Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Steve Gets To Visit a Psychologist (Again!)

Heh... This is too funny. In my ongoing saga of chronic back pain I yet get to turn another leaf and journey down another hole of pain management. I should just post reruns of posts from the past because it's the same thing, yet this is sweep's week and we're always due for good first run episodes. (Boston Legal looks good tonight...)

I went back this week to the doctor with for a "Hmmm, let's try this now" visit. They use words like "puzzle" and "a mix" to describe my painful situation.

Heh... It all started when I emailed the Doc a few weeks ago saying my situation needed improving. His office agreed and I got a call to come back in. What was interesting though, they realized I had a follow up appointment so they told me to keep that because "the doctor is in that day and he'll see you... no need to have another appointment." So when I show up and the nurse asks me why I was there, I go..."For a follow up and they said I'd see the doctor about my back pain."

The nurse sighs, and says something like "You're unbelievable, he can't see you today... he's totally booked!!" Okay, I thought, for one, it was the first appointment of the day, so why is he suddenly booked up? A line a Starbucks? The 5 series is in the shop, so he had to drive the wife's M-Class? And two... they told me to freaking show up and said, he was in and would see me. I used answer two without the freaking part.

So the nurse weighs me and asks me my height. For one, she marked down the wrong number to what the scale said. I was wearing steel toed boots that way about 5 pounds each. So I look at the Body Mass chart that she had and the Body Mass number she put me down for... and... OBESE? WTF? I am obese? If I am obese, Nicole Ritchie needs a serious diet. What the hell? It's like she added 15 pounds here and there to whatever the scale said. I ran home to weigh myself after... No wonder she wasn't helpful.

Anyhow... I get the nice nurse now and we run through my follow up.

Basically, I am still screwed and the MRI's don't show anything and they just don't know. So now comes treatment. I get to go to the psychologist again. I was like, "No not that boring dude!!" This one is gonna be different and is gonna hook me up to a machine and stuff. What's really cool is they are gonna toss me over to some alternative medicine too. Acupuncture! This I gotta see man... I wanna go just to see what they do and have all those needles stuck in me! I wanna video tape it! Post it here. I think that would be freaking awesome. Me. Laying there... in my BVD's with a bunch of needles in my back like the Matrix or something. Then you all could see that I am not obese!

So there's that and...

Oh yeah... Steroid injections. See after the Psychologist, I get another follow up. Then the needle. This one I am 50/50 on. Epidural. Right in the spine. A big ole needle shoved right into the spinal column. I mean, it's gonna hurt but for how long? It's scheduled in the New Year. I try not to think about it though. The pain. The possible side effects that happen to 2-3 out of a hundred. Wait! That's like 1:50 or 1:33!! One possible side effect: Permanent numbness. That and I could probably poop everywhere during it. Nice! I think I am not gonna eat a thing the day before. Oh and another possible side effect: a "wet" tap. Which basically means, the doctor yells "Oh shit!!" as your spinal fluid leaks out and gives you a headache for like a week and you have to lay horizontal until it goes away. Either way... they are the doctor, I guess they know what they are doing.

Oh and I got a big ole bottle of Vicodin to take home with me.

Life's good though! I am a happy person... (despite our losses in the House and Senate)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Steve Pimps Some Wine... (again!)


Are you twisted?

Ah... What better to do on a brisk Fall afternoon than taste wine? What the hell, it's Christmas and what better for Christmas than a fine bottle of Calaveras County wine. Mmmm.... Mmmm Good.

Started the morning at Twisted Oak linked above. Twisted is @$%!ing good!!! Started with the Tempranillo. A great Spanish wine grown here in the foothills. Awesome stuff. Bold yet drinkable. A very even tasting wine. Good stuff. I bought a couple of bottles. I recommend Twisted's Murgatroyd as well. Cool little winery with a lot of sass. Very cool to plug.

Next stop was Irish Vineyard. A tiny winery up the street from Twisted. They had some good whites and reds though were out of a lot. We bought a bottle of Chenin Blanc. I am not big on whites but I really liked this one. It was probably 40 degrees in the winery which probably made it extra special. I also bought the Apricot dessert wine. This white dessert wine had an unbelievable taste that'd go well with any fruity or non-chocolate dessert like a creme brulee or vanilla tort. Killer taste...

