Things

1. My dad has 69% blockage in his carotid artery and needs surgery. He had a stroke this weekend. He’s fine for the most part – no permanent damage that I know of. I talked to him tonight, and he’s very tired, but only because he had to wait all weekend in the ER – just like I have had to do in the U.S. – for all you people who think shit is better in you country.

2. Had a wonderful weekend at a wedding in Savannah, GA. I swear, I think my friend spent 100K on her wedding (probably less than that but it seemed like it – every bar was open.)

3. When you are an expensive hotel hosting an upscale Jewish wedding, don’t play Christmas carols in the lobby during cocktail hour.

4. Savannah, Georgia is an awesome vacation. Halef and I spent a good amount of money going there for the wedding, but it was worth it for the vacation. Just visiting all the town squares (originaly 24, but now 21) was nice. There are statues in every one. Amaizng to see the history.

5. Want to go to Fredericton, NB to see my parents for Christmas. $1000+. It was better when Delta flew there direct. It would have been about $400. I can’t blame them for cutting the route – but why before I needed it??

6. How was your Thanksgiving? I went to my cousin’s place. Normally, I hate deep-fried turkey. He made it marinated with cajun spice and it was awesome. Best TG dinner ever. Yeah, it’s late to post that, but whatever.

7. Obama’s National Security Team. Pretty good, IMO. What did you expect from Obama? Did you think he’d take a kindegarten teacher and hire her as Education Secretary? A corporal at a local police department and make her Secretary of Homeland Security? A bank teller and make him Treasury Secretary? Some lawyer who advertises during Judge Judy and make her AG? How about Jackie Chan as SecDef?? Would that have been change you could believe in??

8. Resveritrol. Had lots of that this weekend at the wedding. I am now 27 – not 39.






52 replies
  1. 1
    smiley says:

    Downtown (historic) Savannah IS awesome. It’s like a real city in what is really a small southern city. Unfortunately, south of a certain point, it’s like anywhere USA. Malls, strip malls, chain restaurants, check cashing rip off joints, and all the other establishments associated with college and military towns. The availability of the awesome parts of Savannah, plus the nearby beaches, makes it OK by Me.

  2. 2
    MNPundit says:

    3. When you are an expensive hotel hosting an upscale Jewish wedding, don’t play Christmas carols in the lobby during cocktail hour.

    Well it IS the deep South, are you sure they weren’t trying to convert the wedding guests?

  3. 3

    Good luck to your dad, Michael.

  4. 4
    Michael D. says:

    Thank you, J.D. I think he’ll be ok. He’s 71, so things like this are bound to happen. Sucks to be old, but hey, that’s the way old is. I’m concerned, but not overly worried.

    My sister is a nurse who told me not to worry until she tells me to. I trust her on that one, so I won’t.

  5. 5
    the other steve says:

    I’m in Vegas baby!

    Lost snot $100 on blackjack, but have broken even on slots.

    Oh yeah. Got married too.

  6. 6
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Drove through Savannah yesterday. The traffic was awful in Georgia.

  7. 7
    Michael D. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: No shit. I was 75 miles from Atlanta on the way back. That 75 miles took 2.5 hours. You must’ve been in the same suck I was in.

  8. 8
    smiley says:

    @MNPundit:
    Savannah was home to some of the earliest Jewish emigrants in North America. Temple Mickve Israel is the third oldest synagogue in America, begun in 1733. That’s the same year Savannah was founded as the first settlement in and first capital of Georgia. Of course, Savannah is really Christian now but the city has always been hospitable to Jews. I’ll bet the hotel staff was just clueless.

  9. 9
    Xenos says:

    Amazing conjunction this evening: Luna, Venus, and Jupiter. I did not have my camera, but here is a nice picture from South Africa that shows the crescent moon sweeping between the planets. Get outside and check this out!

  10. 10
    joejoejoe says:

    I have a relative that was diagnosed with 100% blockage in one carotid and 90% blockage in the other who has lived with the blockage for 14+ years and is now 78. Surgery wasn’t an option because of high stroke risk. I think many people with blockages end up with good secondary circulation through the capillaries in the same area, and medication and diet can reduce the buildup too.

    It’s a scary area of the body to have problems but there are people out there doing great with similar problems.

    Best wishes to you and your Dad!

