25 May 2011

Knowing Your History on Twitter

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a smart dude.  He is the host of NOVA scienceNOW, on PBS.  So, he is a really smart guy, check out his wikipedia page.  Anyways, I follow him on twitter because I like to get some insight on science stuff.  In theory, this makes me smarter...okay, seem smarter.

During the space shuttle launch, Neil tweeted facts and up to the minute reports on the shuttle.  This morning he tweeted about President John F. Kennedy's statements on sending a man to the moon.  Of course, I replied back...with my vast knowledge of history.

Go Flames Go!

"I believe the Flames committed themselves to win the cup for Lanny...went to Montreal and return to Calgary as the only team to win the Cup on Montreal ice."  Not sure how he felt about me comparing a mission to land on the moon, to the Flames winning a Stanley Cup.  I have done neither...and there is a chance that neither would ever happen again.

May the Force be with you, always
I would say that Star Wars was a pretty important space (film) project...and pretty impressive to mankind.  Just look at the nerds out there.  I think it is safe to say that most of the scientists and technology at NASA were influenced by Star Wars and Star Trek.

Lesson for the day, if you want smart tweets, follow Neil deGrasse Tyson...if you want smart ass tweets, follow me.

UPDATE:  He is tweeting some great information while the shuttle is making its way back into orbit. With tweets like this:
Just an FYI: To land, Space Shuttle Endeavour must lose all the energy of motion that it gained during launch.
Shuttle takes 1/2 of Earth's circumference to drop 200 miles out of the sky. Slowing from 17,200mph orbit to 220mph landing
 I told you this guy is smart.

16 May 2011


Funny that I have not received a call from these terrorists since the report of the death of Osama Bin Laden.  Clearly this is proof that telemarketers are somehow linked to terrorism.   I guess it took a while, two weeks, for them to get organized. Well, guess what America...the terrorists are back. 

Yes!  I am aware that there is a possibility that Homeland Security maybe tracking my blog.  Good!  They can use my list of numbers to trace these terrorist cells.  My only hope is that the Navy SEALS can put an end to telemarketers.

16 May 2011 
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  You may recognize that number, they called twice last month.  So, this is number three.  Remember, the number of calls to beat is eight.  Fun Fact:  In the past month, there have been six searched for this number on google that lead here.  See, I am doing my part to end terrorism.

17 May 2011
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  Closing in on eight, this is their fourth call.
   401-856-9077  Newport, RI  I hope they did not change numbers or agencies.  It would be tragic if Martin, ND did not break the record.

18 May 2011
   401-856-9077  Newport, RI  Oh, no.  I think Martin, ND has changed their number...oh, but wait.
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  Call number five.  I have hopes that they can break the record before the end of the month.  Although, Newport, RI could be closing in.  This could be an exciting race.  Stay tuned.
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND  Number six.  Looks like they are trying to break the record, TODAY.

19 May 2011
   701-625-5444  Martin, ND Number seven.  One more and they tie the record.

14 May 2011

First Game Back

Of course, first game back since my injury...and I get another cool scar.  At least, I hope it is another scar.  I ran into two people while playing.  Picture below happened in the first when I collided with a player, his helmet hit my chin and I think his visor hit my collar bone.

Hockey injury...or shaving mishap
For a moment I thought there was serious injury to my collar bone.  Good thing it was just a scratch.  I did not realize until the third period that I was bleeding from the chin.  My jaw kinda hurts, I think I got rocked pretty hard.

13 May 2011

Old Locker From School

Around this time of year is graduation and senior show.  I graduated ten years ago, and I try to go to the senior show...just to see how they compare to me a decade ago.  It is always interesting to see what the students can do when they are not tainted by the corporate world, still fresh and hungry to design.

One thing I always want to see is my old locker.  I spent a lot of time at school, in the same room for three years.  I had two lockers.  The first was number 101...Depeche Mode, duh.  Had that during sophomore year.  But the second one, the one I wanted was number 99.  This was my locker for junior and senior year.

Label still there, after 12 years.
What surprises me as I revisit the school no and then is, the label I put on my locker is still there.  Right above the 99 is GRETZKY.  Funny, I put it there in 1999...also, the year Gretzky retired from hockey.  I remember watching his last game in the studio down the hall.  Like I said, I spent a lot of time at school. 

