Friday, October 29, 2010

HP Population Control

Have you seen the HP printer commercial depicting a little baby in his walker, all alone, cruising in and out of automobile and semi traffic!? Is HP nuts? Well they got my attention, albeit in a horrible, irresponsible way and I guess that's the point. Why not just depict the baby being squished by the semi while we're at it. I've got to stop watching TV.

Wal-Mart Caring

Went to Walmart today to buy shampoo for our mutt and got a real friendly checkout clerk who looked at my purchase and said, "Ooh! Baby's getting a bath! Just be careful--my chihuahua was itching so I took him to the vet and the vet said I was just washing him too much! Well I wanted him not to smell like a dog. Ooh be careful when you use this (pointing to Sulfodene) --it hurts if it gets into eyes," etc. etc.
I usually take care not to buy anything too embarrassing or exciting at Walmart, still it would be nice if clerks wouldn't give me advice and opinions about my stuff.

October Fishing

I went fishing last Sunday, likely for the last time this season. Since moving where I live now, I have gone fishing with my neighbor, Henry, almost every spring and summer Sunday morning. This time, we couldn't launch my boat because the water in the reservoir was too low. There was hardly 6 inches of water at the end of the paved launch, and the docks that parallel the launch were not floating.

We fished for a while on the city boat docks that jut out into much deeper water where boaters can rent a space for a season and watched as others, some with more persistence than we had, tried to launch. None made it into the water while we were there.

We had a conversation with a sail boat owner whose problem was not getting in the water, but getting his boat out. The reservoir is owned by the city of Columbus, and he thought there should have been some warning from them about the low water. He made an arrangement with the sailing club to the east, and under the power of the outboard on his sailboat, headed out across the water. I thought he should be thankful that the water is there for his use. We see the same boats there, week after week, sail and pontoon boats, and sometimes wonder out loud about how often they are used. If he'd used his boat in the last couple of weeks, he'd have known about the water level.

This is a little commercial. There is a fishing bait and tackle store, the Old Dutchman, on Sunbury Road near Central College Road in Westerville, Ohio. It is a family owned place, and is full of cats. I brought them a spinning reel with a bad bail spring (they fix them right on their premises). The reel was a gift from a while ago when I was honored for working at the same place for 30 years, and was not cheap to begin with. It was worth something for me to get fixed. When I went to pick it up, it cost me $5.63. $5.63? Wow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Some years ago, with painful feet and shoulders, I was diagnosed with arthritis. Expensive medication helped the pain in my feet. In my case, toes and feet are different kinds of arthritis, so what helped my feet has no effect on my shoulders, but my shoulder pain was largely gone--until a couple of months ago. The Dr. said I needed an MRI.
An MRI is a non invasive technique, and I have never been afraid of needles, or the dentist, and I drove to the imaging lab, thinking about walking through Dick's Sporting Goods when the session was over to see if any fishing tackle was ridiculously on sale. At the lab, the nurses were professional and kind, explaining what would happen, what I needed to do, and how long it would take.
The MRI apparatus is a long thin cylinder, and the patient is strapped on a board attached to a track, and the track slowly feeds into the cylinder, and then for 40 or 50 minutes, takes its image. It seemed simple. I was strapped in, with special care taken with my left shoulder, and my right hand held a bulb attached to a narrow tube, and if I had trouble, I was supposed to squeeze the bulb. What trouble would I have?
Well, my head hardly made it to the tip of the tube, and my heart started beating, and my breath came short. The roof of the tube I was being eased into, which seemed now like a round coffin, was inches from my eyes, and before I was up to my neck I was saying, "This has to stop. I can't do this." 40 or 50 minutes in this. No way. I didn't know I was claustraphobic.
The attendants were kind, seeing this happen to other patients before I am guessing, and my body started moving the other way. "We can't make you do this," they said, but I was embarrassed. I still had the residue of the panic, too, and they were not going to talk me back into that thing. That was not their intent. Another lab in the system had what was called an open MRI, and they made me an appointment for that one.
This time, because I had some trepidation, my wife came along. In this different lab, while the preparation was happening, it seemed things would be all right. Certainly this "open" tube looked bigger to me. But when I was again strapped to the board, and properly adjusted, my eyes again were just inches from the door of the closed coffin, and I knew it even though they put a towel on my eyes. I don't think I got much past my forehead before I started yelling about not being able to so this. More palpitations and short breaths, and I was on my way out again. My wife said I hardly moved before I started yelling, but I just couldn't do it. The only other option now was drugs.
The Dr. said, though, that maybe the ex-ray had enough information, and scheduled me for some physical therapy. I am still embarrassed when I think of my panic, but it was absolutely real.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Okay. This is my first posting on my blog. I am a retired community college professor and a fisherman.

My original intent was to keep a kind of public fishing log, but where I live now, the season is almost over. But I am also interested in more than fishing. I will comment--maybe eccentrically—on what I am reading, the news, the world around me. If I get a few responses, great. Let's see what happens.