Saturday, July 28, 2007

It's a sad day when.....

You have to increase the font size on your blackberry......

Friday, July 27, 2007

KD Lang and Lyle Lovett at the Greek

What an awesome night it was. We attended this concert last night with the expectations that K. D. Lang was our focus and Lyle Lovett an after thought. Were we wrong. KD Lang performed first and her billing on the marquis was almost as a warm up band. She played while the sun was still up (the Greek being an outdoor amplitheatre) and it was a little weird. People were still arriving up until her last couple songs. People in Los Angeles find it challenging to get to any event on time. I don't know if its the Hollywood fashionably late thing or traffic or just poor planning. They do the same at Dodger games, come around the 3rd inning and leave in the 7th. Anyways, I digress....

She sang all her old standbys, her voice and range spectacular as always. She is probably the worst dresser on tour and has become a little chunky. Someone needs to help her dress for concerts. I think you can be unique and eclectic and still look good. She did sing one song from her new upcoming album in February 2008 which I thought was awesome and made me anxious for its release. This album is a collection of her own recently written love songs. I look forward to an original release from her. We haven't had any of her own written songs since 2000's "Invincible Summer." The new 2008 album is currently untitled.

Lyle Lovett was definitely the standout. His billing is Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Large it is. With 4 backup singers, a trumpet, trombone, sax, mandolin, electric standup bass, cello, regular standup bass, slide guitar, grand piano, conga drums, regular drums, lead guitar, etc etc etc etc etc the band is monstrous. What a lively, fun, touchy performance. They first performed songs from their new album, "It's not big, it's large". Well, it's so new its not released yet. Set for release 8/28/07. I enjoy his music and WOW what a performance! Another standout here was Francine Reed, a gospel? singer from Atlanta. She sang one song on her own and had the crowd on their feet.

KD Lang and Lyle Lovett's styles are different yet similar in their uniqueness. That's deep, eh. They both write, perform and explore whatever music styles suit them at the time and that makes it very fun for all of us. I was surprised they didn't sing together.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Shoulder Update

I managed to sneak into the ortho doctor this morning on a cancellation. I couldn't really see the need to wait another week to put off the inevitable. It was an interesting and long visit. He reviewed the MRI and decided that the main problem was my AC Joint. I've not really mentioned that to anyone before this as I was hoping it was just a genetic abnormality in me personally and not a problem. Apparently it is not genetic, but it is a major problem. I was bouyed by the fact that Dr. Kreitenberg wanted to perform one additional treatment prior to deciding on arthroscopic surgery. It makes you feel good about a surgeon who is not just a cut and sew man. Basically the AC joint is huge. He stuck a needle with cortisone and some sort of numbing stuff into the AC Joint,that was fun, left the needle there while they took an x-ray to ensure that it was in the right place. Just picture me laying on the x-ray slab with a god knows how big needle sticking out of my shoulder while they go develop the pictures and look at them. I was chanting to myself, "let the needle be in the right spot...." Fortunately, it was and then the fun really began. He then injected the cortisone and I just about lept off the table. The range of motion was almost immediately better and now I have 2 weeks of limited physical activity to see what will come of this. I thought I'd give you a pix of the AC joint for your perusal, that is actually from my MRI, not Internet downloaded.

The Labral tear is confirmed and will require arthroscopic surgery to repair but if this cortisone shot doesn't do any magic then they'll also shave a sliver off my collar bone to relieve the pain in the AC joint during certain movements. Sounds like loads of fun eh.

Here's the details of the "Mumford procedure"
The simplest type of surgery for AC joint injury involves resection or removal of the end of the clavicle using arthroscopic (mini-surgical) techniques (called a Mumford procedure). If the joint becomes painful because of DCO (weightlifter's shoulder) or arthritis, or the separation is only minor, this technique can be very satisfactory.

Official diagnosis is Hypertrophy of the AC joint and there is a pretty clear pic of it in this link. You can see on the Left a normal MRI (not mine) and you can see in the middle a MRI image almost identical to mine. Fortunately, it has not progressed to the image on the right. Definitely feel the pressing on the rotator cuff in terms of muscle pain in the front center soft tissue area of my shoulder. I think based on my internet research I'm destined for the Mumford.....

Monday, July 23, 2007

My Favorite Gas Station - Part 3

Well, I guess I had to go to 3 parts on this topic. In researching for the previous 2 posts I explored (the stations web site) quite extensively. I eventually made it to the personal section. I took the eco personal path test. I was a little startled to learn that I am only marginally above the average person in eco-friendly recycling. I guess I thought that I was doing my part. I learned I can do more. I've now moved 3 cloth bags, I get tons of these at trade shows and what not, so I have about 30 of them, anyways, I've moved them to the car so that when I shop I bring them into the store and use them and not plastic. That's certainly something....

I was surprised to learn that the plastic grocery store bags (from the Ellen show the other day) don't really decompose in landfills, that they just get smaller and smaller. The plastic kind of shrinks. And eventually an animal or bird will eat it or it gets into our water supply. It was a bummer to hear that. Also, we use like a million of these bags every minute. Just crazy.

Now I just have to convince Dena to change the AC powered lights in the backyard with solar and maybe I'll move up on the personal green curve a little. I don't like to be so close to average.....I prefer WAY above average.

