November 2003 Archives

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November 29, 2003
Slogans Wanted

There has to be a way the Donks can blame this on Bush:

Woman Knocked Unconscious By Wal-Mart Shoppers
Witnesses: Shoppers Stepped Over Woman Having Seizure

ORANGE CITY, Fla. -- A 41-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and then trampled by a mob of shoppers who continued to step over her as she suffered a seizure during a Friday sale at Wal-Mart in Orange City, Fla., according to Local 6 News.

Well, obviously this never would have happened if the President hadn't cut taxes. If people would just let the government have more of their paychecks, they wouldn't have as much to spend for the holidays, and we'd never have to see this sort of tragedy again.

Now that the Bush tax cuts are setting the economy back on track after the recent slump (which I might remind you, gentle reader, began before he took office), and now that the general public recognizes that things are getting better, and now that people are actually going out to spend their own money, we can undoubtedly see more such frenzied shopping-induded tramplings, right? Right?

The part of my brain responsible for rhyming can't come up with any catchy slogan for the moonbats to shriek about this....

"Bush cut tax rates -- people in dire straits!"

Wow, that's incredibly -- even amazingly -- weak.

I'm open to suggestions. In the meantime, I'm going to go have more coffee.

(link via James at VRWC)

Posted by Russ at 11:48 AM | Comments (4)
November 28, 2003
Why Was He There?

This business about Howard Dean's late brother has me wondering.

Active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are upset over being forced take part in a military repatriation ceremony today for remains believed to be those of the non-military brother of presidential candidate Howard Dean, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

"His brother will receive full military honors...flag over the coffin and all!" fumes one soldier, who asked not to be named.

Governor Dean is set to visit to the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) and the repatriation of his brother to Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

The brother's remains were recovered in Laos by a JPAC recovery team this past month. JPAC's mission is to search, recover, and identify remains of US service members who were killed in previous wars.

During the Vietnam War, Dean's brother and an Australian friend treked into Laos as civilians -- and were captured by the Vietcong and killed.

JPAC was pressured to not only recover his brother's remains, but to bump Dean's recovery over numerous other MIA's who actually died fighting for their country, a well-placed military source tells the DRUDGE REPORT.

(Via the Drudge archives)

OK, I can understand the troops being unhappy about this. I'm none too thrilled by it myself. Military honors should be reserved for military personnel (or high-ranking government officials). But I have a question:

     What were those two guys doing over there?

I can think of only three types of civilians (other than the press) who might have gone to Laos in 1974:

  • aid workers, akin to the Red Cross or CARE,
  • sympathizers/supporters of the North Vietnam (read: communist) regime, akin to "Hanoi Jane" Fonda
  • drug traffickers.
Am I missing something here? Someone please clue me in.

UPDATE, 3Dec03: I have since been clued in. Apparently, he was there as a "adventure tourist." Which leads to the question, why would anyone think tourism in what was (for all intents and purposes) a war zone would be a good idea?

Posted by Russ at 02:10 PM | Comments (6)
I bring a message on behalf of America: We thank you for your service, we're proud of you, and America stands solidly behind you. Together, you and I have taken an oath to defend our country.
You're honoring that oath. The United States military is doing a fantastic job. You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country. You're defeating Saddam's henchmen, so that the people of Iraq can live in peace and freedom.
Each one of you has answered a great call, participating in an historic moment in world history. You live by a code of honor, of service to your nation, with the safety and the security of your fellow citizens. Our military is full of the finest people on the face of the earth. I'm proud to be your commander in chief. I bring greetings from America. May God bless you all.
I daily thank God that we have a President who is an honorable man, who genuinely cares for our troops (one of which, I might remind you, I used to be) and who has devoted himself to the protection and preservation of our nation, the "last best hope of Earth."

This is a President of whom we can and ought to be proud.

