Saturday, June 24, 2017

Clot


The other day putting out the trash I was breaking a branch when it scratched me. It was more of a stab than a scratch and I started to bleed from the puncture. The blood didn’t gush but it flowed until I went into the house to put on a band-aid.
A band-aid is a wonderful thing. A band-aid is a little swab of cotton on an adhesive strip wrapped in paper. If there isn’t a nurse available the paper must be ripped off while blood trickles down your hand. A quick wash off and dab dry and wrapping around the band-aid either stops the blood flow and ease the pain or shows it is time to call 911.
The reason I even bring up this gross subject is I remember as a youth of not worrying about bleeding. Everyone got a scrap or a cut or a boo-boo and you just licked it, and moved on.

Coagulation (also known as clotting) is the process by which blood changes from a liquid to a gel, forming a blood clot. It potentially results in hemostasis, the cessation of blood loss from a damaged vessel, followed by repair. The mechanism of coagulation involves activation, adhesion, and aggregation of platelets along with deposition and maturation of fibrin. Disorders of coagulation are disease states that can result in bleeding (hemorrhage or bruising) or obstructive clotting (thrombosis).
Coagulation is highly conserved throughout biology; in all mammals, coagulation involves both a cellular (platelet) and a protein (coagulation factor) component. The system in humans has been the most extensively researched and is the best understood.
Coagulation begins almost instantly after an injury to the blood vessel has damaged the endothelium lining the vessel. Leaking of blood through the endothelium initiates two processes the exposure of subendothilial tissue factor to, which ultimately leads to fibrin formation. Platelets immediately form a plug at the site of injury; this is called primary hemostasis. Secondary hemostasis occurs simultaneously in a complex cascade to form fibrin strands, which strengthen the platelet plug.

I used to give blood and always finished quickly but if I got a scratch I’d get a scab and a few days later everything would be the same or a minor scare. I had a few bloody crises but don’t remember getting a transfusion.
I certainly don’t understand blood loss as the ladies do so I have to relate this puncture as a guy. I just noticed this change in my bumping around, as I grow older. Bruises take longer to go away and this thin blood flow is different.

From what I read about blood clots in the arteries and my wife’s stents after a heart attack I think thin blood might be good for me. There is still a history of eating red meat, lack of exercise, and no medical exams so I don’t kid myself about walking into this minefield. I’ll just stock up on band-aids.

Sort of like what happens to people in your life. We grow apart and far away and lose contact with each other. We may be in the same town or on the same street but have different friends and religions and hobbies and tend not to associate with one another until we clot. We may gather for the most ridiculous reasons but soon want to shelter back to our protective lifestyle.

In previous wars, weapons were invented to hack and chop and bore through the flesh of ‘the enemy’ in hopes that if enough of them were incapacitated then we would win. Before Medevac and M*A*S*H units close to the fighting tried to repair the carnage to fight another day the dying would just lay on the field to cry out until the cries went silent.

Like many of the aches and pains of old age I come to the realization that if I get seriously injured, I’ll probably bleed out.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Borrowing


I’m lucky or of an age where I know what that word ‘borrow’ means and the connotations of using it. Can I borrow your lawnmower? Can I borrow $50 till payday? Can I borrow your daughter for a weekend?
The best intentions are to allow a family member or close friend or neighbor to use whatever you have accumulated for a short period of time with insurance of replacement.
If the item is returned on a specific date unharmed or damaged, the bond is reinforced. If the timeline is extended, questions arise.
An item purchased for home use or family can have a significant meaning to the owner. Family heirlooms passed down through generations can raise red flags when asked by other members of the clan to borrow. 
To be abiding we show our trust and confidence in another person to allow them your cherished processions to use and return shortly in pristine condition. Yet accidents happens the culpability of insurance and repair raises its ugly head.
The same is true with time.
When someone wants to sit and talk, they are borrowing your time; time that could be spent doing some other chore or experience. The same is true with social media. Another form of borrowing is spending hours tweeting or chatting or scrolling thorough a myriad of opinions and responses to other nonsense. You only have a finite precious time on this planet so why waste it giving it away?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Hello?


