Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Recovery Time

Well, I took a look around the house and the only damage we sustained was the one piece of plywood that was ripped out of the window. We were extremely lucky.

While in Austin, we got to meet the one and only Trashman. If y'all love reading some of his shit, it doesn't compare to the stories we exchanged while eating the BEST BAR-B-QUE at the Broken Spoke. When the staff tells you that the BBQ came out real well that day, listen to them and order it. If you ever make a trip out to Austin, pay this place a visit. I'm telling you, you won't regret it.

I have to encourage anyone who has ties to a publisher to contact Trash to get some of his shit down in writing. We also got to meet Trash's beautiful wife, Jen, and his 2 sons. Trash filled us in on details that he may have left out in some of his posts. This made Jen, Zelda, and I laugh even harder. Actually, it made Jen do a double take before she busted out laughing. And, just like a good dad, when the subject was adult only, the kids were sent away with a few dollars in quarters to play games at the corner of the restaurant.

Unfortunately, we just found out that Jack sent us an email hoping to make it this past weekend. Sorry Jack. We'll make sure to give you more time next time so that you can make sure to get someone to cover for you. That would've made for one hell of a time. Sixth street will definitely be an option. Don't worry, we'll be back soon.

We stayed with Zelda's sister in her efficiency apartment. The poor girl didn't even have a proper shower head or a shower curtain. Because she let us stay with her, I fixed up her place a little bit. I fixed her "door" to her bedroom. It was actually a sliding screen that was off the track. I bought her a shower head, shower curtain, and rabbit ear antennas for her TV. She originally stuck in an earring to get a signal. We also got her some groceries. It's not much but at least we made her a little more comfortable, especially after the first night. I don't remember if I already told y'all but there are 3 situations where I snore even MORE loudly than normal. When I'm sick, drunk, or extremely tired. After the post that described our 12 hour drive with only half an hour of sleep, you can only imagine just how tired I was. Hence, the louder I snored. Yeah, send her some sympathy vibes.

Anyways, getting back to THE Trashman. We were worried that we might not be able to meet with him because we had such limited internet access to communicate with. When he called, we were ecstatic. We had such a great time just eating BBQ, drinking beer, and talking. We were talking for about 4 hours. It did NOT seem that long at all. Time really flies when you're in the company of good hearted people. These are folks who don't bullshit you. They speak from the heart and do it quite well. It's been awhile since I've laughed that hard. I'd like to fill y'all in on what we talked about, but only the one Trashman can do his own stories justice. Now, if only Jack could've been there too. Maybe I'll have to take him out to the paintball field and see what he's got. hint hint.

Now that I'm back, I finally got to take some time (after clearing all of the plywood and getting our house in order) to take a look at our emails and comments. I spoke to Magz because she left us her phone number. Let me just tell you that she is everything her blog describes herself to be. If you ever get a privilege to talk to her, just do it and you'll see what I mean. Magz, it was an absolute pleasure to speak with you.

We found out that my old roomie and his wife and son also evacuated to Austin. For safety reasons, we decided to return to Houston together last night. Before we left, we had the all you can eat sirloin steak at Texas Land and Cattle. Unfortunately, all they had left on the all you can eat sirloin steak was rare and well done. Fortunately, I don't mind rare steak. Zelda didn't used to like steak before she met me. She used to always order any kind of steak well done. Now, if you are a steak connoisseur, you'd know that the only kind of steak to order is medium rare or rare. That way, the restaurant is forced to give you the best possible cut of steak they have. If you order well done, the meat is going to get cooked anyways so why worry what kind of cut you get? However, if you order rare or medium rare, the restaurant has to be more picky with what they give you. Not only that, but the rare and medium rare orders make the steak more juicy instead of dry. When I introduced this to Zelda, she finally realized what steak was supposed to taste like. Damn! I'm making myself hungry. Anyways, this post is getting kinda long so I'll end it now. Thanks again everyone for all of your good vibes.

We're Home

Thanks everyone for all of your good vibes sent our way. Apparently, it worked since we avoided the worst part of the storm.