Posted by Russ at 10:18 AM | Comments (2)
Quote(s) of the Day
How anyone can argue in favor of being non-judgmental is beyond me. To say that being non-judgmental is better than being judgmental is itself a judgment, and therefore a violation of the principle.
The death penalty for the D.C. sniper was said to be because he "showed no remorse." When the law gives a price list for committing various crimes, why should there be a discount for acting ability?
One of the reasons psychology is so popular on the left may be that it enables them to do an end run around facts and logic, and attribute other people's disagreements with them to unworthy motives or irrational drives.
Thomas Sowell
Posted by Russ at 08:51 AM
November 27, 2003
Duck Consumed

I'm no master chef like Steve, but I have to say it: I do a mean smoked duck.

Turkey? Feh.

Posted by Russ at 08:01 PM | Comments (3)
Duckward, ho!

Oh, yeah, baby.

Duck in smoker

The duck has launched.

Posted by Russ at 10:23 AM
November 26, 2003
Last Masterpiece of the Year

Thanksgiving dinner. Mmmmm.... Mom makes the best T-Day meal ever made by anyone.

[Emerson's Second Law: "Mom" can be claimed to be the best cook in the world by anyone and everyone; everyone making such a claim is correct; there is no logical contradiction in the existence of more than one "best cook."]

It's a great meal, but I'm not there. So what do you do when you live alone in North Carolina and your family is on the other coast?

Yep, that's right. You break out the smoker.

A turkey would be too much, so I didn't get one. A duck, on the other hand... hmm... a duck would be just about right.

Heh. The duck is well on its way to being thawed.

Tomorrow is going to be a grand and glorious day.

Posted by Russ at 08:05 PM
Crappy Holidays

Oh, look. The junior Senator from New York is going on a little trip. The troops will, of course, obey their orders and attend events as directed, smiles dutifully plastered on their faces.

The last time our soldiers had a Thanksgiving this bad was 1950, when about a zillion frosty and irritable Chinese communist soldiers came pouring across the Yalu into North Korea to attack them.

Given my choice, I think I'd rather have faced the Chinese.

If nothing else, at least they made no pretense of actually caring about the well-being of our soldiers.

Posted by Russ at 09:07 AM | Comments (4)
Odd Spam

I have, over the past couple days, received the oddest spam.

There is no HTML or other code in the mail - just ordinary plain old text. (I read my mail, both personal and work, with mutt, which is a plain-text mail reader for Unix/Linux - hidden or obfuscated code in mail is readily apparent, and harmless to me.) (Yes, HTML mail is evil. Stop using it.)

There is no actual advertising in the mail. There's not a sales pitch of any sort whatsoever in it. Here is a verbatim copy of the latest:

Page 39
again. But there are other things besides burglars that are discovered in empty houses where lights are seen moving."

"You mean coiners," said Oswald at once. "I wonder what the reward is for setting the police on their track?"

Dicky thought it ought to be something fat, because coiners are always a desperate gang; and the machinery they make the coins with is so heavy and handy for knocking down detectives.

Then it was tea-time, and we went in; and Dora and H.O. had clubbed their money together and bought a melon; quite a big one, and only a little bit squashy at one end. It was very good, and then we washed the seeds and made things with them and with pins and cotton. And nobody said any more about watching the house next door.

Like I said, rather odd. I'm guessing that the body of the mail is an attempt to get past Bayesian filters. But no sales pitch? Weird.

The strangest bit, though, is that the "Subject" line of the mail contains my last name and one of my previous mailing addresses, followed by the only thing that indicates a spammish nature, the phrase "Preemptive Loan Statement."

I did a whois lookup on the sender's domain. Yep -- big-time spammers.

These spammers are getting to be pretty bizarre. I wonder if I'm paranoid enough. What I'd really like to know is: who sold them my e-mail and snail-mail addresses?

Death's too good for them all... but I'll settle for dismemberment if I have to.

Posted by Russ at 08:24 AM | Comments (1)
November 25, 2003
In Denial

Describing his book (with John Earl Haynes) In Denial: Historians, Communism, & Espionage:

One of the scandals of American higher education is that there are more than a few academics who are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers -- they defend Joseph Stalin, they defend mass murder and they ignore or distort clear historical evidence. And they teach at respected institutions of higher learning where their faculty colleagues politely ignore their views instead of treating them as the moral pariahs they should be.
Harvey Klehr, interviewed by Jaime Glazov.