  11. 11
    Xenos says:

    @smiley: The puritanical New England response is to ask what Christmas has to do with Christianity, anyway. Since it is 98% pagan, let the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Santaria-arians and Unitarians enjoy it too.

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Michael D.: Yeah.. took me three hours to get from Florida to South Carolina – 112 miles.

  13. 13
    Dulcie says:

    @the other steve: I love how you threw that marriage thing in there as an aside!

    You had good weather in Vegas this weekend. Turkey Day was rainy, but it cleared up nicely on Friday, and today was gorgeous.

    Congrats to you and your wife!

  14. 14
    Cain says:

    @the other steve:

    Oh yeah. Got married too.

    I hope you’ve offered a balloon-juice account as a wedding present.

    cain

  15. 15
    smiley says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    I’ve always thought that has something to do with I-95 going from two lanes to three lanes and back again each way every 50 miles or so through GA and SC.

  16. 16
    smiley says:

    @Xenos:

    The puritanical New England response is to ask what Christmas has to do with Christianity, anyway. Since it is 98% pagan, let the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Jains, Santaria-arians and Unitarians enjoy it too.

    Please explain what the fuck you’re talking about because I have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Seriously, educate me.

  17. 17
    Punchy says:

    Wedding, eh? (searches thru recent mail)…..invite…..clearly…..lost….in the mail. Clearly. Certainly.

  18. 18
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @smiley: Yeah, that was certainly part of it. The other factors were increased holiday traffic and constant and often torrential rain.

    As I drove fifteen hours straight yesterday (with only two brief stops for gas) I began to imagine the problem with traffic in general is that there are always a certain percentage of drivers who are looking to get ahead of everyone else which forces everyone else to accomodate them and give way to them which eventually ripples backwards in the form of more congestion for everyone else. Of course, if you’ve got a lane ending, the effect is multiplied.

    And then I imagined the whole American way of life was just the interstate system writ large. A certain percentage of folks have to get ahead of everyone else by any means necessary and the rest of us will be forced to give way and be shuffled off to the wayside.

  19. 19
    DrDave says:

    Michael:

    My mom (age 76) had a stroke on Labor Day. Then a heart attack a month later. And is miraculously much better today. My father in law (age 80) had a milder stroke about a week after my mom’s and is back to about 98%. So your dad has a good chance of making a near full recovery. Being tired is normal post-stroke and can last weeks to months as the brain heals from its injury. I hope he continues to do well.

    Many of the Christmas carols were written by Jews so it’s okay if they are played near the Jewish wedding; we don’t mind. Really.

    Obama is doing pretty much what you would have thought he would do if you were paying attention. He’s more interested in solving problems than playing ideology games.

    I had 16 here for TG and fried my turkeys for the 4th or 5th time. Brining makes all the difference and I may never oven roast a turkey again.

    Hey, how is Charlotte doing by now?

  20. 20
    John Harrold says:

    Good luck with your dad, but the last time I was at the ER (last weekend) I was with a friend for a skin problem. It was about 45 minutes until she could see a doctor, and we were out of there in a total of 3 hours. Most of my experiences at the ER in the US have been like this.

  21. 21
    smiley says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:
    Dude, We’re together. @Just Some Fuckhead:

    The other factors were increased holiday traffic and constant and often torrential rain.

    I agree. That’s a big part of it.

    Damn, Fuckhead, then you’re waxing philosophical. I dig. Yeah. Everyone’s in a hurry. I drive slow (70mph) so everyone else will pass me. That way I can stay in the right lane and get there 10 minutes after whoever passes me.

  22. 22
    TheDeadlyShoe says:

    Did you think he’d take a kindegarten teacher and hire her as Education Secretary?

    Well, yeah. How else are we supposed to be prepared when the Cylons attack? I’m deeply disappointed that he’s not already sweeping the national security establishment for glowing spines.

  23. 23

    My sister is a nurse who told me not to worry until she tells me to. I trust her on that one, so I won’t.

    Ahh…a professional in the family’s a good thing for talking you down as needed.

  24. 24
    Xenos says:

    @smiley: The early settlers around here considered Christmas to be unchristian and mostly pagan in its trappings and celebrations. Which it is, for the most part. Mistletoe, for example, was a primary ingredient in Druidic religious practice, the Yule log comes from pagan Scandinavia, and the Germans were setting up pine trees long before being converted.