There's not much damage to our home at all. The worst is that the winds blew off one of the pieces of plywood that I used to cover up the windows. That's all I can tell as of now. I'll check in the morning and report more. We left Austin at 11:00 at night and got in about 2:30 am (15 minutes ago).

I apologize about not being able to communicate with everyone as much over the past few days. Zelda's sister doesn't have internet connection so we had to hunt down signals that I could mooch off of via my laptop. Anyways, it's been an interesting few days so I'm going to get some much needed sleep and will tell you all of the stories tomorrow. G'Nite.

Friday, September 23, 2005

We've made it to Austin

We finally got everything packed up and ready to leave around 5:00 in the morning in Houston. I only had half an hour of sleep. Zelda had none. We figured that if I was going to do the driving, I needed to at least get some sleep. Anyways, we pulled out our map that we bought on our way to Crawford a few weeks ago and mapped out a different path thanks to my father-in-law. We decided that the backroads would be the best way to leave Houston since HALF the city has decided to leave.

Normally, a drive to Austin takes 2-3 hours depending on whether you drive the speed limit or a little over. Want to know how long that same drive took us? TWELVE FUCKING HOURS! My parents decided to ride out the storm. I tried my best to get them to leave with us, but they are very stubborn. My sisters stayed with them because they live with them anyways. Before we left, I gave my dad Zelda's 9mm with 240 extra rounds.

We actually were lucky. We had friends who took the main roads who left an hour before we did and took them 18 hours to get to Austin. The drive was horrible. Since we took the back roads, restrooms were in short supply. We had to let the girls use the restroom on the side of the road. Since we weren't moving, that was no problem. We saw car after car after car on the side of the road that either overheated or ran out of gas. You couldn't just walk to the closest gas station either. Most likely, those gas stations were already out of gasoline. I didn't find a single gas station with gas until we were 40 miles from Austin. We only started out with half a tank of gas, but I was smart enough to take my 5 gallon gas container that I reserve for the lawn mower. It was full. Good thing too because we never would've made it.

I've spoken to so many people who tried to leave but because of traffic congestion and lack of fuel, were forced to stay. Y'all please keep them and my family in your prayers. Unfortunately, Zelda's sister doesn't have internet connection so we had to find a cafe with free wireless internet. We're going to try to meet up with Trashman before we leave. Unfortunately, we lost his phone number. We did email him though so hopefully, we'll hear from him.

It's now Zelda's turn to use MY laptop so I'll turn it over to her now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Heading for the High Grounds

I know I said that I was going to write a post today, but seeing as how we got Rita coming, Zelda and I are preparing for the worst. Most likely we will be leaving Houston for Austin. I had originally intended on staying if it was a category 3 or less but Zelda has never experienced a Hurricane before and wants to leave if it looks as if it's going to strike us even if it's weaker than that. I remember Hurricane Alicia in 1983. It was a category 3 hurricane and I remember thinking that it was no big deal. However, I don't want to make the loves of my life worry. Zelda and the kids need to be ensured safety and I'll do what it takes to make sure they'll be okay and feel like they're safe.

Still, I can't help but to have the desire to sit through this hurricane in order to protect my home. There's a good chance that my parents will stay. I'm going to try my best to talk them out of it though.

Today, I walked into the grocery store to find that all of the jugs of water were gone. Luckily, I have a 5 gallon jug that I'm going to fill up with distilled water later. That plus a few empty gallon containers that I never threw away.

Tomorrow, I'm going to watch the news in the morning and will most likely be using a circle saw to cut the plywood to cover our windows, getting everything off the floor, and packing enough clothes to last a couple of weeks from home. I also need to pick up some batteries, a radio, flashlights, canned foods, and a generator.

We'll see y'all when we get back. I know I just got back into the blogosphere but I'm pretty sure y'all understand us being gone for a little while again. Ciao!