Posted by Russ at 10:31 AM
November 22, 2003
My kind of Army

In this morning's episode of "Combat!", a private makes a rather boneheaded mistake, something he knew in advance he shouldn't have done, and as a result another private is wounded in a skirmish with the Germans. Afterwards, the private apologizes:

Littlejohn: "I'm sorry, Sarge."

Sgt. Saunders: "Shut up."

No "Army of One" touchy-feely silliness there. No protests about the soldier's feelings being hurt. No grief counselors, either.

This is how the Army is supposed to be. I wonder how much of the Army's senior leadership, like me, grew up watching "Combat!" in either primetime or syndicated reruns?

I wonder how much of the Army's junior leadership has never even heard of it?

Posted by Russ at 05:33 PM
November 20, 2003
Patton was right

My collection of historic US military rifles is one step closer to completion -- I've finally managed to acquire something I've been after for a while:

M1 Garand rifle

This, for the few unenlightened folks who might be reading, is the historic M1 Garand rifle, called by General George Patton "the greatest battle implement ever devised." I wouldn't dare argue with him.

My collection (such as it is) consists of "shooters", not pristine hands-off bits of not-to-be-fired hardware -- this one will get plenty of range time. I'm doing the "Happy Feet" dance in my mind.

[The above image was stolen shamelessly from Kim DuToit's Gratuitous Gun Pic page. I hope he doesn't mind.]

[I don't have the bayonet yet.]

Posted by Russ at 06:35 PM
November 19, 2003
Entertainment or News

Jack at Random Fate suggests that media bias is money-driven. Maybe.

Once upon a time, the News divisions of the TV networks were semi-autonomous departments that could operate in such a way as to actually try to tell important stories.

These old-style newsrooms consistently lost money. They were considered a "loss leader," I guess you could say. And then one day, some bright boy (no doubt with a newly-minted MBA) figured out that the News ought to be a money-maker.

Actual journalists of the caliber of Chet Huntley, David Brinkley or Walter Cronkite were phased out in favor of the pretty-boys (and girls) who could read copy on-air but who couldn't report their respective ways out of paper bags. It became more important that the on-air staff be "multicultural" than that they be effective reporters.

Is there a single TV station left in the country that doesn't have a female asian reporter? OK, OK, there are some, I know....

Now, of course, in order to rake in even bigger bucks, the News plays to the audience. Stories of real import are often sidelined in favor of whatever will bring in the ratings. The case of Scott & Laci Peterson would seem to be a case in point [though frankly I don't understand what compels people to be so interested in the day-to-day goings-on as to warrant hours of coverage every day. I just don't get it.]

I disagree with Jack, though, in that I think the slant of most news networks and the manner in which the stories are delivered is still mainly driven by left-leaning political bias. The evidence is undeniable... and the remarkable success of the Fox News Channel seems to me to indicate that consumers are choosing their news fare based on both the entertainment value and the perceived slant.

(Hat tip: Donnie of Ain't Done It)

Posted by Russ at 07:07 PM
Oooo, what a lucky man

I was going to say that, with the breaking news of Michael Jackson's legal troubles, that the "lucky" man would be Scott Peterson, whose notoriety is somewhat out of proportion to his alleged crime. The 24-hour-news-cycle can focus on someone else for a while.

Let's face it - your "average wife-killer suspect" [as if there were such a thing] does not get the kind of media scrutiny Scott Peterson has received.

I was going to say that Peterson would benefit from having the spotlight taken off him. Turns out that his lawyer, Mark Geragos, is also M. Jackson's lawyer.

So either there is an odd synchronicity at work here... or Mark Geragos is a dangerous man to hire as your lawyer.

Posted by Russ at 06:26 PM
National Ammo Day

Don't forget that today is National Ammo Day.

I got mine already:

Mission accomplished.

Posted by Russ at 02:55 PM
November 17, 2003
What gives?

