Old Coots’ Horseless Carriages

The government allows the daughter 6 pain-med infusion treatments a year, so they are 8 or 9 weeks apart. Any further than that and the treatment wears off, and her pain levels mount quickly.  My hour drives up the highway with her are always on Tuesdays, because that’s when the doctor schedules the clinic in the hospital.

Late in July, the doctor wanted to take some vacation time, and set up a clinic on a Friday, so that people like the daughter wouldn’t have to go a couple of extra painful weeks. This was the Friday of the ‘Cruisin’ On King Street’ annual old-car show.

After the hour drive home, I dropped her off at her place, and walked a block into the big park where they were marshalling the cars. I took along my camera, and took photos of some of the older vehicles that caught my attention.

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1931 Ford ‘Vickie’ Crown Victoria

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Late ’60s Corvette, blah in straight white, side scoop should be contrasting color.

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1932 ‘Deuce’ coupe cabriolet, (convertible/soft-top) an “any color, as long as it’s black” that Ford never provided.

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It was reported that a 1939 Ford truck was the oldest vehicle in the show….and yet, here’s a 1923 ‘Bucket T’ model Ford, but it’s a kit car, with Fiberglas body and all-new frame and running gear.  While the ‘model’ is ’23, the hot rod is 2007.

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Another Coupe, this one with hard-top and rumble seat, and hot-rod wheels.

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A 1939 red Dodge Saloon, looking very much like my ’39 Pontiac, but with custom wheels.

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Now, that shade of green, or the blue above, would complement that ‘Vette.

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A 1961 VW Bug, not even ‘hopped up’, just prettified.

Back in the 60s, car companies and individuals had ideas about ‘Cars Of The Future.’ A few of them worked out – most didn’t.  We actually went back to ‘cars of the past’ for a few.  The PT Cruiser was mainly successful, while the Chevy SSR car, and the HHR van/truck didn’t fare as well.

Here are four 1960s artistic concept cars.

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A bit too Avant Garde, but this concept became the Chevy ‘El Camino’ and the Ford ‘Ranchero.’

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The Corvette’s grandfather.  Look at the models in these photos, and the clothes, shoes and hairdos.  They certainly weren’t advertising to the oil-soaked wrench jockeys.

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Somebody wanted to go back and recreate a 1923 T-Bucket Hot Rod with new engine and running gear. It was very much a niche market, and the private builders were more than enough to supply the market.

I titled my post a couple of  years ago, “Wasted Days.”  This day was definitely not a waste.  😎

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2017 A To Z Challenge – J

Challenge2017

When I was looking at others’ A to Z Challenge ideas, searching for inspirational prompts, I didn’t always read the complete posts. I thought it might be from a fan of legalization of marijuana, when I chose
JOINT SUPPORT,
as the title of the post for the letter

Letter J

The wife has tried for years to get knee replacement surgery. Her doctor asked her one time if she was a good Catholic, but her days of kneeling are long past.  Finally, she got referred to the Orthopedic Surgeon who replaced my left shoulder 10 years ago.  He now specializes in knees.

She was told that the first one would be about a year, and the second, six months after. Government funding cutbacks stretched the first to almost 18 months.  Despite hours of hospital interviews and paperwork, they still managed to f….oul things up.

Despite clearly marking that she was allergic to pineapple, they served her fruit salad for every lunch and supper – with pineapple in it. (I loved it.) One night, supper was sweet and sour chicken – with pineapple in the sauce.  She says that, without me bringing her fresh fruit and vegetables, and Tim Horton’s Tim-Bits (do-nut holes) and coffee, she’d have starved.  She lost almost 10 pounds in a 3-day stay.

She also impressed upon her surgeon, that she was allergic to the nickel in (surgical) stainless steel, and insisted that he use sutures, instead of the far more common staples. They still teach suturing techniques in doctor school, but her surgeon has never practiced much.  She had hoped for small, delicate stitches, perhaps in a soft blue silk.  Instead, he put in 18 big, ghastly, bride-of-Frankenstein’s turkey-trussers, with black fishing line.  Still, it healed nicely.

When I had my more complex shoulder surgery, the arm was put in a sling, and I was told not to use it for six weeks, as it healed. Only then could the long, painful process of stretching and strengthening rehab begin.  Knee surgeries have become so easy and common, that she was expected to get out of bed, stand and shuffle a couple of steps, the day after surgery.

I worried about the Princess and the Pea wife not doing painful exercises, but have been pleasantly surprised.  Although she had already been looking forward to having the second knee done, it’s possible that she’s not looking forward quite so hard now.

2017 A To Z Challenge – E

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I know that, according to my own, self-imposed schedule, I should have had a post composed and ready to publish today, about the letter

Letter E

Just about the time the daily A to Z Challenge bloggers were posting their offerings for the letter E, I contracted a case of 48-hour flu. By the time I got back to the computer, it was too late to acquire a list of possible theme words.  Between the virus-induced mental incapacitation and the lack of inspiration, nothing got written.

