Sunday, February 05, 2023

Nothing to Say First Part of February… So Rambling Away I Go…

One of those weeks where I cannot think of anything to write about, so I see this as being a rambling post for this Sunday update. Let’s see where this takes me as I write.

We are already five days into February 2023. Hard to believe that January has come and gone. With Carrie being in the hospital in January (see Not a Fun Start to 2023), that made the month fly by and not in a good way. She finished up her last IV appointment this past weekend, but will be taking antibiotics orally for the next two weeks. She is doing well and I appreciate everything who has asked about her status since I did the update a few weeks ago on her hospital stay. Carrie and I will be happy once she is off of the antibiotics and the infection is completely gone.

Now that we are into the month of February, I find myself starting to wonder about our camping sites for this year. We have not made any plans, but we have begun to think about spots. We have thrown out the idea of visiting a camping site near an away football location for Washburn next Fall, but still discussing to see what would make sense and whether it would work out. I think we want to try some new places for our camping sites, but no decisions made yet. Hoping by March we will have some sites booked and planned out for the summer.

In about a month, we will have March Madness, but still a lot of basketball to play before the madness begins. We continue to enjoy attending home Washburn basketball games. We are 8-2 at home, but 1-8 on the road. We missed a few home games when Carrie was in the hospital, but we have been back to the most recent games. Our next home game is February 11 and only three more home games for the season for Washburn.

Kansas Jayhawks have been frustrating to watch here recently too. We lost three games in a row a week or so ago and we were swept by Iowa State this season. KU is 18-5 on the season but 6-4 in conference play. Frustrating to watch at times, but still a lot of season to play.

Baseball season is right around the corner. Recent news from YouTube TV is that MLB Network is gone from the service. While we have not had Royals broadcasts in a few years, I was able to watch MLB Network or even subscribe to MLB.TV through YouTube TV to watch games, but all of that is gone. Contract disputes between MLB and YouTube TV have the service removed. 

I have read a few thoughts from others that they think it will be renewed as Spring Training begins, but guessing that is not the case and lose it completely. While it makes sense it would be removed around this time as it was added a year ago at this time just before Spring Training was starting. I am surprised that only a one year contract was done between the two entities. Granted, I will be able to watch games that are on ESPNTBS, etc., but it was nice to have all the games (except my local Royals) to watch.

I would be remiss if I did not share that the Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl a week from today. I am a bit superstitious, so it will be interesting as we lead up to kickoff next week for the big game. Yes, I realize what I do has no impact on the outcome, but it makes me feel better and connects me to the team. So, get ready for the big game and hoping that two weeks of being off will give time for us to heal and be ready to play.

That is all the rambling I can do for today, so have a great week. 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Have You Had Your Colonoscopy? Get It Scheduled. Not As Bad as Others Have Told You… Get It Done!

It’s s official. I am old! 

I had my first colonoscopy this past Thursday. I was not nervous to do the procedure, but nervous for the preparation for the procedure. It is nothing to be concerned about for the process or the procedure. 

The preparation started two days before on Tuesday evening when I took four laxatives at 4 pm. That night I did spend some time in the bathroom, but again, it was not bad. I did decide to work from home on Wednesday as I was not sure what to expect. Not a bad Wednesday either although good to be close to the bathroom. 

I started the process of trying to get the colonoscopy scheduled back in October or so. I am not sure if the doctor was backed up (no pun intended) or miscommunication with my doctor and referral, but it took a while. Finally, in December I was able to confirm an appointment for January 26. I was all set and ready to go through the process.

As the days led up to the date, I heard from family and friends about how awful the process was and what they went through. Good news is that my friend, Brenda, had shared with me who to go to here in Topeka that she had used and it was not bad at all. I got a doctors referral to use Dr. Challa here in Topeka. While it is a two day prep, I would be drinking Gatorade with the mixture. So, Brenda was right that it was not bad at all.

