reserved for those Justices that did as their NRA masters asked them to and turned the 2nd Amendment over to them.    

It won't be long now and this seeming nightmare of an election will be over. Or will it just be a bad dream?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

on and on it goes

The pain continues. I had no idea that a broken pelvis would hurt so much. It's a Level 6 24/7 these days. I went to the ortho doc the other day and x-rays were taken. By the way, x-rays are the only medical diagnostic tool that has not changed, basically, since it was invented /discovered in 1895. Anyway, the x-rays confirmed what we already knew. It was fractured. A nice straight line across the widest part of the pelvis. After viewing the images I found myself feeling 'delicate'. Like a rare china plate...

The bad news was that it would take 6  to 12  months for my recovery. I guess I will take up knitting. Again. I tried knitting after my first spinal surgery and found that I was only good at casting on. Maybe I can learn to knit this time. There has to be a thousand or more YouTube videos to teach me.

The building activity behind us has reached a critical stage. They were pumping concrete at 6:30 this morning. Illegal. Now they are finishing the concrete with a very loud radio to help them. We do not appreciate the noise. If I had a portable radio I would set it up on the fence and give them some of the finer operas at max volume.

We picked up the mail today after a visit to the family doc and found it to be 99% political mailings. I can't help but think...can I write "return to sender" on this stuff and put it back in the box? I have voted. I did it yesterday and it's like a huge weight has been lifted off of my back. Of course I voted a straight Democratic ticket. Not because I am a Democrat; I am not. I left them a long time ago but this time around they seem to be the only sane ones. This weeks Economist has a good article on Hillary Clinton. This issue has a sinister cover featuring Putin. That's also worth reading.

The republicans and their base seem to believe in every wacky conspiracy theory.There are no conspiracies. All attempts at it fail because no one can be trusted to keep a secret. Conspiracies might last a month or even two, but then someone will always want to tell someone else. Then it's over.

I'm waiting for the Dilaudid to kick in and relieve me of some pain. I'm also waiting for my cat to get over her grumpiness and come and join me. She has been super throughout this painful episode in my life, jumping up on my lap and sleeping there for hours. A cat on the lap is great therapy!

I have spent the last few days working on my photo collection. These are photos I collect off of the internet, such as photos detailing the building of Grand Coulee Dam or the Los Angeles Aqueduct, logging and railroads. Plus my photos of family and friends. I'm up to 8,000 now and most are decently titled and filed. Using Apple Smart folders I can use keywords to place the photos anywhere I want. But then...just as I was humming along, the Mac lost the network. Just the Mac and neither one of the iPhones. My wife's iPad never lost a beat. After 72 plus hours the Mac came back to life. I checked online and apparently these interruptions have been going on since 2013 or earlier. Then I read that Steve Jobs, who was not a programmer or engineer, but was more interested in esthetics. His products had to look beautiful and in that he succeeded. How they worked was a problem for his engineers to work on, not himself. I bet that was why Wozniak left him. He probably didn't trust him.

I love my Mac but I hate flaws that no one seems to be interested in fixing. Well, I better go get the cat...we need each other.

Friday, October 21, 2016

End of the week or the beginning?

Back in the day when I had to work for a living, Friday was the end of the week. Monday was the beginning of the week and those two days between the beginning and the end were? Whatever you wanted to make of them.

These days, those two days have taken over the whole calendar and I have to come up with a reason for each day. I visit the family doctor this morning, a PA-C and a darn good one. He's the best "MD" I've have never had. Warm, caring and very thorough. This morning we have to debate the pro's and con's of my pain med, Dilaudid, and what do I do now that my supply is growing short. The prescription came from a hospitalist that I won't be seeing again. That prescription replaced the one for IV Dilaudid.

This morning's pain came close to making me cry and the Dilaudid brought it to an end within 30 minutes. What else will do that? I would rather move down to a less powerful drug but I'm also afraid of more pain. After all of these years of pain you would think I would be used to it, but I'm not. I'm actually more fearful.

The subject was 'days' and today I'm looking forward to the weekend. Not my weekend but the workers laboring right behind our house. I want them to leave this afternoon and never come back. They are building a 19 home tract of high end homes. High end price but low end quality. And they are noisy while they build. Of course they are. It's to be expected. But I'm old and cranky and so I mutter curses under my breath each and every day until 4 PM when they go home for the evening.

When we moved in there was nothing but 20 acres of pasture with sheep, horses, donkeys and a goat to see, with the Sierra foothills in the distance. It's all gone now. After all our years of wandering up and down the state we have seen it changing. We moved from Manhattan Beach to the 'Valley' and then to Ventura Co, (Newbury Park) followed by Orange Co. (Brea) which lead us to Lassen Co. (Janesville) then to Placer Co. (Roseville) followed by Glenn Co. (Orland) and now Butte County. (Chico) My dream was always for a secluded spot with acreage and we had that in Lassen. Eight acres of second growth pines in a small community in the remote northeast corner of the state. We lived there for 11 years before the state moved in nearby with max security prison. There was a small hill and 15 miles between us but when the prison turned on the lights (they were never off) the bright glow on the horizon killed the night time sky. The stars disappeared and after a while we were gone as well.

