Thursday, May 31, 2018

I’m high maintenance


Been feeling less energetic the last few months, so we scheduled a visit with the cardiologist while we're here in Colorado.  The sequence of visits has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.  The cardiologist scheduled a nuclear stress test (treadmill).  The day before the treadmill test was to take place, with some moderate exercise, I got the stabbing pain in the center of my chest which is my indicator that it's time for trip to the cath lab.  The next day on the treadmill though, to our surprise, I did great.  We need to get to a heartrate of 126 minimum, but preferably to the calculated maximum for my age, 148.  We did that and more, I got to 157 (I had to throw that in) with essentially no chest pain (I gave it a number of 1 on a scale of 1 to 10.)  I took that as good news, but frustratingly good news, because it didn't fit my experience and expectations.  If my heart is that good, then why the lack of stamina?  Anyway, free from any anxiety that I'm about to have a cardiac event, Judy and I went up into the high country and hiked around a couple lakes the next day.  (Maybe free from my anxiety if not Judy's.)


The treadmill was day before yesterday, the follow-up appointment was today.  It turns out the imaging they did before and after the treadmill run showed a "reversible defect".  That means I have a defect, which kind of sucks, but I haven't had a heart attack, which is great news, because that damage is not reversible.  For the defect, and the reversing, I'm scheduled for the cath lab tomorrow, so they can go into my heart and try to find something to stent.  They might go in through my wrist this time instead of through my groin.  How amazing is that!


In a way, even though we know something is wrong, our situation is less frustrating now than it was the day before, because the experience and expectations have come together again.  Heart catherization is the less-invasive heart surgery option, and that usually takes care of the problem.  There is always the possibility that when they get in with the catheter, they'll decide that bypass surgery would be a better option.  If that's the case, they'll bring me back out and we'll have a chance to discuss it, before going back in for the more invasive surgery (but that's not what we're expecting).


Going through the nuclear stress test takes a couple hours altogether and involves some sitting around and talking with the technicians.  There are three people in the room with me:  Joe, the guy who runs the treadmill; Jeff, the guy who runs the imaging; and Jamie, the cardiac nurse who is there to save me, or at least call off the test, if I start to croak.  Conversation made its way to the Bolder Boulder, the annual 10K run that had just happened on Sunday.  It's a massive event now, involving something like 50,000 runners, and has to be carefully managed so that faster runners get a chance to run without getting held up by all the fun-runners.  They ran about 75 flights (of progressively slower runners) to get through the process.  I got to impress them with the fact that I ran in the first ever Bolder Boulder forty years ago.  (Longer than some of them have been alive.)  The first time for the race, it was so small that Judy rode next to me on her bicycle and didn't get in anyone's way.  I didn't get to impress the people in the room with me by telling them my best time, because I never broke the one-hour barrier.  It turns out Joe, the youngest in the room had just run the Bolder Boulder.  I asked him his time and he replied evasively "faster than the year before".  I pried his number out of him and he conceded 47 minutes (a very respectable time).  I let him know that he posted a better time than my grandson (Conner) who had just run a 55.  Since Conner now has a time, and a good one, he won't have to start in the back half of the pack next year.  He has qualified to start up in the top third somewhere.


Today, back at the cardiology offices, we ran into Joe in the hallway and I updated him that by the way, the grandson he bested was 13 years old.  He was shocked.  First he said "I'm still glad I had a better time."  But he was truly impressed that Conner had run such a good time in not only his first Bolder Boulder, but his first 10K ever!


But I digress.  A haircut this afternoon and another delightful dinner at Brian and Becky's house tonight; shredded chicken enchiladas compliments of Teigan.  We'll know more about my condition tomorrow afternoon, but radio silence for a day or two is also a very real possibility.  Not to worry, I'll report back as I'm able.


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Colorado counties


On our way in, we were still missing three counties in the eastern plains.


Problem solved.


We’ve been to all the other missing counties, but not since we started paying attention to recording birds in each.  Looks like we need to spend more time west of the divide.


There are only 64 counties in Colorado.  How hard could it be?


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

St Vrain State Park





And the blackbird is relentless.


Monday, May 28, 2018

A Saturday walk


On Flagstaff Mountain trails.










Sunday, May 27, 2018

Speaking of raptors


Granddaughter Taylor volunteers at the raptor rehab center in Fort Collins.  On Saturday we went to see her at the raptor booth for the Boulder Creek Festival.


She was handling a rough-legged hawk.



There was a swainson’s there too.


And a little long-eared owl in a box!



The raptor center rehabilitates and releases birds back into the wild.  These birds on display have enough issues that they are not suitable for release, so they focus on education with them.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

There is a crane thing going on at Becky and Brian’s house



Origami cranes.