After this, we went up the road to Chatom. For some reason, they're always crowded. Must be the good wine and hospitality. I bought a couple cases of Gitano-Sangiovese for the holidays. It will get drunk fast!! I can't keep this stuff too long in my little cellar because you can have it with everything. I joined their club today and saved some big bucks. I also picked up 3 Zins, the Esmeralda Syrah and the Chardonnay. You cannot go wrong with a single purchase at this place. My other favorites are the cheaper Syrah and the Merlot. Always a fun and expensive stop.

We also went into town today and stopped at the Solomon tasting room in Downtown Murphys. We sampled all of the reds. I bought the Cloud 9 Composition. They had the 2000 available over the normal 2001 release this weekend. A combination of 5-6 grapes. Unbelievable taste and a steal for 32 bucks! Good stuff. They also make under their Garsa label, a Tempranillo that is quite outstanding. Calaveras County's climate is great for the Spanish wines.

Getting quite tipsy, we headed down to Zucca Mountain. They probably have the coolest tasting room in town. Murphys is an old "gold rush" town founded back in the mid to late 1800's. Most of the buildings are around 150 years old. Zucca's tasting room is located in the basement. A kind of quirky staircase leads you down into the cellar and if you are over 6 feet tall, DUCK!! Great host of wines here. They make a killer Barbera and a good Sangiovese. I was intrigued by their Tesoro, which was a blend of different reds made on the light side. Good stuff, but make this the first stop if you are in town to taste. Stumbling out could be hazardous to your health.

Our final stop of the day was Milliaire. If you are a Zin fan, stop here because there are 7 of them!! My favorite is the Ghiradeli Zin grown on 110 year old vines outside the town of Burson. Pretty heavy handed tastings too. It is fun to go through the whole rack. We're always keen on the Ghiradeli and they also make a good Syrah. What's disappointing is they offer 5 or 6 more reds that aren't on the tasting menu. I could have done without all of the Zins. A fun winery though, with lots of elbow room. A lot of the tasting rooms in Murphys are tight. The town seems to have exploded with almost 15 winerys. California's best kept secret tasting town is someday gonna explode.

It's all good though... I love coming up here.

Friday, November 24, 2006

After Thanksgiving...

We started and finished Christmas shopping today.

We didn't leave the house and people are getting cool stuff.

I watched my in-laws go through the pain staking process of setting up their house for Christmas. This involved a tree, tons of nick-nacks, and lights. Yay!!

Christmas comes and I get another year older at the same time. I can officially start my count down till my crappy birthday: December 25th.

Off to have another Manhattan...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

May your turkey not be dry.

May your relatives get along longer than five minutes.

May no one pour you a glass of White Zinfandel and say it's "good wine". It's not! No matter who makes it!

May you not eat watery pumpkin pie that tastes like fish.

May your mother not talk about her "strategy" at Walmart tomorrow.

May I stop trying to be funny because this is not working like I thought...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Dental Hygiene and Easy Listening

I went to the dentist today for my four month check up. I go every four months for cleanings instead of six months because my insurance is cool and pays for all of it. (See, I am a Republican, I search out good insurance instead of waiting for the government to entitle me to it) My dentist is cool though. Completely painless...

But as usual I had no cavities. And what got me this trip was the dental hygentist. Mostly you'd think it was a "chick" job. But not at this place... It's a dude and a straight dude at that. Anyhow this guy is meticulous when it comes to cleaning teeth. He's got all the gadgets out. Pulls all the stops, works fast and doesn't ask too many questions. No unnecessary small talk. I hate it when you go to one of these cleaners and they ask questions that involve more than yes or no answers. It freaking sucks when they do that.

So there I was laying there getting my teeth scraped. I like all the things they do to create a "calm" atmosphere. Light blue color on the walls. Clouds in the lights with hot air balloons. Landscaping outside the window... And...

The radio tuned to the adult contemporary station. Let me tell you... I was numbed by it!

It's like we went through Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", Whitney Houston's "I Will Always, Love You", Madonna's "True Love", Billy Joel's "My Life", Bryan Adams, Phil Collins...John Mayer... Boys II Men. It went on and on. I was there for an hour. And it was like on cue, that it was some easy song that you knew that was some big hit. What I thought was hilarious was that the hygenist made the sales pitch regarding why you should floss every waking moment of your life, during the song "My Life" by Billy Joel:

I don't care what you say anymore this is my life... Go ahead with your own life and leave me alone!

