Chase after surgery

originally uploaded by Storming.

Here’s Chase after his surgery to fix his herniated diaphragm. He’s doing well now after three days at the vet clinic. Seeing him well made us realize how much didn’t look right before – his abdomen was too thin, his ears were back, his fur wasn’t shiney, … he’s looking much better now! Even without any fur on his belly!

He snapped at the vet and vet technicians the first day (which has to be the only time Chase has ever snapped at anybody) but he made up with lots of cuddling the next two days.

The vet said another day and he probably would have lost his small intestine. I’m not sure what that would have meant as far as his chances of making it so I’m glad it didn’t happen!

Diphragmatic Hernia

Chase buddy, our dog, needs all your good wishes.  He’s just been diagnosed with a Diaphragmatic Hernia.  There are two types of diaphragmatic hernias, one you are born with and one that is caused by some type of trauma.  In either case, it means there’s a hole in your diaphragm and your intestines come up into your chest interfering with your lungs and heart.  (It can happen to people as well as dogs.)

Symptoms we noticed were that Chase would not move, not lie down and not eat. He would sit rigidly for hours with a very curved back and he drank a little bit of water.  He also lost 12 pounds (20% of his body weight) in four days!  He still wanted to cuddle but he wouldn’t come to you.  He threw up all day on the 3rd day. 

We have no idea what happened to Chase.  We know it happened sometime Saturday while we were camping. The vet and the internet say a diaphragmatic hernia is usually caused by a car, a blow to the stomach or a fall out the window.  As far as we know none of these happened but he was tied up at our campground during the day without us. (He was tied to a post in our campground while we were on the boat.)

He’s going in for surgery right now and we should if he’s going to be ok in about 24 hours.

[3:24pm]  Followup: The vet said the trauma could have happened a long time ago.  Since Chase routinely jumps the fence, I’m guessing it happened on one of those excursions.

Monopoly uses credit cards instead of cash now

The latest version of Monopoly no longer comes with cash.  Instead it has a debit machine and a debit card for each player. 

So will it be teaching kids responsible credit card use?  Or will it no longer be teaching them how to count money, save and budget?  We’ve just started teaching our five year old about money (which brings up all sorts of issues and funny stories) and I hadn’t even imagined a world where kids skip the whole cash step!  Here I was trying to make sure I pay cash (not my normal mode of operation) for everything in front of him so that he can see I’m spending "real money."  Maybe real money isn’t cash anymore.

Gear Factor has a picture of the Monopoly debit machine.

Why you should not be dreaming about retirement …

Another good article on why we spend too much time thinking about what it would be like to not have to work instead of thinking about what we’d like to be doing.  Like I’ve said before, there’s only so much sitting on the beach I could do.   Why Even Thinking About Retirement Can Be a Bad Idea.

How many times have we all thought about how nice it would be to have enough money so that we would never have to work again? We think about all that we won’t have to do: We won’t have to get up early. We won’t have to go to work. We won’t have to meet deadlines. We won’t have to be stressed. Unfortunately, it is hard to find much fulfillment in what we won’t do. We can only find fulfillment and meaning in what we will do.

Dave discovered that quickly enough. Dick taught me that as well. You may well have too much intellectual curiosity and too much enthusiasm for life ever to retire. When and if that day comes, you might not be doing what you’re doing now, but you will want to be doing something that matters.

Forget about retirement. Forget about planning for it. Just find something that you love to do.

I think I’ll still strive for financial independence though.  That would give me a lot more freedom in picking the job I wanted.  You could stay in a traditional job, you could become a social entrepreneur or a full time student or …

Are you anal-retentive?

This blogger says you are organized if you know exactly where to find the following 31 items in your house. This Wednesday: a quiz–are you organized or disorganized?.

