Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yesterday was doctor day. Fritz and I got to the orthopedist at 8am (I prefer going early as it avoids the horrid back-ups as the day goes by and appointment after appointment takes longer than was scheduled). We began with the x-ray and the doctor says things continue to look good. She did say that taking the pictures through the cast does degrade the image somewhat and she isn’t sure exactly how much new bone growth there is. I ran down my typical diet and she said I’m taking in more than sufficient calcium to insure healthy bones.

The next appointment is on the 21st, at which time this cast will be cut off (I CAN’T WAIT!) and x-rays taken without it. I will have to have a walking cast or some other cast device put on at that time for an extra four weeks—a lot longer than I’d been hoping for. I told her I was going to lobby hard for the ski boot device because it can be removed for bathing, other activities that do not require any weight to be put on the ankle—and will allow me to drive as long as I can retrain myself to brake with my left foot. Since I’m very comfortable driving a stick shift and using a clutch with the left foot in that context, I think I should be able to manage with my automatic Jeep. In any event, the ski boot is the one she said is most likely for me, which will make spending the rest of December and at least two weeks of January still somewhat constrained much more bearable.

Getting around has been tricky here lately because we’ve had messy little snow/sleet events move through the area every two or three days. Mostly when we go up the hill to talk with the various subcontractors, I stay in the Jeep and don’t attempt the snowy/icy last rise on my crutches. Today when we drove up, the in-ground propane tank was being installed, and the plumber is scheduled to be on the premises later hooking up the gas supply to the boiler. This will lead at some point to heating up the radiant heat system in the slab, and all future work inside the house will go on under much better working conditions.


Everybody has little quirks. Here are a couple of ours:

I’ve learned not to pour tea for Fritz at breakfast or when we have afternoon tea until he’s put milk into his cup. I really don’t see how it can make any difference, but he swears the tea tastes better if it’s poured into the milk rather than if the milk is poured into the tea.

I’ve always looked forward to getting mail with great anticipation, and check a couple of times during the day to see if it’s been delivered. I love getting things, hearing from people, even getting bills so I can pay them and get them out of the way. Fritz, on the other hand, is extremely casual about the whole thing and will let a day go by without going down to the mailboxes on the street—he feels it’s waiting there for him to get eventually, what’s the rush? Now that I’m not able to go down the hill myself, he’s being a real sweetheart about making sure he brings my mail up to me every afternoon (and you’ll do it again this afternoon, love, yes? YES?!!.

I’m a compulsive archivist and file-keeper. At the end of the day, for instance, I empty my wallet of all the receipts I’ve accumulated during the day into accordion-pleated files with tabs corresponding to all the IRS deduction or required information categories. When I sit down to do my taxes each year, all the material I need is pre-sorted. Fritz says I’m not only a J on the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator, I’m a very strong J.

Fritz keeps socks in only two colors—black and white. He says it makes doing the laundry much easier and he never has to be concerned with fashion coordination issues. I, on the other hand have a sock drawer full of just about every color going so I can coordinate my daily look in all details.

I'm very cheap. Not only do I pick up pennies and other change I find lying in the street, I soak uncanceled stamps off mail I get and reuse them. If we get a barbecued chicken, I simmer the bones for stock and the last of the chicken meat and make a soup. I reuse padded mailer envelopes by cleaning them up and putting new address labels on them. I flatten, clean and reuse aluminum foil. But I don't throw things out until I make sure that I've gotten every possible use out of them and I think that if more people did this, we might not be drowning in the mass of waste that's become such a problem.


You know I can’t resist these things, so here’s the What Superhero Would You Be? quiz—except it turns out I may be more of a superheroine:

Your Superpower Should Be Mind Reading

You are brilliant, insightful, and intuitive.
You understand people better than they would like to be understood.
Highly sensitive, you are good at putting together seemingly irrelevant details.
You figure out what's going on before anyone knows that anything is going on!

Why you would be a good superhero: You don't care what people think, and you'd do whatever needed to be done

Your biggest problem as a superhero: Feeling even more isolated than you do now
What Should Your Superpower Be?


At first I looked at Mike Huckabee as someone who might just be able to knock Mitt Romney out of contention for the Republican nomination. The more I’ve learned about him, however, the more concerned I am that either one of them might become the candidate. In the event that anyone’s unaware of Huckabee’s attitude toward gays and lesbians, and particularly toward people who are HIV+, here’s some disturbing info (excerpted from today's Boston Globe; thanks to Scott of Bill in Exile for the graphic):

Huckabee's views on gays under greater scrutiny
Old statements resurface as he rises in Iowa

By Michael Kranish, Globe Staff / December 12, 2007

WASHINGTON - Shortly before announcing his White House bid, Mike Huckabee told a gathering of Christian conservatives that he had the toughest position against gay marriage of any Republican candidate. "Unless Moses comes down with two stone tablets from Brokeback Mountain to tell us something different, we need to keep that understanding of marriage," Huckabee said, referring to the movie about two gay cowboys.

