Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How to Decorate a Walker, Geek Style

Late last week, in a fit of frustration that the physical therapist still wasn't allowing me to 'graduate' to using a cane, the kids and I decided the walker required more 'decor'. We took a trip over to Party City for cheap items and supplies (emphasis on 'cheap'). The kids then helped me arrange the various new items on the walker, and we scotch-taped them all in place.
I knew we'd achieved 'Cheezy success' when Trusty Hubby arrived home from work, took one look at it, and declared, "I am NOT going to be seen with THAT in public."
Anyway, here are some pics of the final product.

The front view:

My view--the black thing on the left side is a bulb for a horn. The dog keeps confusing it with his squeaker toy since they sound remarkably alike.

Yes, even the wheels got pimped with some star stickers:

Yes, that is a warp nacelle on the horizontal bar, though it's taken a bit of water damage in the rain over the past few weeks. Of course there's one on the other side, too. You can't be unbalanced on your warp nacelles, you know. That would just be silly. The "One Way" sticker is for those who might possibly be confused about the direction a walker must take (yes, I have that much faith in some peoples' intelligence levels). It works well with the Scooby Doo sticker that my daughter got at the doctor's office after a routine visit. She felt they'd look best right above the wheels.

View of the left side of the walker, including the reflective cardboard blue horn, which I'll save for New Year's noisemaking:

Here's the view of the sign that Trusty Friend Sabretooth created and which we copied, printed out, put in a plastic page protector, and then attached to the walker with left over twisty-ties from loaves of bread. And yes, that is a Pokeball attached to it. There's also some weird creature that is attached on the other side because my daughter 'liked it and thought it would look good there'. I never argue with my 9 year old daughter in matters of taste and decorum.

Of course, no walker would be complete without light up features. You have no idea how hard it was to find a a really cheap battery powered string of flashing lights (emphasis on 'cheap'). Fortunately, the light-up lei worked as a good substitute, and the flashing "Princess" pin looks suitably gaudy when lit up.

Just in case you were dying to know, the Pokeball contains a Shaymin. I know your day would not have been complete without informing you of that fact.

No self-respecting sci-fi geek would be caught dead without a Star Wars Pez dispenser. I was hoping to find a Yoda Pez dispenser, but R2D2 was a good second choice. There are cherry-flavored Pez inside, in case you were just dying to know.

My physical therapist finally graduated me to a cane after laughing hysterically at the added decorations.
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Having a little fun with the new template designer

Blogger added a new template designer, and I've been having some fun with that. I still have to work on getting a dark background for the comments section, since the links are so hard to see there. I've added some fun gadgets--who can resist pics of tornadoes or funny cats? I've also added a blog list and hope to keep sharing some interesting new blogs with you all from time to time.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Come on, you know you've always wanted to tweet in Klingon!

'oH ghaH QaQ jaj DaqjaH!!
(Today is a good day to tweet!)
I was browsing the Star Trek Online forum, mostly because I play Star Trek Online, when I saw this in the drop down list of choices on the site: "Tweet in Klingon". As someone who has the official Klingon-English/English-Klingon Dictionary and tried to actually learn Klingon at one point, of course I felt compelled to check this out and see if it really works. It does. The site will cheerfully translate for you and then post your tweet in a few easy steps.

You, too, can have the opportunity to say such worthy things as "Your mother has a smooth forehead!", "Your ship is a garbage scow!", "My targ ate my homework," and "Where can I get my shoes cleaned?". There are then the important phrases such as "Where is the bathroom?" and "I'm lost." However, my favorite is "pa' 'oH tlhIngan 'op naDev" ("there are Klingons around here") and the every-important "cha' margaritas, tIv" ("two margaritas, please").

SoH Sov you're geek DI'SoH jaH DaqtlhIngan.

(You know you're a geek when you tweet in Klingon)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Surgery success!

