Friday, October 31, 2008
Great day today. Now let the Flyers and Phantoms be next to get rings this season. :)
I just got a combo binocular/digicam yesterday, but the only batteries we had in the house were kinda old. So I won't rely too heavily on it. However, if it gets pics before the batteries go kaput, they're gonna ROCK. So cross your fingers. ;)
I thought I'd fresher battries @ the CVS at Broad and Hartranft, but that was before I saw the line to get IN the store was half a block long. Then I thought, "Nah, nevermind."
The flatbeds are headed here even as I type, but the progress seems slow. I think they're carefully picking their way through the immense throngs in the parking lot.
The procession is passing Broad and Oregon and it's just before 2 PM.
The crowd's getting pumped up now. A few sections are trying to start the wave. It keeps fading, though, because they keep trying to go counterclockwise. That's the wrong way, LOL.
Ha, I just photographed the helicopter that's showing the Linc on TV.
By the time I reached 18th and Hartranft, about 4 blocks from Broad Street, I could clearly hear the crowd. When I got to Broad Street, I was amazed by the size of the crowd. There was not a square inch of empty sidewalk. Given that this was where the floats will turn to go into tbe CBP parking lot, I should've realized the intersection would be mobbed.
It's 1:22 as I type, and the procession has reached Broad and Reed. So they're officially in South Philly, but have a good 20 blocks at least to reach the Sports Complex.
Today's weather is *phenomenally* gorgeous. We couldn't have ordered a more perfect day from a menu. :) It's almost as if the weather is making up for the weekend monsoons. ;)
My fellow Flyers fan has absolutely stupendous Eagles seats. They're Section 130, row 6. That, as I discovered upon entering the Linc, is right behind the goalpost. Wow. :)
Let's see if I can post somme photos.
They have the parade coverage on the Jumbotron. The crowds in Center City are indescribably huge. If you have seen pics of the Flyers parades, this is comparable to that.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
And you know what? If I lived close to Broad Street, I'd be right the heck out there with them all.
Horns are beeping all over the place. If it was loud out there when we went into the World Series, that doesn't even begin to compare to the decibel level emanating from outside our house tonight. I am LOVING THIS like I can't begin to tell you.
Congratulations, Phillies! 2008 World Series Champions!
I was able to carry a load of laundry up from the basement without excessive pain. I think that's the first time since BEFORE I re-injured the knee in July that I can say that.
Actually, I'm not even sure when the last time was that carrying laundry up or down the stairs wasn't an ordeal. So getting that done today and having no negative aftereffects is a nice little milestone. :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Blah. Stupid weather. H3ll is trying to freeze over because the Phillies are this-close to winning a championship. That's the problem here.
Monday, October 27, 2008
The reason for this is that I only have one current-Phillies-red shirt left that's not in the hamper, and I wanted to wear it during tonight's game. To keep it clean until then, I decided to go with the old-school Phillies colors.
GO PHILLIES, and here's to seeing Philadelphia fans celebrating in profusion tonight, as well as for the forseeable future. :) We're sure to see plenty of old- and new-school Phillies gear, if things go the way we'd like them to.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Sheesh, I'm tired. Good night! Morning! Whatever! ;)
Now I'm up at MIDNIGHT(!!!) watching the Phillies/Rays game. Thanks to the monsoon we called our weather today, the game didn't start until 10 PM, Philly time. IN Philly. I've never seen anything like it.
Ooh, and Chase Utley just hit a home run! As my friend Josey says, "I'd like to Chase Utley". :D Woo hoo, Phillies take a 3-1 lead in the 6th!
Man. I have to interpret tomorrow morning. But I can't go to sleep because I'm too into the game. Eeee. Caffiene's going to be my friend tomorrow, I can tell. ;)
Friday, October 24, 2008
In other news, I had physical therapy on consecutive days for the first time. My Monday appointment got moved to Wednesday due to a migraine, and I had therapy on Thursday as well. Whew. That's not something I'd like to repeat unless it's absolutely necessary. I need the time to recuperate between sessions, if it's at all possible. My knee is cursing me up and down right now.
