Nowhere Near-Death Experince

Backyard BBQ 2The joys of being a house owner comes hundred fold when sitting on the back porch smelling the BBQ aroma of frying meats and having a glass of home (almost) brewed moonshine. All while the kids are playing yard games, wife is standing in the sunbeams gloving of utter gorgeousness and Mumford & Sons‘ tunes are streaming from the bluetooth speaker.  Weather is of course fantastic, warm, but not flesh scorching.

To be absolutely honest, being a home owner can certainly suck at times.  There’s always something that has to be fixed and staff in the local Home Depot are becoming your only social life.  Water leakage, door handles sticking, shower head breaking off, toilet clogged due to excessive toilet paper usage by 5-year-old, shower door dropping off ledge and not to forget the outdoor areas.

You know you are in trouble socially when Home Depot staff are befriending you on Facebook, and greeting you at the local ShopRite.

The latter can be an adventure, especially if you own a small forest like we do.  We never know what we might find and if it is from an unsolved crime scene.

A few days ago I decided to put on my responsible house owner and father hats on, and do some manly stuff around the house – literally around the house, as I needed to cut the grass, blow some leaves, pull some weeds and pick up dog poop.

Two dogs equals a large amount of natural fertilizer kids step in!

The cool thing about this was that I got to play with all my man toys; lawn mower, weed wacker and backpack blower … all my favorite power tools that makes me feel masculine.

sweatingThis was the first time I was attempting to cut our lawn, and something that had not been done since last fall, when the previous owner vacated the premises.  It had grown a little wild to say the least, to a point where I had to empty the grass cutting collector after 2-3 runs.  The grass for thick and moist, blocking the flow at times, and it was physical labor my body was not use to, and I was sweating profoundly.

Suffering from acute dehydration, I knew I had to stay hydrated and emptied a few gallons of cold water, but it was still very hot out.

After my lawn adventures, I moved on to weed trimming, followed by clearing leaves and grass cuttings with my power backpack blower.

It was an awesome 3 hours of solid work, enjoying the great outdoors, and I was proud of my achievements as I sat on my deck look (and smelling) the newly cut lawn.

However, something was slightly off.  My body was tingling and I was a little dizzy.  It was a very strange feeling and something I haven’t felt since Shaun T hammered my body to smithereens.  Not a very pleasant feeling.

But, I got a deserved shower and we headed off for dinner out with the family.  Thankfully my wife insisted on driving and as we went on driving my poor body started to show further signs of exhaustion.

heatstrokeIt was probably a combination of exhaustion, dehydration and lack of food that caused my body to react this way.  Or, just the fact that I’m getting older and perhaps this was a near-death experience.  I was seeking comfort in my family, but at the same time attempting to hold up a strong appearance for my kids.  Dad is doing just fine!!

Knowing my body fairly well, which I should after 40+ years, I simply needed to replenish my batteries.  What better way than eating spicy Mexican food, flushing it down with full blown non-diet Coke?

Gradually my body was recovering, although it took much longer than anticipated and I have come to the realization that I’m not a a young man anymore.  It was pretty obvious that I had a nowhere near-death experience.  Any man in my age would suffer from 3 hours of heavy gardening work, despite a good friend of mine completed the Spartan Race as #10 in his (our) age group, which is a lot more demanding than gardening.

Gotta go!  Shaun T is calling me on my cell!

Coffee Greed – busted

old-starbucks-logoI normally don’t write blogs about news events or other media related activities, as I don’t want to get into lengthy debates with people.  But when something occurs that makes my pee boil, then I simply have to share my thoughts.  This discussion may perhaps be a little heated and biased at times, but it’s a way for me to debate this topic with my evil twin (in my head).

This latest attempt to seek easy money is making me disappointed in people’s greed.  How bloody stupid is this law suit!?  Starbucks Lawsuit – hot tamales.  A cop suing Starbucks for spilling coffee on himself.

And a cop of all people, who I deeply respect for their bravery and protecting people, should know that coffee is hot, given many cops drink it with their doughnuts (just a silly stereotype statement 🙂 )

OK.  Coffee is hot, although it is not necessarily hot enough to cause severe burns, unless you order it ‘extra hot’ at the counter.  If that’s the case, then the coffee is about 180 Fahrenheit (82 degrees Celsius), which is not the actual boiling point of water.

