Saturday, December 27, 2014

Drugs vs. cough: round 1 is a draw

I'm sad to report that the first round in the battle between my prescription drugs and my sinus infection and accompanying cough was very much a draw.  I feel a little better, though my body's fatigue from fighting the infection is evident.  More importantly, last night, when I had hoped to sleep all night without coughing, contained a great deal of coughing--but also, for the first time in over a week, multiple stretches of sleeping. 

I hope to be able to report tomorrow that I've turned a corner and not coughed all night, but given that I'm coughing as I type this, I don't expect that to be the case. 

Someday soon, though, the drugs and my body will team up to kick this infection and cough out of my system. 

I am very much looking forward to that. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

About that cold

A little over a week ago, I noted that I had a cold and it was making work difficult.  Well, the cold apparently took advantage of my exhausted condition and turned the evenings between that post and now into some of my more miserable nights.  I haven't slept ninety minutes straight in the intervening days. 

Today, I finally relented and went to an urgent care clinic.  I've apparently become the winner of a particularly bad sinus infection and a cough, due to drainage, that is keeping me up all night.  Thanks to the clinic's doctor, I'm already fighting the infection with antibiotics, and I am the proud owner of a cough suppressant that should help me sleep.  I am quite look forward to a long slumber, so to it I go.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We celebrate this holiday, though admittedly as much as a family gathering as anything else.  If you, too, celebrate it, I hope your holiday is filled with joy and love.

If this holiday is not for you, I still wish you a day full of joy and love.  None of us can never get enough of either of those.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

In which Holden attempts to turn Cone Man toward the light

Click the image to see a larger version.

Holden:  Over a month has it been since we last chatted, my Plexiglas friend.

Cone Man:  Not so long since you pissed on me, you fur-covered toadie for the man!

H:  Must you resort to vulgarity at every turn?  Surely you are a better cone than that.

CM:  Stick your snout in one of my arm holes, and I'll show you vulgar. 

H:  As intriguing as your offer is, I must decline it, for I venture forth this Christmas Eve on far more serious matters. 

CM:  If you think there's anything more serious than what's inside these arm holes, you haven't been paying attention to the local wildlife, you furry lackey.  Haven't you wondered why we've had so few deer in the yard lately?  Oh, yeah, who's the cone?  I'm the cone!

H:  Which brings us to the very subject I wish to discuss:  you simply must stop consuming the local wildlife. 

CM:  Consuming?  Consuming!?!  Exactly where did you go to school, my four-legged bit of fluff?  I consume nothing.  I am but a conduit for the dark lords who are are building their animal army, that one day they might flow through me, conquer this wretched planet, and appoint me King Cone. 

H:  Yes, well, about that.  My vision is far better than that of any humans, good enough that I can see through those arm holes of yours, see all the way into the dimension of your so-called "dark lords."  I'm afraid I must report that those lords are simply two thirteen-year-old boys on a distant planet, boys who have found it's easier to persuade you to lure deer and squirrels than it is to hunt for local game. 

CM:  You're just jealous, stumpy, that there's no room for you in the Cone Empire. 

H:  I anticipated you might reject reason, so I will have to resort to cruder forms of persuasion.  Exactly how long do you think it will be before your dark lords have enough animal soldiers to attack Earth?

CM:  Years, many years, they've said, but I am patient.

H:  Uh-uh.  And exactly how many years do you think your Plexiglas body will last if I raise my leg on it, oh, say, four or five times a day? 

CM:  Not many, but you wouldn't.  You wouldn't. 

H:  Not by choice, no, I would not.  But to save my fellow animals, I am prepared to make that sacrifice. 

CM:  Fine.  No more deer.

H:  No more animals of any type--including humans?

CM:  Fine.  No more animals of any type. 

H:  My work here is finished. 

CM:  Will you at least get me a fresh coat of paint, or a decent scrubbing, in the spring?

H:  If all the squirrels indeed return, I will consider it.  Merry Christmas, Cone Man!

CM:  Whatever. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

What's that you say? Come a little closer,

I can't hear you, says the Cone Man, who in full festive regalia is now welcoming guests down our driveway. 

Click the image to see a larger version.

Don't worry about that red mouth, or the eerie yet welcoming glow from where his arms once were.  Approach him, listen to him, and do whatever he says.

You can trust the Cone Man. 

Come a little closer.

Monday, December 22, 2014

For me, this scene never gets old

It captures perfectly the joys and frustrations of being a dad at Christmas who is trying to put together gifts and impress his family.

Plus, I love all the lights!


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Only a few reasons can explain why Peter Jackson would turn Tolkien's slight novel, The Hobbit, into a trio of long films, longer director's cut versions of which are almost certainly on the way.  Greed, of course is one of them; sequels are the surest paths to money Hollywood knows.  I'm going, though, with love, pure nerd love. 

I read The Lord of the Rings at possibly the perfect point in my life, as I was just starting seventh grade, which back then was the beginning of what we called junior high school.  I received the first book as a gift around seven in the evening on a Friday, and I read all three books straight through into Saturday.  I was entranced.  I absolutely walked right alongside the fellowship, sharing their adventures and their trials.  (I loved those books and lived so firmly in them that I have never been willing to risk reading them again; I know way too much now to be able to enjoy them as the young me did.)  As part of living in those books, like many people I also saw them as movies in my head, movies so grand that no one could ever make them fit on a silver screen. 

I like to think that Peter Jackson experienced the books the way I did, except that his passion didn't diminish the way mine did, and so one day he decided that he would by damn make the movies in his head come to theaters everywhere.  I like to think that the grand excesses of all his Tolkien films--and particularly those of this last installment of The Hobbit set--stem from his passion to bring to life all that he had seen and felt. 

When I believe that, when I picture the young Peter Jackson living inside the current one, I not only understand the overwrought, overly long Hobbit films, I actually admire them. 

This final Hobbit movie is a big one, grand in almost every shot, sweeping in scope, a film committed to repaying the ride of the previous two movies by making sure that absolutely everything in every movie comes together in a powerful conclusion--and one that, of course, leads us straight to the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring

At a gathering earlier tonight, I remarked that one day we would all have the option to take the challenge of watching all of The Hobbit and all of The Lord of the Rings movies--extended, director's cut versions only, of course--in order in an eighteen or so hour marathon.  Ben looked wistful for a second--I could have sworn I saw his early teen self in that pause--and said he would be up for that challenge. 

In the right mood, on the right day, with my young self holding sway and the world not reminding me that I am now a man with gray hair and white beard, I would be, too. 


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