The situation was made worse by bureaucracy. One of the drive motors on the daughter’s power wheelchair seized, and Murphy worked overtime to ensure clerical catastrophe.  What should have been a (bad enough) two weeks inconvenience, has become more than three months of dragged-on denial of service, before the Provincial disability office finally decided that it’s too expensive to repair a 13-year-old chair.

New rules say that, since she doesn’t need it all the time, she can’t have a new one.  Now she has to break in a new case worker, and jump through all the hoops to find an acceptable handicap scooter, for which the Government will (eventually) pay monthly rent.  Winter cabin fever was bad enough.  Now, the nice summer weather is here, and she still can’t get outside and be independent.

Besides the afternoon-long, hour drive up the highway and back, for her anti-pain treatment, this means that I have taken her shopping several times, to the Farmers’ Market, twice to her dentist, once to the next city to pick up cheap, bulk, dog and cat food, and each week to a counselling forum which helps her deal with the physical and emotional problems of having her loving, supportive son 500 kilometers away.

Eighteen months after being told that the wait time would be 12 months, the wife was finally contacted by her orthopedic surgeon, (the same guy who installed my artificial shoulder ten years ago) and was told that her first knee replacement, the right, was a go.  This required two trips to the hospital to fluff their paperwork.  The first was a mere two hours, the second, an extended, four hour clerical comedy show.  At least it’s finally going ahead.  On June 27th, Hobble-Along Cassidy meets Dr. Stabby McStab-Stab in a dance to the death.

All of this means that, instead of having time to write my usual, knife-sharp, crystal-clear, diamond-hard posts which inform and entertain you, you are being afflicted with this whiny, apologetic, idiosyncratic, fogbank collection of Excuses, for my E contribution.

Thanx for your sympathy, and I hope to see you in a couple of weeks with something a little more solid, for the fabulous letter F.

A To Z Challenge – X

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I’m going to dip into the healing waters of medical treatment, and for the letter

Letter X

I’m going to talk about Xrays.

X-Ray

Once upon a time, Doctor Kildare, or Marcus Welby MD would hold your TV hand and solve your medical problems with a reassuring smile. More recently, Dr. House proved that a good doctor could achieve the most baffling diagnosis in a single episode.

THEN THERE’S REALITY

About a year ago, the wife developed a cough. Not a cold – a chronic, hacking cough.  After a week, she also got a sharp pain in the muscles of the bottom ribs, below her right armpit.  After another week or more, the cough was still with her, and the pain in the side got worse.  Neither of us was sleeping.

She called her doctor, and got an emergency appointment. He listened to her, (maybe) and told her to go for an X-ray.  The next day, Wednesday, I took her to the lab.  The doctor was to be faxed the results.  No call from the office on Friday, or Monday.  On Tuesday, she called the office, and the clerk told her that he had not found anything on the X-ray….and had gone on 2 weeks holidays.

The next day, the son dropped her off at the emergency ward at 8:00 AM. I didn’t get a call to pick her up, but went down after lunch to find her, and dug her out about 4:00 PM.

An eight hour stay, and, despite her telling them that the pain was in the muscles of the lower, right chest, they insisted on taking another X-ray, to check for a heart attack.  When that showed nothing, they wanted to do a CAT-scan, to check the lungs, but she’s allergic to the dyes that they’d use.

They decided, instead, to do a Gamma-ray scan.  This showed that, because of the pain, she wasn’t breathing deeply or strongly enough, and the bottom lobes of both lungs were developing fluid.  Not finding any cause for the sharp pain, they released her.

The next day, I took her to the ‘Medical Group’, for a clinic-style, first-doctor-available visit. We got a kindly, retired English doctor, recently moved to Canada, and willing to make a few bucks by filling in part-time for the likes of the one on vacation.

He actually listened to her, and quickly found the source of the pain by reaching over and palpating (touching) her, something that no doctor, nurse or technician had done. He wrote a ten-day prescription for a broad medication – something with a powerful painkiller, a muscle relaxant, and an anti-inflammatory.

He told her to take the pills, and wait another week and have yet another X-ray taken, and book an appointment to see him a couple of days later.  The pain quickly disappeared, and she (almost) stopped glowing in the dark.  When we went back to see him, he still couldn’t find anything in the results.  Of course not! It’s a soft tissue injury.

After three X-rays and a Gamma-ray scan within two weeks, it still took a British Marcus Welby-like fill-in doctor (doubly-named Dr. John Brodie-Brown), relying on his touch and intuition to solve the problem by treating the symptoms, rather than with shiny tech-toys.

A week later, I was reading the blog-post of a lady bicyclist. She wrote that she had developed the same symptoms as the wife.  A doctor diagnosed it as ‘costochondritis’, an inflammation of the nerves that control the breathing muscles.  It’s known, but not common, among people like bikers and runners, who gasp and pant for extended periods.

