Friday, November 28, 2008

SkyWatch Friday #20

A few nights ago I was out taking pictures and waiting for the sun to set. I caught a shot of these feathery clouds just before the sky turned dark.

To see more sky photos visit SkyWatch Friday.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Detached Retina (Update #7)

This morning I saw Dr. Wyant for a follow-up visit. It has been a week since my surgery and he was checking to see how things are healing. I have been having a little pain in the left eye ever since the surgery. It is about 2/10 dull throbbing pain. I also have some itching which is minimal and not very consistent. The other thing that is bothering me is the sutures that they put in to hold the lens are poking me in the eye - it has gotten better since the surgery but it is still there and is a little aggravating. I relayed all this information to the doctor and he went ahead with his exam. The eye is healing, the retina is attached and looks good and the lens is in place. He told me that everything was going as planned and that hopefully all my symptoms will decrease soon. He has me putting more of the eye drops in each day to hopefully take care of the inflammation and pain. I am following his directions and I still have at least two more weeks of taking it easy and the doctor still hasn't released me from work. I have another appointment on Monday, December 8, 2008 and he will decide if he will release me back to work and normal activity. I can't say that I am happy about two more weeks of doing nothing but since everything is healing I guess it will all be okay in the long run. I'll write again in two weeks to let you know what is happening.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Creative Photography Contest #15 Week 4

I took this photo a while back. It was originally a tree in the fog and it had a ghostly quality to it. I used Photoshop to darken the tree and make it stand out more.

For more photos go to Creative Photography.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Olbermann: Gay Marriage is a Question of Love

Olbermann: Gay Marriage is a Question of Love
Everyone deserves the same chance at permanence and happiness

By Keith Olbermann
Anchor, 'Countdown'
updated 7:13 p.m. MT, Mon., Nov. 10, 2008

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.
And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them—no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?
I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage. If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?
What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.

You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.
But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

SkyWatch Friday #19

I took this picture about a week ago. I was taken aback as the sky looked like someone had just painted a watercolor outside my window. This is one of the most beautiful sunsets that I have seen in New Mexico.

To see more sky photos visit SkyWatch Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Senior Moment

A friend of mine sent me this email today with the attached news article. I really got a kick out of it and I really needed a good laugh to take my mind off of my eye surgery. Now lately I have been having my fair share of senior moments but nothing this extreme and I hope it never gets this bad . . . but I do hope you get a laugh out of this just as I did.

Detached Retina (Part IV)

Yesterday morning very early I had what I hope is my last eye surgery. I also thought that this would be an easy surgery, but I feel that I am back at the beginning. I have all the restrictions that I had with the first surgery except for being face down. So let me get to the details.

Thomas and I left Santa Fe at 5:00am yesterday morning to be at the Albuquerque Ambualtory Eye Surgery Center for a 6:00am appointment. I checked in and got all the paperwork filled out and waited for the nurse to take me back to get prepped for surgery. I realized I wasn't as nervous as before (I guess that by the third surgery it gets a little easier - and I really trusted the team at AAESC). At 6:30am I was taken to the surgery prep area and had the normal things taken care of - vital signs, drops in the eyes, IV started and the eye that was having the surgery was marked. And then I was taken to the operating room. At this point I don't remember much. I do remember the Anesthesiologists coming in to start to put me under. Now I wasn't completely knocked out. I had what is called conscious sedation - this type of sedation induces an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort through the use of pain relievers and sedatives. The next thing I remember is having a lot of pain. And I remember telling the doctor it was hurting (about 5/10 on the pain scale), and I remember the doctor telling me not to move. From here the next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room. At this point I was told that they had to put me completely out to finish the surgery. I guess I was moving too much and they needed to keep me perfectly still in order to get the lens in the right spot.

Once I was completely awake they sat me in a chair and called Thomas in to give us the instructions.
Just about the same as before . . .

1. Walk carefully, depth perception will be affected.
2. Resume usual diet and meds.
3. Percocet for pain as needed.
4. No vigorous or jarring activities.
5. Do not remove eye patch until next doctor appointment.
6. Do not get operated eye wet.
7. May do light reading and a little TV watching.
8. Follow up doctor appointment Wednesday, November 19, 2008.
So the nurse walked me out and Thomas pulled the car around. And we headed home. I was feeling a little tired but other than that it wasn't too bad. I decided to just go straight to bed and get some rest. I ended up sleeping for about five hours. When I woke up I was feeling a little soreness in my eye but it was tolerable. What wasn't as tolerable was the feeling of having an eyelash stuck in my eye. All I wanted to do was rub it, but I was told not to take the patch off and not to rub the eye. So I took a percocet and just tried to relax. Later I took a bath careful not to wet the eye and went back to bed. I slept on and off all night - that "poking in the eye" feeling was really annoying. I couldn't wait to see the doctor in the morning.

