Wednesday, February 25, 2004


I got that one good night of sleep a couple of days ago, but last night there were seven interrupts. Five from the baby, and two from our son. Now, the good news is that he appears to be fighting off the stomach virus. But he didn't feel well yesterday and I picked him up early from preschool. And he had lots of very fluffy poops. Not what I would call diarrhea, but clearly some gastric distress. And he has heartburn. He came in last night totally wet from a urine overflow, but not, thankfully, a wave of diarrhea. My wife, who had handled the other five interrupts, also handled this one. Though I had said I would. I took the next one however, in which he came in to say he heard rain. I gave him the standard pocket lecture about staying in your bed and tucked him back. My wife was a shambles in the morning. After breakfast, I watched the kids for a while, while she napped.

I staggered around the house, loosely-jointed, weak, dropping things, thinking it was funny that I have no idea whether my discoordination is due to ALS or simply lack of sleep. I have declared a Symptom Holiday for the duration of this round of kid illnesses. Whatever spasbo behaviors I commit, I ignore. It's all due to sleep deprivation.

But it was pretty comical last week when I was downstairs in the utility room bathroom, and saw an ugly insect of the wall which I decided to decimate. (The whole area is a construction zone, so don't worry about bug guts on the walls). I delivered the stealthy, healthy karate kick, the sort of thing I have done hundreds of times before, and not too ambitious at that. And wound up on my butt! My left knee had somehow given out, gone sideways. I banged part of myself on the lawnmower and was lucky to be unhurt. Except for my pride. The ugly insect, my opponent, writhed on the floor, so I had at least stunned him, or her, or it. Then I stamped him or her or it and lost my arhat status.

This morning when my wife popped back up from her nap, I emptied the dishwasher, loaded it with dirty dishes, took out the kitchen trash, cleared the dam that was building up behind my back tire and flooding the sidewalk with the gushing rainwater, washed my hands, made a snack of three pieces of white bread with strawberry jam and three breakfast sausages, gave Joe five crackers, and lay down for a while. Then when I felt refreshed I got up. To write this.

I read the book Black Hawk Down. Pretty admirable for all the mistakes it doesn't make. Basically he just interviewed lots of the soldiers, plus some Somalis, built up an accurate account of it, and wrote it clearly. Nicely done. So having read the book I decided to rent the DVD. I got part of the way through it last night, watching it on the computer. Which turns out to have better picture clarity than the TV.

I also got my settlement in the state anti-trust lawsuit against the music industry. Thirteen dollars and eighty-six cents. As a person who had purchased music CDs within the period of record company malfeasance, I was entitled to part of the settlement. I signed up over the web quite some time ago. More than year I think.


The baby's poop is getting thicker, Still pretty runny, but thicker now, and nice and dark.

I got a nice, lively email from my friend Toon (let's call him Toon), who obviously isn't using the blog address I sent him because he asks how I am doing. I'm getting killed here, Toon. Toon is a lively guy and witty. Also handsome and hunky as sin, so a major part of his life mission is traveling around the country providing some lovin' to half the lovely ladies out there. Literally.

And speaking of lovely ladies, a dear friend of mine who I used to work with, who for years has been living with a rare form of brain cancer, also sent me a nice email. Live For The Day, she said. Yeah, baby. I got it.

Despite all the sleep deprivation, waves of energy do come and go, and I can report the good news that I jogged to the gym for a light workout the other day and it went well. Also, last night I did 12 push-ups. I can't say this for sure, but I seem to recall sometime after the diagnosis but before I started going to the gym that I could only do three. I also remember, quite clearly, when I could only do five. And in other good news, I squeezed the Grip Builder 26 times with the left hand and 85 with the right. I don't know about you, but my rules forbid grip adjustment. The device tends to squirt around in your hand, particularly if you release suddenly. So I make a practice of releasing the pressure slowly and keeping the thing positioned right. Positioning is everything. If you let it pop off to sweet spot on your thumb muscles, or let your fingers slide, you might wind up with a score of only six squeezes, or something like that. Anyway, 26 is better than the 11 I started with. I am getting stronger.
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