Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Eclipse

I posted on FB about 10-12 days ago that I was officially sick of hearing about the eclipse.  I mean, come on.  They started hyping it up over a month ago.  It's not like Haley's comet, either.  There'll be another one in 2024.  (Which they are already hyping.  Ugh.)

I remember, back in 1979, doing the whole pinhole thing for school.  At that work making the damn thing and I didn't see anything.  Or at least I thought I didn't.  I think I was expecting something more than the changing of a circle of light on the back of a box.  Perhaps my 8-9 year old self had hoped of the projector being more like a projector and showing me a movie or something on the inside of a box.  :shrug:  I found it all so very anticlimactic. 

So when they started talking about the 2017 eclipse, I was all like 'meh'. 


I didn't actually 'see' the eclipse yesterday.  I wasn't planning on doing anything, but Hubs thought it would be cool to make a pinhole projector, so we did and we went outside to try to out and junk.  Once again, it was :yawn:  I mean, it was fun doing that with Hubs, but the actual spectacle was boring.  Then a little while later, when the sky started to get this weird semi-dusk look to it, we went back outside to try the pinhole thing again. 

And something kind of cool happened.  The concrete slab out in front of the porch was covered in these little fingernail moons.  I took some pics of them.  It was way better than the entire pinhole thing - then and now. 

I guess those people who were in the 'path of totality' and had those glasses got to see something really neat.  I guess I'd have to see it to get excited about it.  Maybe in 7 years I'll foot the bill for those glasses things.  I'm still not driving hundreds of miles to get into the path of it, though. 

Personally, I get more excited about rainbows.  You never know where one is going to be and then bam, there it is.  So pretty. 

Anyway, did you see the eclipse?  Was it everything you hoped it would be? 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Heterotopic Ossification

I know this isn't my usual blog fare.  I just felt the need to write this and leave it here for anyone who might be searching the webs for heterotopic ossification (HO) - because there really wasn't a whole lot out there from a personal perspective the last time I checked.  If it isn't your bag, come back another day.

First off, pretty much everything I have to say is anecdotal.  I'm not a doctor or a medical professional of any kind.  I'm also not a researcher.  I'm just someone who's lived with HO for 23 years.

Now, what is heterotopic ossification?  Well, HO (or as some might call it myocitis ossificans) means bone that has grown where bone doesn't usually grow.  Or, to put it simply, bone grows inside muscle and connective tissue.  It usually happens when you combine a significant soft-tissue injury with brain damage of some kind.  In my case, I had broken my thigh and banged my head.  The head injury caused me to grow bone inside my thigh muscles, my butt muscles, and a little through the spot where the leg meets the hip.  It's pretty gnarly-looking on x-rays but otherwise no one know just by looking at me.

There isn't a lot out there from a personal perspective because the majority of the people who have HO incurred a significant enough brain injury to make it hard to communicate in any kind of cogent way.  Me?  I got lucky.  I came back from it.  Few do.

But this isn't about that.

Last I knew, HO happens in about 25% of the head injury cases.  Of the people I went to therapy with back in 1994, only one other client had HO.  He was young man who'd been shot in the head and the arm.  The arm, of course, became filled with aberrant bone.  To the point where he couldn't straighten his arm from the 90 degree angle it was frozen in. 

Once it's there, it's there.  I have heard about certain surgeries to remove the aberrant bone, but I think that also involves removing a fair bit of muscle.  Damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I guess, if your HO is bad enough to the point where you can't function, losing some muscle wouldn't be so bad.  In my case, I was able to work around it.  One leg doesn't bend as far as the other and it never will, but I can live with that.

If your medical professionals catch it soon enough, there is a drug that can be administered to stop the bone growth.  If I remember correctly, it was called didronel.  Not sure if they're still prescribing it for HO.  Unfortunately, by the time you know enough about what's happening to you or your loved one, it's too late to ask about didronel. Personally, the medical professionals on my case in the hospital had no clue about HO, so nothing was done.  They assumed my frozen leg muscles were simple contraction and attempted to stretch the muscle free.  Which resulted in stretching my tendons instead.  When I finally got a doctor on my case who knew about HO, the stretching stopped and he gave me a therapy plan I could work with.

