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“Whoa, I haven’t seen one of these in a while!” said the doctor, a man in is mid-fifties. “Yeah, these are rare!”
“Lucky me!” I joked. “So what are they called?”
“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think there’s any kind of label or name for them. Just know that these are pretty rare! This may well have formed at or before birth.”

As you may have noticed since I started shaving my head nearly 20 years ago, I have (er, had) a big bump on the back of my head. Nothing dangerous, just a bit unsightly. But being on the back of my head it was out of my sight and never bothered me any.

I decided to finally have it removed yesterday because, at a healthy 45 years old, I figured if I was ever going to have it out it was probably better to do it sooner than later.

Little did I know all this time that it was making me an “innie” as well as an “outie”. Apparently the bump worked both ways, putting pressure on my skull as it grew such that there is now a little dent where my bump used to be.

What was my headbump made of? I asked the young assistant when it was all over and she was applying my bandages:
“So how gross was it, really? You can tell me.”
“Ew, it was totally super gross, I’m not gonna lie. Be glad it’s not in your head any more.”
“But no brains squished out, right?”
“No, no brains squished out, silly. You’re all good.”

Yep, ten stitches later, all good.

See?

I’m told the dent will be visible only after the swelling goes down, but that they did their best to make it less obvious.

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This is my Now page for November 1st 2021 — what I’m up to this month.

  1. Working
    Working far too many hours in the day far too often. I don’t know yet if all the working will really work out or not, but I do see the possibility of turning the corner soon as my team grows so I can actually get to finally do the work I was hired for. I should know this within the next month or so. Fingers crossed!
  2. Learning to Fly
    Yes, as I posted recently I’m going for my Private Pilots License now. From sailing in the waters of the San Francisco Bay to sailing through the air from the center of stunning Utah! I’m pretty excited about this newfound desire, which came up fast from out of nowhere, much as sailing did. It just feels right, I don’t know how to express it, but it’s a good thing.
  3. Catching up
    In the midst of all the long days of working, the simple mundane elements of life have been by the wayside far too long. I’m picking up those pieces and chipping away at the backlog of stuff like my health. Minor surgery and other healthy things that I’ve put off too long are finally hitting the calendar and happening.
  4. Traveling
    For the first time since the Pandemic set in, I’ll be traveling back to California this month for my Sister’s wedding. I’ve not seen her or the Rogers side of the family for longer than ever, apart from on Zoom. Looking forward to this! It’ll just be a quick trip for the occasion though, no playtime with friends yet.
  5. Thinking
    Yeah, this one doesn’t have an off switch for me, but there are times when I’m focused on thinking small & strategically and other times when I’m really thinking big & imaginatively. On my walks and in my evenings, I’m thinking big more these days. The longer arc of the world and my place in it, and how to ride this time best. You’ll find more such reflections here in November, I think. As such, I’m also reflecting on my previous two Now pages for Novembers past, 2020 and 2019

How about you? How are things in your world these days?

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As of this week, I’m in training to obtain my Private Pilot’s License (or PPL for the aviation-hip).

First stop on that journey is Ground School, learning the rules of the air. I’m happy to have a good one near where I live!

Next stop, my Sport Pilot License (or SPL). If all goes well, and weather permitting, I’d like to start this on my birthday in March and have it by June.

After that, I’ll be legal to fly 2 seater ultralights, but nothing with more people or over 2000 lbs. That’s when I I intend to spend another 20hrs in training to get my PPL by this time in 2022.

I had no idea that I would be doing any of this. It’s not something I ever envisioned for myself, and in fact have spent a large portion of my life fearing flying. Yet here I am, much to my surprise, totally loving this experience now. Who knew?

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Next month I return to my birthplace for the first time since all the pandemic fun kicked off in March of 2020.

And when I say “fun” I mean the thing that’s robbed us all of many freedoms and killed several people I knew and loved.

For my sister’s wedding, which is what brings me back to the San Francisco Bay Area, she’s only allowing fully vaccinated guests to attend. Which I agree makes sense in November of 2021, but in our highly politicized country this means that important family and friends will not be in attendance. As part of my brotherly wedding duties, I’m helping set up the livestream to feed the ceremony to whoever wants to see it from where ever they may be for whatever reason.

But do we really all need to keep talking about the reason? Why rub it in?

When we talk about reality in political terms, people feel like they need to pick sides like they pick candidates. We absolutely do not need to do that. How do I know? Because there are places in the world where people don’t. Like most of it. Even here not so long ago, it was frowned upon to talk about religion and politics in polite company.

I get that people believe things really a lot, and they want others to believe the same things. It just doesn’t work that way though, and never has. If it did, we’d have had a lot fewer wars over our human history.

At root of the problem today as I see it is that people just want to be safe. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as “no risk” in human endeavors, and there never has been. Be it physical infection, financial markets, social interactions, or anything else, safety has always been (and always will be) an illusion. When we play, we sometimes get hurt. The bigger we live, the bigger the likelihood we will die sooner. The only certainty is that, eventually, we will actually die.

People who can deal with such facts make decent adults.
People who need to cling to illusion to be okay make better children.

Let us learn to be decent adults. Kinder to each other than our children, and capable of being there for each other until whatever end does come.

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I’ve been taking advantage of the perks of having employer-subsidized health insurance lately, and am finally getting around to a few things I’ve been putting off for years. Such as:
  • Straightening teeth = My accelerated approach to Invisalign braces means that they should be done doing their thing by the end of this year.
  • Better glasses = My vision has changed but my glasses have not — so I’m changing this too. In January, I’ll use the same updated prescription to get some Rx shades too.
  • Removing cyst = That bump on the back of my head that never bothers me but sometimes grosses people out is finally getting removed next month. You’re welcome.
  • Comfortable stance = The inserts I’ve worn in my shoes for almost 20 years now are finally getting a much needed update. I’m betting this will help improve my physical comfort, as will the next item.
  • Monthly massage = As a former massage therapist myself, I know it’s money well-spent to have regular maintenance on my back/body. Fortunately, I know a decent masseuse here in this tiny backwater of central Utah, and she’ll be seeing more of me whether this is a subsidized expense or not.
  • Vegan default = Whenever I’m out, I now just order the most vegan thing on the menu and don’t think about it. When grocery shopping, I don’t buy meat or dairy so I don’t bring it home. It’s really not hard to be vegan by default now, and it’s damn tastier than it’s ever been. Which helps with the next item.
  • Blood work = This just in, all is well with my sanguinity. All numbers trending in the right direction since making some lifestyle changes for longevity purposes.

The world around us is not within our control. It sometimes the uncertainty gets the better of us. I share this as a reminder that it feels really good to be making progress on the things we can more directly influence, and health is the primary one with the biggest benefits.

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