My stats are off the charts

Friday was the day I returned to the BP crime scene (blood pressure check) to see whether I stay on present dosage of meds, change meds and while we're at it, have my cholesterol checked as well.

In the two weeks Diane has been monitoring my BP at home it has been flirting with the border of pre-hypertension, that is, in the upper ranges of "normal" but when taken yesterday a.m. in the doc's room the lower number was 98, a new high for me.

Meanwhile, my blood sample is working its way thru the Cholestech L.D.X. machine and when the white slip comes out my numbers are off the Jasminelive charts ... so low the LDL does NOT register.

Which means I need to have a full blood sample taken at the lab next door, sent out for new numbers and then check back with my PA (physician's assistant) on Tuesday. OK, I've been thru this before, except when I arrive at the lab there's a new lady in charge (the previous one left as did "Elvis" the tropical fish who kept my mind off of being stabbed). This new blonde gets a "five" as she needed to stick both arms for a draw.

I was also informed by my PA that because my LDL did not register I should have a renal artery CT angiogram procedure to make sure my kidneys are undamaged by the new meds.

WHOA! After looking this up on the web I thought this was a full day surgical procedure requiring from six to ten hours of recoup time. No way next Monday morning. Diane called the hospital and because it is a CT scan I only need to fast overnight with the whole thing taking less than an hour. WHEW!

To finish off yesterday morning I needed my monthly pro time at another facility. While I had a one o'clock appt. I was there at 11:30 hoping to get in prior to their lunchtime. I did. The numbers were 2.1 which is in my normal range. See you folks in a month.

By the time I returned home, had something to eat and told of my experiences, I was tired, not used to all this activity at once. Besides, the weather was warm & sticky with rain in the forecast. A good time to read a book.

It's Lloyd Lewis' Myths After Lincoln, a 1929 volume that has been in our family's library since about that time. In researching an article for our CWRT newsletter next month on Lincoln myths, I began reading this book. Abe was not an easy person to understand and all the stories about him, his family and his background that swirled around him made it that much more difficult.

After I turn this article in for publication I will post it on the CWRT site.

a personal note about Lloyd Lewis. He was on staff of the defunct Chicago Daily News and during the early 1940s he was a sports editor for it having a column, Voice From The Grandstand, where sports fans wrote opinions about the local Chicago teams. Infrequently he would print sports cartoons submitted by these jasmin live fans, so I was quite thrilled that my very first published cartoon was in his column.

On August 26, 1899 ...

this was the birthday of my father, the senior Howard Shaughnessy, born in Northampton, MA. That's 105-years ago and severely hard to believe. Born of poor and humble parents (who else?) my dad went on to earn his Ph D in bacteriology from Yale University and to use his talents for the state of Illinois. At one time he and his colleagues had found a cure for polio, however Jonas Salk and his crew received the credit.

Dad served in the AEF (American Expeditionary Forces) in France during WW1 in a tank corp and rose to the rank of lieutenant.

He and my mother were world travelers beginning shortly after their marriage by working in Cuba. They took the Queen Elizabeth liner to Italy in 1953 to attend a conference on his specialty. Then in the early 1960s they sold their home in Glen Ellyn, IL, stored most of their furniture and furnishings, had their Ford Mustang shipped to Chiengmai, Thailand where my dad taught classes in a hospital under the auspices of the University of Illinois, where he was a professor. They made several trips forth and back to Thailand before finally returning home in 1967. He suffered a massive heart attack that Fall and passed on.

I was hoping that he would live in three centuries, the 19th, 20th and 21st but it was not to be. So, Dad, on your birthday, this rememberance is for you.

As an NIU alumni ...

... I receive, thru the mail, northern NOW, the magazine of Northern Illinois University, which is distributed quarterly. The Fall edition was just received. I enjoy reading it, although to this 1949-graduate the present campus is another world and the only names I recognize are the few who appear in the Northern Notes under their grad year.

In the "In Memoriam" section I learned that Patricia Vaillancourt Woodstrup, spouse of Tom, passed away last October. That obit gave me a jolt since we were in classes together. Her husband, Tom, and I were, respectively, editors of the Northern Light (college paper) and the Norther (yearbook) during our senior years. We had kept in loose touch over the years. Even tho it has been almost a year I know Tom is still hurting.

Of course, their e-address has been misplaced so I tried using the to locate it. This required typing in my name and grad year and was supposed to move me toward finding e-addresses of NIU folks, however I wound up in a loop and soon gave it up. Better I search for that address instead.

