Monthly Archives: April 2005

The newest Nelson

Cheryl Nelson, my daughter-in-law, was told, when she learned she was pregnant, that her baby would be born on April 29th. Since we found that out, we’ve also learned that the child will be a male, and recently, I’ve learned he’ll be named Connor Michael Nelson. So today is his arrival date, according to the projections by the gynecologist. Recently there has been some discussion of inducing labor today, but in her visit to the doctor yesterday, everybody agreed to give the natural process at least another week before taking that step, so young Mr. Conner gets to make his entry onto the world’s stage without having to be pushed from the wings … at least, for now.

Stay tuned to this space for the latest up-to-the-minute news. An announcement is imminent.

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Thank God It’s Monday

My slightly topsy-turvy schedule gives me a different view of Monday morning than most people have. For me it is the end of my week and ahead of me lie my “weekend” days off on Tuesday and Wednesday. And while it takes a bit of getting used to to have to work each week on Saturday and Sunday, I’ve come to appreciate this time-shifted work-week. I find it amusing and take some pleasure in thinking to myself, that as others are muttering “I hate Mondays” or thinking of this day as “blue Monday,” I am saying instead, “Thank God, it’s Monday!” Tell me there is no such thing as relativism!

This innocuous little example illustrates the difference our frame of reference makes in how we experience the world. Another impending one illustrates it further. By April 29th, Mike and Cheryl will celebrate the birth of their son, and my grandson, Connor Michael. When he arrives in the year of our Lord 2005, he’ll be starting out life in quite a different world than the one I started out in on November 7th, 1941. He’ll be a native-born Tennessean, not a transplanted Georgian as I am. Rather than growing up as an only child, as I did, he’ll be surrounded by three older sisters, Madison, Morgan and Kaitlin, a blended family constellation from his mother and father’s prior marriages, and in that regard, his experience of that will be far more common than it ever was in my day. He’ll come into the world as a citizen of the world’s only super power and a member of a nation where cultural values are becoming more conservative and more influenced by fundamental religious values. Perhaps he’ll grow up thinking that is a good thing, and in that he and I will disagree. He’ll take being connected to the rest of the world through the Internet for granted rather than seeing it as the marvelous phenomenon that I do. He and I will be related by blood, of course, but beyond that he might think of me as an alien being, just as his world will seem alien to me.

As I think about how different my grandson’s world will be from my own, I realize how infinitely wise and what a great blessing it is that life is finite. One can take only so much transition in a lifetime and by the time he reaches old age, leaving this world of constant change is the only relief that can be hoped for. I now understand to a greater extent than ever before why so many older people whom I have known have viewed the world as regressing. Just as I’ll rejoice in the beginning of my grandson’s life, I think I’ll welcome the end of my own, even if my body desperately struggles to obey the life-long imperative to resist its arrival. I celebrate life but also acknowledge the wisdom of death. Finite is alright as far as I am concerned.

Post Colonoscopy report

The colonoscopy was completed by noon today. I slept through the whole thing and feel no after effects, other than a little drowsiness that I took care of by having a nap when I got home. Mike was kind enough to pick me up and bring me back home after the procedure.

They found two polyps that they removed and sent to the lab for further examination. I suppose I won’t hear from them until I return for a follow-up consultation on Wednesday, the 27th. I’m sure I’ll post the lab report on them next week.

This examination, I learned at the hospital today, is something everyone should have beginning at age 50. If there are no indications otherwise, the next one will be 10 years down the road. I waited of course 13 years too long to have my first one, but at least I now have it done. I can honestly say that it was not at all uncomfortable having it done, since I was sleeping through the whole thing.

A day of preparation

Today I must prepare myself for my colonoscopy, which is scheduled for tomorrow morning, by taking nothing by mouth but clear liquids. I can have coffee, tea, broth, juices, Gatorade, and so forth, but nothing with any substance or bulk. Around 3 PM I must begin taking a laxative named Nulytely (4 liters worth of it), and then spend the later afternoon and early evening purging my bowels of their contents so that the doctor can inspect that during the procedure.