All that was needed for preparation was purchased over the counter. Again, I had heard others tell me that was the worst part drinking prescribed power with some people telling me they had to force it down. I had no issues with the following:

The Dulcolax I took four two night prior to my scheduled appointment. The day prior, I took Dulcolax again at 4 pm and then followed it by drinking MiraLAX and Gatorade combined for 64oz that I had to finish before midnight. As I mentioned, the process was not bad at all other than having to drink 64oz of Gatorade, the process was not bad at all. Usually, I would have no issue drinking a lot of Gatorade, but doing so when have to do it during a certain amount of time did make the last glass or two take a while to go down. 

I went with the Cherry Flavored Gatorade. I had to stay away from red or purple. I also had to stay away liquids in general. One day out and it was an all liquid diet through the day. I stuck to Sprite, Jello, and Chicken Broth. I was surprised that I stayed content through the day and had no issues with being hungry.

The morning of my appointment, I could not eat or dink anything. I was able to brush my teeth. My appointment was at 9 am. I checked in and it was over before I knew it. I was told they found some polyps and I would need to have another one in three years. Awaiting the results from the tests that will take two to three weeks to process.

The basis of this story is to share how easy the process is and that I should have started this five years ago. It was the recommendation to do this at 50, but the recommended age has dropped to 45. If your family has a history of colon cancer, get your appointment scheduled and get it done. It is not bad and can help to keep you healthy.

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Not a Fun Start to 2023 with Carrie Being in the Hospital from January 8 - 18… Out and Recovering with Daily IVs

I am providing the following summary of the past two weeks with permission from Carrie. 

Flowers Carrie Received in the Hospital
Flowers Received in Hospital
What a start to 2023 and not so good kind. After returning from Texas the first few days of January, Carrie was not feeling well. She had mild temperature every night, pain, and just not feeling great. The mild temperatures and discomfort continued through January 7. We talked about going to the emergency room (ER) on Saturday, January 7, but decided it might be something else that was causing the discomfort, so we gave it another day. I went to pick up some medication Sunday, January 8 that Carrie requested, but with no changes throughout the day, we decided to take her to the ER Sunday evening.

When we arrived at the ER, Carrie still had a fever and could not sit down in the chairs in the waiting room due to the pain. We went back to Stormont Vail Health hospital because she had surgery there back in the middle of December. Once they got us into a room and did some tests, the decision was made to check her into the hospital for the night. 

Carrie Showing Off Two IV’s While in Hospital
Carrie with Two IV’s
Carrie would remain in the hospital for a week and half. She was not released until Wednesday, January 18. Carrie had an infection which was caused from surgery back in December when she went in for an operation. She had a bad infection that can sometimes occur during an operation and caused her to be in the hospital for the first part of 2023. Carrie had an IV in her arm the entire time she was in the hospital. For a few days, she had an IV in each arm as she was receiving antibiotics that could not be mixed and had to be in separate arms.

This was the first time either of us had to be in the hospital overnight. I am so glad she is out and recovering. I know she was in the best place for help, but it was tough seeing her in there when the pain was intense. Following her being released on January 18, she is doing daily visits to get an IV each day through the first part of February. She is wearing a midline IV that she keeps on until the treatment is completed the first part of February.

Paw Squad Visiting Carrie in Hospital
Paw Patrol Dog Visiting Carrie
While she was in the hospital, she was on the fifth floor which is the pediatric floor. Stormont Vail Health was packed when we arrived on January 8, so the only room available was the pediatric floor. All of the nurses were great! So nice and took good care of Carrie. They have Paw Squad which comes around daily to see patients and since Carrie was on the fifth floor, she was able to see the dogs too that stopped on the floor. 

I am so happy she is home and feeling so much better. Carrie, I love you!