But the good news is this: the therapist heard the noises the knee makes today. He was stretching the leg, which is the final part of the therapy session before the 15 minutes of being iced down, and the knee put on a freakin' concert. (It doesn't normally do that during a stretching session.) So now he has a good idea of what's going on in there.
Oh, some good news on the therapy front: I've actually improved to the point where they've *removed* an exercise that I no longer need. My range of motion is good, thank heavens, so a particular exercise I was doing is no longer necessary. It's just the muscle loss that needs to be remedied now. One out of two is a good start.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
My response to the title was, "Where was this advice in 2001, when I could have used it?"
Then I clicked on the article. Clearly, it's not aimed precisely at my current or former demographic. Its advice included, "Get a girlfriend or boyfriend." Sorry, I think my HUSBAND would have had some justifiable objections if I'd followed that particular advice when I was downsized, or for that matter at any point since that time. LOL. :)
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I'm glad that the three suspects that they were tracking were arrested. If they are the guilty parties, I hope that they get the book thrown at them.
I am SO tired and, as usual after physical therapy, I am this-close to falling asleep. If I were to lie down right now, I'd be out cold within minutes.
But I am going to MAKE myself stay awake. First of all, I want to see the games. Second, I'm hoping that I'll be able to sleep at the same hours as normal human beings, something I'm still having trouble with even with the sleep meds, if I don't take a nap at this early hour.
GO FLYERS and GO PHILLIES!
In other news, today at physical therapy, I heard one of the patients that I've seen on a regular basis referred to as "Father ___". Turns out that he's the pastor and friend of my friend Betty. Dang. Small world. :)
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Even though this morning we had light rain in Philly, the weather was mostly cloudy with no rain in AC. The temperature was great -- nice and cool, and I wish we could have this temperature range all year.
We had a nice lunch at the buffet in the casino where our bus took us, and we took a pretty long walk on the boardwalk. All in all, as I said, a very pleasant day.
However, the agita we went through in trying to get home was enough to convince us to take the NJ Transit train to AC from here on out. Depending on whom you ask, the 5:15PM bus that returned to Philly either never showed up, or was 45 minutes late. All I know is that we were in line, along with a whole lot of other people, prior to 5:00 PM in order to get a seat on a bus that we expected to pull into the berth very soon. Ha -- no such luck. Two Philadelphia-bound buses arrived at once at about 5:40, and pulled into adjacent berths. We got into the one that pulled into the berth we were expecting the 5:15 bus to pull into. Therefore, we thought that we were ON the bus that was supposed to arrive at that time.
Long story less long: after the casino stop, the bus we were on made one other stop at the AC Bus Station before departing for Philadelphia. Hence, we didn't actually get onto the road for Philly until 6:00, 45 minutes after we'd expected to be en route for home.
When we arrived, Joe said something to the bus driver, because there had been neither an explanation nor an apology for the lengthy delay. The driver said he was on time, so I asked, "Isn't this the 5:15 bus?" He denied that it was.
So either our bus driver was trying to save face, or perhaps the bus that pulled into the adjacent berth within moments of the bus we took home was the excessively-late 5:15 bus. Or maybe the 5:15 just plain never freaking showed up.
Whatever the problem was, the solution is going to be that we'll take the NJ Transit train from Philly to AC from now on. No fuss, no muss, no standing in bus garages, for the better part of an hour, while being suffocated by diesel exhaust and smoke from nicotine-addicted passengers waiting in line.
OTHER than the trip home, however, I'd love to have a whole bunch more days like this one. :) It was nice to be with friends and get out walking around in nice weather.
(My knee feels the after-effects now, but oh well. The exercise was good for me and it was worth it.)
Monday, October 20, 2008
So Go, Dad, Go! He'll call me back later when there's no risk of getting paint all over the phone. :)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
That's disappointing, because it means I took my ibuprofen three hours ago, and have to wait another three hours before I can take it again. Yet, my knee hurts as though I haven't taken anything at all.
