Sunday, December 31, 2006

This is the last post of 2006. I was in Maryland this past week from Tuesday through Thursday. We got back at about 3:30 AM on Friday morning. Then we went down to my aunt and uncles house and didn't get back until about 3:30 PM Saturday afternoon. For two days in a row I had 4 hours of sleep, so now I'm going to go take a nap before the New Years Eve festivities begin.

Happy New Year and I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Cheers to 2007.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

With but a single exception, the presents are all wrapped. I've been told that I need a bow for the last one, so off I go to purchase one.

I'd like to wish everyone a safe and very merry Christmas. Enjoy the time with family and soak up the atmosphere while you can.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Here it is nearly Christmas and I've already got over half of my presents. At this rate, I will not have much to actually open on Christmas day, but I think I'm okay with that. I'm not that kid who wakes up at 6:00 AM to run down the stairs and shake all his presents anymore. Now I'm the jaded old man that sleeps in until 10. There's something to be said for keeping that childlike feeling about Christmas, but for now, with no snow on the ground (or in sight) and no one else in my house, I just feel a little "eh."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

BMW says...

Audi responds...

Suburu chimes in...

Bentley has the final say.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

There'll be no snow in Cleveland come Christmas.

Thanks global warming!

Monday, December 18, 2006

I haven't paid any attention to the NFL this entire weekend. I couldn't tell you a single thing about any of it if I didn't have a fantasy team. I'm looking forward to the NFL season ending as that means it's nearly March Madness time (i.e the best time of the year.)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My dad was taken to the emergency room today. He said that he was feeling light-headed and very dizzy. They did a CT-scan and didn't find any swelling or bleeding, so that's all good. They said that everything appears to be normal. They gave him some medicine to help with the dizziness and told him to make sure he keeps drinking a lot of water.

There's the occasional step backwards, but overall there's a lot of forward progress in his recovery.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tomorrow I hope to finish my Christmas shopping. I've just got a few more people to get for and then I'll be done. Thankfully to this point I've been able to avoid the mad house feeling of shopping at this time of the year. How did I pull that off? By getting most of it done before Thanksgiving.

You know what they say; the early bird gets a perm..

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The weather outside is freaking fantastic! Mid 50's in the middle of December in Cleveland? You're kidding right? I can only assume that that means it will be 12 below zero in June.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm done with school for 5 weeks! It's very exciting. I'm only taking one class next semester, Monday from 6:00 - 9:00 PM, so I'll enjoy that too. Hooray for school. Only 3 more classes and I will complete my epic journey to a bachelors degree.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

My dad just got home from the hospital. The doctors now say that he'll be home for 6-8 weeks before he can go back work. Initially the doctor said 4 weeks, so I'm not sure what changed. It's good that he's home though.

Monday, December 11, 2006

"I did what I did because I had to protect my family. You know how it is. A basketball's got to step up and take care of it's own. It's hard out here for a ball. I didn't want to resort to violence, but sometimes that's the only thing people understand."

- Synthetic NBA basketball

NBA commissioner David Stern, in a stunning reversal, has decided to shelve the new microfiber composite basketball after just a few months of use and switch back to the old leather model for all games starting Jan. 1, according to sources close to the situation.

Despite an avalanche of player complaints about the new synthetic model from the first day of training camp in October, skepticism was high among players that Stern would consent to a change during the season. But with a number of prominent players complaining of cuts on their hands caused by the new ball's high-friction cover -- Phoenix's Steve Nash and New Jersey's Jason Kidd among them -- Stern was forced to concede that an in-season swap was unavoidable with the new ball inflicting injuries.

This article makes it sound like the new NBA basketball is that spinning ball of death from the movie Phantasm . It's as if the ball is out there decapitating people for bricking a foul shot. I don't remember hearing Joe Tait proclaim "Here's LeBron at the line. He's 4-6 tonight. He puts this one up and it clanks off the front of the rim. Oh, look at that! The ball just cut his arms off! LeBron's going to need to stitches after that one."

If the new basketball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

The new basketball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, the new basketball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration...

Failure to do so relieves the makers of the new basketball, Spalsing, and its parent company Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of the new basketball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

The new basketball has been shipped to our troops in Iraq and is also being dropped by our warplanes on Afghanistan.

Do not taunt the new basketball.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

My dad should be coming home early this week. We saw him today and he seemed to be in good spirits. It's really remarkable how a week after brain surgery, we're already talking about coming home.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Even better news about my dad today. He's having a MRA now (Magnetic Resonance Angiogram) and if that comes back clean they may move him to a regular step down room as early as tonight. That could conceivably mean he can come home on Monday.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Today was a very good day for my dad. He had gotten some sleep, was able to eat with no problems, the drugs weren't affecting him at all, and he wasn't in any discomfort.

The neurologist said that everything is looking good, and that he should get out of the ICU on Monday and then go to step down for 1-2 days. Then he can go home.

After he goes home, they want to check on him in 4 weeks. Assuming everything is still okay at that point, he can go back to work.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Now I know why school was closed on Monday and Tuesday in my city. I live near the lake, so I got relatively little snow (3 inches) because the lake temperature is still in the 50s (lake effect snow.) Three miles south of the lake they got 6 inches of snow on Monday and 9 inches of snow on Tuesday. Now it makes more sense as to why the schools were closed.

I can live in comfort now when it comes to the snow, but eventually (late January or February) the lake effect is going to be drilling me as the temperature of the lake will be much lower. Cleveland's west side rarely gets lake effect snow, but we east siders get it all the time because of the geography of Ohio. It's like two completely different cities. There was an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer about who are better drivers and how the west siders think the east siders exaggerate their snowfalls and how the east siders think the west siders can't handle the slightest bit of snow.