So, after twelve years, it is still there.  I decided to take a picture of if before it comes off.  You can see the upper right corner beginning to peel.  This was also a great opportunity to take my weekly scar picture.

Through the years, I have left many marks at the school.  I even did two Fine Art installation pieces.  One was called "Sandwich".  I hung a sandwich outside the window.  There it stayed until it rotted...or was eaten by birds.  I have a picture of it somewhere, will have to find it and show you.

Another I simply called "Pear".  Inspired by "Sandwich", I hung a pear outside the window on a long string.  We were on the fifth floor, I hung it straight down till it dangled between two windows.  There were people on the third floor that would see it occasionally.  Why occasionally?  The wind would blow and it would just swing side to side, against the building.  The pear would rub against the rough outer walls of the building and it left a nice arc of pear residue.  Awesome!  After a while there was only the string, but the arc of pear residue lasted for months.

Yeah, quite proud of those.  Unfortunately, I did not have a camera back then, no mobile phone, either.  There are no pictures, that I know of, of "Pear".  Speaking of tech stuff, it seemed that every student at the show had either an iPad or laptop computer.  Where do kids these days get that kind of money?  Meanwhile, I used one x-acto blade per semester.  I would sharpen my blade on sandpaper when it got dull.  I also built my senior thesis model from bits and pieces of plastic that people threw away. 

07 May 2011

I Peed It Out

This way more information that you need.  Feel free to not read this post.

I went pee-pee this afternoon and the kidney stone came out.  There was obvious blood in my urine...like a light raspberry iced tea, instead of regular iced tea.  I did not feel it come out, but using the strainer, there were obvious foreign objects in my urine.  I guess passing it is the painful part, peeing it out is not that bad.  Not that I want to go through that again.  In the strainer was blood clots and the stone itself. Why do they call it a stone?  It was more like a grain of said, no bigger than this:  o. But, you can totally see that it was a hard little pebble.  Looks like a medium size grain of sand.

Yeah, I kept it in case the doctors want to analyse it.  My 'flank' still hurts, as does my back.  Hopefully, that was the end of it.  Amazing that such a small piece of mineral deposit caused that much pain.

06 May 2011

CT Scan Results

Stargate or asshole?
I got my results from the CT (Computed Tomography) scans.

CT abdomen CT pelvis without contrast performed on 5/5/2011

Reason for exam:

Flank pain.


Multiple axial images were taken through the abdomen and pelvis without contrast.


The study is remarkable for mild to moderate right-sided hydroureteronephrosis.  I do not identify a stone on the exam.  The findings could be due to a nonradiopaque stone, recently passed stone, blood clot, or stricture.  If the patient's symptomatology persists a CT urogram should be performed for further evaluation.  Findings and further workup were discussed with [name of doctor] at approximately 10:30 a.m. on 5/5/2011.  The appendix is unremarkable.

The liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, and adrenal glands are normal. There is no evidence of left-sided hydronephrosis or nephrolithiasis.

Images through the pelvis are unremarkable.


Mild to moderate right-sided hydroureteronephrosis.  A stone is not identified.  The findings could be due to a recently passed stone, non radiopaque stone, hematoma, or stricture.  If the patient's symptomatology persists a CT urogram should be obtained.

Normal appearing appendix.
I would post images of the scan, but apparently, they are 'unremarkable'.

05 May 2011

Kidney Stone?

Woke up this morning, at around 4:30AM, in pain.  At first, I thought it was stomach problems...like diarrhea, but epicenter was not in the usual spot.  I figured, hoped, it would go away after I sat on the toilet for a while.  While I successfully extruded, the pain did not go away.  I even tried to throw up, thinking that would help.  I was only able to dry heave with some stomach fluids coming up, nothing chunky.   There was nothing I could do.  I rolled around on the floor, trying to find a comfortable position to lay or sit in .  No deal.

I just wanted to get back to sleep, but the pain, while not excruciating, was enough to keep my from falling asleep. When the wife woke up, she suggested that we go see a doctor.  Being the cheap ass that I am, I was willing to wait it out a bit.  She tried looking up symptoms on line and narrowed it down to gall stone, kidney stone, pancreas, or appendix.  I was thinking, why not throw in stomach cancer.  All things neither of us have ever experienced.  This is what you get when you have designers trying to diagnose symptoms.  Not smart enough for medical school?  If you can draw pretty pictures, go to art school.