So after a hard day of doing nothing but feeding hungry faces and listening to Rolling Stone music, I retire to the front porch. It is still early so most of the neighbors have not taken a break from working so the quiet between construction and children is appreciated. I grab a couple of cool Coors and my iPad to figure on rocking to roll. There is still water puddle from last nights rain so before I relax I sweep it out to dissipate. Without headphones I start my process of rocking and enjoying the yard activities. I notice some fella cross the street to talk to a neighbor as she came home. I could not hear the conversation but he was unfamiliar to the regular yahoos who live around here. She went into her house and he approached my gate. The usual welcoming to a stranger came next, “Hi, how are you?” A comfortable discussion of the yard and the neighborhood and still I had no idea what he was selling. “Can I come in and talk to you?” “NO!” You do not enter my personal space unless invited and he obeyed. Nice looking guy with grey hair and a blue blazer and kakis pant. He wore the acceptable uniform for this area since time began. “What do you do?” “How is your wife?” “What are you doing with your money?” I didn’t know if Chris (he said his name was) was selling insurance, yard malignance, aluminum siding, financial advice or God. I had no fear of talking to this stranger so the subjects wandered back and forth and unfortunately he didn’t know I’d worked in advertising and knew the drill. After finally getting frustrated he was not making a sell on me, he excused himself to continue to his path up and down the block. Chris was on a mission. He stopped back by and asked if he could leave a flyer and I said “Just put it in the post box. I won’t tell the feds.” He made many notes into his pad probably saying “Asshole at this location. Stay away.” Doesn’t matter none for I’m dry and want to go back to the Tummy Temple before dark because dark is bad and I don’t like bad. So the usual path makes the breathing better and the legs say ‘WTF’. Pick up a few more blueberries, because you just can’t have too many blueberries and another Coors to turn into the ‘health food’ section that is usually free of customers. There was a cute tatted blond staring at bottles of some sort of wonder liquids and seemed somehow confused so I stopped my cart. She smiled and said she was “Looking for….” I acknowledged her cuteness and pointed to the shelves. “That one?” “What about that one?” “Or that one?”. We both had a good laugh and she commented she needed more caffeine and moved on. Thanks for the encounter. Back at the ranch another feeding of the hungry faces and slum down to the social media mayhem. Another Rolling Stone soundtrack eases the day until tomorrow. Sorry Chris, I ain’t buying but good luck.

The War is Over!


Since I’ve been on this planet that headline has been ‘fake news’. In my almost seven decades there has always been war. The country I live in has always been involved if not the predicator of the war. If one war seems to be fizzling out, we start another one. We have a massive industry to produce products that provide the young to be killed and kill others.
I grew up in an era of celebrating the victory of WWII while watching movies of our troops storming the beaches and always defeating the Nazi or Jap enemy. Just like previous years when the Yankees done whooped the Johnny Rebs but there were no movies showing the end of war, so the South will rise again.
We believed the power and the glory of the red, white and blue could defeat anyone or anything because we can manufacture more weapons of destruction than anyone else, especially when we are not being bombed. Still we had to decide what to do with this massive armed force and even though many quit and went back to civilian life, it became an option of those who could not get a mining or construction job.
To fuel the fear and maintaining a standing army, we invented the commies. Now we had a new enemy who was as large and as strong as the U.S. of the A. and had similar weapons of mass destruction. We hid under school desk as protection of a nuclear war.
Meanwhile as Europe was redefining itself and Africa was carving out nations run by dictators and Japan shrunk into a manufacture mogul and China was awakening, there were these constant spates going on around the world.  
America became the policeman of the world.
We picked our fights thinking we could win but it wasn’t that easy without the entire world backing us up. Korea was actually declared a police action trying to keep the commies from spreading and it looked pretty good until the Chinese decided to join in and for the betterment of saving face we drew a line and decided to call it a stalemate. Vietnam was a toe in the water that increased to a no-win solution and a commie win.
Meanwhile the body bags kept coming home with those proud children that sacrificed all for a noble cause. The graveyards expanded and another war was created.
If there wasn’t a war we could join in, we created our own. We believe in being a bully pulpit to invade another sovereign country just to try and make the country to follow our ideology.
War on poverty. War on drugs. War on discrimination. War on sexual freedom. War on religion. War on….

