Archive for April, 2012

bookmark: Happy for No Reason

Happy for No Reason: 7 Steps to Being Happy from the Inside Out – by Marci Shimoff

I have read many self-help books, this book being the latest. “Happy for no reason” sounds really good to me. I would love to be that way, and happiness is something that I always seem to be chasing (which obviously means I have yet to corner it and wrestle it to the ground).

Had the book not been recommended to me, I would not have bothered reading it. Having read it, I would not recommend it to anyone. It’s not a bad book, but it’s filled with a lot of same stuff you’ll find in other self-help books. There are stories about different people – not surprising from the co-author of six of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books – and they illustrate her points well. There is also some new age hokum that the author appears to take at face value, which leads me to question her critical thinking.

Then again, maybe critical thinking is antithetical to being happy for no reason. In any event, this book didn’t bring me any closer to being happy, for no reason or otherwise. Maybe your experience will be different. It may well be. Hell, I’m a grumpy old fart. What else would you expect from me?

(Finished 4/29/12)

a decision was made

I made a decision today that I hope I won’t regret. In truth, I don’t think I really have a choice anymore. It’s either go for the knee replacement or buy a wheelchair, because it is becoming much, much more difficult to walk. I have let my left knee go for so long that my right knee and leg are suffering greatly.

During my visit with my knee doctor today I told him about the problems I have been having and he offered to do another cortisone injection in my right knee. After my experience with that before, I told him I would pass on that, thanks. There being nothing else he could do, he started to tell me to let him know when I was ready to have my knee done when I interrupted him and said, “That’s kind of why I’m here today.”

The doctor talked about people who have both knees done at the same time, essentially leaving it open for me to opt for that. Living alone as I do there would be no way I could take care of myself any time soon after the surgery, and I don’t savor the idea of living in a rehab facility for the next two months or so. As much as I would like to get it all over at once, I just don’t think it’s a good idea, so I’m going for just one knee.

It was fascinating how fast the ball got rolling after that. The doctor handed me off to his surgery scheduler and after some discussion I found myself set up for surgery on May 8. Holy crap – that’s less than two weeks away! That is kind of a shock, but I think I’m happy it’s so soon because it will give me a lot less time to have to worry about it. However, that means I have to get my ass in gear and get things ready for after the surgery.

As it was, I was at the clinic until pretty late today, because I was able to go across the hall and get the necessary electrocardiogram and lab work done. It was nice to get that out of the way, but I may still have to go see my primary care doctor for a physical, which shouldn’t be a biggie if necessary. Other than that, I guess medically I’m ready to go.

There is a class at the hospital for people thinking about or facing knee and hip replacement surgery. The scheduler suggested that it would be good to attend, but the class is the evening before my surgery, so I don’t know what good it will do. I’ll have to think about that.

Now I need to figure out how to get the help at home that I will need during my recovery. I’m hoping that my son will be able to spend a week with me, as boring for him as that would be. Then again, that would be hard on him to miss that much work. My wife has offered to stay with me, too, but she has work issues as critical as my son’s, so that doesn’t sound like a good idea either. There is one person who has the freedom to come and help me, but her circumstances have her in such a state of disruption that that is impossible, too. Oh well, I’ll see how much help I will need after I get out.

I sure do hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew.

forecasting sunny days

Why is it that when I go to the eye doctor for an exam and he dilates my eyes, it is always a bright, sunny day? It never fails. At least this time he gave me the freebie sunglasses so I could drive home. Last time I had to do it without sunglasses, and that was just no fun at all.

I guess if I ever need a guaranteed sunny day for something, I should schedule an eye exam. Then again, with my luck the doctor would probably call and reschedule the appointment and I would be stuck picnicking in the rain.

Building the Perfect Tool Chest – by Jim Stack

There isn’t much to recommend this book to anyone but a woodworker who wants to build a tool chest. There are fifteen different kinds of tool chests in the book. There are enough construction details for most any woodworker to figure out how to build the tool chests and modify them for one’s own purposes, except for the big, fancy version that is the last tool chest in the book. Most people would need more instruction for that chest.

This is a relatively simple book and, quite honestly, you might be able to find as much information on the internet if you spend a bit of time searching for it.

(Finished 4/5/12)