My symptoms were, from what I was told, heat and pain at the site where it was growing.  Chalked up to a potential infection and my broken bits, I assume. 

As I said, once it's there, it's there.  When the process stops and the aberrant bone is in place, it's yours for the rest of your life.  And no more will grow.  It's like other bone at this point.  Which means it's possible to break it.  A fact I learned the hard way only last year when I fell and landed on the butt cheek that's filled with HO bone.

When HO bone breaks, it's like any other broken bone.  Hurts like hell, makes you a little lightheaded and nauseous, creates glorious bruises... that kind of thing.  And there really isn't anything you can do about it.  I did read one place that they recommended splinting the affected bone, elevation, etc.  Not an easy thing to do when the bone you've broken is inside your butt muscle, let me tell you.  Also, like any other bone break, you'll be able to tell the weather with it.  I recommend Aleve and ice packs or heating pads, depending on the severity of your pain. 

I never got it x-rayed so I don't know if they can actually tell whether HO bone has broken.  I know I broke some because I felt the crack and the grinding when it shifted against itself.  (Plus, the symptoms.)  You can always check with your medical provider if you think you've broken your HO.  I don't go to medical providers about my HO anymore because over the course of two decades, I've gotten too many blank stares when I mention I have HO.  Like I said at the beginning of this, there's not a lot out there about it.  Which means it's not that high on the training radar.  I got lucky when I found a doctor who not only knew about it, but knew how to approach a therapy plan for someone who had it.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask - even if it's months after this was posted. 

(Any errors in this post are mine and mine alone.  If you want information from a professional, consult with your physician, neurologist, orthopedic specialist, physiatrist, etc.)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 33

Time again for another weekly update.  Yay!

My newsletter went out last night, in case you missed it.  If you did miss it and want a copy, let me know.  I'll forward mine over to you.  Or check your spam box.  It might be in there.

I sent Wish Hits the Fan off to JC last Monday.  Then I didn't do anything else of a writerly nature, unless you count some marketing stuff. I'm still trying to decide what to do next.  To write new words or to edit something I've already written, that is the question. 

I did a fair bit of reading.  Okay, it was only two books, but they each took a while.  First off, there was Bradbury's Illustrated Man, which is a collection of short stories.  Not my favorite Bradbury.  Then I re-read Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd.  I read it once before about 15-16 years ago.  After all that time, I didn't actually remember any of the story but who dun it.  Still, a pretty good mystery.  Right now, I'm reading an Australian romance.  Not simply a romance set in Oz, but one written and published in the Great Southern Land.  It's pretty neat so far.  I love that I can get books from other places. 

Fishing happened.  I didn't put out a fishing report because frankly it wasn't that interesting.  I only caught a couple bluegills and a little bass over the four trips out.  And I fell on my ass, so I'm still smarting from that little bit of gracefulness.  You should see the bruises.  They're glorious.  I did find a dead largemouth. It was a keeper, too, which made me especially sad.  It had choked on a big lure.  I retrieved the lure and set the fish out where the vultures could get to it.  Waste not, want not. 

Somehow or other my email address has gotten on some kind of porn spam list.  Luckily, Gmail shoves all that crap into the spam folder for me.  Unfortunately, if real mail ends up in my spam folder right now, it's screwed because trying to search for a real piece of mail in all that vulgar crap takes more effort than I have the will to expend right now.  It's getting deleted in one fell swoop.  Thus, if you've sent me mail and I haven't responded, try again or leave a comment here on the blog that you sent me something and I'll try to catch it before it gets shitcanned.

Oh, I saw an eagle on Thursday morning.  It was hanging out with a bunch of vultures eating a dead fish (not the big largemouth I found - a different one) on the shoreline.  My initial thought was 'oh, look, a vulture with a white tail', but then my brain kicked in and I realized what it really was.  It really needs to keep better company.

Well, that's it for me.  Do you have anything to update this week?  How's things in your world?


