Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sore Spot

I just finished taking a nice hot shower and was drying off when that unmistakable feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. A sort of needle prick on the lip that not only physically alarms you but, mentally it's fatiguing. For those of you with Herpes Simplex you know what I'm talking about. It's a fricking Cold Sore! I get Cold Sores about three time a year and they are always in the exact same spot .. left front. However, this time, it's the entire upper lip. It starts out with hot spots and then turns into a liquidy, bubbling mass of fluid. Picture chunks of wet cauliflower stuck on your entire upper lip and you'll understand what I'm talking about. So I have Herpes! What the hell does that mean. Did I get it from kissing some young girl in high school or was it something I did in the back seat of a AMC Gremlin? Since you can't do anything about the past, I'm more concerned about the future. Recommendations have been many. Like rubbing Alum on your lip; Carmex; taking Lysine daily; Blistex Creme; extremely expensive prescriptions of Denavir or Valtrex and the list goes on and on. The worse part to Cold Sores is the recovery. It starts out very sensitive to the touch and ends up swelling to grape-size proportions, then scabs, then bleeds, then scabs and then bleeds again. Public appearances are a no .. no as are shaving, drinking hot fluids, washing your face or any type of kissing. If you are a Cold Sore portal I'd love to hear what remedies you have to share.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ring of Fire

On December 22, 2008 my wife Janeen and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. A symbol of a marriage is that gold wedding band. However, wearing that thing drives me nuts so I took it off 25 years ago and put it in a small box somewhere in the confines of our house. Recently she asked me to wear it for 30 days in honor of our anniversary and I begrudgingly said "Yes." I made it very clear that after 30 days it's going back in the box. Since then I have done an informal survey as to people who don't wear their wedding rings and I found the numbers to prove that many don't wear their rings for differing reasons. Like: it might get caught in my power tools; I might lose it when I'm swimming; I can't grip the golf club correctly with it on; I've gained a little weight and my fingers swell so I took it off; etc, etc. How about you? Do you wear your wedding ring or are you one of those self-proclaimed softies that says it represents the sanctity of marriage and I wear it every single day to remind me how much I love my spouse. You've got to be kidding me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rest In Peace

I received a call last night from the owner of Hamelina, the pot bellied pig I've had my eye on for quite some time. I've been wondering why they haven't contacted me about adopting Hamelina. I was so excited when she said, "You don't know me but I'm the owner of Hamelina the pot bellied pig." My heart raced .. could it be ... they are going to let me adopt her. However, that's not how the conversation went. She really wanted to know if I knew anything about pot bellied pigs because Hamelina was sick .. very sick. She was just laying in her stall and not doing much. I told her to go see a vet but she had already checked, it was $140 for an evening visit. The owner didn't have nearly that kind of money and neither did her significant other. She said if she went during the day it would be $40 and she couldn't even afford that. She didn't know what to do. I told her to make sure Hamelina didn't become dehydrated and to give her water through the night. I told her I would help her out in the morning and to give me a call. I did get a voice message only an hour later. She said, "Don't bother coming over tomorrow, Hamelina just died in my arms." If there is a pig heaven ... Hamelina will surely be there looking for food with her beautiful little black nose.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Swine Intervention

I fell in love earlier this week and I need your help. No mistaking, it was love at first sight. She was strolling down a long, lonesome highway and I couldn't resist the urge to pull over and get to know her better. We ended up going around in circles for a while until I walked her down the long and winding driveway leading to her home. Her name is Hamelina, she has jet black hair, short little legs, and dark brown bedroom eyes. Oh, I almost forgot, she's a Pot Bellied Pig. To make a long story short, the owners just happen to be giving Hamelina away because they are getting a St. Bernard and the two won't mix well. That made me immediately think that they don't love Hamelina in the first place and she now needs a loving new home. Should I adopt Hamelina or not? I need your help. In order for you take make an informed decision, I've included information below on Pot Bellied Pigs.

