Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Arthritis of the Neck - Cervical Spondylosis?


A poor drawing, I know, but it points to the pain in my neck.  Is it cervical spondylosis?  I don’t know, but it really hurts.  I’m hoping the pain subsides.  I have some medication that has stopped the sharp pains that were running through my head, but nothing has put a dent in this pain.  My whole neck hurts and it gives me a never-ending headache.  ■  Aspirin?  Doesn’t have any effect on it.  And it pulsates.  ■  Hard to live a normal life like this.  I hope this isn’t now my “normal life.”  ■  I’ve finished with another drawing.  One more to go with this batch.  I should be able to start on the next batch this weekend.  ■  And no time to practice on my dobro.  Bummer.  ■  Oh, and the form I’ve been working on for the past couple of weeks is now done.  I’ll move it into production tomorrow.  ■  Time to see if I can sleep.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Scandinavian? Let the genes decide . . . .


We were going through some old slides tonight.  It was a lot of fun – brought back some old memories.  And we haven’t even found all of our old slides from yesteryear – not even of the “Long Ranger.”  This is shot of me (taken off the wall from our slide show) from about 1975, or so – maybe a little earlier.  While I don’t have the Viking hat, it does appear that I have some Scandinavian blood – I just don’t have that double-bladed axe over my shoulder.  Maybe I’ll post a few more old pictures . . . ■  I’ve been working on getting the Kalo event registration form designed and working.  The service I’m using was having some database problems – which it appears that they’ve now fixed.  I think we’re ready to go.  ■  The case for my square-neck dobro came in.  I forgot to take it with me when I left work tonight.  I’ll have to go back tomorrow to pick it up.  ■  More drawing to go.  I’m not real happy with the current drawing I’m working on.  I’ve got to try a couple of different things.  ■  More tomorrow.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stiff, arthritic neck is back.


The stiffness in my neck from arthritis is acting up.   It’s painful moving my neck and it even mildly pulsates.  ■  Which, of course, makes it interesting to do pen and inks.  I have a bunch yet to do.  Some heavy drawing time coming up.  ■  But tomorrow morning I’m concentrating on the reservation form for the Kalo events.  I haven’t had the time I needed to get back to doing that.  ■  And Jac wondered about my dead grass in the backyard.  That portion of the yard had creeping charlie.  It’s a weed that takes over your lawn unless stopped.  That’s what we’re trying to do.  That portion of the lawn is going to be reseeded and hopefully we’ll have a nice, lush lawn back there again.  ■   

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sketches . . . . and more . . . . . . .


I’ve been working on some preliminary sketches for some homes I’m drawing.  One is of an apartment building in NY and the other a home in Virginia Beach, VA.  I’ve got a couple of questions on the VA one which have to be answered before I can begin the actual pen & ink.  ■  Had a gig last night at Jimmy D’s.  The gig was good, but am I ever sore from it.  I’m not used to standing for 4 hours and since I’ve been neglecting playing my electric guitars – my hands were very sore this morning.  Heck, so were my ankles, knees, and legs.  I’ve got to make an effort to put in 30 minutes a day on electric.  For the past couple of weeks I’ve been mainly playing my dobro and that’s played with the guitar sitting flat on your lap and using a “steel” to do all of your playing.  Not good exercise for the left hand.  ■  Tonight we’re going to throw a couple of steaks on the grill.  I’m looking forward to that.  ■

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I’m tired . . . . .


I’m tired.  I go to sleep too late . . . wake up early . . . and then crawl back in bed and sleep for another couple of hours.  But it’s not enough.  I’ll get it figured out eventually.  ■  Started on another drawing today.  Got a bunch to start and finish.  ■  And I’ve got the Kalo reservation system to finish.  ■  And Bullfrog has a gig tomorrow night.  I’ve got to get the set list done.  ■   Bedtime.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Headache is back . . . . .

I’ve been taking a new med via my neurologist.  It did take away the arthritis-caused headaches that I’ve been having.  I started that med last Friday (the 19th), but ended up with my left foot swelling on Monday night.  Tuesday morning my left foot was swollen.  I figured that it must be related to the new med, so I stopped taking it and call my neurologist.  As only my left foot was swollen he didn’t think it was related to the med.  I didn’t take the med Tuesday morning, cornell_small_001or night and by Wednesday at noon the swelling was gone.  But, the headache was back.  ■  So late this afternoon (Wednesday) I took the new med again.  Hopefully this won’t bring on swelling again.  I’m so tired of headaches.  ■   I’ve been working on a number of drawings for my daughter and future son-in-law. This is one of them.   I’ve got another on the drawing board and should finish that one in the next couple of days.  ■  Time, yes, I know what you’re thinking, for bed.  ‘Night.  ■

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Dilbert Principle . . . does it ever end?