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Daddy’s Day Pt. II



That was my bad at the beach in ’41. From the gathering of photos kept he seemed to like the beach and the lifestyle. Young tan stud on the beach plus he played in a band.
There is a story that he didn’t get into the ocean and I must admit I never saw him get into the ocean. My mom used to drag me around in the ocean until it became second nature to swim but dad stayed up on the beach. The story I heard was his brother Bill almost drowned him once in the ocean and he never went back.
I called him Dad. I don’t think I called him Daddy but I may have early on. Never ‘Pop’ or ‘Father’ but always ‘Dad’. I certainly never knew he was a ‘George’ but he was a junior named after his ‘George’ dad and he named my older brother ‘George’ but I don’t remember using or hearing that name associated with him.
It took me awhile to figure out whom ‘Jelly’ was but all his friends and associates used it to refer to Dad. I never heard the story but figured his initials G.E.L. turned into his nickname and it stuck. When his identity became ‘Jelly’ I’ll never know but either the name seemed to fit or his personality changed to match the name.
I wondered why I wasn’t called ‘George the IV’ but it was my brother’s job to carry on the family name. I also never associated my brother with the name ‘George’. I always, to this day, call him ‘Chick’. Don’t ask me where that came from.
Dad was the head of the family. He had a place at the head of the table and no one else ever sat there. He carved the turkey on Thanksgiving. He provided a ton of stuff for Christmas. He bought cars at the same place. He rode the bus to work until later in life when he was working later and later. He did the bills. He seemed to enjoy being alone watching television and eating ice cream. He painted our shed that held rusty broken tools over and over again.
On a couple occasions when I received the wrath of ‘George’, I would respond ‘Yes sir’. I never had any fear of physical punishment and not real sure I paid any attention but he was the ‘Head of the Household’ so I obeyed the rules. I was mostly handed to my mother to translate his wishes to me. I always felt a closer connection with my mother’s family than being Jelly Junior, though I look just like him only with a beard.
So if Dad was alive today, whoever is close enough in the family would gather at the house after church and gather around the table and he would offer grace to a meal brought home from the club and the conversation was golly and frivolous and somewhat awkward until presents were open and a possible cake with ice cream then the television would be turned on and everyone would sit in silence and stare at the tube.
What would I buy for my Dad now? Old Spice after-shave? Novelty tie? Cross pen? A mug that will go up on a shelf and never be used? A Spencer gag gift that will go to the trash before being opened?
Dad didn’t have any hobbies. No fishing stories or construction instructions or golf adventures (Mom had those) or even old musical experiences. Dad woke, shaved, got dressed and went to work. Dad would come home and watch television and never say a word. Maybe mom and Dad would talk but everything was private. My brother and I lived in our rooms and never asked.
Here is my dad, my brother and I at the beach. I am either being christened to the ocean gods or being sacrificed to the sharks. Don’t know why he is wearing glasses but maybe he was reading the instructions on how to empty the load on those bulky cloth diapers. 

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Rainy Night

Yesterday was hot. Today is hot and muggy. The ground is soft and the air is thick. It is becoming summer in the city.
No details or fact checks or computer data to verify that it is hot and it is muggy. At least in Puppywoods but ½ of the jungle is gone freeing up sunshine to bake into ground.
Many summers and winters have been experienced at this location and everyday changes are noted and appreciated. For weather depends on how the day will be planned and accomplished.
It doesn’t take much to notice the animal kingdom’s eternal knowledge in the changes of wind and humidity. They communicate between one another way before any Breaking Weather Event is published. The clouds tell those who want to observe what are happening in the heavens.
As the story goes, the windows were installed and the storm came. It was a gully buster but no leaks that I’ve noticed so far. Mission accomplished to use a overused phrase.
Still releasing the stress of strangers crawling all over the house there is the relief of strong double-pane glass against the heat and cold. Maybe the house will hold up for another couple of years.
A rumble of thunder in the background indicates there may be more rain coming. Unlike the smoke alarm that went off at 4AM but luckily I was up and at’em, I can’t take the batteries out of the clouds.
I enjoy the weather. I respect the weather. I dress according to the weather. I watch the radar and ride when appropriate. I sit through hurricanes and watch the trees dance. I’ll sweat and bake in the heat and towel off for after a few months I’ll be applying more layers.