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Thursday This n That

I heard yesterday that the local fugitive, let's call him Mr. Stabber, has this neat trick where he lays in the road to get people to stop so he can... I don't know, rob them, steal their cars, hurt them?  Anyway, I'm letting the world know right now that henceforth I will be running over anyone laying in the road in front of my car.  I am not interested in stopping and potentially getting myself harmed or killed, tyvm.  I will try to not roll over anything crucial to his life - you know, avoid the head and the chest areas - but I can't make any promises.  I'll also try to slow down enough so the impact is lessened, but not slow enough he can chase me on foot if I manage to miss him entirely.  Afterwards, I will stop at a safe distance and call 911 from my cell phone.  If he gets up and tries to come at me, I will run him over again. 

I'll still swerve for turtles, though.  If it's safe.  I feel bad for turtles, but I'm not willing to risk my life for them.

This is really a strange world we live in, ain't it?  Where men going about lying in roads for nefarious purposes.  Actually, in a related note, two people in the area have been killed recently because they were either lying in the road or sitting in the road late at night.  I assume drunk or stoned.  Possibly suicide by motor vehicle.  Stupid either way.  I feel really bad for their families and for the poor people who hit them.  They didn't ask to be the instrument of those morons' deaths.

I think anyone who wants to tear down a public statue is welcome to do so, provided they pay for the statue in advance and clean up after themselves when they're through.  And that the money they pay goes back to the people who paid for the statue to begin with - i.e. the taxpayers in most instances.  If it's on private property, tough luck.  Perhaps the owner would be willing to sell it.  As always, if it doesn't belong to you, though, don't touch it.  Whether you like it or not, whether it offends you, whether it hurts your sensibilities or your feelings or melts your special snowflake. 

Earlier this week, I was shaking rugs and one of them snapped back and hit me in the back of the hand.  Hurts like the dickens and now I have a bruise there.  Oh, the weird ways I injure myself.  LOL

Last night, we had a fourth fawn in the yard.  It was quite exciting as we thought we only had three fawns this year.  But the light doe, the one who was still pregnant when all the other gals had birthed, brought her little bitty baby to see us.  Yay!

What's on your this n that today?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Ramping Up

Wish Hits the Fan is almost here.  I'm setting the release date as September 15th.  It's a Friday, so you can snag a copy and have something to read over the weekend. 

I have the cover now, so I'll do a big reveal tomorrow on Outside the Box.  By then I'll have a Goodreads listing up and afterwards, I'll splash the cover all over the place.  Right now, though, I'm giving some ARC readers a day to be the first people to see the cover.  (And I have to write the blurb, which is always a blast.)

So, anyway, I'm ramping up.  The rush of blood and excitement is upon me.  Formatting to be done, final touches and proofing to be completed, marketing stuff to put in place.  Woohoo.

This is the final book in the arc for Once Upon a Djinn.  If it ain't wrapped up here, it ain't gettin' wrapped up, if you catch my drift.  I'm still playing with the idea of writing more genie stories - with and without Jo - but time will tell. 

Anyway, I'm excited.  I hope you are, too.  And hey, if you were waiting to read these books until the storyline was complete, wait no longer.  It's a four book series, and this is book four.  Tada!

I can't wait for you guys to see the cover.  It's so pretty.  And I've been playing this morning making graphics for the series.  They're all so pretty together.  Squee!

By this time next month, I should be either a basketcase or comatose.  LOL

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Update - Week 32

Thirty-two?  That doesn't sound right, but that's what the internet says, so it must be true.  Then again, the internet has also starting saying a week begins on Monday, which is just wrong. 

Anyhooway...

Last week.  I really should try to write these posts when I'm actually able to brain. 

Writing stuff:  Well, actually it's more like editing stuff.  Writerly, to be sure, but not writing writing.  Deadline is tomorrow to have this back to JC.  I'm actually pretty close to being done with my work.  I have six crutch words left to weed through.  Let's not go into how many I had to start with.  Maybe I'll write that post for tomorrow's Outside the Box. 

Reading stuff:  I read two 'Cat Who' books last week.  I needed the total escapism in those. 

