February 2011 - Posts
When I was a kid, I sometimes saw older people hunched over and walking very slowly. I always felt sorry for them. Especially for the ones who were obviously in pain.
These days, I feel like an old person, hunched over and obviously in pain. Getting older is not for sissies.
Back in the early 1990s, I walked in my sleep. I hadn't done it since I was a kid. But for some reason, I did one night, and I was rudely awakened when my backside landed squarely on the bottom stair of the townhouse I shared with my roommate, Teresa. She heard what she thought was a gunshot, and jumped out of bed and came running. I was quite proud. It took a major noise to wake that one up.
The noise she heard wasn't a gunshot. It was my tailbone breaking. The sound is one I'll never forget. I can't. My back won't let me.
Since they can't exactly put your butt in a cast, all doctors could do was help me manage the pain. They gave me morphine, which I have to say, is good stuff.
We had a party planned, with about a dozen of our friends. Since I couldn't make it back upstairs, Teresa had brought upstairs to me. I put on some sweats, took my medicine, and put on a smile, prepared for our guests. I remember nothing after that.
According to Teresa, and several of our friends, I was pretty much knocked out. I laid down in the floor, leaning against this big, green beanbag chair I had at the time, and slept. With a big dumb grin on my face. They used me as a coffee table, so I'm told.
Like I said, that there morphine is good stuff.
Since that time, I periodically have back pain. It usually starts out minor, because of something minor. This time, I cleaned the bathtub, and when I stood up, something just gave way. I was in some pain yesterday, but today, it's on.
The funny thing - and I mean funny ironically, not funny ha-ha - is that people are always telling me, "You're just going to have to be more careful."
Excuse me, but how is this possible? I can't just not live my life. I have stuff to do, and since my maid, chauffeur, cook, valet, butler and personal assistant all quit, I have to do it. I can't stop living for fear of hurting my back. And I won't live in fear.
Fact is, most of the time, I don't hurt. And I'm fairly careful. I don't lift heavy things, and I know my limits. I say no when I need to. When I begin to hurt, I stop. When I need to rest, I do so. I do my regular stretching exercises for my back.
The doctors have told me that I have a small piece of bone near the sciatic nerve on the left side, and that appears to be the culprit. Every now and again, I'll move just the right way, and that piece of bone pushes against that nerve, and my back, as well as down my left leg, becomes painful. Short of surgery, there's really nothing they can do.
And I ain't going through surgery.
So...here I sit, uncomfortable and with a pain in my back and left leg...again. It's more like a pain in my butt.
Ironic. That's where it all started.
A cyclist in Washington state gave new meaning to the phrase "road rage" when he threw his bike at a Volvo after the driver honked at him.
Chad Olson, 42, of Redmond, threw his bike, smashing the window, after the driver honked his horn. Olson then left the scene before police arrived, but he returned and said he wanted to report an incident of road rage. He said any damage to the car was the result of self defense when the driver, Ben Han, 46, tried to run him over in the Volvo.
Han said he and his wife were driving when the came upon Olson, who Han said was weaving between the bike lane and the roadway. Han honked a warning, he said, and drove ahead of Olson. Han said Olson then chased them and damaged his car at a stoplight.
According to a police report, about $5,700 worth of damage was done to the Volvo. No word yet on the damage done to Han's ego for getting chased down in his Volvo by a guy on a bike.
Another bike rider, Justin Triano of San Jose, Calif., has a much better attitude, and he found a much better use of his time.
Triano, a member of the Bike Party, a group that hosts bike rides in costume, organized a flash mob via Twitter feeds and Facebook posts. The group gathered in downtown San Jose for a pillow fight.
Wearing tutus, gorilla suits and pajamas, the group beat each other silly with pillows, sending feathers and laughter flying. The event was touted as a community-building exercise, and it added a new element of fun to the downtown area.
The feather-fest was fun, Triano said.
"We work hard Monday through Friday. We really want to have fun," he said.
I agree, and I have a rather large feather pillow. Anybody game?
It never ceases to amaze me how people can post one video on YouTube and become an overnight sensation. There are a couple out there right now that I just find absolutely hysterical and I thoroughly enjoy.
The first of those is Julian Smith. You can YouTube his videos, but he's so up-town now that he has his own Web site. You can view his GENIUS videos at www.juliansmith.tv. The videos are wacky and out there, and people fall into one of two camps…they either get them or they don't.
The first time I heard anything about Smith was when someone e-mailed me the link to his Techno Jeep video. It. Was. Awesome. So I googled the dude, and have since found a treasure trove of videos. Which he does, all for me.
My recommendations for your viewing pleasure? Well, everyone who views Smith's offerings will have their favorites, but I'd go with "Malk," "Jellyfish," and "Racist Coffee," followed by a smattering of "25 Things I Hate About Facebook," and "Grandma Like Whoa."
The other person getting a lot of attention for his YouTube posts is Keenan Cahill. This kid's formula is simple: he lip syncs to popular tunes. And in the process, his posts have garnered millions of hits, and some of the artists have even appeared with him in the videos. It's crazy. You should definitely check him out.
One even recently tweeted the kid – Jersey Shore's DJ Pauly D. He asked the kid to "fist pump" with him to his song, "Beat Dat Beat." The video was posted Feb. 6, and it already has nearly 600,000 views. His video of Usher's "DJ Got Us Fallin' In Love" had 11,790,000 hits. Crazy.
Chicago-born Cahill is 15, and has a rare genetic disorder called Mariteaux-Lamy Syndrome. This caused him to have a shortened trunk, restricted movement and a stop in growth at about age 8. But it hasn't stopped Cahill from getting his groove on.
Cahill first posted on YouTube in October 2009, lip syncing to "When You Look Me In The Eyes," a Jonas Brothers song. He's posted tons of videos since. He's well worth looking up. And the kid has his own site now. You can find him at www.keenansroom.com.
I don't know exactly what constitutes an overnight sensation online. I just know I want to be one when I grow up.
Look out, Keenan. I'm coming for you.
According to reports online, today is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Yep. Seriously.
The day to celebrate all things plastic, bubbly and, well, wrappy, was started by a Bloomington, Indiana radio station, and this year marks the 10th annual observance. To celebrate everyone's favorite stress-reliever, here are some facts you may not have known about bubble wrap…
Bubble wrap was first invented as a wallpaper in 1957, by two engineers in Hawthorne, N.J. They were trying to make plastic wallpaper with a paper backing. The product didn't take off.
But the duo later realized that their product could be used as a cushioning packaging material. At that time, only abrasive paper products were used for packaging, and they did nothing for protecting and cushioning heavy or delicate items.
The engineers, Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding, raised $9,000 to fund a developmental production line, and they later formed Sealed Air Corporation, which is now the worldwide leader in bubble wrap.
These days, people do more with bubble wrap than just insulate items they're shipping. It's been used for making sculpture, for pranking, for making prom dresses, for dancing on and yes, it's very often used by those who just enjoy popping the bubbles. There's even an iPad and iPhone app that allows you to virtually pop the addictive stuff.
You say there's a better product out there for packing and shipping? Foam peanuts? Pish tosh. Ever try to pop a foam peanut?
Yeah. We didn't think so.