Even with the best of treatment, (Which very few of us ever get) it is still often up to us to diagnose our own problems, and insist that we get full and proper care.  😯

Flash Fiction #124

hospital

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

THERE’S MANY A SLIP

It wasn’t much of a fall, almost artistic, like a failed ballet step.  One little icy sidewalk patch – and suddenly he was down on his ass, examining it close-up.  He even got an ambulance ride to the hospital – and a $75 invoice.  A taxi would have been cheaper.

Tests, tests, and more tests! X-rays, CAT-scan, MRI….he almost glowed from all the radiation.  A couple of days recovery, and he would be allowed to hobble home.

He hadn’t thought his brother would even bother to visit. Someone needed to teach him flower protocol.  Lilies are not appropriate for a bad sprain.

***

Go to Rochelle’s Addicted to Purple site and use her Wednesday photo as a prompt to write a complete 100 word story.

 

Busy Brains

Brain

The Explanation

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.

People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains, scientists believe. Much like a computer struggles as the hard drive gets full, so, too, do humans take longer to access information when their brains are full.

Researchers say this slowing down process is not the same as cognitive decline.

The human brain works slower in old age, said Dr. Michael Ramsay, but only because we have stored more information over time.  The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more.

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.

It is NOT a memory problem; it is nature’s way of making older people do more exercise.

***

A Catholic Priest, a Baptist Preacher and a Rabbi all served as Chaplains to the students of Michigan University at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

They would get together 2 or 3 times a week for coffee and to talk shop.  One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard, a real challenge would be to preach to a bear.  One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment.  They would all go into the woods, find a bear, preach to it and attempt to convert it to their religion.  Seven days later, they all came together to discuss their experiences.

Father Flannery, with his arm in a sling, was on crutches and had various bandages on his body and limbs.

“Well,” he said, “I went into the woods to find me a bear.  And when I found him, I began to read to him from the Catechism.  Well that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around so I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him, and Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle as a lamb.  The Bishop is coming out next week to give him First Communion.”

Reverent Billy Bob spoke next.  He was in a wheelchair, had one arm & both legs in casts with an IV drip.  In his best fire and brimstone oratory, he exclaimed, “Well, brothers, you know that we Baptists don’t sprinkle!  I went out and found me a bear.  And then I began to read to my bear from God’s Holy Word!  But that bear wanted nothing to do with me.  So I took hold of him and we began to wrestle.  

We wrestled down one hill, up and down another until we came to a creek.  So I quickly dunked him and baptized his hairy soul.  Just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb.  We spent the rest of the day praising God and shouting Hallelujah!

The Priest and the Preacher both looked down at the Rabbi who was lying in a hospital bed in a body cast & traction with IVs and monitors running in and out of him.  He was in really bad shape.

The Rabbi looked up and said, “Looking back on it, . . . circumcision may not have been the best way to start.”

 

Twisted, Sister

I am attracted by clever twists in the way words are used. Here are some examples.

  • Atheists can’t solve exponential problems because they do not believe in higher powers.
  • An invisible man married an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.
  • Alcohol and calculus don’t mix. Don’t drive and derive.
  • A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to hospital. His grandmother telephoned to ask how he was. A nurse said ‘No change yet.’
  • A noun and a verb were dating, but they broke up because the noun was too possessive.
  • A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

***

Speech pathologists do it orally.
Flutists do it sideways.
Electrical Engineers do it in parallel.
Mathematicians can do it at any angle.
Potato farmers do it with appeal.
Computer scientists simulate it.
Hackers do it when the system goes down.
Submariners do it deeper.

***

Helping your father

A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

“You look hot, my son.” said the cleric. “Why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand.”

“No thanks,” said the young man.  “My father wouldn’t like it.”

“Don’t be silly,” the minister said.  “Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water.”

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset.

Losing his patience, the clergyman said, “Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

“Well,” replied the young farmer, “he’s under the load of hay.”

***

Nonconformists are all alike

***

We have enough youth,
how about a fountain of smart?

***

WARNING – You are about to exceed the limit of my medication!

***

Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country
are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It’s
the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity.
But then … we elected them.

***

A Texas girl and a woman from New York meet at a
party. The Texas gal says, “Hi! Where y’all from?”

The New Yorker sticks her nose in the air like
she’s checking for rain, and replies, “Where I
come from, we don’t end our sentences with a
preposition.”

Texas gal says, “Fine. Where y’all from…bitch!”

***

Thank God for the IRS. Without them I’d be
stinking rich!

***

Why were there only 49 contestants for the “Miss
Ebonics U.S.A.” Pageant?

No contestant wanted to wear the banner that
said “Idaho!”

***

If at first you do succeed, try not to look astonished.

***