OK, Blogrolling says they were the victim of a malicious hack.

I'm not sure what to think. I will go out on a limb, though: a defect in server software that allows an innocuous event to result in a system-wide failure can often be explained away as a hack/crack.

I suggest forbearance.

Posted by Russ at 11:22 PM | Comments (1)
Stand up

Hey. Accidents happen.

Shawn is a stand-up kind of woman. No ducking of responsibility there -- not that there is any actual responsibility to duck. Looks like a bona-fide accident.


Posted by Russ at 10:52 PM

Huzzah. Blogrolls seem to be alive.

Let's see if this holds up.

Posted by Russ at 11:33 AM

I don't know who "Laura" of "Laura's Blog" is, but it occurs to me that cracking Blogrolling is a remarkably bad idea. I sense a 'sphere-wide butt-kicking is about to be administered.

No, I'm not providing an actual clickable HREF link to the site - - but I'd swear I've been spammed from these "people" before.

[I use the word "people" in its broadest possible sense.]

[I'll give the folks at Blogrolling time to restore from their backups -- they had better have backups -- before I reconfigure my blogrolls.]

UPDATE: I'm tending to suspect this is something third-party-ish. Or maybe [probably?] a problem in Blogrolling's databases. There's a disclaimer up on the "Laura's Blog" site.

There will be a butt-kicking -- but let's make sure the right butt is the recipient.

Posted by Russ at 09:35 AM | Comments (1)
November 14, 2003
Korean Verbal Abuse

Jeff is a guy whose story rings wholly true to me - because I've been there.

I was stationed in Korea where, being a very tall person, I was always the object of much comment from the local populace. Usually, it was commentary on my size, added to the fact that I was one of those "big-nose Americans."

Being a linguist, I often could tell what they were saying. It was not, as I mentioned, always terribly polite.

Being an occasionally cruel SOB, I would occasionally turn to the commenter and, in Korean, ask "Why do you say such things?"

The look of shock, horror, embarrassment and sheer mortification on their faces was utterly priceless.

Heh. Heheh.

It made the 12 months of language school all worthwhile.


So I'm casting my vote in New Weblog Showcase for Jeff's Ruminations in Korea: A Blessing and a Curse.

Also worth noting is The Misleading Statements of a Misleading Misleader.

Posted by Russ at 09:56 PM | Comments (1)
November 13, 2003
I Need More Power Tools

My garage is full of power tools, but they're all woodworking tools.

I have to get my hands on some metal-machining tools now, of course. Because now I can make one of these:

M-60 Machine Gun

It seems that, in a rare moment of lucidity, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the "commerce clause" of the Constitution means what it says -- that activities not considered to be interstate commerce cannot be outlawed by Congress.

Like, for instance, owning a homemade machine gun. (Article here, PDF of the court's decision here.)

[Yes, yes, I know -- decisions of the Ninth Circuit don't apply to North Carolina. Just this once, though, I wish they did. And man, oh man, I loved my M-60 -- the best firearm Uncle Sam ever issued to me.]

Via Instapundit.

Posted by Russ at 07:40 PM | Comments (2)
Quote of the Day

The Dallas Morning News editorial page opines on PFC Jessica Lynch -- "she suffered for us."

That she did, and God bless that brave woman. But to paraphrase Gen. George S. Patton, wars are not won by suffering for your country; wars are won by making the enemy suffer for his country. It is dismaying to see soldiers who do the "dirty work" of war shunted to the side, while we immortalize a noble victim. A culture that lacks the stomach to honor its blood-stained warriors, men who do the killing necessary to defend it, is in trouble.
[Emphasis mine.]

After what she endured, is she a "hero"? I tend to think not -- she is, rather, a survivor -- but she is worthy, at the very minimum, of a great deal of respect for putting herself in harm's way on our behalf.

[Via Rod Dreher in NRO's The Corner.]

Posted by Russ at 04:31 PM | Comments (1)
November 12, 2003
Rich != Smart

George Soros is a barking moonbat. An extraordinarily wealthy barking moonbat, but a barking moonbat nonetheless.