Don’t get me wrong, it hurts like hell to spill coffee (or tea) over yourself and can give you some nasty + painful burn blisters.  Here’s a little Mythbuster-like review of burns … not tried at home, but found on Google:

  • Most adults will suffer 3rd degree burns if exposed to 150 degree water for 2 seconds
  • Burns may occur with a 6 second exposure to 140 degree water
  • Burns may occur with a 30 second exposure to 130 degree water
  • A temperature of 120 degrees, and a 5 minute exposure may cause 3rd degree burns

In my humble opinion, this is just an attempt to get money from a large corporation for your own stupidities.

To state that it has impacted intimacy with his wife, resulted in surgery, flare-up of his Crohn’s Disease, affected his kids and caused him from not being able to do his job as a police supervisor is stretching the power of coffee a little too far.

And, do they really think it sounds realistic and generous that they reduced their original claim from $10 million to “only” $750K.  How do you even calculate that number?  …. DUMB ASS!!  Let’s break this down, another Mythbuster-like analysis:

  • $15 for dry-cleaning
  • Coffee purchase $2.45 (this would most likely be refunded by Starbucks on the day)
  • Embarrassing moment when dropping pants (Kodak selfie moment) – priceless
  • $2 for petrol to drive 5 miles round trip to get new clothes from the house (based on fuel consumption on my El Camino)
  • $10 for the ointment to rub on the affected area
  • $35 co-pay for doctor’s visit
  • Total possible compensation = $64.45

Shit happens. You spill coffee, you take off the clothing and put on cold water.  Why did he need surgery?

No wonder so many products and companies have weird disclaimers – it’s to prevent dumb ass people to make stupid claims.

starbucks troopersA similar case made the news a few years back and the judge threw out the case.  Just Because Tea is Hot!

Europeans laugh at the Americans when they read such articles and it does not serve well for the reputation of a great Nation and its awesome people.

Now, had the waiter throw the boiling coffee on him, by accident or intentionally, then that changes the game entirely.  Still not a $10 million claim.  But that was not the case.

Long story short, I fully support valid claims and lawsuits to help people who are truly affected by actions or events outside their control. They need to be compensated, especially considering the insane health costs that comes with even the smallest injury.

Lawyers need to review cases more realistically and not encourage outrages claims.  Would it hurt to perhaps challenge the “victim” by discussing logic with them first.  If the coffee is steaming and ordered hot, then be careful.  Once you take the cup, you are responsible for your own actions.

Unfortunately we have people who try their luck and who have equally greedy lawyers.  As such, judges need to take a stance against these claims.  It affects us all in the long-run (conspiracy theory) as prices and insurances will simply go up to recover the legal charges companies are fined with.

Be safe – Be honest – Be positive

(disclaimer – this post is not sponsored by Starbucks and I have not been offered payments to support the Starbucks engine – although I could use a nice tall Latte!)

Barista Moments

A few barista statements that I found while searching for coffee temperatures, based on an interview with a Starbucks barista; Extra Hot Coffee – why?

1. When it’s cold outside. “When I worked at Starbucks in North Dakota, the temperatures would reach -30F plus wind chill, so drinks cooled down QUICKLY if taken outside/ordered in a drive thru,” Morgan wrote.

2. When you are ordering a milk-based drinks. Creamers, even when steamed, can cool down the temperature of a coffee. Tell the barista you want the milk steamed to 180 degrees, and it won’t negatively affect the taste of the espresso or coffee.

3. When you don’t plan to drink the coffee right away. If you want to enjoy your coffee at work but there’s a convenient Starbucks location closer to home, ordering it extra hot will keep it warm during the commute.

T-Virus Is Real

T-Virus
T-Virus

I have been rather rattled by the recent debates and discussions, and at times accusations, when it comes to giving vaccines to our kids.  Giving them to my kids whom I love and cherish.

Some scientists claim that we need to vaccinate our kids from an early age, and we blindly listen to them without questioning what poison they inject into these fragile bodies.

Political groups accuses parents of putting our existence into question and also claim that none of these multi- vaccines have caused long-term impacts.  Why is there an increase in mental illnesses like autism?