Some people would never consider sharing their home with a pig, there are many people who are charmed by intelligence and the personality of their pet pigs. There is no doubt that given the proper expectations as well as care and training, a pot bellied pig can make an interesting and much-loved addition to the home. However, many people find that pigs are demanding pets and are overwhelmed by their needs - as shown by the abundance of shelters overflowing with pigs (one such shelter, PIGS, a Sanctuary houses more than 200 abandoned pigs at times)
Before discussing the negative aspects of pigs, it must be noted that pigs have several desirable qualities. They are intelligent, readily trained, affectionate, curious, playful, clean, generally quiet, odor free, and usually non-allergenic. Many owners consider their pigs an integral part of the family and involve them in all their activities. However, there are a few things potential owners should know. PIGS neatly summarizes the pros and cons of pet pig ownership. Pigs are complex creatures and require an owner who understands their needs.
Pigs are very intelligent. This is usually a positive trait, and in fact pot bellied pigs are quite trainable, much the same as a dog (i.e. can be house trained, leash trained, and will learn a few tricks). However, their intelligence can make them a bit of a handful, too. They are curious and playful, but also head-strong and sensitive. Without appropriate stimulation, they will become easily bored, and possibly destructive.
Pigs are also unrelenting in their quest for food - and can learn to open the fridge, cupboards, pantry - wherever food may be lurking. They can become demanding, begging for food, and even getting aggressive with kids that have food. Pigs also "root," or dig/explore with their snouts - and in doing so may overturn items in the house, including wastebaskets, and can disrupt the landscaping. This is instinctual, so an area of soft dirt should be provided in the yard so they can fulfill their need to root.
Another problem some have encountered with their pigs is aggression. Pigs can be territorial and have a drive to be dominant ("top pig"). Unless shown that the humans in the household are number one, pigs can exhibit a form of aggression known as dominance aggression (also seen in dogs). Pigs need to be taught to respect their owners, but setting rules and boundaries, teaching the word "no" and using gentle but firm discipline. Pigs respond well to positive reinforcement (e.g. using praise and treats when the pig is doing something desirable), and do not do well at all with physical punishment. From day one, the owner should be setting the rules and enforcing them. Consistent rules, praise for good behavior, and correction/redirection with lots of repetition and patience will help produce a well mannered pig with a good relationship with its family.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'd Like You To Meet

My new and dear friend Lucille Spencer. She is 97 years young and has been a great addition to my life. Lucille and her crabby little dog Emily live north of Bovey, Minnesota in a small old house. Lucille has taught me how to not take life so seriously, to laugh more, and to enjoy everyday as if it were your last. She loves carmel rolls and good polka music on her TV. She listens to polka on TV because she is blind. Being blind doesn't phase Lucille a bit. She bakes, talks on the phone with friends and does a lot of rocking on her rocking chair. If you ever get a chance to meet Lucille, please excuse her many .. and I mean many ... chiming alarm clocks. Some sound like birds, some sound like music and some sound like a dog peeing on a flat rock. One thing is for sure, when you walk out of that house you'll be a better person for it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I Got Mugged

This Monday four of us went to the local A&W Root Beer stand for root beer floats. The anticipation of ice cream and a frosty mug of root beer was overwhelming. I slammed by fist down on the counter and asked the young man in the root beer suit to give us four root beers. He asked what size and I said mediums. He gave me my ticket and said he would let me know when my order was up. Within minutes our order was ready. Much to my dismay I noticed that he was serving us root beer floats in paper cups. I said, "This must be some mistake! Where are the frosty mugs?" He said, "You have to order a large root beer float to get a frosty mug!" "This is crazy .. sacrilegious! You can't get a frosty mug with a medium root beer?" This young punk stared at me like I had six eyes. He could give a rat's-ass what I thought about frosty mugs. It was no sweat of his ass to piss off a customer. He just worked there. Root beer isn't root beer unless it's served in a frosty mug. It just doesn't taste the same. What has happened to this world? I remember when you could get a baby mug of root beer for heaven's sake ... it was the size of a small shot-glass. So the four of us sat down and tried as hard as we could to enjoy our paper mugs of root beer. I enjoyed the company but the root beer sucked.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Road Kill

Last week I took a drive into town on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. It was 80 degrees and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. What a perfect day to be alive! I started following a red car down this long straight-away when I noticed it swerve a bit and something bounced out from underneath the car. Much to my dismay I noticed that this person had run over a giant Snapping Turtle nearly the size of a spare tire. Because I was trailing the car I too came upon the turtle and saw him writhing in pain with his long neck stuck out in a contorted way and his shell completely ripped off his torso. I was in shock but also in a fit of rage. I chased after this car so I could look inside to see what stupid actually looks like. I'm thinking to myself this has to be some young punk kid out for a thrill. The red car was hard to catch as it was going 80 MPH or better. I finally caught up to them after a stop light and pulled right up next to them and discovered it was a middle-aged woman and her son. I yelled out the window, "Do you realize you just ran over and killed a giant Snapping Turtle?" She replied, "I didn't see it!" It was at that point I knew what stupid looks like and my anger kicked in and I let her know there is no excuse to run over a giant Snapping Turtle (size of a spare tire) in broad daylight. She quickly rolled up her window and drove away in horror ... or at least I hope she did. There are so many people who go out of their way to run over defenseless turtles, snakes, rabbits, porcupines, and for the life of me I can't understand why. The only excuse I can think of for her was that she was texting at 75 MPH and actually didn't see the turtle. I couldn't get this horrific scene out of my head! I hope this lady feels miserable for what she did ... I do! This turtle has been crossing this road for years and is, was, probably 50-60 years old. The next time you see a turtle on the road, please take the time to put him/her in the ditch in the direction they were going.