"America, under Bush, is a danger to the world," Soros said.
"No, not the world, you knothead - only to our enemies," Russ said.
Then he smiled: "And I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is."
Well, it's his money - he can throw it down a rat-hole if he wants.

[That, by the way, is one of the main differences between Left and Right in this country - the Left would rather see that people didn't have the choice to financially support rat-holes - other than their own campaigns, of course.]

Soros believes that a "supremacist ideology" guides this White House. He hears echoes in its rhetoric of his childhood in occupied Hungary. "When I hear Bush say, 'You're either with us or against us,' it reminds me of the Germans."
Ah, how clever. A none-too-subtle "Bush==Hitler" reference. Never heard that one before.

[Student of history that I am, I could have sworn the Nazis were more likely to use slogans like "You're either with us, or you're dead."]

It conjures up memories, he said, of Nazi slogans on the walls, Der Feind Hort mit ("The enemy is listening"). "My experiences under Nazi and Soviet rule have sensitized me," he said in a soft Hungarian accent.
Allow me to call you an idiot, Soros, in my soft unaccented English: Idiot.

(Hat tip: Pardon My English)

Posted by Russ at 09:23 AM
November 11, 2003

I'm thinking back to my childhood, in the '60s. Even as young as I was, I knew it wasn't a time when being a soldier was something most people bragged about. Yet in the narthex of our church were displayed portrait photos of the young men of our congregation who had gone off to the military. I remember at least one of those photos with a black border around it -- a young man who would not be returning from Vietnam.

I remember being 8 or 9 years old and going out camping and shooting in the desert with my Dad and a dozen or so of his friends. Dad turned 18 in 1954 -- too young for Korea, too old for Vietnam -- but many of his friends were a few years older than he, and had served in World War Two or in Korea. I remember them as big men, like demigods.

I think of my Dad's friend Dick, who flew a B-29 bomber over Japan, who joked with me one day that in 1945 he had dropped bombs on the Mistubishi factory that made the car he'd just bought in the 1990s.

I remember my friend at the Defense Language Institute, whose friend & squad-mate was killed next to him in Grenada, and who cursed and cried every time he had a few beers too many, but always showed up fit for duty the next morning.

I remember the guy from my high school who graduated a year behind me, who was killed in a helicopter crash during a training mission in Kentucky.

I look at the wall above my fireplace. There hangs a photo of my grandfather, for whom I am named, who served in the artillery in France during the Great War, the "war to end all wars," World War One. I never knew him; he died in 1939 and is buried on the Presidio of San Francisco. I have his old gas mask; I have the flag which draped his coffin. His medals and his helmet are on the wall of my parents' library - some day they will be on my library wall.

I, too, am a veteran. I joined the Army when the outcome of the Cold War was still somewhat in doubt, and by the time I left I had seen the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union. Had I not been injured, I would probably still be in uniform today. My service was for the most part unremarkable, certainly not compared to the people I've known. But yes, I'm proud of the small part I played, and would do it all over again.

And nowadays, I see the kids serving in Iraq, in Afghanistan - they are making sacrifices, and making History. I'm proud of them. This nation should be proud of them, and of all who have served and sacrificed.

Posted by Russ at 11:11 AM | Comments (1)
November 09, 2003

Long ago, Acidman had a bad experience with gin. Now, he's on speaking terms with it, at least. Good.

In 1988, I had just been posted to Korea, and our "op-tempo" was pretty high. From April until September of that year, our routine was to spend 3 or 4 weeks in the field, up near the DMZ, then three or four days in garrison, refitting, before heading right back up to the DMZ for another mission.

We had a little ritual each time we deployed to the field, involving gin. We'd dress up in some decent civilian attire (which was almost invariably jeans and a button-down shirt) and head to the NCO Club on our post, Camp Hovey. There, we would consume pitchers of Gin & Tonics.