And lastly, I have to insert this video because y'all know how I feel about the media.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Thank you

Thanks, everyone for all of your well wishes and your good vibes. Apparently, I'm going to need a lot of luck. Board Exams kicked my ass this weekend. I'm told that that's actually a good sign. People who normally think they failed usually end up passing. The opposite goes for those who think they passed. The first half of the exams were actually pretty easy (not a good sign). The second half of the exams kicked my ass (a good sign).

I knew what the answers were except that none of them were choices. So, you had to pick the next best answer. It's not always clear. For example, one question had an x-ray up and asked, "What should you find in this patient's history?" You could easily see that the patient had a laminectomy. So, you should find a previous surgical procedure. However, that wasn't one of the choices. You had to go back and think why did he have the procedure. However, that wasn't there either. So you had to go back even further. What caused him to have the condition which led surgical procedure. And on and on and on.

Anyways, I'm back now and have a ton of catch up reading to do. So, I'll post something new probably tomorrow. Just wanted to poke my head into the blogosphere and say that I'm back.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Will be gone this week

I won't be posting this week because I have the Physiotherapy portion of Board exams at the end of this week. Gotta study. As long as I pass this, I'll only have one more Board exam in November while I'm in school. That's the big one. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 09, 2005

It all started with a chain email

Last week on September 1, my sister forwarded an email that she had gotten from one of her co-workers. It was one of those info emails telling people to keep an eye out for signs of a stroke in case a loved one ever suffered from such a situation. It told of how you needed to check by asking the victim to smile, raise their arms, and say a simple sentence. If they could not perform all of these tasks, get them to the emergency room. I read it and knew that they were all very good indications. My cousin, however, joked about how my sister always sends these chain emails.

A week later, I got another email from my sister about my uncle. He was at his son's house (my cousin) watching movies when he noticed something was wrong. My cousin looked at him and saw that half of his face was drooping. My cousin, Corin, had his dad perform those 3 steps. He couldn't. Corin grabbed his keys and carried his dad to the car and took off. He didn't even tell his wife what had happened until he called her from his cell phone while he was on the road.

Corin got his dad to the hospital in a matter of minutes. That made a world of difference. He is doing much better now. He has regained the use of shoulder and elbow, but the wrist and fingers are still out of commission.

The thing about strokes is that there are two types: obstructive and hemorrhagic. The reason they cannot do anything immediately at the emergency room is because they have to determine which type you have first. So, for those of you who have loved ones suffering from a stroke, understand that if they do not determine which type it is first, they can make the situation MUCH worse. So, be patient. Let me explain.

Strokes occur because there is something wrong with the blood flow to the brain. If the victim is suffering from a hemorrhagic stroke, that means that a blood vessel has been compromised and there is bleeding in one of the numerous vessels in the brain. To take care of this, they have to utilize something to enhance blood clotting in order to "plug the hole".

The obstructive type of stroke occurs when there is something blocking one of the vessels in the brain. This is the one my uncle had. When there is something obstructing the vessel, they give Heparin or something that will thin the blood out. This will make it easier to blood to flow around the obstruction. They should then give a thrombolytic which should help "dissolve" whatever is obstructing the vessel.

With these two types in mind, you can see how it is VITAL to determine which type the victim is suffering from. If you gave a blood thinner to someone who is already bleeding in the brain, that will make the bleeding worse. If you gave something to increase clotting while the victim is already suffering from an obstruction, you just made the obstruction worse.

That is why emergency staff cannot do much to a stroke victim until they determine what type they are suffering from. I know it's hard to have to watch someone suffer from this event, but if you react too quickly, you can easily kill the victim instead of helping them.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Happy Blogoversary

Well, today marks the end of my first year of blogging. It's been quite fun to share with you all of my stories, political beliefs, and gripe sessions. Thank you. All of you. Even if I don't agree with you on certain issues.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gang Bang!

I have blogged before about my old roommates Benton and Mike. There are many stories to tell about them because it was the first time in my life that I moved away from home. The freedom that I encountered placed me in a number of scary, fun, and memorable experiences.

One such experience took place when Mike came home from work one day with a big smile on his face. We didn't know what he was up to, but we knew he was up to something.

M: "Hey Guys. What's up?"

J: "Nothing....why?"