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Twitter Turns Off Access for Third Party Applications to Twitter Since January 12, 2023 — Musk Take Over Causing Problems

Service Disruption Notice from Tweetbot for Twitter
Tweetbot Service Disruption
Since Elon Musk took over Twitter on October 27, 2022, it is really a struggle to remain a customer of Twitter. From allowing blocked accounts back on the service to the most recent issue of blocking third party apps from accessing the service. The whole take over by Musk has been a joke from the beginning with the tweet “Entering Twitter HQ - let that sink in!” At some point, it is hard not to think that he is trying to get rid of loyal Twitter customers. I have a few friends that once Musk took over Twitter, they left the service deleting their account completely. 

The most recent change on January 12, 2023 at 7:30 pm blocking third party applications might be the last straw for me. As of this update, it has been three days since third party Twitter applications stopped working with no information from Twitter on the matter. I have been a Twitter member since April 2009 with 656 people I am following and 661 followers. Not great numbers, but I have been very active at certain times of the year and I especially found it useful for sporting events.

I have used Tweetbot for a number of years and I like the app more than the Twitter app. The main point I like is that I can set my own feed and not have to do what Twitter wants with popular tweets at the top of my timeline. With Tweetbot, I see the actual flow of tweets from those that I follow. The past few years, Tweetbot had a subscription model for a small fee to receive updates which I had been doing. 

What a surprise on January 13 when I started up Tweetbot to find that it was not working. Then searching Twitter to find that it was a change Twitter had made affecting all third party applications using application programming interface (API) where all apps broke. With no news from Twitter, it has people wondering if this is another change by Elon Musk to force everyone to the Twitter application or site. Basically, the change being to not allow any third party applications to access Twitter. Bad idea! If there is not correction to this issue, I will leave and I think more people will leave Twitter Than we have already seen since the take over in October 2022.

Sad day to break such a wonderful social media application. Easy to share information, easy to follow, and fun to interact with others. No wonder people are leaving. I am interested what Elon Musk will do next to break the service or force people from the social media platform.

For me, I have started to use Reddit a lot more. I still enjoy the ease to post and interact with Twitter, but Reddit has a sub for almost everything and finding that it is fun to interact there with others on sporting events. So, I have not decided yet to delete my account, but I am certainly approaching this as my next action on the Twitter site going down the tubes.

What are you using for your social media platform? Do you still use Twitter? If not, why did you decide to move away from Twitter?

Sunday, January 08, 2023

Short Update with Other Odds and Ends Discussed

Augusta Vin Winery Selfie
Augusta Vin Winery Selfie
Not planning on a long update for today. 2023 has started and already eight days into the New Year. It is hard to believe! Carrie and I traveled to Houston, TX between Christmas and New Years Day where we had a great time. Ate a lot of great food, had some drinks, and able to spend time with friends. Oliver had a fun trip too as he went with us on the trip, but he got a little cranky after being away a week and not getting his full rest sleep like he does around our house. But, I think he had a good time seeing new things, playing with Corrie’s dog, and generally just new things for him. Granted, he likes to have his routine, so I know he missed our normal routines that we do each day.

Short update as this was a busy week starting up the New Year. I still have not started working out and while I think about it, just not motivated to start anything at all. Not great, but I do look forward to starting up biking and running again hopefully soon. I am thinking I will do another February working out, eating right, and no alcohol, but I will see how that goes as we get closer to February. 

That’s about all I have for this week. I will try for a longer update next week. Ready for another week of work and I cannot believe the spring semester is starting here in soon. 

Have a great week and I will talk to you later.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Happy New Year 2023! 2022 in Review and Looking Forward to 2023

Oliver Looking at the Back Yard
We did a lot during 2022. It was a jam packed year with traveling, some weight loss, eating, celebrations, and sadness. As I think about 2022, this is looking back at post posts from various months and looking to 2023.

I set out in January 2022 to read 20 books (see post) and I stuck to the plan. I recently finished twenty books and at the writing of this update I am at 24 books for the year. Officially the most books I have read in one year ever in my life. I am hoping to increase that number for 2023, but I am happy with what I accomplished for 2022.