    The original pilgrims were so contemptuous about Christmas that they landed in Plymouth and set to work on Christmas morning, declaring that whatever day it was that Jesus was born on, it most certainly could not have been December 25.

    Our modern celebration of the holiday is rooted in Dutch celebrations adopted from New Yorkers, and the importation of German traditions via Prince Albert that became popular in Victorian England. Until the mid 19th century, Christmas was just another feast day which made for a good excuse to get really drunk on a cold winter’s night.

    Bah, a humbug indeed. A fun humbug, but hardly worth waging cultural war over.

  25. 25
    BlueDog says:

    Michael, my 71-year-old dad was in the ER a week ago Saturday after collapsing. Got the whole work up, angioplasty and all, found some blockage and he went home after being holed up in the hospital for 2 days. It does suck getting old, dad doesn’t smoke, drinks a beer here and there, and plays softball twice a week and here he was unconscious on the floor a couple minutes. All the best to you and your pops.

  26. 26
    kidkawartha says:

    Speaking of things, what do you think of Canada’s New Government* michael? :)

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story.....talks.html

    It’s all coming up roses for North America…..

  27. 27
    smiley says:

    My dad has 69% blockage in his carotid artery and needs surgery. He had a stroke this weekend. He’s fine for the most part – no permanent damage that I know of. I talked to him tonight, and he’s very tired, but only because he had to wait all weekend in the ER – just like I have had to do in the U.S. – for all you people who think shit is better in you country.

    Michael,
    Don’t now how I passed it, but maybe I went straight to the Savannah reference. I wish the best for your father. My thoughts are with you and your family. My parents are up there (79 &80) and I know what’s coming. If we all live long enough, we’ll all experience the death of a parent. Not to say that you’re facing that now, and I hope not, but, well, we probably will one day. Nothing but the best wishes,
    smiley

  28. 28
    smiley says:

    @Xenos:
    Thanks for the info. I knew it’s always more complicated than what we were taught in christian traditions.

    Me? I hate Christmas. This is the time of year that I dread most. I literally hate it and it has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Bah humbug!

  29. 29
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    All the best to your dad.

  30. 30
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Michael, best thoughts for your dad.

    Congrats other steve!

    I’m in Kauai…last minute cheap ticket, housesitting for family members, hey, why not. A little rainier this time of year, but as always incredibly beautiful

  31. 31
    2th&nayle says:

    @smiley: Nice catch @ 8, there Smiley. I was just about to do the ‘Jewish Settlement in Savannah’, historical up-date myself, but you beat me to the draw. I spent several months in Savannah last year. Fascinating city if you enjoy poking around historical sights. Guess they were fairly cordial to the Irish too, considering the way they celebrate ‘St Patty’s Day’. Biggest party south of Bean Town, I’m told. I loved Tybee Island as well, although I have to admit I’d do a little "Monk" thing sometimes, and start obsessing about whatever happened to the "Tybee Bomb"?? BTW, I’m something of a ‘Scrooge’ when it comes to Christmas, as well. Bah, Double Humbug!

  32. 32
    Geeno says:

    The Puritans, in fact, did not celebrate any holiday not mentioned in the Bible – so no Easter either. In fact, the Puritans really didn’t have ANY holidays at all. Occasionally, there would be a day of thanksgiving declared for whatever fortuitous happenstance favored them at any particular time, but there was no set schedule, and days of thanksgiving were usually spent in fasting and prayer, broken at the END with a large meal – a "break fast", breakfast, the next morning. Later, in the early 1700’s, they became the more intimate celebrations of familial good fortune that we would recognize as thanksgiving feasts, but still with no fixed schedule.
    "Thanksgiving" as we know it now was usually celebrated as "Founders’ Day" in most New England states, but the day would vary from state to state. Rhode Island, for example, still celebrates Founders’ Day in April; It’s an actual bank holiday. The fourth Thursday in November was established by Abraham Lincoln and had a lot to do with the results and ramifications of the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863 which pretty well sunk the confederate cause, but that wasn’t apparent until some time later – November 1863. Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated at all in much of the south until fairly recently (1950’s or so).
    The celebration of Christmas, what with all of its pagan trappings, was flat out outlawed by the Puritans. You could be fined and/or jailed for marking the holiday. Talk about your War on Christmas.
    Christmas, in fact, had a VERY leery reputation into the 1840’s. It was considered to be an excuse for the rabble to get drunk and engage in mischief. The minister who wrote "The Night Before Christmas" was humiliated when he was revealed as the author in the 1820’s.
    The Christmas we celebrate now was created almost out of whole cloth by Charles Dickens with "A Christmas Carol" later modified by Madison avenue – "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" was originally part of an advertising campaign.
    Oh well. Life in the trenches of the War on Christmas. /sigh

  33. 33
    nobody says:

    Previous stroke is a contraindication to carotid endarterectomy. I’d ask about that.