M: "What are you two doing tonight?"

B: "I've got nothing."

J: "Nothing here."

M: "Cool. Then y'all are available tonight."

J and B: "For what?"

M: "I've been talking to this guy online for a couple of weeks now. He wants us to fuck his wife while he watches."

Now, I have, in fact, noticed that Mike was on MY computer quite a bit for the past couple of weeks. However, I had no idea he was planning such an "endeavor".

I couldn't do it. Neither could Benton. I kept thinking that this guy who wants us to do his wife while he watches has probably had this arrangement set up before. I wasn't about to take the chance of catching something I would regret later. Eventually, we both told Mike that we were not going to participate. I just don't trust people like that. I'd hate to wake up one morning only to have the Emporer or his 2 best friends suffering from boils and sores while oozing some green or blue colored emmissions. Hence, our refusal.

Mike eventually left to the hotel room where this guy and his wife had flown in to "meet" us. He told us that upon walking into their room, they asked where Benton and I were. When he told them that we refused to participate, they asked him to leave. He wanted to film us gang banging his wife. Mike offered to do it on his own. They refused.

When Mike returned, he told us how they only wanted for all of us to participate. Not just him. We apologized for messing up his plans. Yet, we couldn't help but to ask him.

"Was she hot?"

Friday, September 02, 2005

Destination: Crawford, TX

Warning: Long post

The alarm clock buzzed. I leaned over, saw that it was 4:30 in the morning, pressed the snooze button, and elbowed Zelda to wake up. She let out a small moan, said "ok", and didn't move an inch. Nine minutes later, the alarm buzzed. Again, I hit the snooze button and elbowed Zelda to wake up. This time, she said "okay, okay. I know." When 5:00 rolled around, our door bell rang. Zelda jumped out of bed to open the door. One of the Protest Warriors met us at our house. At about 5:45, we left. Our meeting place was at a Wal-Mart parking lot in Waco, Texas. We would then caravan to Crawford to show our support for the troops, their mission, and the President. We may not agree with him on a lot of things, but when our troops are fighting, we'll support them and him over the cries of the media and their poster larvae providing much needed morale boosters to the enemy.

We had to print out a map to the Wal-Mart in Waco on MapQuest. Let me urge all of you that if you ever need to find directions, don't rely on a computer. We got lost and ended up taking an extra hour to find Waco. I had to pull into a gas station and ask for directions. Getting side tracked wasn't so bad. We got to see the most beautiful country side. That is, as long as you were in a car with the A/C blasting. Anyways, we finally made it to the Wal-Mart in Waco with about an hour and a half to spare. After grabbing some breakfast at the Jack in the Box, we noticed that A LOT of people were gathering in the parking lot with their flags waving and shoe polish writings all over the windows of their cars in support of President Bush and the troops. The police had to come in order to block off the exit ramp to the freeway so that the caravan could leave the Wal-Mart.

Unfortunately, getting the caravan to stick together was a task easier said than done. There were numerous stop lights where sections of the caravan were split. Only a few people knew how to actually get to Crawford. After getting split up, I had to once again stop into a CVS to get directions. Before anyone told us the directions, they asked us which side we supported. When we told them that we were supporting the president, they said, "Good. Because last week a couple of guys were asking us how to get to Crawford who supported Cindy and we gave them the wrong directions." In order to get back home, I bought a map. Now, we were on our way to Crawford. As we drove, we noticed a big truck with Missouri plates and American flags flying from the window. In front of him were a couple of Red, White, and Blue choppers. We have found a small section of the caravan.