Back in January 2022, we had plans to camp a lot over the warmer months. We were only able to fit in camping twice with one early in the spring and then our final camping trip in late October (see January post about upcoming tripsearly spring post, and October post). With everything planned for the year, we were only able to get the two trips into our plans. Hoping to increase our camping trips in 2023 and possibly work in some other states to visit on our camping trips too.

Sunrise in January 2022
I remained true to my plans for the year of working out and riding the bike. I kept it up throughout the year until our trip to Aruba in November at which point all working out has stopped. I plan to start it up again early in 2023. I looking forward to getting back at it and get back into the habit of riding, running, and going to the gym. Here are various posts from 2022 with updates of my working out, plans, and how it was going from month-to-month (see posts).

Carrie traveled down to Houston, TX back in June to visit our friend Corrie and her kids. She had a great time. While Carrie was away, I grilled out every night and had a good time myself (see post). After Carrie got back from Houston, we both came down with COVID (see post where we were both sick). During that time following being sick, I fell out of working out regularly but quickly started up again once I was back to 100%. That was our first time to get COVID and it sucked the life out of both of us. We were happy to be done with it and healthy again.

In July, I turned the big 50 and we had a big celebration in Fredericksburg, TX with family and friends. We had a great time. Read about our adventure in the August 7 post. On our way back from Texas at the end of July, we received bad news that Carrie’s uncle Robert passed away. He had been battling cancer and we received word that he had passed on our way back from Fredericksburg, TX. After we got back to Topeka, we had a few days and then headed down to Texas for his funeral.

I started Weight Watchers in August and it went well until November, but as I mentioned earlier, we are planning to get back on it and stick with it in the new year. I really do feel better when we are eating well, so anxious to get it started again. 

Oliver Wanting to go Outside
September 21, 2022, Carrie and I celebrated our twentieth wedding anniversary (see post) and then in November 2022, we went to Aruba for the celebration (see post). We had a great time celebrating and looking forward to going back to Aruba or someplace with a beach, chairs, and the ocean. 

October 2022, the King Biscuit Blues Festival returned. Such a fun time with great music and good to see all of our friends. Read about our adventure in the October 2022 post. Looking forward to going again next year.

November and December seem like a blur. The days, weeks, and months flew by for the past two months. The whole year has flown, but November and December seemed like they went faster than all  the other months. Simply flew is all I can say. 

I appreciate you visiting my site to read my updates. I am happy that I have been able to post every Sunday for the past two years. I have not missed a week of posting with some weeks posting more than one post and others I get just the one post. I plan to continue this for 2023 as I find I like to go back and review what I have posted in past years. I also am going to try and take more pictures to use for these updates as Carrie and I do various things throughout the year. 

Have a Happy and Safe New Year! I will talk to you in the New Year!

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022! Have a Happy and Safe Christmas!

Carrie and John at White Linen for Dinner
Christmas seemed to really sneak up on me this year. Like the year flying by, the holiday got here quick and we are celebrating Christmas 2022. Wow! Looking forward to being with family during the holiday weekend. We had a wintery mix with cold temperatures as we headed into the holiday weekend.  

Back in April 2022 I won some auction items at a Washburn Athletics fund raiser and we were able to take advantage of one by staying the Cyrus Hotel in downtown Topeka. We were able to take Oliver, so he was able to enjoy the time in the hotel. Since we were downtown, we wanted to have dinner at White Linen and we were able to go with Greg and Erin who had not been there until this visit. We went to the hotel Thursday afternoon and had dinner that evening. We had a wonderful time and it was so good to eat dinner and then head back to our hotel room to relax. Oliver loves hotels, so he had a great time even though it was bitterly cold outside, he did his business quickly so we could get back to the room.

Christmas Eve we are in Lawrence to see my Mom and some family who will be able to make it in that day. On Christmas Day, we will be at Greg and Erin’s for the day. We were closed at work on Thursday do to the wintery mix that moved through. I find I am all mixed up on my days. It felt like Friday on Thursday and I am not sure what Friday felt like, but it certainly was not Friday. 

Have a happy and safe Christmas!