It's an art project.  Homeschool high school.


It involves a thousand cranes.  I don't think they've all been folded and hung yet.


Friday, May 25, 2018

I have reported on Facebook posts I don’t like


Here is what I do like.


What is your opinion of drag queens around children?

I'm against drag queens being exposed to children. A lot could go wrong.


Nails could be broken, wigs pulled off, someone could get knocked off her heels. Children are wild, irrational, and unpredictable, and their characters are still in the formative stages. Someone fabulous could get hurt.



And the blackbird persists.



Thursday, May 24, 2018

It must be a happy eagle family here


Today it was a juvenile in the eagle tree.




Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Moving on


That’s what Conner is doing; moving on from middle school to high school!


We got to attend the ceremony this evening.  The turnout was great.


Conner was honored.


As was his friend Ari.


We even got to hear the band play.



Tuesday, May 22, 2018

When we’re home


We recycle.


It's a little harder to recycle when we're on the road.  The first night out we were at a state park and they didn't recycle, so instead of throwing our recycling away, we decided to just hang on to it until we stopped at a park that did.


Well three weeks later we end up with this much recycling in the back of our Jeep.


That's just for two people!  Amazing.


Meanwhile, we've been adopted by an amorous red-winged blackbird.


He just can't leave us, our car, or our motorhome alone!



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Big news from the home front


Well, not Judy’s and my home front specifically, but from our favorite son and daughter-in-law.


Yaa.  Grandbaby number eight!


Looks like we’ll be headed back to Phoenix in six months.



Saturday, May 19, 2018

Some people will believe anything!


We got this post on Facebook about another terrible thing Obama has done.


Trump Just Ended Obama’s Vacation Scam And Sent Him A Bill You Have To See To Believe

…by David Robinson

Before Obama left office, he arranged with the State Department for a series of “official visits” to foreign countries spanning the next 20 years. Using discretionary funds from the Office of Presidential Visits and Vacations, Obama was able to weasel what would have been another $2.1 billion in free vacations for him and up to 24 members of his family plus staff and a dog sitter until the year 2036.

He would have, that is, had he not lost his office to Donald Trump. Trump, who is always looking for ways to save money, was having the office used for vacations repainted when he was presented with a ledger that contained all of the Obama travel plans and expenses. The ledger was found by one of the 31 workers Trump hired from outside the typical White House staff to make alterations requiring specialized craftsmen.

Our President immediately canceled the plans and recalled all Secret Service agents scheduled to protect the Obamas anywhere outside of the United States. The Obamas, who are still waiting in Kenya for their documents, so they can re-enter the country, are also facing another new challenge at the hands of Trump: They’re going to have to repay the government for all of those vacations that weren’t official state business.

The bill, after some small allowances for days that were possibly work related, is for $214 million. Of the 692 days the Obamas spent on vacation, almost none included any work at all. They ate, slept and golfed and Michelle was given shopping allowances from the Office of Discretionary Gifting Funds, which is supposed to be used to buy presents for visiting dignitaries.

It’s just one scandal after another with these people.


This was a little hard to believe, so we hit “Snopes”, and of course it’s not true, but people we know were reposting this in outrage.  No wonder the Russians were able to influence our election.  Some people will believe anything!


Then I thought about it a little more.  Do I really think the only people the Russians influenced were Obama-hating people on the far-right?  What the people that believed this report read, was right in line with their thinking, so they weren’t skeptical at all.  We only google the stuff that seems too outrageous to us.  What lines up with what we already think, we just nod and turn the page, secure that everything we believe is true and it’s only those other “gullible people” that get deceived.


I’m a skeptical person; in fact, I’m a professional skeptic.  As a CPA and auditor, I get paid to be like this.  I’m not a massive consumer of Facebook news or Twitter either, but still, I wonder how much contrived bullshit, in line with my thinking, has passed in front of me and never triggered my BS radar…


Friday, May 18, 2018

The damage done to Kansas


We’ve lopped off a corner.


2018 May Colorado Trip


Backroads and byways.  Haven’t seen an interstate lately.


Here in time for the afternoon thunderstorm.

It got a little loud when the hail hit.


The sky got wonderful after.



Thursday, May 17, 2018

We drew a line across Oklahoma



That outlier county is from an overnight stop on a previous trip years ago, before we were counting birds in each county.


Evening light.






Tomorrow, the Colorado eastern plains.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Another day at the office



We didn’t retire 20 years ago, we figured out how to work from the road.  It’s great.  I don’t have to work all the time, we have time to travel, but I don’t have to give up what I love doing for a living either.  I can’t do everything from here, but I can still contribute.



We still practically have this place to ourselves.




Guess we’ll stay here tomorrow too.