Well, I think the east siders were proven correct. The west side got 5 inches of snow yesterday and basically came to a stand still. Commute times doubled plus some. In the mean time, I made it work as if nothing had changed.

East Siiiiiiiiiiiiide!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

We got 2 inches of snow yesterday and school was closed. We got 3 inches of snow today and school is closed. What the heck is going on? Do these people realize that we live in Cleveland? It snows here. The roads were perfectly fine to drive on. It makes no sense to have 2 days in a row where school is closed, but the weather is fine.

It's not like we're in Atlanta. We have snow removal equipment. This also isn't Indiana. We don't just throw dirt on top of the snow and expect it to go away. There's a little thing called salt. It helps to keep ice from forming. It makes driving very easy.

The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round. The wheels on the bus go round and round, unless there's a millimeter of snow on the ground.

Monday, December 4, 2006

My dad was doing much better today. He had finally been able to eat some solid food, so all of the drugs they have him on are not making him nauseous any longer. He wasn't in as much discomfort either, since they took the sheath out of his leg. The doctors said he'd be in the ICU until at least Monday though. All in all, things have improved a lot in one day.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Yesterday my dad came out of surgery okay. There was a complication during surgery. The aneurysm is on one of the main arteries to the brain, so they had to keep it open during surgery so that it could supply blood to the brain. During the surgery however, it closed or slowed down substantially, they didn't know which. It was closed/slow for a short amount of time, and while they didn't think that would cause any problems, they wouldn't know for sure for 1-2 days. That type of activity can lead to a blood clot or to a stroke.

When we saw him in recovery, he was in good spirits - as good as one can have considering you have just had brain surgery and have 100 tubes sticking out of your body. For the surgery they put in a large catheter into his groin, and went through that artery into the brain. How they managed to do that, I have no idea, but it's pretty freaking amazing.

Well tonight while I was there, they planned on taking that out. Once they do that, he'll get some range of movement in his legs again. He may be able to get out of bed and walk around soon. He's looking forward to that, as would anyone that's been bedridden for any amount of time.

He's having a hard time with nausea now, as he hasn't eaten anything except for chicken broth in 4 days and they're giving him narcotics for the pain. He's seeing spots and flashes and is generally sick to his stomach. Imagine drinking 2 bottles of vodka on an empty stomach and I guess you'd have the idea, though I can't say for sure since I don't drink.

They had to do another surgery today. They put another catheter into his shoulder so that they can monitor his blood pressure directly. They're forcing fluids into his veins so as to raise his blood pressure. Since the aneurysm was leaking blood, a part of his brain was somewhat deprived of the normal blood flow. The increase in the blood pressure will help to offset that and will "revive" that part of the brain. That's how it was explained to me anyway.

He's got a long way to go still, 1-2 weeks in the ICU and then probably another 2 weeks in the "regular" hospital before he can come home, but so far, so good.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

My dad went in for a more detailed dye test to determine exactly what would be the best procedure to handle his aneurysm, coiling it or clipping it. I was planning on leaving for the hospital around 11:00, since the test was at 8:00 and was supposed to take 2 hours. About 11:30 I got a call that his surgery might be scheduled for 1:00 PM today and that we needed to hurry to the hospital ASAP. I had picked up my younger brother and sister to take them to the hospital with me. We got there at about 12:15, and apparently my dad had said that they could do whatever they needed to do, but that he wasn't going anywhere until he saw his kids. I certainly wasn't prepared for surgery to happen today, especially anything as serious as brain surgery, though I obviously knew that it was coming up... It was an emotional time before he went in to prep, since I honestly didn't know if that was the last time I'd see him or not.

The surgeon and anesthesiologist talked to us before the surgery and explained what they'd be doing, as well as potential complications - one of which was stroke. They said that the procedure would take from 3 to 6 hours and then 2 hours in recovery before we could see him.

This is just part one. I'll finish part two tomorrow as I'm beat. It was a long day. Long story short (for now) he's doing as well as can be expected.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Last night my dad went home and was in the shower and he blacked out. He fell on his back and hit his head. The next thing he remembers was that he woke up on his back on the bathroom floor and his towel was covered in blood. He had a 2 inch gash on the back of his head and he was throwing up (signs of a concussion.) My step-mom rushed him to the hospital and he was admitted. They did a CAT-scan and they found that he had blood on the brain.

The hospital he was at does not have a neurosurgery department, so they were going to life flight him downtown to the Cleveland Clinic. The Clinic itself had no open beds, so they sent him to a Cleveland Clinic network hospital that happened to be about 5 minutes from Lindsay's house, which is where I was at the time. The life flight helicopters weren't available though, so he went in an ambulance (about 50 minutes in the pouring rain.)

I didn't hear any of this until about 7:45 last night though, and I guess he first fell around 4:30. When he fell my step-mom wasn't home, but my brother and sister were. They heard a loud crash and went to investigate, but the bathroom door was locked. It wasn't until later when my dad stumbled out of the bathroom that they knew what was going on. They called the doctor at that time.

Anyway, back to last night. He didn't actually get to the hospital with the neuro intensive care unit until about 10:00. I got there about 10:15 and we were allowed to go see him at about 10:25. He was coherent, knew who we were, and what our relationships were, etc, which is very good. They are doing another CAT-scan at 8:30 this morning, so I'll be heading up there soon. There was only a general surgeon on duty last night, but the neuro-surgeon is there this morning. He's going to review all the stuff last night to see if they can figure out why he blacked out. Blacking out is much worse than just having slipped in the shower, since now they need to determine the cause of it so that they can correct it. The nurse last night said that the blood on the brain may just be from how severely he hit his head and that it may be re-absorbed by this morning. If it isn't, then that's much worse. Considering how much worse it could've been, he's doing very well. I'll know more soon though.