Crawford is a small town. The population is only 700. There is only one street light in the entire town. We drove past signs that read, "You're entering Bush country". We knew then that we have found the promised land. However, traffic stopped. So, we waited and waited and waited. Crawford was overflowing with people who were counter protesting Cindy Sheehan. Finally, we pulled off onto a side street and just parked the car. Then, we got out, got bottles of water from the cooler, and our little spray bottles with fans attached to them. We had no idea where to go so we decided that we'd follow the direction of all of the cars. One of the locals was walking her dog and overheard that we were going to meet a few friends at the main tent. Only problem was that we didn't know where it was. She smiled and told us to follow her. She would show us the way. Before crossing the main street, another traveler stopped and asked our guide where "Camp Casey" was. Our guide pointed back towards the opposite direction and said, "Down by the Church. Just follow the smell." Apparently, we were told that Cindy supporters were not exactly the best smelling people because they didn't shower in 2 weeks and were urinating and defecating into jars and buckets or other peoples' private property. So, the people of Crawford were not too happy with Cindy Sheehan supporters.

Our guide walked with us to Fort Qualls. It was a site set up in honor of Louis Qualls who died in Iraq. His father, Gary Qualls was there speaking to people about just how proud he was of his son's service and sacrifice. He spoke about how his family firmly supports the President. On this site was a huge framed picture of Louis Qualls and a framed letter from one of Louis's Brother-in-arms. We read how Louis had found a T-shirt and wanted to send it home to his dad. It was a Harley Davidson in Iraq T-shirt. As a last gesture of thanks, Louis's entire company signed that T-shirt and sent it home.

In front of Fort Qualls was where Gary Qualls and other families dug up the crosses that had the names of their fallen loved ones that was put up by Cindy Sheehan's group. They told Cindy's group that they had no permission to use their loved ones' names in their dishonorable act. Cindy's group didn't care. They put up new crosses using the same names that families specifically told them that they had no permission to use.

After making donations to the American Military Families Fund, we finally met up with our friends and proceeded to the main tent at the Crawford Civic Center where families of fallen soldiers spoke out against Cindy Sheehan. Even though we were under a tent, it was HOT! Now, I can handle the heat much better than Zelda. I used to go outside and play basketball in 100 or above degree heat. Zelda is from New York. She never could get used to the heat down here. She was CONSTANTLY spraying herself while trying to listen to the speakers. She would spray and clap and scream at the same time. After all the speakers were done, we walked back into downtown Crawford. Zelda was suffering. She was walking so slow so as to try to not generate any body heat. Our friends and I had to frequently stop so that she could catch up to us.

On the way, we saw that a lady was sitting down hyperventilating. People were fanning her. Traffic stopped as a Suburban offered to take her to the hospital. One guy in opposing traffic actually had the nerve to honk. Zelda's temper flared as she RAN up to the guy and said that there was a sick woman on the side of the road and that the suburban was going to drive her to the hospital. The guy responded that we should put the car to the side of the road because he's been waiting for four minutes. Zelda screamed right to his face, "Four Minutes?! For a soldier's mother who's ill? YOU UNGRATEFUL PRICK!" Remember when I said that she was having trouble keeping up with us? After that meeting, we had trouble keeping up with her.



"Wait up! You sure seem to be walking much faster. Adrenaline helping you, babe?"

Zelda smiled as she realized that if not for that encounter, she would have never made it back to downtown Crawford. We walked into a souvenir shop where I bought Zelda a Crawford tank top. I asked the store owner if she could use the bathroom to change because she was getting overheated. The store owner said that it was not a problem.

After Zelda changed, we got to see a few other sights. We rang the huge liberty bell in support of the President. We saw people on horses who wrote "Cindy, Go Home" on the horse's ass with an arrow that pointed directly to the horse's anal sphincter. We got to take pictures of the some of the bikers that we met. We just had an all out great time...except for the heat.

A few days later, I read a few news articles about the event. If you ever need proof that the media is nothing but a bunch of lying pieces of shit, listen up. I read how they said only about 1500 people showed up to counter Cindy Sheehan while Cindy had about 2000. We were there! The counter protestors easily numbered at least 5000-7000. The locals were told to brace for about 10,000 counter protestors. Cindy's protestors numbered around 500 with most of them being media.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Will Post Soon

Sorry about not posting this week. I'm working on writing about our experience in Crawford, TX this past weekend. However, the kids keep wanting to play,,,, and any other educational .com's. And since Zelda needs the other computer for work, I'm left with waiting. So, I'll post soon enough.