A future visit with @neilhimself


Best-selling author Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself to the Twitterverse) is coming to town in July on a book tour. This is happening a week before my birthday, so my dear and lovely wife said that I could go see him as a birthday gift. Attending the event means that I will receive a signed hardcover copy of his new novel, as well as the opportunity to have up to two other Neil Gaiman titles signed.

This is incredible to me since I received, as a wedding gift, a copy of Sandman #50 signed by the author, P. Craig Russell. Neil Gaiman wrote the comic book series, and it was my first exposure to his work. Since then I’ve read many other books and seen other movies of his (as well as that episode of Doctor Who), followed his tweets and read his blog, but all that started due to my love of the worlds he created with the Dreamlord.

Our wedding was in August 1993, so I have waited a long time for this day to come. I had hoped for years that I might find some way to get it into Mr. Gaiman’s hands. With any luck, this will happen in July ๐Ÿ™‚

I have so many other items I might be able to being as a second item – a leather bound Sandman compilation (from another friend), a Sandman poster (from yet another friend), a hardcover copy of “Good Omens” (which he wrote with Terry Pratchett), an advance reader copy of his novel “Neverwhere” that I picked up from a free book pile at work… But I will definitely be taking the comic at a minimum.


A story about a dog


I dropped Michael off to Saturday school this morning as usual. On the way back, I stopped off at the grocery store and picked up a few things. I got home, and pulled up to the front door (since they’re doing all the construction in the neighborhood, we are using the front door). I got out of the car, opened the front door, and was met withโ€ฆ silence.

Now, we have a dog; a mini daschund named Willy. Daschunds are very barky dogs. This particular dog will bark any time either exterior door is opened. He will bark if you open the front door from inside the house – while he’s watching you open the door. For him to not bark in this case told me one of two things – either he was sleeping (not very likely) or he was up to no good (very likely).

In the living room, I see an afghan on the couch. This is not a good sign, because the dog is not supposed to be sleeping on the afghans. The dog knows this. The dog also ignores this. The dog will pull the afghan down from the back of the couch to accomplish this. I walk over to the couch, and put my hand on the afghan. It is still warm. “Bad dog”, I say. I briefly look for the dog, and find he is not in his bed or in our bedrooms. Smartly hiding, I figure.

I go to the kitchen, and start taking care of my purchases. Still no sign or sound of the dog. This is unusual, as the dog will always arrive in the kitchen shortly after a human does, begging for some of whatever the human is getting from the kitchen.

As I turn to leave the kitchen, freshly toasted bagel in hand, I hear the dog’s collar jangling from the dining room. I turn back, and find him slowly creeping out of his crate. He realizes that I see him, and quickly drops to the floor (granted, not very far for a mini daschund to drop), rolls onto his back, and exposes his belly to me, tip of his tail quivering slightly. It’s his standard “I was a bad doggy, but you love me anyway, right?” posture.

I remind him that he once again was a bad dog, and continue to the living room, breakfast in hand. The dog is quickly behind me, and quietly sneaks into his bed at my feet. I submit this photo to you as evidence of the accuracy of this story.

This is our storm drain


This is also every storm drain in our subdivision. Work has begun this week on upgrading the waterlines in our subdivision. In the process they have plugged every drain in the neighborhood with this sheeting – I would assume to prevent dirt and mud runoff into the drainage system.

There’s only one problem with that – it’s raining.

There are thunderstorms rolling into the area, and there’s more rain forecast for tomorrow. Our drains do a decent job of handling rainfall, but I don’t think they’ll handle it as well when they are closed. I’ve seen enough pictures of flooding north of us to be greatly concerned about flooding down here as well.

As I understand it, all of this work has been subcontracted out to other agencies and no responsibility will be accepted by the county itself. This would mean we would have to contact a third-party in the case of flooding.

This does not make me happy.

There goes that idea

Well, the PVCs are back, and as bad as ever. They are definitely timed to the stomach twinges, which really isn’t a surprise. If this is like the last time, my stomach’s really irritated and sensitive. It’s why I found out about them in the first place, after all. Blood pressure’s acting up, too. It went from 145 / 78 to 120 / 58 this evening. Definitely time to see the doc; calling them tomorrow.

Hypochondriac, heal thyself?

So I took my car in to the shop today to get a radiator leak fixed. While I was there, I happened to notice my pulse in my wrist. I could see a vein pulsing to my heartbeat… and pulsing… and pulsing… and, oddly enough, not showing any PVC symptoms. I continued to observe and realized I’d gone 35-40 heartbeats in a row without a PVC. Typically, I’d get one every six or seven beats.

This evening, I remembered to check in on this again, so I broke out the blood pressure cuff. I checked my pulse a half dozen times, and at no point in the testing do I or the cuff detect a PVC. This is very odd, as I haven’t have a pressure test since 2008 that didn’t have at least one PVC show up. So, this is good. On the other hand, every test also came back with my blood pressure being around 145 / 80, which is not so good. This could also explain other minor, annoying symptoms that have been more frequent lately, like leg discomfort and this odd twinging in my stomach.

It sounds like I finally get to call the doctor and check out their new offices come Monday. It’s probably been six months since I’ve been in to see a doc, which may be the longest I’ve gone since at least 2008.

EDIT: Well, crap. As I was siting here, I decided to take a good long check of my pulse, and after about 40-45 beats, I did feel a PVC. The sad part is that it also showed up at the same time as one of those twinges in my guts. It makes sense, since I hadn’t ever noticed the PVCs before I had that major bout of stomach problems in 2008. So, they’re still tied to each other, apparently. I’ve been taking Prevacid for a week now, thinking I’d done my stomach a bad thing again at some point with stress and heartburn. Sounds like I had the right idea :p Still calling the doc on Monday though, since it’s going on three weeks now with the stomach problems. A final BP check clocked in at 136 / 76, though, so that’s a positive thing.