"If I don't understand it, it must be simple."  I remember the Dilbert cartoon it was from.  It’s a classic Dilbert principle.  It plays out over and over in life – ok, mostly work life.  Some vp says “I want you to create a system to track banking deals and generate some reports.  How hard can that be?”  Or, “Just install a telephone system for our company.  How hard can that be?”  Because they’ve never done it – don’t even understand it – they assume it must be simple.  ■  I’m working on a reservation system for a nonprofit and they don’t realize the hours that it’s taken to get the system up and in testing.  And now they don’t understand why making changes should be such a big deal.  It never ends.  Does it?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A long day for these two . . . . .


Yup, a long day for these Randahl dogs.  What a tough life.  After a long day they retire to their couches.  ■  Found a solution to my Excel programming problem.  Thank goodness.  I was getting worried.  Using Excel isn’t the best solution, but it is the most practical one at this point.  Now I just have to write a procedure for this application. And I have to add a big thanks to Jac, my neighbor for his assistance and expertise in this project.  ■  Tomorrow I’ll get a good deal done on a drawing that I started today.  I’ve got lots of drawings to do.  ■  It’s bedtime.  Goodnight.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Dobro . . . resonator . . . . . What?


That’s my newest guitar.  It’s a square-neck resonator / “Dobro”.  This type of guitar was originally manufactured by the Dopyera brothers in the late 1920s.  Gibson bought the name “Dobro”, so we have to call  them “resonator” guitars now. ■  That large round metal thing in the guitar is sort of like a speaker.  It’s a metal cone that helps project the sound – and gives it a rather unique sound.  ■  I now have two of these resonator guitars.  One is a round neck (like a regular guitar), and the new one is a square-neck.  The square neck you play with a “steel” – a “steel” is a piece of metal that you use to slide on the guitar strings to play the guitar.  ■  If you want to know more about it check out Wikipedia, or YouTube with videos – especially Jerry Douglas.  What a master!  Check his out with Allison Kraus doing “Carolina In My Mind.”  ■  I’m struggling with a good way to track reservations for some upcoming Kalo events.  Excel is not really the tool to use, but right now it’s all I’ve got.  It appears that I’m going to have to delve into Visual Basic in order to get the thing done.  I’ve never worked with VB, so it’s really going to be a challenge.  Help!  ■  Tomorrow we’re doing ribs.  Anyone want to join us? 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Arthritis headache is back . . . . .

My, what I call an arthritis headache, is back.  It finally left me this past Saturday.  Hurrah!  No headache.  Today it came back.  This is a headache that doesn’t react to anything – at least that I have available.  I see the neurologist tomorrow.  Maybe he can help.  ■

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Forms … data … what a problem . . . . .


It was a beautiful day out today.  Warm in the 60’s, I think.  Tomorrow I’ve heard that it’s supposed to be 70’s.  Spring has sprung.  ■  My next door neighbor, Jean, helped me pick up the winter’s accumulation of dog stuff.  I had started picking it up with my trusty shovel – a couple of piles at a time, when she thought of raking it up into piles.  And it worked!  The “stuff” was all dried out and it took us no time at all to do it.  A big thanks to Jean!  ■  I’m working on a problem:  Receiving data from a form – each record is emailed to me, but then I need to somehow parse it out and get it into Excel. The final solution won’t be pretty, but hopefully it’ll be helpful.  ■ 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pen & Ink book . . . . . . .

Blurb, the web publishing business that I've used for my first book, has come out with a widget that I can put in my post that shows a preview of the book. Kind of neat. ■ I'm now working on a series of drawings that will be included in my next book. ■ With all this drawing I need to run out and get a few supplies. ■

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Got to start over, I think . . . . . .


Started on this drawing, but I don’t like it.  I need to shift the drawing to the left a little bit and that big structure on the bottom-right is the large mailbox.  It’s much too prominent in the drawing.  Time, I think, to start over.  ■  Sold a guitar and amp today!  Hooray!  ■  Headaches haven’t abated.  They get worse as the day goes on.  ■  Square neck dobro . . . got to order one and learn to play it.  Love the sound.  ■ 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Of cribbage and kings . . .