The pain had radiated to my back.  The nurse at the hospital used the word 'radiated'.  Did you think an art school education would produce that word?  Now, I had pain in my abdomen and lower back (basically, on the other side), awesome!

After a few hours, she convinced me to go to ER.  Awesome, another trip to the hospital.  More crazy medical bills, yay!  And, more stress on the part of my wife, while I lay there with pain killers.  So, off to Little Company of Mary Hospital.  We go there around 7:45-ish, I had no clue what the time was.  This was a really nice hospital, way better than the one I went to when I broke my wrist.  I guess being a Catholic hospital has its advantages.  I wondered if they would reject me if I was not Catholic...or if you have to be Catholic to work there.  Anyways, nice hospital.  It helped that we happened to be there when there was no one there.  There was no waiting.  As soon as I walked in, they took my vitals and tried to figure out what was wrong with me.

We were lead to a room, where I stripped down and got to wear a sexy hospital gown.  They needed a urine sample, so I got to pee in a cup.  Easy for guys, must be a slight challenge for girls to do.  I was only able to provide a little sample.

Back in the room, I was hooked up to monitors, usual stuff.  I was also given the all important pain killer.  Within a few minutes, the pain had gone away.  Oh, the nurse, Megan, also took some blood and hooked my up the the IV.  The doctor came in and looked over me.  Still, had no idea what the problem was.  He said it could have been kidney stone, gall stone, or appendix.  Hey, the internet works...who needs med school?  Samples of urine and blood were taken to be examined to better diagnose my situation.  In addition, I would there would be a CT scan.

Sweet, new toy.  I have never been scanned by CT, I was kinda excited to have this done.  It is a big donut thing with a bed.  Sorta like Stargate...or an asshole.  The patient (me) lies on the bed, while the bed moves in and out of the hole.  Yeah, kinda sexual.  Inside the donut is a spinning magnet, I guess all sorts of tech stuff goes on...like I said, just like Stargate.  During the scanning process, I was asked to hold my breath.  I wish I got to see the photos.

Now the waiting game while the scans were being reviewed and my bodily fluids were being analysed.  There was a TV in the room, so I got to watch some pretty bad weekday morning stuff.  Good thing the pain medication was working and I was able to nap a little.

A few hours later, they came back with my report.  Everything looked normal, they did not find any stones in my kidney.  I must have passed it and it is somewhere along the way to the bladder.  So, a little piece of calcium caused all that pain, lame!  I guess the good news is, it was nothing major.  No need for surgery...although I would love to have a titanium kidney.  How awesome would that be?  The doctor prescribed me some pain killers, vicodin,  in case I experience more pain.  Which is expected until I pee out the stone.  He also prescribed Flomax, it helps one pee...a lot.  I am sure you have seen the commercials.  Normally, Flomax is prescribed to older people to help them pee.

You might be wondering, how do I know when I pee out the stone?  The nurse gave me a few strainers for me to pee in.  Pee runs through, rock stays.  Peeing for the next few days is going to be fun.   Before I was discharged the pain started to come back.  I was given another shot of the good stuff through the IV.  I love the cooling feeling of liquid flowing through my vein.  Imagine a hot day and someone takes an alcohol swab and traces your vein.  Now, imagine that on the inside of your vein.  Believe me, it is cool and refreshing.  It also makes you feel light headed...and that was pretty damn awesome!  Oh, and on the plus side, it also makes the pain go away.

We left the hospital around noon.  Time for food, I did not have breakfast...just in case I need surgery, and that whole stomach aching thing was not helping.

Yup, the Flowmax is working, I have to pee now.  That ends this adventure to the hospital...until next time.

EDIT:  I got a comment via email:
Im trying to comment on your blog, but damn firewalls wont let me know log in.
Heres my comment.
I had a kidney stone once! I drink very little water (I know I know) and I was taking some drug that caused them, so you needed to drink even more water. Which I didn't.
Hope you feel better soon.
Pee on, my friend.
Only peed once since I got back.  Oh, I should mention that they found blood in my urine sample.  This is a result from a stone rubbing against some of the plumbing causing it to bleed.  Hence, blood in urine.  Or, they mixed my blood sample with my urine sample.  Good thing they did not find urine in my blood sample.