Total Knee replacement : Lateral view (Xray).Image via WikipediaI made it through my knee replacement surgery! It's been a rough few weeks of recovery, because knee replacements are about as painful as they come in the surgery world, according to my physical therapist. I almost asked for a psych eval the first week after surgery to determine if I was insane for having chosen to go through with it, and then the pain started to calm down a bit.

It's been emotionally challenging along with the physical challenges. My sister had a huge surgery to remove as much of the cancer in her chest cavity as possible about 10 days ago. They took out her entire right lung, part of her diaphragm, the pericardial sac (which goes around the heart), and a tumor off the top of her heart. I think she wins in the severity-of-surgery department for the family this year. I still 'win' the PT pain award, however.

My friend, Karen, passed away last week after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. The docs had finally gotten her most painful tumors shrunk to almost nothing about a month ago, and I was beginning to have some hope that she might make it a little longer. However, God wanted her home in heaven sooner than we all wanted. The one remaining tumor in her liver didn't respond well to treatment, and about 2 weeks ago, her liver just gave out and quit working. She died about 4 days later. Her family had a memorial service last night at our church, and I was able to go to it. We don't have a small church--the sanctuary can hold a few hundred people. It was absolutely packed. It was wonderful to see so many people coming to show their love for Karen's family. I'm going to miss her dearly, but I'm so thankful she's out of pain.

With my sister-in-law having breast cancer, my daughter dealing with ADHD and being diagnosed with both soy and dairy allergies a week before my surgery, seeing funnel clouds the night of my surgery out of my window, going through PT, my friend dying, my sister having surgery, and having a red area on my knee that we initially thought was an infection (turns out it was a hematoma), I think I kind of understand what Job must have gone through. I told a friend of mine at one point I was just thankful God hadn't given me boils. I'm hoping God doesn't get any funny ideas in that department.

I did use my phone and DS during my hospital stay, but didn't actually sign up for internet access via Skylight. The evening I got out of surgery (my operation didn't start til about 2pm), we actually had tornadoes go through Milwaukee county (where my hospital is located), and the city got drenched with 7 inches of rain. I got back to my hospital room on the 11th floor around 5pm and to my delight I was able to see funnel clouds out the window. Naturally, I thought this was awesome, despite the fact that I had absolutely no place to go if we had one land on top of us. The staff apparently are instructed to close the blinds in the event of a tornado warning. I pointed out to the gentleman who was following these instructions that would have little effect at keeping debris out of the room should the tornado decide the hospital needed some re-decoration. He noted that this was an astute observation, especially considering I'd arrived from the recovery room only 15 minutes earlier, but he closed the blinds anyway. I suspect it's to keep us patients from freaking out at a tornado coming, but it ruined my perfectly good view of some lovely wall clouds and funnels. I was going to ask Trusty Hubby to open the blinds back up for me after the hospital worker left, but apparently the Good Drugs kicked in right then, and I fell asleep. I find it completely ironic that I joked about needing access to the Storm Prediction Center on my phone in my post just prior to surgery, and then having a tornado actually show up not too far from the hospital doorstep.

Over the next 2 days, I discovered that I had about a 9.2 minute attention span, so it just wasn't worth paying for the internet service. With my phone, DS, a special about tornadoes airing on The Weather Channel, and the fantastic light show put on by Mother Nature two nights in a row with fabulous storms, I had more than I could handle anyway. The hospital kept me busy with PT twice a day, and when I wasn't doing that, I fell asleep, usually in the middle of a Pokemon battle. It did not help that I got woken up in the middle of the night for shift changes, vital sign measurements, blood tests, and, believe it or not, changing my trash. The gals who came in every night to police the garbage cans tried to be quiet, but I sleep light, so I woke up the moment the door opened. I'd say hello and thanks to them, and they'd both reply in very chipper voices, "You're welcome, have a good night!" I never knew it was possible for someone to be that happy at 4:30am, but they were.

Now I'm staying busy with figuring out how to geek out in physical therapy and home recovery and surviving the use of a walker. I'll share some of my tips with you in another post later.
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