Not having been much of a gin man myself (I prefer a single-malt Scotch now, particularly Glenmorangie and The Glenlivet, and back then I was an unsophisticated Bud man, thankyouverymuch), I was rather put off by the taste, but for the sake of comradeship, a man will do a great many things he might not otherwise do.

Nowadays, every now and again, I pour some gin, add a little tonic water, and drop in a quarter of a lime. And I think of the great men with whom it was my privilege to serve.

Why G&Ts? I don't know. Someone started the ritual long before I got to Korea; I hope that the tradition has continued in 1st Platoon, A Company, 102nd MI Battalion. Confido!

Veterans Day is almost upon us again.

I'd better go buy some limes.

Posted by Russ at 07:25 AM | Comments (3)
November 05, 2003
Military Marketeers

Donald Sensing over at One Hand Clapping posts an unclassified Army memo from the Director of the Army Staff:

From: Lovelace, James J LTG DAS
Sent: Saturday, November 01, 2003 12:37 PM
Subject: Army Theme...message

All - the Army theme is "Our Army at War -- Relevant and Ready".

[et cetera, et cetera....]

"Relevant and Ready"???

Excuse me? Since when did the Army require a theme developed by a load of marketing weenies? How much was paid to the consultants that came up with that? This ex-Sergeant thinks the taxpayers need a refund on that miserable piece of tripe.

And why do I have visions of a Dilbert-in-uniform's Pointy-Haired-Commander running through my head?

I have an idea for a theme. Try this on for size:

"The U.S. Army - Kicking Ass and Taking Names Since 1775."

Works for me.

Posted by Russ at 11:52 AM | Comments (4)
November 04, 2003
Death and Partisan Politics

Frank J., in today's Bite-Sized Wisdom, makes a rather serious point.

There are those in this country who proclaim their concern and support for "the troops," but who in fact delight at each casualty report for base, partisan political reasons.

After all, they themselves have never served in uniform. They know no one in the service. And they would certainly never encourage their own children to enlist.

Each death in Iraq is an opportunity for them to publicly proclaim their hatred of the President... but they care not one whit for the soldiers in the field, and would be just as happy to see a hundred casualties if it gives them an opportunity to bash the President.

... this has gone from political discourse to just being plain evil - a very mild but growing evil that show a real disconnect from one's fellow man.

There are our men and women fighting and dying out there. They are fighting for us and they are fighting for a people yearning to live free from tyranny.

I think it's more than a mild-but-growing evil - I think it is profoundly evil - but I think what Frank is saying is that there are only a few such people - so far.

The heart of the matter:

I just can't understand how the phrase "We are losing a soldier a day," can be followed by anything other than, "so let's get those [expletive] bastards."

Posted by Russ at 09:39 AM
November 03, 2003
If I were a horse, they'd have shot me

Sorry for the lack of bloggery. I have a note from my doctor.


Gout?!? That's something out of a Charles Dickens novel, right? No one gets that in the 21st Century, right?

Right? Right? Right?!?

Right. Well, I got it.

I already knew of one other guy who has it... but to my surprise, I discovered in conversation that a couple of the guys on my street have it, too. I'm just a year or so over 40, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that my body is beginning to show signs of wear, but these guys are as much as 10 years younger than me.

Now, I've talked in the past about pain. Back pain of the kind I occasionally experience - due to a herniated disc - can be debilitating because of the widespread effects it can cause. When I have an "incident," I feel it from my back all the way down the legs. The slightest movement is painful, as are standing or even sitting still. But I can lie down and the pain subsides. Bed rest is good.

Gout, though... this is different. Different bad, not or different unusual.

Last Monday morning I woke up feeling some discomfort in my foot. Not pain, just a sense that there was something wrong. During the day, the discomfort turned to an ache, and then to distracting pain in the ball of the foot. Monday being a telecommute day for me, I was able to elevate it and keep ice on it. No luck. Aspirin wasn't helping much, if at all. The whole day sucked, but a good night's sleep would take care of it, I hoped.

Not quite.