For those of you who are asking yourself why I am having this procedure, let me reassure you that it is done as a precaution that is appropriate to someone my age. Colon cancer is said to be the preventable cancer because one can have this procedure (the colonoscopy) and thereby identify early any potential problems.

One source says:

With colonoscopy, it is now possible to detect and remove most polyps without abdominal surgery. Colonoscopy is more accurate than an x-ray exam of the colon to detect polyps or early cancer. Frequently, polyps can be removed at the same time, a major step towards the prevention of colon cancer.

I have had no symptoms that have prompted me to get this done, save for the symptom of growing older. I just thought when having my annual physical last month that I would request to have this done, and my doctor agreed it was a good idea.

If I understand correctly today is the worst part of the whole procedure. That is, clearing out the colon by taking almost a gallon of laxative and suffering the effect of that is the most inconvenient and uncomfortable part of the procedure. Still I think it is worthwhile to do this procedure at least once and find out that all is well in my interior.

Corporate Gratitude

We hear a lot about corporate greed nowadays. You don’t hear much, though, about corporate gratitude, and I for one am pleased to see some signs of it turning up around the Internet.

Most recently, Google’s Gmail decided that the one gigabyte of space that they provided initially to get people’s attention and to attract them to their beta version of their webmail program wasn’t enough, so they doubled it and said they would be increasing it “to infinity.” Now when I log onto Gmail, I see the counter, ticking away the additional space as it is added. Nice!

Last night I was surprised as a second instance of this phenomenon of corporate gratitude showed up in my inbox.

When I joined Flickr back in November of last year and started storing my photographs there, I decided to take advantage of their “deal” on becoming a pro user and paid around $50 for a year’s membership at that level. It wasn’t required, because you can use Flickr without paying anything, but being a pro user gave additional benefits and storage on the site so it seemed like the right thing to do. Last night I came home to find an email from them that said essentially “thank you” for supporting us early, and in gratitude for that, we’re going to extend your membership from one year to two for the same price and we’re going to allow you to upload twice as much (2 Gb versus 1 Gb) each month. Their email concluded, “Thank you so much for putting your money where your mouth is and supporting us, even while we’re in beta. Your generosity and cold, hard cash helped us get where we are today.

Corporate gratitude. I like that in a company. Let’s hope it is the start of a trend that not only grows but spreads around the Internet and from there to other companies that do business in the brick and mortar world.

Update on my Procrastination

Actually, after installing Turbo Tax, I found it took me less than an hour and a half to enter all the information and file. So, true to my nature, I have completed the filing at the deadline, which only serves to reinforce my tendency to procrastinate. And I was right. I am getting a refund.

Some thoughts on Procrastinating

Since it is the April 15th deadline for filing my income taxes, I thought that instead of doing what I should be doing I’d make a post here on my blog about my tendency to procrastinate. There are certain pivotal moments in the year where this tendency becomes quite evident. Today is one of them, and Christmas is another.

I’ll be filing for a procrastinator’s extension on my income tax return. I’ve had all the materials assembled in a folder since about the second week in February and have put off getting down to the task of putting them into Turbo Tax and sending them off, not because I expect to have to pay any additional taxes (in fact, I anticipate getting a refund) but because I dread doing things that I must do. It’s a congenital deformity in my psyche, I’m sure. The fact that something must be done by a certain date seduces me into believing, or acting as if I believe, I must do it exactly on that date. I realize the fallacy of that thinking, but I seem powerless to resist it. ‘Taint something I’m proud of, but it is something I’m aware of after these many years of seeing it in action.

So now I must stop this doing-anything-but-what-I-have-to-do behavior and at least fill out the one page that I have to get into the mail before the deadline tonight, so that I can buy myself another 4 months in which to dread and obsess about my tax return. It’s interesting to contemplate what I might have accomplished during my lifetime if I had only done things I dread doing early and gotten them out of the way, but that just doesn’t seem to be my style.