  34. 34

    Michael,
    Have somebody keep a close and regular check on your Dad’s blood pressure. My wife had both carotids fixed and two days home her brain almost exploded. We don’t want talk about Medi-vac helicopters and a week in intensive stroke unit and no insurance and various and sundry other real expensive hangers ons.

    Her brain had been so blood deprived that the pressure regulator couldn’t deal with the available flow, an off chance sort of happening, but I want to assure you very nearly fatal. Doc said there wouldn’t have been more than a couple hour’s warning. I found out when she started screaming and collapsed, passed out from pain in the head. Another warning is better.

  35. 35
    Cassidy says:

    Any day I get to spend with my family, regardless of its religious origin, is a good day. I never know what country I’ll be in next year.

    Remember that when you’re standing on "principle". You only hurt yourself.

  36. 36
    Geeno says:

    BTW – hateful trivia question inspired by the top of my COLB.
    What is the longest name for any state or commonwealth in the United States?
    You are allowed to include "the State of" or "the Commonwealth of" as part of your calculation, should you so choose. It won’t affect the outcome.

  37. 37
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Geeno: I knew that one. Size envy at work.

    @2th&nayle:

    I loved Tybee Island as well, although I have to admit I’d do a little "Monk" thing sometimes, and start obsessing about whatever happened to the "Tybee Bomb"??

    I like Tybee. Getting up at dawn to see the sun rise over the Atlantic (next place east: Bermuda) with the pelicans making bombing runs across the tide, and a dolphin or two if you’re lucky. Then to the Breakfast Club.

  38. 38
    Xenos says:

    @Cassidy: True. I happen to like Christmas, but I like the paganism and what loving families make of it, not the emotionally manipulative and crassly commercial holiday ‘season’ that is foisted on us for 1/12th of every year. When cultural and political brownshirts start using the holiday to declare war, then, well, you know.

    And Micheal – best of luck with your Dad. My parents are now in their late 70s, and I am slowly being shaken out of denial about their health. It is a hard thing to face up to, and I am just learning how to deal with it myself.

  39. 39
    Dave_No_Longer_Laughing says:

    A hundred grand (or near that) on a wedding? What, you’re a bunch of republicans? Do you know how many starving American children that much money would feed?

  40. 40
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    And then I imagined the whole American way of life was just the interstate system writ large. A certain percentage of folks have to get ahead of everyone else by any means necessary

    I feel this way about the assholes who park right in front of the grocery store doors. There is usually someone behind the wheel waiting for the shopper. I always think, or say under breath: "Oh — because you’re so special you can’t park in the lot and walk a few yards like the rest of us."

    L’enfer, c’est les autres for shit sure.

    Except for Michael’s father. He needs to be well fast.

  41. 41
    Laura W says:

    Everyone’s in a hurry. I drive slow (70mph) so everyone else will pass me. That way I can stay in the right lane and get there 10 minutes after whoever passes me.

    I drove from WNC to Sullivan’s Island, SC, last year for Xmas and had the same strategy, for the most part. I decided pretty conclusively that the biggest assholes who are not happy unless they are driving up your ass are in Escalades. That, coupled with four cats (one who screamed the entire time, no joke) and one dog in the back made for a super relaxing voyage. Oh, the rental had only radio. Seek scan seek scan seek scan for 4+ hours of auditory hell. I’ve diplomatically declined the invitation to return this year, as cool as it was to walk on a near-deserted beach every day.

    It was considered to be an excuse for the rabble to get drunk and engage in mischief.

    Great idea.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    @ Laura W
    I do that. While my wife checks out , I go get the car so that 4 kids don’t to cross the busy street. There are a lot of frustrated drivers in those areas.

    @ Xenos
    I was mostly talking to the "I don’t celebrate (holiday) because it’s christian/American/etc.". I’ve spent too many holidays overseas to give a shit about origin.

  43. 43
    Kathy says:

    Best wishes to you and your Dad Michael.