Emotions



• Affection • Anger • Angst  • Anguish • Annoyance • Anticipation • Anxiety • Apathy • Arousal • Awe • Boredom • Confidence • Contempt • Contentment • Courage • Curiosity • Depression • Desire • Despair • Disappointment • Disgust • Distrust • Ecstasy • Embarrassment • Empathy • Envy • Euphoria • Fear • Frustration • Gratitude • Grief • Guilt • Happiness • Hatred • Hope • Horror • Hostility • Humiliation • Interest • Jealousy • Joy • Loneliness • Love • Lust • Outrage • Panic • Passion • Pity • Pleasure • Pride • Rage • Regret • Remorse • Resentment • Sadness • Saudade • Schadenfreude • Self-confidence • Shame • Shock • Shyness • Sorrow • Suffering • Surprise • Trust • Wonder • Worry

  Emotion is any relatively brief conscious experience characterized by intense mental activity and a high degree of pleasure or displeasure.
  Emotion is often intertwined with mood, temperament, personality, disposition, and motivation.
  Emotions are complex. Emotions are states of feeling that result in physical and psychological changes that influence our behavior. The physiology of emotion is closely linked to arousal of the nervous system with various states and strengths of arousal relating, apparently, to particular emotions. Emotions are also linked to behavioral tendencies declared as good or bad.
  Extroverted people are more likely to be social and express their emotions, while introverted people are more likely to be more socially withdrawn and conceal their emotions.
  Emotion is often the driving force behind motivation, positive or negative.
  In psychology and philosophy, emotion typically includes a subjective, conscious experience characterized primarily by psycho-physiological expressions, biological reactions, and mental states.
  Research on emotions including psychology, neuroscience, endocrinology, medicine, history, sociology, and computer science have not come up with the answer. The numerous theories that attempt to explain the origin, neurobiology, experience, and function of emotions have only fostered more intense research on this topic.
Emotions just come along with us like our voice or breathing. Emotions are there when we go to sleep and infiltrate our dreams. Emotions, no matter how hard we try, cannot be controlled. Laws are made if our emotions get out of control.
A few years ago I feel in love. It might have been love or a mix between lust and infatuation but it was a strong emotion at the time. Unlike when I was a pup and didn’t know any better I’d had crushes defining the results of testosterone rushing through my body as love.
The word ‘love’ is thrown about like ‘dog’ or ‘God’ and has tried to express every emotion in songs, poems, novels, movies and emojis. We love our children, love our country, and love our mother but not so sure about our dads. We love our work, we love our deities, and we love our phones but not so sure about our comments.
Back to the story, I had all the symptoms. I wake up in the morning and think about her. I would go to sleep thinking about her. I would go over and over silly comments and try to analysis what they really meant. I mailed Valentine cards.
Now all of this seems like the emotion associated with the ‘love’ we all associate with but there was one added element.
Logic raised it’s ugly head and revealed that the titillation, depression, ecstasy, and every other rollercoaster ride my emotions were on, I couldn’t act on them and knew full well the consequences. Reality overrode fantasy.
I enjoyed that time, as emotions fade and we move on with life, but the moon was much fuller and the night air was cooler and every song had a hidden meaning. It did give me some better understanding of previous relationships. Not a mid-life crisis since I’ve long passed that stage in the timeline, but it was during a period of stress.
Thank you emotions. You make our dull existence interesting.