Friday, October 19, 2018

I Didn't Even See a Light...

I'm borrowing heavily from an e-mail I sent a friend the night of my surgery a month ago.  If you were not aware, I had a pretty spectacular surgery and I am well into recovery.


So this happened.  When they rolled me into the OR, they had already done the nerve block (though it wasn’t working yet). They got me ready to do the spinal injection and it all happened at a quick pace, I think so you don’t get time to freak out.

Anyway, I was laying there once it was done and I could feel my head starting to go numb.  So I said to the older guy who was some sort of tech, "Is my head supposed to be going numb?"

He was asking me what I meant and I was just saying I could feel my neck and face and my head starting to go numb.  Then, I realized that my throat was tightening.

The nurse who administered it said, "Sir, your vitals are fine. Everything is okay, you just need to relax."

I could tell she was nervous.  She was clearly a student.  Her boss/trainer was behind her and he was super calm telling her to do stuff.

She told me my vitals were good and this is no lie, the older tech and two other techs said they were done with their part, good luck and walked out. Maybe it was my drugged up imagination, but I took it like they didn't want to be involved in the pending investigation!

The next thing I know is that I had this feeling that I was going to die before my surgery even started.  Like not even in a funny way.  And honestly, there was no light at the end of the tunnel but certainly some geometric images and confusion, then just this feeling that this is how the brain shuts down.

I quickly said, "Vitals may be good but I’m passing out right now."

When I woke up, I have no idea how long I had been out but my surgeon walked in and said, "Ready?" 

That was the last thing I remember until they woke me up to take me to recovery.  He was high fiving his staff and saying positive things that I had no idea about.

This time, I was super lucid when I got to the post op and had no issues.

Anyway, I’m really glad I could remember my foray into almost dying.  They brought a man into the bed next to mine and he was apparently super religious. His pastor visited, got calls from an elder of some sort and another pastor. 

I wanted to casually yell over the curtain, "The brain just stops. That’s it."

I have no idea what really happened or if I was ever in any real danger.  The cool thing is, it actually gave me some emotional comfort, real or imagined, that it is okay, you know, to not live. 

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not ready or anything, but just not worried.

Back to the Cable...

So I cut the cable over a month or two ago.  Based on the savings eliminating the cable bill, I was able to keep my Internet and add Hulu, HBO, Showtime, and ESPN+ and save close to $100 a month.  But, I’m going back to cable. 

I invested in Firesticks for my TVs when we first got Amazon Prime.  Had I known Roku would have worked, I would have gone with that.  I just think the Firestick is not effective for what we need. 

My issue is constant dropping of the Internet.  I wouldn’t blame the Firestick if my research on the Internet didn’t tell me it was a common complaint.

But I was talking with a friend who is convinced that this whole Net Neutrality loss is what allows my ISP and former cable provider to fuck with my signal just enough to make streaming as a primary means of TV a miserable thing.

I’m not sure I would agree completely and I'm not ready to start looking for black helicopters hoovering over my backyard, but I can tell you that we used to stream Netflix and Amazon with very little issue.  Now, not so much.  And Hulu is the worst. 

Let me give you some examples.  Imagine watching a show and one character's lips are moving but you hear the dialogue of the actor who is not talking. I'm not saying I never once experienced audio delay from cable, but this is a constant.  We cannot get through a single show.

And if you are wondering, I'm actually getting very good download speeds when the Internet is not momentarily dropping.  Think about it.  If you were just doing a google search or looking at a web page, you would never even noticed if your Internet dropped for a second.  But with streaming video, you are either constantly buffering or the platform sends you back three seconds. 

I basically like the Hulu platform, but I can’t deal with the constant dropping out and offset audio. The only positive thing is, now that I have been disconnected from Spectrum for over a month, I'm coming back with a new customer price package.  Yay.  I guess next time, instead of cancelling I just do what everyone else does and calls to cancel but accepts the revised lower price.

So, call me a quitter.  But I need to get hooked back up. 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Strictly Anonymous 189: Bisexual James has an Open Relationship and a Secret Life

So my first interview on the Strictly Anonymous Podcast with Kathy K is up.  I'm Episode 189 and it is titled "Bisexual James has an open relationship and a secret life."  We actually have a second taping this afternoon because she felt like she wanted more than the first hour and twenty minutes.

I haven't listened to more than the first few minutes.  While my voice is filtered somewhat, friends will easily recognize my cadence.  I'm not too worried about that though.

Talking with Kathy was a lot easier than I had expected.  At the very beginning of the call, we chatted for maybe a minute before she started taping so she could set her levels.  I was concerned that there might be some background noise since I was sitting in my truck with the truck running, A/C on parked in front of a Lowe's store.  Actually though, from the little I heard, the sound was fine.  Once she got her levels set and started recording, off we went for the next hour and change.

I think our conversation is a little bouncy - going more by whatever popped in her mind to ask rather than following a chronological path, but it was fine.  I'd be interested in feedback.

Today's conversation most likely won't be as long.  She wants to talk about this blog, me blogging my mid-life crisis (so to speak), and maybe a few other things.  I've been learning recently the value of being able to talk with someone, openly and honestly.  I've done this for years via the blog and via e-mail, and it has helped me immensely.  But I think I may need more conversations.  Who knows, maybe I will lose my fear of the phone and talk to people for more than one minute.  Kathy's podcast is just that, conversations about things you don;t normally talk about to people.

So many of you that I have e-mailed and chatted with would make great guests on her podcast.  You think that you don't have anything worth being interviewed about, but really, why not let her decide that?  What you'll find if you listen to Strictly Anonymous is that, she starts thinking there is one topic the call is going to be about but by the end, so much more ground has been covered.  It isn't just sex.  She has talked about addiction, relationships and more.

I can think of easily a handful of readers here that I would LOVE to hear Kathy talk to.  Send her an e-mail at and see what she thinks.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First Day of School...

It was the first day of school and in the first grade classroom, the teacher was going from child to child getting to know her students.

She addresses the first little girl and asks, "Tell me little girl, what is your name?" And the little girl responds, "My name is Mary Smith." And the teacher says, "Welcome to the first grade Mary."

She moves on to a little boy and asks him and he says, "My name is Tommy Johnson" and she welcomes Tommy to the first grade, and this goes on and on with Michael and Joey and Alice.

Finally, she gets to another student and asks, "Tell me little boy, what is your name?" "Jimmy Fuckbreak, Ma'am." he responds politely.

"I'm sorry," the teacher asks, "what was that again?

"Jimmy Fuckbreak is my name." the little boy proudly says.

Now, not wanting to create a situation, the teacher thinks to herself that perhaps another student has put this little bastard up to this or perhaps a deviant teacher is playing a trick on her, she says to the boy, "So, say Jimmy, do you have any brothers or sisters in this school?" and Jimmy quickly says, "Yes, Ma'am. I have a sister in the 6th grade."

With that, the teacher moves along and when finished, she tells all the new kids that it is time for them to put their heads on their desks and have a little nap.

As the children take a rest, the teacher quietly leaves and goes up to the classroom full of sixth graders and peeks into the door way. She looks around and asks, "Hey, you got any Fuckbreaks in here?"

A little sixth grader pipes up and says, "Lady, this is the sixth grade, we don't get fuck breaks. Hell, we don't even get recess!"