There may, however, be a bright side to this. The weather turned abruptly colder last night. It's entirely possible that this is weather-induced soreness, and not a failure of the ibuprofen.
If that's the case, then the bright side is that my knee has actually improved enough that I can discern weather-induced pain again, as opposed to just being this sore all the time for no obvious reason. (Well, besides minor details like surgery and arthritis. Don't cloud the issue with facts.)
I just have to keep reminding myself that when I dislocated the kneecap in 1994, I spent the first few months *wishing* that I only felt the level of discomfort that I'm in right now. As frustrating as this is to go through, the prior injury was a lot more frustrating for a far longer timespan. So I know that things could be far worse.
It figures. I finally find a niche, a topic to write about that's In Demand, so to speak... and it's only got one hockey season left to live. GRRR.
Depending on where the Phantoms land after this season ends and the Spectrum is shuttered (GRRR), I'll probably start another blog and put a link to it on here, and on the Final Countdown blog as well. The Final Countdown is about the Phantoms' final season in the Spectrum prior to the building's closing, and I'm going to restrict its content to that.
However, future years' blogs will possibly contain more game reports from my having watched games online, rather than attending all 40 home games in person (plus playoffs, if any). If the team moves too far from Philadelphia, getting to the games on a regular basis could be cost- and time-prohibitive. We'll have to see what pans out after this season, as there STILL has been no announcement made regarding what the team's going to do from 2009 onward.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
So keep on surfing, Dear Readers! :) It's good for your brain!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wait until the photos of the various intersections of Broad Street hit the papers tomorrow. On TV, they showed Broad and Pattison, and Broad and Snyder, and both of them are JAMMED with wall-to-wall Phillies fans. Heck, they showed an intersection in Mayfair (NE Philly, if my memory serves) and THAT was completely mobbed with Phillies fans. They're nowhere near the Sports Complex, but they're out there celebrating and going bananas, so it's not just a phenomenon that's caused by proximity to the team's home field.
OMG, Chickie's and Pete's is going insane. They're showing that on TV now and everyone is going cuckoo. I love it. :)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
It shouldn't be long now until we start hearing the horns beeping. :)
Congratulations, Phightin' Phils! Kick some American League butt! In fact, kick four wins' worth of American League butt and we'll celebrate with a parade!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I just bought myself a LOT more time with this camera, which I genuinely like and which I won't upgrade from until I can find something that has all the features of a prosumer camera. That's a class that's partway between a pro camera and a consumer camera, and it's a class I really don't think exists anymore. Camera manufacturers don't appear to offer equipment that's in that middle ground these days, and consumer-level offerings don't offer some features that I've come to rely on, so I'll stick with the camera I've got for now. And to my great relief, I don't have to worry about my either of my camera batteries suddenly quitting on me anymore. So this was a productive day.
I've been getting a lot of pain and discomfort emanating from behind the kneecap lately. The orthopedist called it "chondromalacia patella" -- deterioration of the cartilage that's behind the kneecap. I have a few other things that I would like to call it, but this is a family-friendly blog so I'll keep those opinions to myself. ;) To quote the doctor, it's basically arthritis in the knee. Phooey.
Now that they've added some new exercises to the physical therapy regimen, I'm using some of the same equipment that I used to use when I belonged to a neighborhood gym (which has long since moved away from the neighborhood -- I'm not even sure where they are now). The difference is, the weights I used to be able to use make the weights I have to use now look like nothing. Sheesh, there was a time when I could have exercised in my sleep with the weights I'm using now. :( But at that time, I wasn't in the immediate aftermath of surgery and I didn't have several years' worth of wear-and-tear from arthritis going on in the knee. It'd be nice to find that I can get back to the level of strength I once had, without dying of pain from the freakin' knee acting up.
But as a more immediately achievable goal, I'll settle for "I'd like to have the appropriate amount of strength and muscle mass in my leg", neither of which is quite the case yet. As of last week, there was still some remaining swelling in the knee and muscle-tissue loss, so I have some work left to do before I'm back in one (relatively) intact piece. I'm doing my best. But doggone, I'm sick of being sore all the darn time. I might end up asking the doc to switch my prescription to naprocen (from ibuprofen) after all. I'll give it a few more weeks, until I see the orthopedist again.
