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November 30, 2005

It's that time of year again...

This great cartoon was in the Molalla Pioneer yesterday:

Weathermen.jpg

If you live in the Portland area, just turn on your TV right now... you will find the similarities to be uncanny. They had been forecasting a definite 3-5 inches of snow on the valley floor all day, with snow starting 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm tonight. Now the pinpoint forecast calls for a chance of snow beginning 4:00 am - 8:00 am tomorrow morning, with a worst case scenario of 1-3 inches, and temperatures rising into the mid 40's by midday.

Jethro's forecast: Nada. Zip. Zilch. Just good old-fashioned Oregon rain... another sky-is-falling-moment brought to you by your local news stations, grocery stores, and tire centers.

----------Breaking News Update----------

Score for this round:
Jethro: 1
Mark Nelson: 1
Other Local Weatherpersons: 0

The local news this morning was pure comedy. The Winter Blast (that didn't happen) was still the top story. Reporters were spread out all over the Portland area with the hopes of seeing a snowflake. They posed in front of idle sanding and de-icing trucks. They interviewed Tri-Met transit bus officials about how this weather would affect operation. Only at the highest point of the West Hills did the dreaded snowflakes make their appearance... but they didn't even have the courtesy to stick around, they just melted on impact. But still, don't go out of your houses if you don't have to... it's a crazy, almost snowy world out there... you're better off sitting on the couch watching your local news channel...

[Fairness Disclaimer: In all fairness, I did see Mark "Baby-Face" Nelson's forecast the night before the almost-winter-blast, and he was the lone local forecaster to predict NO snow on the valley floor. Kudos to Mark for going against the flow and making a realistic forecast.]

Get iTunes for your PC

Anyone who has spent time using both Mac and PC computers can tell you about the superiority of MacIntosh machines and applications. Now iTunes, one of the best Mac applications, is available for your Windows 2000/XP machine: Free iTunes Download (QuickTime 7 media player included, too)


Dump your Windows Media Player... iTunes is so much better.

November 28, 2005

A New Entry, Just For Tammy

Well, since Tammy thinks it's been a long time since I did an entry, I will give a brief update.

After a second full week of taking Robitussin, I decided to give it a rest, with the hopes that I would get better. It was obvious things weren't improving after another week (bringing the life of my chest cold/cough to 4 weeks), so I went to the doctor again yesterday morning. She thought I was well beyond the average 10-14 day duration of a typical cold/flu virus, so she actually prescribed some antibiotics, some Robitussin with codeine, and an inhaler. Now hopefully I can kick this nasty ailment.

Other than that, we had a nice time at Thanksgiving (my mom hosted this year). We had a wonderful meal and a nice time visiting. My cousin Nick came this year, as did Kris' sister Tiffany... it was nice to have a different mix of people for a change. We played with the kids quite a bit, and then ended up playing a few games... Apples to Apples seemed to be the favorite.

The day after Thanksgiving, I put up the Christmas tree (and spent close to an hour tracking down a burnt out bulb). Then I headed to Canby to get dog food and a new bookcase for Noah's room. Noah 'helped' me put the bookcase together, and then we loaded it with his books. I'm sure I could have put it together a lot faster without his 'help', but he wanted to help so badly that I just had to let him.

Noah's-BookcaseHigh.jpg
Noah's New Bookcase (Dark Walnut Finish)

Saturday morning, Roger and I installed a new home theater system for some friends from church. It turned out very nice. When I got home from that, I had just enough time to put up the outdoor Christmas lights, and then run to the hardware store (with Noah) to get some replacement bulbs. I've never figured out how I can put the Christmas lights away with all of them working, and then pull them out 11 months later with 5-10 burnt out bulbs.

Saturday night I went and played some cards at my friend Sabino's house. I think I stayed up a little too late though, because I felt miserable by the time Sunday morning rolled around.

So there you go Tammy, an update of my not-so-exciting, lung-hacking life. I just hope these antibiotics work so I won't be barking like a seal when we have the Roth gathering at your house here in a couple weeks.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go take some more nausea inducing drugs...

November 18, 2005

The Wonders of Peanut Butter

In my on going fight to clear this menacing ailment from my lungs, I have become good friends with my Robitussin. But as many times as I have chugged down that ruby red syrup, I still can't stand the way it tastes. Every swig needs to be followed immediately by a chaser of some sort... and I have tried many, many different chasers... everything from water to saltine crackers to mouth wash to caramel corn. Finally, after two weeks of dealing with this crap, I have found the perfect chaser...


Peanut Butter

Just one spoonful of peanut butter will eliminate all traces of that repugnant Robitussin. If only I had discovered this two weeks ago...

November 15, 2005

Sent to the ER by My Own Cooking

I had an interesting day yesterday... but it really all started over the weekend. I will start with Sunday night.

