The End of Eighth Grade

Ian has one more day at North Arvada Middle school. I’m shadowing him today at school he is currently in his ‘Advisement’ class which is kind of a free time thing. I’m in the office lying low, cruising under the radar. We have a session with his math teacher after school to make sure we’re caught up and ready to close out the year. This is the last of his seven classes we need to double-check on. Then he should be finished with Middle School and on to High School.

Does that send a chill down anyone else’s spine when you utter that phrase, “No, he is in High School now…”?

What the Fsck is This About?

What the hell is going on with ‘Rape Culture’ and the so called Men’s Rights Movement? How much of the misogyny directed at Hillary Clinton and other powerful women by ‘Bernie Bros.’ or other ‘haters’ and detractors is anything other than generalized hatred of women?

Men, if we disagree, we must voice our condemnation.


I’ve been doing quite a bit of research into Crows lately, mainly the ones in my neighborhood, the American Crow Corvus brachyrhynchos. I have long been fascinated with their cousins, the Common Raven Corvus corax that I frequently encountered while working and recreating in the Mojave Desert around Las Vegas.

In accordance with what I’ve read and heard, they really like peanuts, unroasted and unsalted… Two days ago I threw some unshelled peanuts near a noisy group of about 10 birds that frequent the area between our building and the street. They dispersed and after about five minutes they flew back while I observed from about 25 yards away. After a couple of iterations of dispense, retreat, and return, they flew away after about 20 minutes. I went back inside after leaving perhaps a dozen unshelled peanuts where I was sitting.

Today (Saturday) about 10 am there was a loud chorus of Crow vocalizations that I recognized as ‘social calls’ from one of the videos I watched on Crow behavior research on the interwebs. I opened the door and there was a dozen or so Crows hopping around where I was sitting yesterday. “Hey, Peanut Human! We need more peanuts!” Not wanting them to think I was so easily trained, I waited about a half hour before going outside with more peanuts.

They won’t let me get closer than about 25 yards but they are very interested in peanuts. We’ll see where this goes.

Transient Ischemic Attack (mini-stroke)

Hi everybody, just want to try to get you up-to-date with what’s going on with me. On Tuesday, July 21, I apparently had a Transient Ischemic Attack (mini-stroke), although some of the Doctors and Specialists also posited that it was some sort of a migraine. They weren’t sure as all the CT and MRI scans as well as the other tests showed no brain or vascular damage.
My symptoms were mental confusion, slurred speech, completely lost some words (Aphasia), I was having a hard time walking, had a blinding headache behind my eyes, and couldn’t express that I didn’t know what was going on. Scary stuff.
I had a guitar lesson at 1 pm and began getting ready about 11:45. I noticed that what I was seeing in my right eye was brighter that in my left, like my left used a 150w light and my right used a 200w light. My left eye is dominant and I don’t have binocular vision, plus my right eye doesn’t work that well so I just wondered what it was up to now… I drove the 30-ish minutes to where my lesson was held. My headache began during the drive, having a headache was not particularly unusual but the intensity was.
My guitar lesson continued without incident though my headache intensity increased during the drive home. My head hurt so much I was having trouble driving and by the time I got home about 3:30 (bad Interstate traffic) I was just exhausted. I went straight to bed and I just felt horrible in general. While I was laying down I realized I was having trouble thinking and remembering things, for instance, I couldn’t remember who ‘that guy was’ that started Apple. For that matter I couldn’t remember who that ‘other guy’ was. It was Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. I got up about 4:30 and went to talk to Audrey, but all that came out was slurred gibberish. She said, “We’re going to the ER.”
There is a Urgent Care facility very close to the house so we went there immediately. They got me straight in and quickly established that I had what looked like a stroke in progress — I had 5 of the 8 warning signs. I couldn’t remember the town I lived in, I was fuzzy on a lot of other things but some things I knew like my address. It was very strange. They gave me a CT scan right away and I guess called an ambulance.
Soon I was at the local hospital and being admitted in the ER. Audrey and Ian were being very brave but obviously very concerned. There were a lot more questions, some I could now answer, others I still couldn’t, and a lot of squeezing of fingers, lifting of limbs, and doing bilateral sorts of things to check if my brain was affected. Frankly a lot of it was and is a blur. I was admitted into the Neurological Ward of the hospital.
I was hooked up to a lot of machines that go ping, much blood was drawn and vital signs were taken. I got a CT scan of finer granularity than at Urgent Care and I got an MRI for the first time. It’s really weird how noisy an MRI scanner is… There are more questions, more finger squeezing, and more machines hooked up. It was about 11 pm and I went to sleep.
Wednesday I had ultrasounds of my neck and heart examining the vessels and valves in the morning. The most notable things the medical professionals told me near the end were that I had an irregular liver profile, high blood pressure, and was overweight [duh]. All tests showed no brain damage or affected vessels! The lack of damage is what made some doctors opt that it may have been a severe migraine instead of a mini-stroke. I was released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
So, I’ve been home a couple of days now and would estimate I’m 99% back. Occasionally a little spacey but I’m not sure that’s not ‘situation normal.’ smile emoticon I got scared s**tless and I’m going to make some lifestyle changes, who wouldn’t after a wake up call like that? I’m glad to be back relatively unscathed.