I repeat for the umpteenth time, "DON'T FALL." The aftermath is a great big serving of PHOOEY.
"Oh, yes, I'm the Great Returner",
Now I've got that song on the brain!
You should only see
What you've done to me
I sing it again and again!
Sunday, October 12, 2008
So when I saw Catherine walking up the aisle yesterday, being escorted by her brother, all I could think was, "Katie and John-John! OMG, they've grown up!" :)
God bless Catherine and her new husband Sean. I know she's a wonderful young lady, and I think she's chosen an extremely nice young man. I wish them all the best now and always.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Not only is it exhilarating to cheer like this, the noise level also helps the cats acclimate to the hockey season, which will soon be a fixture on our TV. :D
The not-so-hot news is, by the time I got done at physical therapy this afternoon, said durable-medical-goods provider was closed for the day. Drat.
At least I was able to copy their phone number and business hours down from their sign. I'll call them tomorrow and find out if I have to make an appointment to come in.
In other news, the next Give 1, Get 1 laptops, which will become available in November, will have the most current version of the Sugar user interface. Which reminds me, I really need to update MY laptop to a more current version of Sugar. I'll have to pencil that in for a day when I haven't already got something scheduled, though, because I want to have a block of uninterrupted time to monitor the goings-on with the update.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
If there's a dictionary entry for "An Officer and a Gentleman", it should simply bear a photo of Ben Stafford as its definition. He's one of the most genuinely nice people I've ever been fortunate enough to meet. I'm proud of what he's doing, but at the same time I'm scared to death that the world will lose a fine human being far too soon.
Be well and safe, Ben, and come home safely and soon! Countless thoughts and prayers are headed your way from Philly! And Trenton, and Yale, and Thomas Jefferson University, and anywhere else where people know you and are aware that you're headed overseas.
Stafford ships out
By WAYNE FISH
NEW YORK — This marks the second time the Flyers have visited the United States Military Academy at West Point while America is at war, but Sunday the seriousness of our nation's situation was brought to light in a personal way.
In an eerie coincidence, this was the same day that Ben Stafford, a former Flyer prospect who played 244 games for the Phantoms and is now an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, was deployed for service in Iraq.
Stafford, a Yale University graduate, gave up hockey in 2005 just after the Phantoms won the Calder Cup. A number of Stafford's teammates from that championship club are now on the Flyers.
He entered medical school but shortly after decided to enter the armed forces, much the way the late NFL Arizona Cardinal player Pat Tillman did. Tillman gave his life for his country when he was killed in combat in Afghanistan.
It's a similar bold, courageous move by the 29-year-old Stafford, one which draws both admiration and concern from his friends in Philadelphia.
Coach John Stevens and several of the players were able to talk to Stafford by phone on Friday, although the conversation was limited because the Edina, Minn., native couldn't divulge his whereabouts due to security concerns.
“You don't want to see anybody going to Iraq because it's a pretty dangerous place, but when it's a friend of yours it's tough,” said Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki, one of the stars of that '05 Phantoms championship club. “We talked about it a lot, but it's what he wants to do. It's his thing. He likes it.”
Stafford went into this venture with his eyes wide open, and his hockey-playing chums respect that.
“I am a little worried,” Niittymaki admitted. “You don't know what's going on over there or what's happening. But you have to deal with it and hope everything goes well.”
Riley Cote plays the role of tough guy in hockey, but he knows that in real life Stafford is as tough as they come.
“It's ironic that's what we were talking about [Sunday] at West Point [with a sports psychologist], comparing sports to war,” Cote said.
“They were telling us that being on a team and athletics prepares you for battle and that there are a lot of similarities — the discipline, the communication, the teamwork and all that.
“I know Stafford has that mentality. He does everything the best way possible. He was one of the most in-shape guys we've ever had in camp, and he's a fierce competitor. That's the mentality he has to have going where he's going. I have the ultimate respect for him as a person for doing that.”