A message to all that read this: Educate your kids, your grandkids, your nieces and nephews, no matter how young. They will change the world and hopefully begin to right the wrongs that us and previous generations have done to mother Earth. We must give them the beginning seeds of knowledge to motivate them and equip them to affect change.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My MRI on the Shoulder

I had an MRI (actually 3) on my shoulder this morning. Quite an experience I'll have to say. My orthopod prescribed 2 things -- a straight MRI and a magnetic resonance (MR) arthrography. The MRI had to be done twice, once each with the shoulder in a specific position and then one for the arthrography. I was in the office for almost 2 hours. I had no idea it was this sort of time committment.

So arthrography means they inject you with this lovely chemical dye (in this case a Paramagnetic substance - galadium) to highlight the joint area I guess. I have two pictures (not of my shoulder) but of what they do and what it looks like for you here. I can tell you that the injection was uncomfortable to say the least as there was a nice big needle stuck in my shoulder for what seemed like 5 minutes. My shoulder still feels very uncomfortable in the joint area. Almost like there is too much pressure in there. Wierd. Anyways, I'll see my orthopod in a couple days and tell you what is wrong with this damn shoulder soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

First Tomato of the Season

We've got 3 varieties - Yellow stripe (Although our 2 ripe ones have no stripes), orange and yellow pear. So far we've had one orange and 2 yellow stripes and they are unbelievably sweet and tasty! There are so many

Saturday, July 14, 2007

My Favorite Gas Station -- Part 2

There is SO much to tell about this station that I had to blog it twice. By the way, if you live in Los Angeles, GET GAS THERE --> corner of Robertson and Olympic.

More on the smart construction and the good people who work at this station:

--> Using construction waste - more recycling -- The small signs that identify the station’s earth-friendly features are made from scraps of steel left over from building the canopy. So is the restroom signage. And like the canopy itself, they can all be recycled years from now when the building is torn down.Little things add up. Recycling the metal in seven soup cans saves enough energy to run a 60-watt bulb around the clock. Our signs probably saved a few big dinners’ worth.

--> Lighting - efficient -- This station has “smart lighting” turned on and off in stages by timers and light-sensing automatic switches. This uses natural light as much as possible and only burns electric lights when needed, saving 1,400 kilowatt-hours each year. Also, This station uses LED (light emitting diode) bulbs in the sign, on top of the dispensers and in other places. They focus the light just where it’s needed so you can use a lower power bulb to get the same brightness.

The other day I stopped in there, as I try to do when I'm in the neighborhood and I met Simar. She's one of the staff that walk around talking to patrons every day at the station, educating them on the station, how to save gas and generally just making us happy. Simar gave me some of these little postcard things that are made from recycled paper. They contain tips on conserving fuel and when you're done reading, the paper is embedded with natural californai wild flower seeds. Last Saturday when our niece/nephew were over we planted these. They'll take about 3 weeks to germinate, but I'm stoked and the kids had fun while we discussed conservation. After all, isn't it today's up and coming generation that is going to make the biggest difference? Anyways, back to Simar and the other good folks at this BP station. Thanks to all of them, getting gas is a friendly, fun affair that makes you forget for a moment that you're in the big city of Los Angeles and feel like you're in small town USA.

Friday, July 13, 2007

My Favorite Gas Station --- Part I

First of all, my apologies for not blogging all week. Not only was it a busy week business wise but I just haven't felt like it. Personally, I have to be in the groove/mood to blog. So, I feel for all of you looking at my toes for a week.

On to my favorite gas station. BP -- British Petroleum has opened what I hope is a trend in gas stations. It's a green - eco friendly station. Certainly a dichotomy in terms - gas station - eco-friendly, but in BP's case I think it works and is very admirable. Let me tell you about the this station.

BP has created a working labratory in gas stations. They've taken an old, polluting station and used many, many different concepts to create something move environmentally friendly. E.G.

--> Solar panels on the roof, while this doesn't provide all the electricity the station needs it certainly helps. Gas stations need a lot of electricity due to pumps, valves and stuff under the covers we don't really see.

--> Recycles all the water it uses, and filters all drain water. Clean ocean. All the rainwater that falls on the big canopy above the pumps is collected and used to water the plants and flowers around the station. It keeps them nice and wet while it keeps you dry. It's about as low tech as tech can get, but it saves energy that would be used to pump water. And the plants seem to like it a lot. We’ve finally gotten smart enough to discover an idea that the Spanish settlers were using here 400 years ago.

--> Recycled glass in the concrete -- Certain kinds of glass can’t be recycled to make new glass containers. These include clear window glass and fluorescent light bulbs. But that doesn’t mean they have to end up in a landfill. The concrete in this station is made with crushed waste glass instead of sand. So the glass stays out of the landfill and the environment isn’t disturbed to get new sand. Also, the glass reflects the sun from the concrete instead of absorbing it. Concrete in cities stays hot/warm well into the night, contributing to global warming and micro climate changes in urban areas.

Check out the info on the station here.
A picture of the station will be up in the Part 2 of this segment.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

My First Pedicure
Ruby and Jack are staying with us this weekend and Ruby and I went for a Manny/Pedy. It was my first pedicure ever. I had to be told what to do by a 10 year old because the people at the salon didn't really speak English --- I put Dodger Blue nail polish on and put a nice White "D" on my big toes for Dodgers, Dawn and Dena -- hehe