“The time has come the walrus said
To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing wax
Of cabbages and kings.”

Excerpt from Through the Looking-Glass, by Lewis Carroll

Ok, it’s cabbages not cribbage.  The picture above was taken by me of our cribbage group.  We’ve been a group for a long, long time.  We used to get together monthly.  Now it’s closer to every-other month, or less.  ■  I’ve finished a couple of drawings and will get them out to the customer tomorrow.  Then it’s on to new drawings.  ■  I’ve got an appointment with my neurologist in a couple of weeks.  Maybe he can find a way to get rid of these headaches.  ■  

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sharp pain in my head.

This has been building over the past couple of days – sharp pains in my head.  It’s in addition to the normal-dull-always-there headache.  These pains are sharp – like lightening bolts.  If I move my head a certain way, or maybe too fast – I get sharp pain flashes in my head.  If I could figure out what motions cause the pain I’d stop those motions.  ■

Headaches every day?


Years ago I thought I was the only one that got a headache every day.  And I mean every day.  Then one of my co-workers at CINB told me that she too had a headache every day.  So, I’m not alone.  Finally one day some months ago I was sent to a neurologist.  After a brain scan that detected a tumor – that most likely was not the cause of my headaches – he prescribed a med.  I took this med and wonder of wonders – no headache.  However as time wore on the headaches – much lessened – started coming back.  The med was doubled – no headache, but I was a walking zombie until about 11 in the morning.  Back to original dosage.  Headaches were minor, but still there.  I was willing to live with that.  Believe me after 35 years of daily headaches this was still good.  ■  Then a couple of weeks ago arthritis  in my neck hit.  Not only do I have limited movement in my neck, but I have constant headaches.  And these are much worse than the ones I previously had.  These pulsate.  If I turn my head a certain way (and I’m not even sure which way that is at this point) I get sharp pains.  If I turn my head abruptly I get sharp pains.  And they always pulsate.  Pulsate:  a good descriptive word.  It pulsates enough that it wakes me up in the middle of the night.  What a bs way to live.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Drawing is slow . . .


Drawing is slow because of this dang headache.  This is a scratch copy of the drawing I’m currently working on.  I need to see how the windows will look with either individual panes, or one solid color.  I think it looks better with individual panes.  And different windows in the house have a different number of panes.  I also have to add shutters, which aren’t in the picture I received.  ■  When I’m drawing my head is pounding.  Heck, it’s pounding when I’m not drawing too, but in drawing I have to concentrate.  This headache makes it difficult to do so.  ■  Off to work now.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Exploding head syndrome

Exploding head syndrome is a condition that causes the sufferer occasionally to experience . . . and no, I don’t have exploding head syndrome, but it feels like I do.  I now have a constant – and I mean it’s always there – headache.  No relief with Excedrin; so far no relief with the capsaicin cream.  Although last night I awoke with the feeling that a hot poker had been laid across my neck where my cpap strap went – but still had the headache.  And the headache pulses. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My drawing buddy . . . . .


That’s my drawing buddy lying next to my stool.  She’s pretty faithful, although she’s not always in my studio/office.  Many times she’s on our bed sleeping.  ■  This neck and head pain is tedious, tiring, and irritating.  I used to have headaches every day, but we had conquered those with the help of medication.  Now that I have arthritis in my neck the headaches caused by the arthritis are even worse than before.  My doctor has prescribed some type of cream that, I imagine, needs to be applied to my neck.  Holly will pick that up tonight on her way home.  Hopefully that’ll bring some relief.  ■  Off to work in a few minutes.  ■

Pain, pain, go away . . . . . . .

030210_001I’m up early to feed the dogs and let ‘em outside.  I am going to crawl back into bed and see if I can’t get a couple of hours of sleep.  I woke up a couple of times last night because of the neck pain.  My range of movement is becoming more constricted.  My doctor apparently called in some medication (I think topical) and my pharmacy called with a question.  It was too late to call them back last night, so that’s one of my morning things to do.  ■  But first – a little more drawing . . . . . . 

Monday, March 1, 2010

What a pain in my neck!


I’ve been off steroids since Friday and the pain in my neck is returning with a vengeance.  The pain in my left arm and my right side shoulder impingement are also on the way back.  ■  Had a fun gig on Saturday night.  I thought I could have played better, but only practice will bring that about.  ■  I’m almost finished with another drawing.  Hope to get it shipped out this week.  ■  Yup, ‘night.