Stevens always got an honest effort from Stafford while the two were on the Phantoms. The coach says Stafford has the right qualities for an officer.
“It puts things into perspective,” Stevens said. “Ben is a total low-maintenance guy who did everything right for our hockey team. When he gets his mind set on a mission or a goal, he jumps with both feet in.
“He had a real passion to join the Marine Corps, and he's doing what he wants to do. We support him and wish him all the best and we're thankful for what he's doing.”
While some people were caught off guard by Stafford's decision, Stevens was prepared.
“Everyone's initial reaction was a little surprised especially because he went into medical school and [it] had [been] a long process to get in there,” the coach explained.
“But I was one of his references to become an officer in the Marine Corps. After he explained his reasons for wanting to do it — he was a history major at Yale, he has strong beliefs in serving his country and he has such good team values — I knew he'd be great at whatever he does. You understand why he wants to do it and where he's coming from.”Wayne Fish can be reached at wfish@phillyBurbs.com. Read Fish's blog at blogs.phillyBurbs.com/wayne-fish.
October 6, 2008 7:05 AM
The computer in my car needs to be replaced. Given the age of the car, I have no idea what kind of expense we're talking about. The mechanic will do some calling around and get back to us later.
Blargh. I have a feeling this isn't going to be pretty. :(
-- prescription for a type of knee brace that will help the kneecap track properly
-- prescription for continuation of physical therapy
-- increase ibuprofen from 3x/day to the max of 4x/day (don't tell him, but I was considering doing that on my own)
Also, I asked for some specifics about the arthritis in the knee and found that it's "moderate, leaning toward severe". Farg. I was hoping that it was a bit less worn-and-torn than that in there. Then again, given the symptoms that have developed over the years, I can't honestly express surprise at that diagnosis.
-- Followup appointment in 1 month
I'm off to put ice on it again. I medicated at 9 AM and I'm still waiting for something resembling pain relief to result.(Or, and this is a scary thought, maybe this IS the pain relief and without the ibuprofen I'd be feeling even worse.) Either way, I can't take another ibuprofen for three hours. Hence, ice is my friend.
I guess I can call it a blessing in disguise that I had the knee-related mishap the day BEFORE the orthopedist's visit, and not the day AFTER.
Sunday, October 05, 2008
We had a nice time at the St. Nick's Italian Festival. Mark and I met up with Joe M. and John R. there. While we were there, we also encountered other friends, including FD and her husband -- she looked good, though it's clear that she's lost a lot of weight after the health ordeals she's been through. Also, we sat with Bob F. and Jim M., whom I hadn't seen in eons.
All in all, it was a nice evening. Oh, and by the way, it's not a contradiction of terms for me to have written "best Italian food" for both the St. Nick's festival tonight *and* for the festival two weeks ago at Annunciation.
The two churches in question are about four or five blocks away from one another, and nearly all of the vendors that took part in tonight's festival also participated in the St. Pio festival two weeks ago. So the same people making that "Best Food" for Annunciation were out there tonight making food for St. Nick's. :)
Let's just put it this way: if you really like Italian food, you need to make a pilgrimage to the ZIP codes of 19148 and 19145. You just do. There are all kinds of little Mom-and-Pop Italian restaurants around here that serve food that's out of this freakin' world. Some of those places provided the food at the festivals I attended, as well as the one at Epiphany (the next parish south of St. Nick's) last week which I was unable to attend.
So there you have it, foodies -- mark your calendar for our festivals in South Philly next October, or else track down the various vendors at their regular restaurant sites and sample their wares there. Either way, if you're a fan of Italian food, you'll be glad you did.
Great, now I'm hungry. I wonder why? ;)
Now it just hurts, period. Sitting, standing, moving, not moving, doesn't matter. Phooey. I may have gotten some of the soft tissue in there mad at me somehow. It's certainly nowhere near "OMG THE WORLD IS ENDING" pain levels, but it's there and I don't want it there.