  •  stamps
  •  your passport and if you’re married, your spouse’s passport
  •  a corkscrew
  •  Bandaids
  •  a safety pin
  •  a flashlight
  •  a functioning alarm clock
  •  paperclips or a stapler
  •  your phone charger
  •  a spare set of keys
  •  your doctor’s phone number
  •  cinnamon
  •  your tax statements from 2003
  •  fabric stain remover
  •  a pair of mittens
  •  spare AA batteries


  •  a tape measure
  •  your high-school yearbook
  •  a Swiss army knife
  •  a pencil sharpener
  •  a copy of Pride and Prejudice or The Da Vinci Code
  •  the instruction manual for your camera
  •  silver polish
  •  a vase the proper size to hold a bunch of tulips
  •  food coloring
  •  a tube of lip balm
  •  a cheese knife
  •  an extension cord
  •  a recipe for a favorite food your mother or father used to make
  •  a pack of playing cards
  •  a pad of sticky notes (Post-Its)

I’m happy to say that I can find all of them except the four things I don’t own (Pride and Prejudice of the Da Vinci Code, silver polish, food coloring and the recipe) and I don’t know exactly where the extension cord is.  (I think I know where an extension cord would be but I tend to avoid trying to be involved in organizing the garage as then I’d have to be involved in keeping it organized and that causes my stress level to go too high.  Better to ignore it as best I can.)

The real question is, is it good to be that organized?  Does it make that big of a deal in your life?  Do you save lots of time?  Or money (from not buying duplicates or making late payments?)  Do I suffer more stress from things that aren’t organized (because of others around me) than an unorganized person does from not being able to find things?

Or, maybe the real question is, can you truely change your nature?  I can’t imagine being comfortable with being unorganized.  And I can’t imagine forgetting where the spare set of keys are.  I was quite upset a few months ago when they were removed from their standard spot and got lost.

How long do you keep your Netflix movies?

The Wall Street Journal has an article about an interesting phenomena that I’ve experienced – putting a movie on your Netflix queue and then keeping it for months because you never get around to watching it: For Some Netflix Users, Red Envelopes Gather Dust.  While it didn’t really explain why people do that, it did report what type of movies they do it with:

The researchers found that when people chose movies to watch the same day, they often picked comedies or action films. But when they were asked to pick movies to watch at a later date, they were more likely to make "high-brow" selections.

For example, the subjects were much more likely to select Steven Spielberg’s Holocaust survival drama "Schindler’s List" to watch in the future, rather than on the same night. "It’s a movie that’s really miserable to watch but you feel like you should watch it," said George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, one of the study’s authors.

Interestingly enough, Frank doesn’t have this problem.  He watches all our Netflix movies immediately.  I give him a hard time because watching the movies becomes almost like a "todo list action item" or a chore – one he never procrastinates on.  But we never have movies sitting around for months.   (He used to wait for me to watch them too but he’s given up on that and if I don’t watch it with him, he just returns it.  Which works for me!) 

I also do the same thing with books as I did with Netflix – I have several shelves of books that I think are worth reading but they aren’t easy reads and I never seem to get around to actually reading them.

I wonder why we do keep them?  Or why we buy/order them in the first place?


Jacob in his favorite outfit

Jacob in his favorite outfit
Jacob in his favorite outfit,
originally uploaded by Storming.

Orange shirt with red shorts. I know if it’s clean, he’s going to come out wearing it. I’ve even had to make sure it goes from the dirty clothes basket in his room to the laundry room or else it gets worn again and again …

Oops, Mom Googled Me – Los Angeles Times

A writer wrote a piece called "9 Tips for Surviving the Holidays at Your Republican Parents’ Home." and her mom just learned how to Google, tried googling her daughter and found it: Oops, Mom Googled Me – Los Angeles Times.

It struck a cord with me today.  Blogs aren’t diaries.  At least I don’t think so.  If I’m upset about something, writing it down helps, and since I tend to write things in a blog, my first instict is to blog about it.  However, every time I’m tempted, I remember who all reads my blog.  I don’t want an argument in the comments section of my blog.  I also don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings in a blog anymore than I do over email.  <satire begin> It’s much better to hurt someone’s feelings in person – then at least you can make sure all your comments, good and bad, are interpreted as you wanted them to be. 🙂 Or at least you have a better chance. </satire end>

I’ve even debated several times on starting an anonymous blog.  However, I resolved on two points:

  • I won’t blog on things I’m just upset about. That first writing should go somewhere else until I decide whether or not I really have a public point to make or a position to take.  Even an email to the person you are upset with is better than a public airing of the issue.
  • If I do have a public position to take, I don’t want to hide it from the people that read my blog.  What’s the point of sharing my political view with the world if I’m not willing to share it with or try to convince those closest to me?

Just my two cents …

Change is hard

I heard a great quote today:

people only change when the pain of the present outweighs the fear of the future

That’s so true.  And it explains why people stay in jobs they don’t like, meetings that have gone on too long (the fear of future is the reprecussion that leaving would have), etc.