Change is the only constant and we came here for health care reasons so we can't fly away as we did in Lassen. So the change is happening like it or not.

I don't  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Hard to believe

I tried to avoid the debate last night. But I can't move very far because of the fractured pelvis and my wife wanted to watch. When the debate began I was immediately put off by the intro music and high drama from the narrator; was this a Presidential debate or beginning credits for a Hollywood Roman Empire epic? There was nothing Presidential about it!

And why Las Vegas? I happen to know that there is a lot more to that city than the "The Strip". I've worked there many times. It's a nice place.'s not a city meant for Presidential debates. Maybe 50 years from now, but not now.

In my opinion the evening went downhill from there. Trump was outclassed from the beginning and should have surrendered to Hillary early on, promising to go back to his Tower quietly if she would just stop being so mean to him.

At the conclusion I was, I'm sorry to say, embarrassed. Embarrassed that I was an American. Embarrassed that America had fallen to this sorry state. As a country we had allowed this spoiled man-child to become a candidate for the highest office in the world. As a nation we had allowed our representatives to love power instead of the people they served. That dysfunction begat the Tea Party and the Tea Party begat Trump...despite their fierce denials.

No, Hillary is not the candidate I would have chosen. I don't even know who that candidate would have been. Perhaps we will see candidates far more worthy 4 years, 8 years from now. I can wait.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I should have checked

But I didn't. I understand why you can't read the text and I can fix that. But the photo? Why the strange symbol where my photo should be? I will investigate.

Later...I think I fixed it. I just put the photo back. I hope it stays...

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Your pain level is?

Right now, mine is at 7. " Severe pain that dominates your senses and significantly limits your ability to perform normal daily activities or maintain social relationships.  Interferes with sleep."  Yes, it's a 7. I'm trying to type and it's a chore. I miss words or thoughts as I type. And sometimes, I just sit here and try to use my mind to fight it off. Meditate. I can't; not with every neuron firing and synapses overloading with signals from those neurons.  Impossible.

This being tuesday, I really wanted to go back to my group of friends that meet to paint on that day; every week. Our group, the Tuesday Painters, meets at the art center to paint...obvious! So I asked my wife to help and I got dressed. Then a short drive to the center where I use the handicapped parking. Now I'm faced with a real struggle and one I had not anticipated; the handicapped ramp. Up we go! That was hard work. And I even stopped midway to rest as we rose some 6'.

I met with everyone and I was very glad we had come. I also came to thank one and all for the special 'get well card', a painting by one and then all of them had signed it on the back. I had found a frame and had framed it and I wanted them all to see i
t framed before it went on my wall. Here you can see it if you double click the image.

Now you know why I was there. But, oh! the pain! The walk up the ramp had hit some spots that were now very irritated. We all talked for about twenty minutes and then my wife whispered in my ear "ready to go?" I nodded and then we finished up our conversation and headed back to the car.

The walk up the ramp was a piece of cake compared to the walk down. Now I was hold back the weight of my body with each step down the ramp. I was in agony when I reached the bottom. I recovered some on the drive home and I am now safely within the embrace of my recliner while I type.

Now here's a photo of my new walker...

That's it, I'm through for the day...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Are you kidding me?

I am hurting. It is very, very, very painful. It, in this case, being a fractured pelvis on my left side. Even with Dilaudid and morphine for pain, the pain is there; persistent! And you can only imagine what all of these drugs have done to my memory. Perhaps I should start at the beginning...

I am part of a church group that spends an occasional Sunday at church with a patrol of the church grounds. Bidwell Presbyterian Church. This morning I was by myself and had removed my badge in preparation for leaving. That was when I noticed that I had forgotten the magnetic bar that was part of the badge. I bent down to get it and and that was the time that I lost my balance and I fell forward, about 2'.  That was just right for my left pelvis to connect with a large pot. A hard pot. I hit it with enough force to break my pelvis. And that hurt!! I also broke the pot...

It is now 8 days later and relief is not in site. I saw the doctor a few days ago and he added to my pain relief by giving back the pain relief med I had asked him to delete from my drug list just a few weeks earlier. I can do some things with less pain than a week ago, such as standing upright with assistance. I can only dream about life without assistance.

I'm taking a very long time to type this; my brain and fingers have a communication problem. If I could find a way to 'speak' this blog post I certainly would. Apple has that feature in lots of places but I don't see it here. But, with my mind being fragmented by drugs, my speech has not been all that clear.

I guess I'm through for the day.