Steph and I had just finished watching 'our show', Grey's Anatomy (ironically, a show that takes place in a hospital). I felt a little bit of heartburn, so I popped a few Tums to stave it off, then went to bed. Almost instantly, I started feeling tight pressure in my chest, with pain radiating out to my left shoulder blade and up to my jaw. It wasn't a sharp, stabbing pain, but it was persistent and very uncomfortable. I was also feeling a bit short of breath, and found breathing to be a chore. I tried changing positions in the hopes to alleviate the pain, but it wouldn't go away. I briefly thought, "Is this what a heart attack feels like?", but dismissed it as just being a side effect of my ongoing pneumonia-like lung ailment. I took a few Advil and crawled back into bed to tough it out, not saying a word about it to Steph.

I eventually fell asleep, but awoke during the middle of the night to use the restroom. My back and jaw pain was gone, but I still felt pressure in my chest. I took another one of my Expectorant/Cough Suppressant pills and went back to bed. I awoke at 6:00am feeling very well rested, but still feeling like something was very tight in my chest. I didn't feel like I needed coffee (a rare thing), so I just had a bowl of Cheerios. When I went to drink the leftover cereal milk, I felt a bit of discomfort in my chest with each gulp. A short time later, I felt the need to belch... but it was difficult to get the air out, and when it did go through, it was a bit painful... but a huge relief once it passed.

I went to work with the intent of calling Kaiser to make an appointment for this pesky (and now a bit painful) chest ailment. No appointments were available, so I got put on a call-back list.

In the meantime, I went in to discuss what had happened with JD and Nick. JD asked, "Have you looked up the symptoms of a heart attack online?". I had not. Nick asked, "How do you know you didn't have one?". I replied, "Because I woke up in the morning". Nick was flabbergasted.

I went in and googled for the symptoms of a heart attack. Yikes! I had just about all of the symptoms, minus the lightheadedness, fainting, sweating and nausea. Could it be?

At about 1:00pm, the advice nurse from Kaiser called back to get more information from me. I told her that my chest ailment had been feeling better until Sunday night, and I described what transpired. This immediately raised a red flag for her and she asked if my family had a history of heart disease. I said I didn't think so. She said they didn't have any appointments available at the clinic, but she would phone the on-call doctor and advise me of what to do next. She phoned my back and informed my that I should either go to the Urgent Care Clinic (which opened at 4:30pm) or to the Emergency Room. I called Steph to tell let her know what was going on and made plans to run up to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital a little before 3:00pm, and I checked in. They took my blood pressure and my pulse, and strapped a little pink plastic band on my wrist. I was soon led back to the ER where they hooked me up to a heart monitor and started asking a few questions. The nurse who helped me felt very confident that my heart was perfectly fine, based on my strong heartbeat and on the fact that the walk into the hospital was not difficult for me. Still, he needed to order an EKG, just to be sure. A few minutes after the EKG tech had finished recording my heartbeat (and disconnecting all her sensors), a doctor came in to let my know that my EKG looked 'perfect'. That was good to know.

Now that my heart was given a clean bill of health, they still needed to see what was up with my lungs, so they ordered a chest X-ray. I quickly headed down to radiology for a few photos, and headed back to my little 8x10 curtained cell. A nurse came in to hook me back up to the heart monitor and oxygen, but I told her that my heart was fine and she didn't need to hook me back up... she reluctantly complied with my wishes. After waiting close to a half hour, the doctor finally returned to tell me that my chest X-ray also looked 'perfect'... there was no infection or pneumonia in my chest... it was just a virus. So what was going on?!?!

The doctor then turned his attention to the heartburn-like feeling I had experienced before my 'red flag' symptoms started occurring. He determined that I was having a severe acid-reflux episode, and those symptoms, when combined with my chest cold, were mimicking a majority of the symptoms of a heart attack. I was also passing large amounts of gas (belching), which was not helping the matter. He prescribed some Zantac and sent me on my way.

So what caused all this discomfort? My own cooking. I had cooked a marvelous Mexican food feast on Saturday, and I had partaken of plenty of leftovers on Sunday. I had a rather large helping of refried beans, rice, steak (loaded with onions and bell peppers), guacamole, cilantro and Tapatio. I had to wash it all down with a couple Jarritos soda pops, too. It just needed a few hours of percolation to start causing problems...

I was still having some painful belches last night, but they have finally subsided, and this morning I feel very good. My chest congestion seems to finally be clearing up to the point where I pretty much feel normal... I just hack things up periodically. I hope to be well by the end of the week.

I don't care to see the inside of a hospital again for a good while... not until our little girl comes along in a few months... :-)

November 9, 2005

Pneumonia

I seem to have come down with a mild case of pneumonia. I haven't gone to the doctor to verify this for sure, but I definitely have a majority of the symptoms (and I had a chest cold a week before). It does seem to be getting better, although I do still have swollen glands and a bit of tingling in my extremities. If I had a fever I might be more worried, but my body temperature has actually been low... as low as 97 degrees.

I am still able to go to work, and I actually was able to do some yardwork/winterizing at home yesterday, but I am pretty well drained by early evening. I look forward to having a little more energy back... and I look forward to being able to take deep breaths without a coughing fit. Hopefully I won't feel quite so creativity challenged once I shake this... then maybe I will be able to make a decent weblog entry.