Other than fishing, I really can't remember too much of what happened last week.  Things happened and overwrote the data. 

Yesterday I remember pretty well.  I did all the 'like' weeding and decided I needed to get the hell out of the house.  Hubs had to go get feed, so I begged him to let me get the feed instead, which he graciously consented to.  (It wasn't that hard.  He's more of a hermit than I am.)  So, off I went. 

One of my stops was the local gas station for a beverage and gasoline.  While I was pumping gas, I noticed a state trooper standing outside the store, talking to one of the employees.  I thought maybe they'd been jacked or maybe someone did a drive off without paying.  Nope.  He was there because there's a fugitive on the loose around here.  Yay.  Not.  And the guy's been hiding in the woods around here since Monday when he stabbed / assaulted a couple people.  Apparently, he's a real woodsman type psycho, so he's been hard to find.  "Well, ain't that awesome," says the little woman who can't run and is frequently alone.  All fishing is suspended until buttwart gets apprehended. 

Then I went to town.  My first stop was the bookstore, because they aren't generally open when I'm in town, but I knew her new hours included Saturday from 10-5.  I would hit town around ten.  Yay.  Except when I got there, the store was still closed.  Argh.  So frustrating. 

I left there and drove out to a thrift store I hadn't tried yet.  I thought it was a Salvation Army.  Nope.  St. Vinny's.  It was nice and clean and the people seemed pleasant.  I got a couple books, which always makes me happy.  And I chatted with a woman there who loves books and genealogy.  So in my wheelhouse.  I ended up giving her a bookmark with all my books on it and she said she'd look them up.  Yay.

Then I hit Wallyworld, where the first thing I put in the cart was pepper spray.  (See above.)  Did minimal shopping otherwise there.  Picked up lunch at the KFC and the feed at the local feedstore, then went home.  Heh, you should've seen my little Cavalier all loaded with 300 lbs of feed.  I tell ya, taking those hills was interesting.  She's not used to carrying much more than me and sometimes Hubs & me.  Poor Cally.

The rest of the day was divided between weeding crutch words and talking with the Kid on the phone for her birfday.

Well, thanks for reading all the way through that.  Not much else happened.  How was your week?


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Saturday Fishing Report - 8/12/17

First off and totally unrelated to fishing... Today is the Kid's 24th birthday.  Here she is 23 years ago on birthday #1...
Such a happy baby.

Anyway, you're not here for that.  You're here for the Fishing Report, so here goes...

The water level on TRL is down to acceptable levels - somewhere between winter pool and summer pool.  However, due to the heat, most of the bigger fish have moved deep.  And the ones that are shallower aren't hungry. 

Since my encounter with Barney Fife, I've been a little loath to go to the park.  I detest confrontation.  I also detest parking by the bathrooms and walking with all my gear to the spot where I hike down to the spot where I can fish.  There are easier places to fish where I don't feel like I'm being monitored.

Lucky for me, it's been cloudy in the mornings.  I went out over the weekend to my go-to spot.  Caught a bunch of little bluegills.  Went back Monday.  Caught four little 'gills right off the ledges.  I did see a school of big bass in what I referred to as 'the grotto' at low lake levels.  They weren't biting.

Thursday, I sucked it up and went to the park.  I parked in the official spots by the beach and tried fishing there for a bit.  Nada.  I walked around to the cove near the boat ramp.  Nada.  I did see some big bass right in front of me in about 3 ft of water off the chunk rock.  They weren't biting.  I also got hung up on a submerged tree.  Broke the whole rig right the hell off and for the next ten minutes watched the bobber bobbing there while I tried to fish.  Then I figured it was irritating the hell out of me, so I went in after it.  Heh, it was deeper than I thought.  I ended up soaked to the hips, but I got my junk back. 

After that, I went to the go-to again.  Nothing was biting, but the sun was out and it was nice, so I put on some sun block and laid on the rocks, letting my clothing dry while I watched my bobber float downstream. 

That's it for me.  I have another editing push this weekend, so probably no fishing.  We'll see.  Meanwhile, have a great week!