Earlier today, reading the online edition of the ChiTrib I learn another NIU grad, Dan Castellaneta '79, won an Emmy, his third. Dan supplies the voice for Homer Simpson and several of the other characters on that TV show in addition to doing some acting parts in chaturbat movies & TV programs.

I must confess that I am not a fan of the Simpsons or any of their creator's work going back many years when his "Life Is Hell" strip appeared in the Chicago Reader paper. Since I am probably the only person never to have seen Homer and family I would not recognize Dan's voiceover. I do, however, appreciate where his talents have taken him.

Before we leave NIU, there is an article, along with a photo, in the northern NOW of the new NIU campus Web Map "this is one of the most advanced Web-based campus maps in the country" according to Phil Young, he of the NIU geography department, who along with research associate, Rick Schwantes and two students,spent almost a year developing this map. For those who still have the 1949 edition of the Norther you might want to compare the campus of that year with this new web-based 2004 version.

Oh yes, this OzWiz created that map which decorates the end covers of that 1949 yearbook.

I thought our book club met today

however looking at the Senior Center schedule it is not today nor anytime during this month. It seems ages since I read the selected book and when we do meet I will need to review it.

That left me no excuse not to make an appointment to bring the Volvo in for an oil change tomorrow nor to put off any longer shredding documents that have accumulated for months & need recycling. When one shreds checks you recall what they were for, - ah yes, I remember that, was it really that long ago? You secretly wish that checking account still held all those funds you scribbled away.

Gateway Computers are back. Wasn't it April of this year when the word came down from the Boss cow barn that all the barn doors were to be closed by that week-end and sure enough the silos snuck off in the night? Now they are back, no barns, but Gateway has placed their machines in the electronic big box stores around us - Best Buy, Office Depot, Circuit City (not sure about OMax who previously sold some of Gateways 'puters while their store was just down the Mall). Of course, the price on the laptop we purchased last Holiday season is less money and has more bells & whistles. Did I not suspect this?

Shannon seems to be better. The three of us (Shannon, Bonnee & the OzWiz) took our usual route walk this morning with no problems (sometimes Shannon balks, abruptly does an about face so we head home) discovering that a neighbor has a Collie puppy. She had remembered the Collie we had (Ollie) and since this pup has the same coloring, decided to make Ollie a middle name for the youngster.

Shannon greeted him, however Bonnee wants no part of puppies.

Neither do we at this age of our lives. Oh, to have their NRG!

Where to begin?

Since it has been a few days since blogging.

With the youngsters starting school hereabouts with those big yellow school buses back on the roads & byways this is important to most everyone; the youngsters (who renew school friendships & get back into both curricular and extra-curricular activities) their parents (for a variety of reasons not the least of which is getting the kids out the door in time to catch the bus), the teachers and the rest of the school staff, motorists (who now need to be more attentive when driving) and for Friday nights (when football games are played).

For Cub fans this is the time to bring out the “Wait Until Next Year” slogan out of the moth balls, although they shelled the Braves last evening. However the Braves came back today to win 3-1. It has been a frustrating year, again, for the Cubs & their fans.

For this OzWiz much of the past few days has been being involved in a new web site for our stamp club. Not me creating it as one of our newer members who admits to being a true geek, has a Ph.D, among other degrees, is doing the work; I just supply some of the material. I guess you would say it’s in Alpha mode and was previewed last evening to the members at our regular meeting. Those who had an interest approved of Dave’s (webmaker) efforts. Digital photos of our officers were taken and are probably folded into the web site as I write. One photo of the entire group, taken from above and behind us, reveals the bald truth of our male members. "Shine on harvest moon ..."

Our W-N library home will evict us for the next two months. We suspect that they found a group that will pay their going rent rate and as we, as a non-profit, we get a free ride. Now a search for a temp home for our next meetings. The library in Grayslake has stepped in in the past so our first call will be to them.

An important issue hereabouts and making front page news

is that there are coyotes in our midst and gobbling up cats and other pets - not too amazing since we've seen them on various occasions over the years we've lived here. With our drought the smaller wild animals have ventured out to sip water in bird baths or sprinklers and since coyotes need to eat these small animals are food. To a coyote there's no difference between a pet or a wild beast. Last week we found an oppossum that had the misfortune to be caught out in the open and we assume the killer was a coyote.

The flocks of geese, now back after their summer hiatus, believe in safety in numbers and not even Wiley Coyote would think of going after a goose dinner. Ducks are either flying or swimming, out of reach. This OzWiz was surprised to read that many pet owners put said pets out for the night and some wonder why they are not back in the morning.

As for the OzWiz, he hopes to be back in the morning.