I was about to bust up laughing because you can almost think that these guys are in a cult or some whacky religious group like the JW's when they talk about flossing. It's like they are saying, "You know you really need to do this... to be a BETTER PERSON and a BETTER FATHER!!!" or something. Like the whole world depends on it and missing a days worth of flossing is like not filing your income taxes. They really sell it hard. I floss once in a while and brush with a Sonic Care tootbrush. No cavities. I go visits without any problems. Sure. I had a wisdom tooth pulled last year I wrote about somewhere on this blog but that doesn't count. Flossing could not save that tooth. But these guys equate not flossing to sinning.

It's kind of sad if you think about it....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Elijah's Trip to Starbucks

My wife's got the flu and in bed this morning. The boy and I were awake and as usual at 7:30am in the morning, I start craving caffeine. So I changed a diaper, packed up the kid carrier and headed out into the fog.

The Hummer is great. We have XM Radio in it. I love their channel selections and the fact there are 4 stations in a row 47, 48, 53, and 54 that just play the right music. And Lucy 54 was perfect this morning on the way to Starbucks. It's like all the music from college on one station. It also get's me the chance to educate my son on proper musical tastes.

For example:

The first song on when we got in the car, Pearl Jam's Yellow Ledbetter. Good song? Yeah maybe but, I am like,

Okay Elijah, this is Pearl Jam, the most over-rated band of the 90's. You can listen to them but only in moderation and if I catch you emulating them, I'll dis-own you!!
Then the second song comes on, Soundgarden's Rusty Cage. Awesome pre-sell out music and I am like,

Okay Elijah, this is Soundgarden. Pearl Jam tried desperately to rip off this band's sound. Someday I hope you grow up and have a voice as strong as Chris Cornell's so we can make millions for your ma and I's retirement. You have the screaming part totally down right now!

We entered Starbucks and it was totally full of old guys blowing on their coffee to cool it down. (Hmm... that is why my Latte is piping hot!) They all gave me the stare. You know, the "Dude's got a baby with him and no mother in sight! What did he do?" stare. Another baby came in as they were processing my order. Elijah flirted with the barrista jockeying the espresso machine. I just stared aimlessly at the music selection. Would you ever buy a pre packaged music CD at a coffee shop? Not me.

Anyhow... on the way back to the car, usually there is a bum asking for money at this Starbucks. I swear it's always a different bum but I think they rotate or set a schedule or something. Anyhow the guy sees me and he is about to ask for money but notices the blue kid carrier and flips a 180. No one begs someone with a kid for money I guess.

Meanwhile back in the Hummer, Alice in Chains is blaring Down in a Hole on XM. I just turn back and say to Elijah:

Don't do drugs!! Drugs may make you write a song as beautiful as Down in a Hole with it's signature line, "Down in a hole and I don't know if I can be saved." Seriously, I know this song rocks, but don't do drugs.

Heh... I am a gonna be a pretty good father!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Saddest Day in American History...


The new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi

Why America? Why!!! Why did you do this? Why!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey I Laughed

Browsing break.com and I saw this...


Too funny!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Single-Serving Friends

I did some travelling this week out to Colorado. I had to change planes midway to get to my destination. It was easiest to fly through Salt Lake City with a quick connection to get over to Colorado Springs. When I fly, I always think of Fight Club, not the part about the shelf of the plane ripping off (like that'd happen), but the part where he discusses single serving friends.

My friends on this trip were interesting:

On the way to Salt Lake City, I had the youth pastor. Dude was wearing blue jeans, t-shirt and sandals. Had a necklace with a giant cross on it. Carried a Bible on board and read it most of the trip. Real quiet guy. If he hadn't had the cross on I'd think he was gay. Maybe he was... who knows. I knew he was a youth pastor because before I slapped my iPod on shuffle he had mentioned it. Why he was going to Salt Lake City, who knows? Definately not a Mormon. I played Delta's new interactive trivia game with a few passengers around the plane. More on this later...

On the connection to Colorado I had a tough time. This time I had a window seat and it was not fun. Small, tight plane with only two seats on each side. So I get the window with a bad back and a super tall guy as a single-serving friend, who... was an aviation guy and like to talk about what the plane was doing next. Jesus it sucked... The flight was an hour late.. I could have walked out to the runway faster than the plane did.

The way back had the same kind of small plane but this time I had aisle. Who do I get now? Likes to talk guy... who's flown twice in his entire life, last time ten years ago!! He liked to asked questions. Not just asking what I did or how long I was in town but personal crap like, "So how does one do what your doing now? What education did you need?" He wanted details throughout the flight. Shook my hand when I sat down and shook it when I left the plane. Polite but...