At this point I will do the Roth thing and let my immune system battle it out... which frustrates Stephanie to no end. :-)

November 4, 2005

ConvertIt.com

While investigating a link from JD's Miscellaneous Flotch, I discovered a great website for converting just about any unit of measurement you can think of: ConvertIt.com.

I was reading about the 30,000 Calorie Sandwich, and wanted to convert 152 teaspoons of canola oil to cups. For those who want to know, that is just over 3 cups... I'm guessing he deep fried something in that, as I can't figure out how you could put 3 cups of canola oil on a sandwich.

I will be adding ConvertIt.com to my Odds & Ends section forthwith.

November 3, 2005

What is Jethro's World?

Since my old weblog is broken, I decided I'd repost my very first weblog entry. I will then put this entry in the category of 'About This Site' so that those stumbling across my blog will have a little background. Here is the copied and pasted very first entry of Jethro's World:

Welcome to Jethro's World

Where does the name Jethro come from? Well, it is Biblical for one, but that was not the original inspiration behind the nickname. The name really came about several years ago when I had time to play video games on the computer. Me and my good friend Roger loved racing games (like Need For Speed). His nickname was RaginRog, and I came up with Jethro – a bit of a play on my real name. Since then, Jethro has become my online name on various forums and weblogs.

What is Jethro’s World? Jethro’s World is a chronicle of the life and times of Jeff, a mild-mannered box maker from Canby, Oregon; and my wife Stephanie, a not-so-mild-mannered dental hygienist (I am going to pay for that comment) hailing from Wembley, Alberta. [Edit: When Steph doesn't have a scary scraping instrument in her hand; she is the most creative, thoughtful, caring, beautiful woman I have ever met! And she is still my hero!] Much of this weblog will be devoted to our son Noah, his little sister Emily, and the joys of family life. I hope to make this an uplifting and positive site, with emphasis on glorifying God and his creation.

I don’t know how often I will add new entries, but I would hope for a couple times a week. Please feel free to leave any comments and advice for future entries. But be warned, this is a family site, and any comments that are seen as vulgar or negative may be deleted. I am generally in favor of unedited free speech, but I will draw a line in this case. I don’t really want this to turn into a forum for political or theological discussions.

This concludes the first official Jethro’s World blog. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and I wish all of you a wonderful day! (exclamation point for JD's benefit)

November 2, 2005

Charlie FM

Some of you may have noticed the link to Charlie FM on my sidebar (under Odds & Ends). Charlie FM is Portlands newest radio station, and they claim to play everything. While they don't quite play everything, they do play a much wider variety of music than any other station in Portland. They also don't have any DJ's... just a few prerecorded messages now and then that are often quite amusing.

Well, the other night, after taking Noah trick-or-treating, we were driving home with the radio at a low volume (and of course, it was on Charlie). It was at this time that the following exchange occurred:

Steph: Hey, I guess Charlie is alright after all.
Me: Why do you say that?
Steph: Because they're playing Michael Bolton. [Turns up radio]
Me: They do play everthing, you know.
[Song ends]
Charlie FM voice: Counting down the top 10 scariest songs of all time, on Charlie FM. Song number 8...
[Begin next Michael Bolton song]
[Process repeated until 10 Michael Bolton songs have been played]

That has to be the funniest thing I've heard in all of my years of listening to the radio... I was laughing so hard that I had trouble staying on the road. Steph seemed a little offended at first, but even she admitted that it was pretty darn funny.

By the way, if anyone is interested, we have a Michael Bolton CD for whoever will take it... it's the perfect gift for the Holidays. :-) I tried to give it away at our garage sale, but nobody would take it...

November 1, 2005

Under Construction

Well, I am officially back up and running. I am still trying to decide which 'style sheet' I like, so the look of my weblog may change periodically. I liked the look of the old site, but that style sheet doesn't seem to want to work with this newest version of Movable Type. Please feel free to tell me if you do or don't like the way something looks, or if you know of a style sheet that is worth copying.

You can get to my old weblog via the link on the sidebar (or you can go to: http://www.foldedspace.org/jeff/oldindex.html ). You can still view all of the archives, but you just can't leave a comment.

Noah's Playhouse is still accessible at http://www.foldedspace.org/noah, but like my old weblog, you can't leave comments. At this point I will post any new pictures of Noah on Jethro's World, as I'm not sure when the new Noah's Playhouse will be up and running.

Thank you for your patience!

Oregon Rain

A steady downpour of rain has returned to Oregon this morning, and I have returned to my weblog... hopefully.

I absolutely love when it rains like this, but it does cause a few problems. I arrived at work this morning to find water flowing over the gutters above the shop doors. These very same shop doors are used to move corrugated cardboard in and out of the shop... moving cardboard through a waterfall doesn't work very well.

I put on my rubber boots and checked all the cleanouts, but found nothing blocking the way. After climbing an extension ladder to get a better look, I quickly found the problem. Several large maple leaves (probably from yesterday morning's wind storm) were clogging the downspout. It was a pretty easy fix, but I still got soaked in the process.

Now I have to go pick up Noah from his daycare provider... the poor guy has a fever and just isn't feeling very well. I think we will go home and have soup for lunch... it just seems appropriate on such a rainy day.