Saturday, June 30, 2012

My vacation didn't cost me an arm and a leg, just a leg.

So I ended up taking another week off after my vacation week. I went to the doctor, had an x-ray and an ultra sound both which were negative save for some mild arthritis which I never noticed. The swelling didn't go down but my leg was feeling better until I went back to work on Tuesday. Just standing up for 8 hours put too much strain on my upper leg as I tried to compensate. I went back on Tuesday and after 6 hours I just couldn't take it anymore. I told the powers that be that I needed to see an orthopedist.

Here's an update. I started the above two weeks ago. I have seen an orthopedist and am going back on Thursday July 5th. I have worked half days as it becomes too much to work more than 4 hours. It is getting better but it still is bothersome to do anything outside home for any extended period of time. I proved that last Thursday when I went to a Red Sox game. I went in by train because I wasn't going to pay those licensed thieves $40 to $50 to park my car (pahk my cah). It wasn't that long a walk from the subway station but I had to stop and rest about half way. It was a nice day and I've had the tickets since March so I wasn't about to miss it.

Bottle of water outside the park $2.00. Inside the park $4.00. I had  cup of beer, $8.75. What a racket! The Sox ended up winning 10 to 4. We left earlybecause not only would you have to deal with the ball park crowd on the subway but the rush hour crowd as well. It still wasn't very pretty.
The view from my seat.

The wind up...and the pitch.
This is the first batter for Toronto. He flew out to left field.

This is Dustin Pedroia of the Sox. He ended up walking here.
This is actually before the game started. We were looking for our entrance gate. This wasn't it but they would have been very good as you are facing home plate. This is the ballpark's 100th anniversary and they are not shy about promoting it. They are top notch hucksters. Not only is the food and drink the most expensive in the major leagues, but you can buy all sorts of memorobilia from a... I'm going to finish this in big print.  
As I was saying in the caption, you can buy a bat autographed by a Sox player for $399.00.  You can get a Red Sox 2007 World Series ball with 24 players autographs for a mere $3,399.00. You can get an autographed player print for $699.00. As I said they are promoting the hell out of the 100 year anniversary of "America's most beloved ballpark"  How do they know this? You can get a red clay brick with a personalized message of your own inscribed on it and placed in the floor where the food and drnk area under the grandstand. I saw then there and I guess it's kind of neat. (Did I say neat?) I did a bit of reserch on the web and found the average cost of a red clay brick is $0.67 to $3.50 depending on size. The Red Sox are selling them for $250.00 or $475.00. They come in two sizes. But listen for that kind of scratch you also get an exact replica for your home. They even throw in a "complimentary display case". I'm sure it's made of the finest plastics. Still when you get down to it, they are basically selling you two bricks for either #250.00 or $475.00. It's just a brick.

One reason for my absence from Blogger is this computer game a friend lent me. It's a strategy game. Not a race or shoot 'em up. It's basically a world domination game. I was hooked. It took me a few games to get the idea on how it worked. Once I understood it better I finally did it. I went to the end of the game and won. I should mention I had it on the easiest setting. Still it took me a week and a half. Apart from working 4 hour a day shifts for the last week and a half I have done nothing but play this game. It was an obsession. I won it on Saturday morning before my shortened evening shift.

So the leg is better but far from right. I am looking to get another week of half shifts. I'm still on light duty and should be for at least another week. Well that's it for now. It's getting late and I'm tired.

I'm outta here.    

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Vineyard part two.

Growing up I don't think I was even aware of the existence of Martha's Vineyard. I suppose it was just an idyllic little place known to local New Englanders who found it a nice little getaway that's not too far from home. I don't know if it was the filming of the first Jaws movie or the fact that a couple of Presidents chose to vacation there but it has grown as a tourist attraction over the years. I myself first gave thought to going there only a couple of years ago. Until then I was only aware of it when President Clinton stayed there for a bit back in the 90's. One day it suddenly hit me. Here's a place that's not all that far away and if you go before or after the summer rush is relatively inexpensive. I would never go there in the summer because 50 to 75,000 people invade the place during the summer. I have a friend who lives on Cape Cod and I have been there many times during the summer and it's just a mass of people. Fortunately after he moved there he knew all the back roads so getting around wasn't that much of a hassle. I would go there for the weekends to fish. Strictly freshwater as there are many lakes and ponds. My late Uncle Sam had a place on the upper Cape that we would go to when I was growing up. It's taken me a lot of years, plus getting a camera to appreciate all that I have around me. For years I just took it for granted. Yeah there's a lot of history. Yeah there were and are many firsts that happened here. Sure it's a major educational and medical center. It's also crowded with a screwy road set up that certainly contributes to our reputation as notoriously bad and or rude drivers. As a local I can tell you it's true. I do feel bad for out of stater's who come here and try to get around. It's pretty bad sometimes. Still if I want to getaway,  say Cape Cod or the islands, it's an hour and a half drive and a 45 minute ferry ride and you're in a different world.