    My parents retired in Savannah about 10 years ago, we try to go down on Easter break. While it is Hell getting there from Philadelphia (you either have to fly through Atlanta or drive through D.C.) it is Heaven when we get there. One of the most beautiful cities ever.

  44. 44
    Matt says:

    I thought Michael became a vegan

  45. 45
    Joe says:

    Ugh, best wishes for your father.

    If it’s any consolation, my mother had a stroke several years ago when her interior carotid artery collapsed. For about a year she suffered a loss in cognition, speech problems and couldn’t walk.

    She now talks (and thinks) perfectly fine and is back to riding horses. She does still have a lameness in her left leg, but her recovery has been _amazing_. I wish you guys the best.

  46. 46
    Svensker says:

    I like Tybee. Getting up at dawn to see the sun rise over the Atlantic (next place east: Bermuda) with the pelicans making bombing runs across the tide, and a dolphin or two if you’re lucky. Then to the Breakfast Club.

    Is the Breakfast Club still there? Loved their salty coffee.

    Don’t forget to visit Leopold’s Ice Cream in downtown (a little family plug…but the ice cream really is delish). :)

    Congrats to Other Steve and best wishes for Michael’s Dad.

  47. 47
    DBrown says:

    My dad has 69% blockage in his carotid artery and needs surgery. He had a stroke this weekend. He’s fine for the most part – no permanent damage that I know of. I talked to him tonight, and he’s very tired, but only because he had to wait all weekend in the ER – just like I have had to do in the U.S. – for all you people who think shit is better in you country.

    Question: did they check his neck arteries for blockage? That can and will led to a stroke. If he needs by-pass surgery (I did – I had 100% in one artery and the remaining two were at 95% yet I was running 3+ miles every morning with no problems) he should not use a heart-lung machine for the surgery. Rather, a beating heat by-pass is the best way to avoid another stroke.

  48. 48
    Ecks says:

    best wishes to poor Michael’s father in his hour of vascular need!

    And if the Canadian (ok, not American) health system needs anymore backing up, here’s the best shot at it I’ve done yet. (don’t want to start any kind of war on a symapthetic thread here, even though it’s not really a topic hijack).

  49. 49
    Comrade Nikolita says:

    Normally I’d come in and talk about how much I like Canada’s healthcare system, but to be fair, we have outrageous wait times too. A lot of surgeries get cut as well because doctors run out of time or something else comes up (emergency surgery for example) and the original one planned gets pushed back, etc. And it’s not uncommon to spend hours in the ER waiting room waiting to be seen when it’s really busy.

    What I just wanted to come in and say instead is that I hope your dad gets his surgery and gets better. My parents are 56 and 55 this year (I’m 22), and my dad is already having health issues with his arthritis and gout, and I worry what will happen to him if (when) things start to get worse. My grandpa has had a lot of health problems this year too (my dad’s dad) and he’s 81.

    Best wishes to your father. Please keep us posted, if you don’t mind?

  50. 50
    2th&nayle says:

    @Comrade Nikolita: If there’s a silver lining to your Dad’s difficulties… while gout is painful as hell, it’s not life-threatening. I suffered with gout for about 10 years before I actually did anything about it, because I didn’t want to start taking daily meds. I guess, to me, having to take pills everyday signaled that geezerhood was approaching or some such foolishness. But believe me when the pain got intense enough, I finally put those notions aside, and went to the doctor. He put me on Allopurinol and bingo…no more gout. When I think about all the pain, time, and money, I let my male ego cost me, I feel like an idiot. At least now I’m an idiot that no longer suffers from gout. Hope your Dad gets better soon.

  51. 51
    Kitts says:

    "Is the Breakfast Club still there? Loved their salty coffee.

    Don’t forget to visit Leopold’s Ice Cream in downtown (a little family plug…but the ice cream really is delish). :)

    My dad said it was still there last time he went to Tybee. Anyway, I can’t imagine it going anywhere.

    Is Leopold’s in downtown Savannah, or downtown Tybee? My dad and brother go down there all the time (whenever my dad has a case down there), and I’ll tell them to check it out. And go there myself when I get the chance… the only thing I don’t love about Seattle is how far it is from Atlanta and Savannah.

  52. 52

    […] warned about what you are in for. You’ll remember that, a couple days ago, I told you my dad had a minor stroke because he has 69% blockage in his carotid […]

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