Tuesday dawned, and the pain was still there. And I had a meeting to be at. A three-hour meeting. No telecommute for Russ. It was bearable, but getting worse. As soon as the meeting was over, I went home to ice my foot down. On the way, I called my doctor for an appointment - but nothing was available until late Wednesday afternoon. Dang. More ice, more aspirin. I didn't get much work done at all. Come bedtime, Unisom was needed. It didn't help much.

Wednesday... I said then:

given the opportunity, I'd have cheerfully removed my own foot with a hacksaw.
That is not an exaggeration. The only thing that kept me out of the Emergency Room that day was my inability to negotiate the steps down into the garage to get a power tool. I know, I know, it sounds silly - but the pain was truly mind-altering.

My foot had swollen and started to bruise, and the pain was pounding, almost pulsing up my leg. I knew I hadn't broken anything - I'd have remembered that. I was more concerned than ever.

The previous statement, by the way, is my official submission for The Understatement Of The Year competition.

I'd have done almost anything to be rid of the pain. And, unlike a back injury, there was no "comfortable position" I could get into that would make the pain stop. Elevating the foot seemed to take some of the pressure off, but the difference was inconsequential.

I called my doctor, to try to get an earlier appointment. "Hahahahahaha! Get lost," the receptionist said.

"Bite me. I'm in serious agony here," I replied, nonplussed.

"Suffer, foolish mortal," she quipped gleefully.

"Get bent. Need I remind you of my gold-plated insurance?" quoth I.

"Uh... OK, we can bump you up to 1:30," she relented.

After exchanging cheerful expletives, I rang off and got ready to go to work.

I had a little difficulty putting on a shoe. A lot of difficulty, actually. A lot of gasping-in-pain eye-watering cursing-out-loud difficulty. But I managed it, mainly because I can wear sneakers to work, and laces are un-laceable. And because going to the office barefoot is frowned upon.

I had a 10:00 a.m. meeting - a big important meeting with my manager. To miss it would be a severe CLM. And another meeting immediately thereafter. No telecommuting for this guy that day. So, I made it to my manager's office.

My manager, on the other hand, didn't. Dang.

Praying for sweet, sweet unconsciousness, I hobbled to the next meeting. I don't remember a minute of it. My foot was on fire. After 40 minutes, I could take no more, made my manners, and left for home and an icepack. I implied earlier that getting a shoe on was tough. It was nothing compared to getting it off a couple hours later.

Nothing, but nothing, relieved the pain. I considered using some of my leftover Vicodin, but I was thinking clearly enough to know I didn't want to do that. Knowing that my appointment was soon helped me avoid the painkillers, I think.

  • 1:30 p.m. - I hobble into the doctor's office.

  • 1:31 p.m. - Doctor: "That's gout."

  • 1:40 p.m. - I finally believe he's serious.
Sure, sure, he gave himself a way out by suggesting it might possibly be tendonitis or arthritis. But the first thing he said was gout. And the whole time he's explaining the whys and wherefores, I'm thinking he could be actually doing something about it. Finally, I was given some kind of injection, a prescription for Colchicine (which has been used for over 100 years for gout), and a lab slip for a blood test to make sure of the diagnosis.

The doc's injection (a kind of steroid, I think - I wasn't paying particular attention at the time) and the Colchicine had their effects moderately quickly - the swelling began to subside and the pain eased that afternoon.

A word about Colchicine, or more specifically about the side effects: ouch. The nausea knocked me onto my butt for three or four days, which was a convenient place to have been knocked onto, since the other side effect had me in the littlest room in the house most of Wednesday night, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. All things considered, though, I'll take the side effects over the gout symptoms, any day.

It's Monday - and I can walk almost normally for the first time in a week. And I have a meeting I have to be in the office for later this afternoon.

Normality is resuming... but I'll have to keep an eye on my foot for the rest of my life. I hate getting older... but it beats the alternative.

OK, I said I was sorry for the lack of blogging. I guess this post makes up for it.

UPDATE: Aspirin and ice are exactly the wrong things to use for a gouty foot. It just figures, doesn't it?

Posted by Russ at 11:39 AM | Comments (7)