Despite my injury, which will eventually heal, I enjoyed my stay on Martha's Vineyard and wouldn't hesitate to go back in the fall. I even decided before I left that I would take the plunge, literally, and go for a swim in the ocean. I haven't done this in 35 years or so. I didn't own a bathing suit so I grabbed a pair of shorts as a substitute. I should have inspected them before I packed them. When the time came to hit the beach, I went to put them on and discovered that the zipper was broken. I didn't want to walk down to the main drag and pay $20-$25 for a bathing suit so I could spend an hour in the water. I decided to put a long t-shirt on and take it off (the t-shirt that is) when I got to the beach. Fortunately at this time of year there aren't many people on the beach. The last thing you want to hear is,"The Buick is out of the garage." Of course my lady friend thought this was hilarious. I guess it was. I decided it was time to brave the water and a certain amount of embarrassment and take the plunge. The water was surprisingly warm, relatively speaking, 55-60 degrees. Normally, minus any storms the ocean around there is quite calm as it was when I went in. I stayed in about 15 minutes realising that after all the years I still knew how to swim. An luckily for me there were no embarrassing incidents when I came out of the water, if you know what I mean. I went back again the next day, the day of my injury, and went in again. Sea water can only help.

As of this writing, I can get around OK. It only really hurts when I get up after sitting for a while. Once I work the kinks out I can walk around fairly easily though I do have to be careful and breaking into a trot or run as I do on occasion is definitely out.
Below are 4 videos from my 5 days on the island.

 So to wrap all this up, I would say learn to appreciate where you live. The fact that while I was on the island I saw license plates from New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Nevada, California, New Jersey, Florida, Alabama and the rest of the New England States tell me how special this place is.  Enjoy the uniqueness that the place you live has to offer. I have grown to really love where I live in the last few years. I have learned to appreciate what makes this state and the surrounding states special to me. Despite the high cost of living, the infuriating road structure, the sometimes not so nice people, the high taxes, and way too left leanings of politics, this is a wonderful place to live and I am fortunate to live here. Thanks Mom and Dad for choosing Massachusetts and the Boston area when you left the old country to start a new life in America.

I'm limping outta here.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Martha's Vineyard May 29-June 2, 2012. Beautiful weather and an injury.

A fishing boat heading out past a rising sun.
Yeah it's been a while (again) since I've been here (Blogger). And yes I went to the Vineyard again. The weather was wonderful except on the day we left. The remnants of a hurricane in the Atlantic began to make it'd presence felt on last Friday as it churned up the normally placid surf however the weather was still beautiful with temperatures in the low to mid 70's. That was not the case on Saturday when we left. The winds had picked up and it was raining. The water was so rough that we couldn't take the ferry from the Oak Bluffs pier as all it is is a long walkway on a bunch of pylons. The ferry would have smashed up against the pier and destroyed it so we had to take a cab to the town of Vineyard Haven 3 miles away. Vineyard Haven has a natural harbor and the waters were much calmer there. We didn't get to do everything that we wanted because I injured my left leg on my daily walk to the seashore for sunrise (at about 5:10 in the morning. How did I injure my leg you ask? On Thursday morning after taking many shots of the sun coming over the horizon I decided to walk along the sidewalk along the shoreline away from where we were staying just to see what I could see. As I went along the beach ended and a sea wall grew taller and taller as the water reached large boulders and rocks at the base of the wall. As I went along the wall got shorter as more beach appeared in front of the rocks then it grew again. I reached the end of the wall but couldn't go down to the shoreline as this is protected land. I had walked maybe a half a mile to a mile from where the hotel was. I decided to go back. At this point the wall was about 8 or 10 feet high. As the wall sloped down again so that I could see over it I slowed down scanning the area for picture possibilities. I moved slowly along the wall, elbows on the top with my camera in position to take some pictures. As I went along I never saw a drainage hole at the base of the wall. It was oblong in shape sticking out from the wall on the sidewalk. It was just a little bigger than my shoe and I stepped right in it right down to just above my knee. Mega ouch! I have a lovely scrape on my left calf just below the knee. That's the least of my injuries. I have either torn a ligament or hyper extended it. I have just returned from the doctor. I had an x-ray, the results I won't find out until tomorrow (Tuesday). That is if I get this published today (Monday). If I don't publish today, then I won't know the results until today, which in reality will be tomorrow. I have just confused myself but you know what I mean. The doctor was also concerned about my lower leg being swollen. There was a possibility of a blood clot. I was sent to the hospital for an ultra sound. Fortunately there is no blood clot. However my experience  was interesting. I had to remove my pants to put on two of those lovely flower patterned hospital johnnies. One to cover the front and one to cover the back. I was then told to go and wait in a small waiting room. So there I sat in a room with three other fully clothed people. I tried to remain nonchalant by grabbing a magazine hoping to be called soon. By the way, if you can be nonchalant, logic would tell me that you could also be chalant. I mean the concept chalantness would appear to exist. If you can be nonchalant then by extension you can be chalant. OK I have digressed. I get called into the little dark gloomy exam room. I lie on the table as instructed and told to pull up my johnnie. Though I know what the lady meant but it still sounded a bit strange to me. She starts groping around and then says, "You're going to have to remove your shorts because I can't get my transponder into your groin."
Though I was a little surprised by this statement, I complied and said, "You don't know how long I waited to hear a woman say that to me."
At least I got a laugh out of her. As I said, fortunately there is no clot. Then I had to go back to the doctor to get a note to excuse me from work. So I have another week off, though not under the greatest circumstances and I have to admit that I do feel guilty about it but then again I will be losing another week of vacation time. There are parts of my job which are pretty physical and I could really hurt myself, so it is what it is.

So, where was I? Oh yeah! On vacation. My injury curtailed a few plans. We were going to go to Edgartown because it's beautiful and because there is a lovely bookstore there and we could take a very short ferry ride to the infamous Chappaquiddick, which is now an island. There there used to be a strip of land that connected it to the Vineyard but it was washed away during a storm some years ago.
That's all for now. I'm tired and hungry and I have to rest my leg.

I'm outta here.