My appointment was at 8:40am and it wasn't coming fast enough. I wanted to find out if things were still looking good and I needed something done about what was in my eye. They call me into the exam room and take the patch off - that helped a little, and they started to check my eyes. My vision is already a little better and my eye pressure was fine. So I was a very happy little boy - I still just wanted this "poking feeling" to go away. Anyway, they dilated my eyes and sent me back out to the waiting area to wait for the doctor. Ten minutes later I was back in the exam room and the doctor was doing a more complete exam. My retina is attached and looks good and the lens was in place and here is where I found out what was poking me in the eye. Apparently when they sewed the lens in place they left one suture just a bit too long. The doctor said he couldn't take the suture out or cut it so he decided to give me some ointment to help ease the discomfort until the sutures self dissolve. So it turned out to be all good news. He even told me I could work on the computer for short periods at a time. I am also unable to return to work for at least two weeks and maybe longer. I made an appointment for next Monday, November 24, 2008 and we left.

I needed to get some prescriptions filled so we went to the pharmacy and got those meds and returned home. They had put all the drops into my eye at the doctor's office but I needed to add the ointment when we got home. Thomas helped me with that and then he went to his Dad's house to check on him and I went to sleep. I had forgot how much this surgery took out of me. I ended up sleeping about five hours. I woke up feeling pretty rested and the "poking feeling" was quite a bit better. I put in all my drops again and the ointment, put the patch back on and tried to eat a little. I wasn't very hungry but I managed a little bit of soup. I did a little work on the computer and then watched TV for a bit. I ended up falling asleep in the chair for a short period. When I woke up I dealt with the drops and ointment again. Now I am trying to get this blog written. I am really optimistic about everything at this point. I am hoping that my appointment on Monday will be more good news - I will keep you updated.

Detached Retina (Update #7)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Creative Photography Contest #15 Week 3

I took this picture while on a hike a while back. The pine needles against the vivid blue sky just caught my eye.

Creative Photography
For more photos go to Creative Photography.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

SkyWatch Friday #18

I took this photo while I was out for my evening walk. The sun was setting and was casting this lovely pink glow on the clouds.

To see more sky photos visit SkyWatch Friday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Creative Photography Contest #15 Week 2

I came across this beautiful Thistle on a recent walk. I just love the way the purple looks like a crown or a punk hair-do.

Creative Photography
For more photos go to Creative Photography.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SkyWatch Friday #17

This is my first SkyWatch Friday. I picked this picture that was taken at Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, NM in early September of this year.

To see more sky photos visit SkyWatch Friday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day - November 4, 2008

Well I made my way to the polls this morning. I have been torn throughout this election and frankly I am glad that it is over. Tomorrow we can all move on and all those ads, phone calls and door-to-door campaigners will be history. I don't think I have ever put this much time and energy into researching an election. But I am glad I did - I feel like I made a very informed decision and I have an extremely strong feeling that things will change - and for the better. Obama wasn't my first choice in the primaries and when he won I wasn't sure if he would be the person I voted for today. Here is where all the research came in. I am not absolutely sure he is the right man for the job but with all the problems we have had for the past eight years I knew there was no way I could vote Republican. And after researching I came to the conclusion that with all the choices we had today (meaning all the Independents and Green Party candidates as well as the Democrat and Republican candidates) - he would be our best HOPE! Whatever the outcome is on November 4, 2008 it will make history! No matter what your opinion or political affiliation is I just hope that everyone gets out there and votes.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good-night, sweet prince . . .

. . . And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.
Horatio, act v, scene ii

November 5, 1996
November 3, 2008

For over a week now Thomas and I have been dealing with some health issues with Boudreaux. He had several visits to the vet and he even stayed a couple of nights. He had a large growth on his right front leg that the vet called a nerve sheath tumor. They checked him for other tumors and didn't find any. So we were given the options to deal with the tumor and we gave them a lot of thought. Not only did we weigh our options we looked at Boudreaux's overall quality of life. For a little over a year now we have been noticing quite a few changes with him. His eyesight and hearing had deteriorated considerably, he had no ligaments in his hind legs and he was also becoming incontinent. With all these problems it was hard for us to make a decision with the options given us by the vet. Here were our options: 1) surgery to remove the tumor [with the understanding that there were considerable nerves and blood vessels in the area and there was no guarantee that they could remove the tumor]; 2) leg amputation or 3) euthanasia. Obviously, we chose option 3. We felt that with all the other things going on that he would have had a hard time with the amputation and even if they could of removed the tumor it would have probably returned in six months. After talking to the vet and to each other and spending time with Boudreaux we chose to make him comfortable and to let him go. It wasn't easy, but as I watched my Sweet Prince drift off to sleep I knew he was in a better place. Thomas and I have been concerned for over a year now that he wasn't the energetic, happy dog we had raised. He slept most of the time and rarely left his kennel. Even though he has only been gone a few hours the house and our hearts already feel empty. We already miss his scent, grunts, groans and snorts. He was a wonderful companion and was a big part of our family for twelve years. He will be greatly missed. Good-night, sweet prince. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.