Now, as Huckabee seeks to solidify his front-runner status in Iowa and his climb in national polls, the former Arkansas governor is coming under greater scrutiny for his views about gays and lesbians. He has sought to defend comments he made in 1992 that gays lived "an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle" and that gays with AIDS should be isolated, even though the federal government by that time had said AIDS was not spread by casual contact.

Huckabee is continuing to focus on the matter as a presidential candidate, saying on his website that "no other candidate has supported traditional marriage more consistently and steadfastly than I have. While Massachusetts was allowing homosexuals to marry, I got a constitutional amendment passed in Arkansas in 2002 defining marriage as between one man and one woman."

In an interview with the Globe earlier this month, Huckabee said he opposes civil unions because he views them as legitimizing same-sex relationships in the eyes of the state. "When you create a validity and actually put a sort of government approval on the behavior, I think that is a different set of rules than, say, a person makes a lifestyle decision, and that's choice," Huckabee said.

Yesterday, after enduring several days of criticism for his 1992 comments about isolating gays with AIDS, Huckabee said in a statement to the Associated Press that he would have "great regret and anxiety if I thought my comments were hurtful or in any way added to the already incredible pain that families have felt regardless of how they contracted AIDS."

He said he would be willing to meet with the family of Ryan White, an Indiana teenager who died of AIDS and whose family has objected to Huckabee's comments about AIDS. The statement stopped short of an apology sought by some AIDS activists.

The AP provided further details on Huckabee's responses to its 1992 survey, including his belief that allowing gays in the military would be "a disgraceful act of government." Huckabee also expressed his opposition to heterosexual couples living together, calling it "demeaning. . . . I reject it as an alternate lifestyle."

Arkansas state Representative Kathy Webb, a Little Rock Democrat who last November was elected as the first openly gay legislator in the state's history, said Huckabee "doesn't seem to have a whole lot of tolerance and good will toward gay people." She traced it to Huckabee's religious background and his effort to appeal to conservative voters.

On a recent New Hampshire campaign swing, Huckabee said that he would support the Bush administration's proposal to double funding for AIDS but said that he didn't want to shortchange other diseases that kill more people.

"I want to make sure that when we look at a disease, whether it is AIDS, diabetes, or cancer, we look at it from the macro perspective, and we don't just single out one thing that affects, in America, you know, about 5,000 people a year," Huckabee said.

The Centers for Disease Control reported that there were 42,514 new AIDS cases and 13,064 deaths from the disease in 2004, the most recent year for which it provided data. About 1.5 million people in the United States have been infected with the AIDS virus since 1981, resulting in more than 500,000 deaths.

I know about quirks. I'm still finding more of his. Of course, I don't mind them a bit. Congrats on the cast coming off. I didn't have a cast, but I did have to wear one of those big, stupid shoes much longer than I wanted to. And yeah, be careful when you're out and about in our soupy weather.
I agree; Huckabee's ascendency is a bit scary. His folksey packaging makes him appear an insipid Arkansan country boy; but it seems like some big deals have been going down with all manner of religious right groups from what i've heard. But they all are a scary lot.
I'm glad you're healing well.

As for the presidential election, I can't vote for any of the Republicans. They pander to horrible, hateful people. I'm not thrilled with any of the Democrats, but whoever they run will be the lesser of the evils.
I agree completely with Fritz; milk goes first and then you pour the tea. The taste is different.
1. I'd suggest a blind side-by-side tasting of tea into milk vs. milk into tea, but I find it unwise to fuck with people's religions.

2. I am trying and trying to come up with some other activity that doesn't require weight on your ankle and where you might want the boot off, but I just cannot think of a thing.

3. I hope Huckabee gets the GOP nod. Any of the main Dem candidates would make mincemeat out of him, and it would show the Republicans for the intolerant douchebags they are. There might be all sorts of downticket Democratic pick ups.
There are many, many times when just having white or black socks wouldn't do. I'm with you! Who cares about the wash?
Compassion is a virtue that most self-proclaimed Christians seem to have forgotten about. Huckabee can quote all the scripture he wants from here 'till kingdom come, but in the end, he's a soulless husk.

Re your foot, I really feel for you. Brings back memories of when I had a fractured heel. Take care, hun.
There is a whole school who thinks milk before tea.
I cannot taste the difference, but there is one point:
If the milk is getting old it will be less likely to curdle if you pour the tea into it than pouring it into the hot tea.

I'm totally with you in reusing things as much as possible.vkhse
I agree with Fritz

But it ain't tea down here

Its Community Coffee.

The milk goes in first, then the coffee.
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