Saturday, July 27, 2013

About my nose

Not a blog entry title I've ever expected to write, but one that's appropriate given some of the questions I've received since posting those three old photos of me.  As the questioners have correctly noticed, my nose today looks rather different from the nose on the younger me in the photos.  Some folks want to know why.

I could lie and say the change is the result of aging, but it's not.  I could also make up some dramatic story, say one in which a cop busted my nose during a protest for women's rights to control their own bodies, but that didn't happen either--though I strongly support such protests and believe that women should of course have those rights.

No, my nose looks different today because I was stupid when I was seven and a surgeon was incompetent when I was twenty.

At seven, I was playing tree-tag with a group of friends.  If you don't know this game, as the name suggests it's tag you play in a group of trees whose branches overlap.  You can't touch the ground except at one or more designated bases, which you can reach only by hanging from a branch and letting go.  I was doing just that, heading to safety, thinking all was well--which it was, until I let go of the branch.  I'd failed to notice the smaller branches hanging off the large one from which I was hanging.  One of those smaller branches caught in my nose when I let go of the bigger branch.  The end of this particular little branch was forked.  When I let go of the bigger branch, the forked end of the little one caught in my nose and tore up the inside of my nose, leaving my septum deviated on both sides and me the unhappy recipient of quite a few stitches.

When the injury healed and my then-father pulled out the stitches, a wonderful treat I received because he didn't want to pay another doctor bill to fix another of my stupid injuries, I had almost no air flow in one nostril and only about ten percent of normal air flow in the other.

At twenty, my mother told me that before I went off her medical benefits she could arrange for the insurance company to pay to fix my nose.  After much thought and many conversations, I agreed to have the surgery. 

The surgeon botched the operation.  I emerged from the operating room with almost no cartilage in the end of my nose, a very thin septum, and no better nasal air flow.  I had a new, somewhat different-looking nose, but it worked no better than its predecessor.

About a dozen years ago (I honestly can't remember the exact date), I had a second nose-repair surgery.  This time, an excellent surgeon was able to give me normal air flow in both nostrils and take very little cartilage in the process.  He did not change the way my nose looked. 

So, the young me in the pictures had his natural nose, but he couldn't breathe through it.  I at least can breathe easily through mine, a big improvement--in function, if not in appearance. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Okay, one more

I wasn't going to post this last blast from high school that Lynn provided, but I found several emails asking for more, so what the heck; I'll embarrass myself once more.

This one dates from late 1971, when I was a junior in high school.

Click on the photo to see a larger image.

In it, my sideburns and hair are just beginning their journey to greatness--or, at least, to hugeness. 

I also had not yet adopted what became my uniform for many, many years--and still frequently is:  jeans and a t-shirt.

I look so young in this one.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

One more golden oldie

This one is again courtesy of Lynn, who has apparently unearthed a trove of copies of our old high-school newspaper. 

Click on the photo to see a larger image.

Yes, I was on the school's Hi-Q team--not only on it, but captain of it.  What of it, buddy?  We were the comeback kids and undefeated heading into the semifinals, at which incorrect judging during a match televised live cost us that match.  (The show runners later admitted the judge was wrong but said they could do nothing about it because the show had already aired.  Not that I'm bitter about it or anything.)

That hair of mine is like a separate creature.  Amazing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A blast from the past

Look at that helmet hair!  Check out those giant sideburns!

Click on the image to see a larger version.

It's 1973, and that's me! 


Sadly, the guy standing behind me, Byron Howes, died recently

(Thanks to Lynn for supplying this page from our old high-school newspaper.) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Go, Florida, go!

Carl Hiaasen and many other writers often work in a subgenre of mystery fiction that I've heard called the "South Florida wacko school" and similar names.  What's particularly fun about their fiction is how much of the weird elements they steal from real-life events in the state in which I grew up.

We can all share in many of these same odd events easily, via Twitter, in particular this Twitter feed.  Check it out, enjoy its humorous tweet renditions of the events, and click on the source links to find the true stories behind almost all (but not all) of the entries.

Florida is a very special place indeed.

My thanks to Kyle for bringing this to my attention.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Marty Gear, R.I.P.

On July 18, Marty Gear died in his sleep.  He was a friend, not a close friend, not the kind of friend I spent a lot of time with, but a guy I'd known and considered a casual friend for over thirty years.  He was a big-name fan, a costumer, the emcee of countless masquerades at SF conventions and CostumeCons, and a man of broad passions.  You can see a few pictures of him here

A lot of people have better stories about Marty than I do and knew him better than I did, but still I miss him.  We are all poorer for his passing. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Transitioning to normal

I've spent today trying to catch up on all the mail and bills and other stuff that accumulated while I was away at the beach.  With luck, I'll be ready tomorrow morning to jump back into the rush of work.

I do, of course, tremendously miss the beach.  If I had the money and the time, I could easily stay there all summer.

Though apparently I am the last person in America to discover this song, a sound system at some beach restaurant introduced me to this tune, which I quite like.  Enjoy.


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