Out of Salt Lake was the best. Plane was half full. The plane had the personal LCD screens with TV and trivia game. No one was around me. The plane went up, I fired up the trivia game and started plugging away. 15 people from around the plane joined. I was on too. I wasn't just on with trivia skills, it was total pwnage. I pwn3d the plane, winning on not only questions answered but also answering them faster, which brought up my score big time. I preceded win a few rounds as we travelled. I was on fire. I got up to 4 rounds and this guy from the back of the plane in 37C finally yells, "Damn Steve... stop it!" Best single serving friend yet...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Two Years Ago Today....

I started this blog. Almost 45,000 hits... Made a few friends... Pissed off a few people... Watched the Republicans lose...

It's still all good though...

Keep on Trucking!!!

Monday, November 06, 2006


Santa Elijah, The things we do to people when they sleep.

Been a while since I had a good rant about something but I got one and here goes. I title it:

The Food Court: No lady, I think you were behind me!

My sister in law is gonna crack up at this but it deserves to be on this blog... Saturday my wife, her sister, Elijah and I pack up the Hummer and head to the mall for some pictures of Elijah in his obnoxiously cute Santa outfit. We get to the picture place and are ushered right in for a photo session that included this photo. How can you pass it up, eh?

So we get done and are hungry so we head up to the food court. My wife and her sister head over to the Japanese place and I hang back with Elijah. The food court is pretty packed but not too bad. Lots of people stuffing their faces with completely unhealthy food all around. You could just smell the grease. Anyhow, I scoped the place out while I sat with Elijah. I wanted something good, not a burger or a slice of pizza at Sbarro's but something that quenched my hunger and a beer! What I found was a hot dog/sausage place and I saw some beer taps. Beer at the mall, good times.

So when the ladies came back I went off to the sausage place for a Bratwurst and some beer. One dude in line with a kid, placing an order. I wait. I just stand, deciding which beer to get not named Bud, Coors or Miller or with the suffix Lite or Light after the name. People are building up behind me, a lady with her kid... some other guy... it was forming pretty good. I started the line. Behind the guy with the tan shirt plus I was there first, before the people who now walked up later. I was "in-line to be next". It was clear. I WAS NEXT. The lady behind the register nodded my way, with the "Hi can I help you look". So it was technically now official... dude in tan shirt has his food... he paid and he is stepping aside. The lady behind the counter, working for the sausage place, is presenting me with clear, non-verbal communication. I was greeting her with a smile, it was reciprical. It was two way communication. We connected... All systems go.. and as I take a breath to say what I want to order, the bitch behind me, steps around me and attempts to order "Just an Ice Tea, please".

I am not a bad guy... really I am not. And it wasn't until after I say, "Dude, WTF?" did I notice her 3 year old brat she had in tow. I interrupt her order and go, "What do you think you are doing?" She's like stunned... I say, "It was pretty clear to the people behind me, the nice lady ready to take my order and anyone else who has stood here the last 5 minutes that... I WAS NEXT!!!"

She's like..."Go 'head... go.." Glancing down at her daughter and pulling her back like I was some mean man with the grey t shirt or something.

Without saying "Thank you" or anything I turn away, smile, and place my order and ask if the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is truly pale or something to artificially extend my order time. The whole time I feel this glare behind me. I turn and look at the little girl and it was like I ran over her cat. I paid and stepped aside... waiting for my bratwurst and beer.

The moral to the story: We should end liberal entitlements! That's where this lady who tried to cut in front of me gets it from. Because she had a little kid and was gettng "Just an Ice Tea, thanks!" that she was entitled to be in line first before me... who earned my spot for arriving early and having my stuff prepared on time to be next. (C'mon lawryde, what would you have done?)

Saturday, November 04, 2006

My Tuesday Prediction.


Republicans keep the Senate and narrowly escape defeat in the House. That and Boston Legal will not be seen because every election now will have all major networks, CNN and Fox News on lock down watching vote counts come in.

Also on Tuesday, the sun will rise and fall just like normal. There will be stories of some disenfranchised voters, continued speculation of Lieberman's $387,000 petty cash fund and Harold Ford will refuse to concede defeat for three weeks because he'll want a recount.

In California 87 won't pass. 85, 88, 89 will. Measures 1a-e pass and the Kings will be moving to Vegas.

Then I am done with politics for a while.

And guess what, if the Republicans lose... it means the better team won. But still we'll always have the power of Voltron, defender of the universe at our side!