Ice is going to be my friend for the rest of the day.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
If I can't have the Spectrum forever, and I can't have the Phantoms playing within walking distance of my house forever, then at least I'll be able to hold on to the memory of the Spectrum's final season.
Feel free to come along for the ride. Click here: The Final Countdown
My car won't run for any real length of time without stalling.
It hasn't run right since July, really, but since both our cars failed at once, but it had to wait because it's been an expensive few months. Mark's car had multiple issues flare up in succession, so each of those had to be dealt with, and while this was going on, our A/C died and had to be replaced. Also while this was going on, I had the surgery and couldn't drive for a few weeks, so at that point it didn't matter that my car wasn't usable.
But now I keep borrowing Mark's car a few times a week for doctor's appointments, physical therapy, and (though not in the last two weeks) trips to NJ to see the Flyers practice. It's time to get us back to being a two-car family again, since we're at a point where we actually do both need to use a car and the schedules are starting to conflict.
So let's hope that whatever's causing my car to stall is easily detected and won't break the fargin' bank. I want a new car, but that's not likely until next year at this point.
Friday, October 03, 2008
However, I had a hard time shaking off the drowsiness after I got up for good this morning. That wasn't something I hoped to deal with. Shoot, I deal with that issue WITHOUT having a sleep med in my system. But let's see what I feel like tomorrow morning, after I skip the percocet dose tonight. Maybe that will help matters.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Then again, this is nowhere near the level of pain I was in after the dislocated kneecap in 1994. So there's pain and then there's PAIN. Viewed from that perspective, I can't gripe too much.
I just took the sleep med the doc prescribed. We'll see how long it takes to act. Maybe I'll fall asleep soonZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...
Hee hee, just kidding. ;) Seriously, I hope I can get my internal clock back into the same time zone as everyone else around here lives in.
Good night! (I hope!)
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Click here: 6 Brainwashing Techniques They're Using on You Right Now
Anyone who wants to maintain any semblance of critical thinking, not just in the face of a media onslaught but at ANY time, needs to learn what those six brainwashing techniques are and how to avoid falling into the trap they set. The ironic thing is that some of those techniques are designed to make people think that they're not "sheeple", all the while dragging them right into the groupthink mentality and diverting them from thinking for themselves.
Don't let your mind get sucked into the morass. Think for yourself. And read the article to see some ways to recognize and avoid pitfalls.
Speaking of pitfalls... I slept through a time that I should have dosed with ibuprofen this morning. The end result was a span of 11 hours between doses, and I am still paying for the mistake hours after I finally medicated. Doggone. I can see that 6-8 hours is the most I should go between doses.
Geesh, I miss being able to take ONE ibuprofen in the morning and being done with it for the day. Looks like I'm not close to returning to that regimen any time soon.
To try and bounce back, I have a Pandora.com station with Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant as featured artists, and I'm playing that station for all it's worth. They combine Christian music with secular, but uplifting, music choices, so that station's what the doctor ordered at the moment. I just have to keep reminding myself that everything happens for a reason.
Hey, at least he was here at ALL during the preseason, and I got to see him practice AND play in a Flyers game. That's more than I was expecting.
Looks like it's time to start thinking "Road Trip", when Max gets settled back with the team we borrowed him from. My passport's ready, and I haven't had a non-working vacation since 2002.
Dang it, though... Max in Philly, with Neil as his goalie coach, would have been freakin' perfect. Really.
Thursday's going to be an insane day with appointments, but one of them is with my primary care doctor. I'm going to have a word with him about this accursed insomnia. There are ways to manage this, and flying solo just doesn't cut it anymore.
Oh, speaking of primary care docs: remember when my doctor's partner saw my baseball-bat cane and wanted one? He did, in fact, order one online. :) The baseball bat also was a big hit, no pun intended, when I went to physical therapy on Monday. I'm glad to be able to spread some humor, even about things as aggravating as mobility problems. Heck, ESPECIALLY about things as aggravating as mobility problems. Might as well find whatever amusement there is in any situation that were confronted with. It sure beats moping around having a pity party.