I’m not an advocate for autism, but do question why we’ve seen such an increase in last few years.  And I do not believe it’s to do better screening.  Here’s a little video for the conspiracy theorists 🙂

Poison is perhaps the wrong term, but nevertheless, we inject toxics into their bodies hoping they will be protected against common and now more uncommon infections.  It’s the beginning  of World War Z!

I have long proclaimed that vaccinating kids unnecessarily will only cause four things;

  1. Kids get an overload of viruses injected which could have long-term impact on their bodies and mental states.  We do not have the long-term evidence to show that it is not dangerous.
  2. Multi-function vaccines contain chemicals, viruses and liquids is a toxic cocktail.  The combinations have side effects.
  3. Viruses will mutate and grow stronger, leaving humanity with less chance of winning
  4. It’s all just a conspiracy and we are all doomed 🙂

It’s important to understand that I fully support getting my kids vaccinated, but I also want to know what’s being injected into my kids, and have the right to object or request single (individual) shots instead of multi-vaccines.

When I grew up I had perhaps a handful of vaccines measles, rubella, mumps, polio and smallpox … and perhaps one or two mode.  But that was it, and I survived my childhood just fine.  And so did all the Western World parents who are giving out about other parents objecting to multi vaccines.

We have to stop, assess our objectives and then determine the best vaccines for our kids.

Look at the impact of the flu vaccine.  The flu virus have gotten much stronger in the past few years, mutating and leaving the vaccine useless.  Perhaps not useless, as some people will benefit from a vaccine if they have a weak immune system.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the vaccines our kids get these days, at a very young age.

  • Cervical Cancer; spread through sexual contact … but their genitals are not even evolved at this stage
  • Hepatitis; share needles, unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, alcoholic, which again is unlikely at this young age
    • of course if you travel to or live in areas with poor sanitation, then yes
  • Pneumococcal; the PPSV vaccine cannot be used for the part of the population that is most vulnerable to the disease, i.e. kids, so they just made another version (or just other name) called PCV
  • Pertussis; aka Whooping Cough – granted, we do not want our kids to get this infection, but perhaps we could give them the cure when/if they do contract Whooping Cough?
  • Flu;  let’s be honest, it’s a pain to get the flu, and if you have a really weak immune system it can be very serious, but there’s no need to force this vaccine upon kids

The rest of the long list of vaccines our kids get are ok I assume, but I do not support the use of multi-vaccines.  We simply do not know the long-term side effects of these.

autismWhy did we “invent” multi-vaccines?  My take on it is that we (people in general) could not be bothered going to the doctor many times throughout the first years of our kids’ life, and demanded shorter visits and fewer shots.  That means we are to blame for the viruses getting stronger, our bodies weaker and new chronic illnesses arises – and not to mention the rapid increase of autism in the past decade.

The conspiracist in me would claim that the medical and pharmaceutical industries control this very closely.  They are on cahoots together.  Insurance companies demand these vaccines and pharmaceuticals provides them at high cost.  Perhaps even making the single shot vaccines so expensive it doesn’t make sense for parents.

We need to go back to basics.  Only inject the critical vaccines into our kids, one-by-one, and then strengthen them as they grow.  This includes more visits to the local doctor as kids get older and perhaps get more active with travelling and (God forbid as a parent) when they get sexual active.

When I read articles the news where people comment or proclaim that parents who ask questions about the vaccines are not idiots, then I get slightly annoyed.  We are asking these questions for the safety of our children.  The concerns raised is not necessarily about the vaccine itself, but the fact that the modern vaccines combines multiple vaccine shots into fewer shots – and several of these vaccines the kids don’t need at such an early stage in their lives.

My comment back to these parents are “do you not care for your kids and do you simply fill their bodies with any kind of junk?  Then you might as well allow them to inject drugs!”

It’s time we stand together and determine what’s best for our kids as parents.  We need to get vaccinated against the common diseases and prevent spread of viruses.  The answer is not multi-vaccines, but single vaccines.

Broken Bones

The day had unfolded like so many school days.  The evening rituals were dictated by the homework, folding clothes and of course the family dinner.  Just a normal midweek evening, in a normal family setting.

Kids were busy arguing about which colour the dog’s collar was, and from what I overheard, they were discussing the shades of pink.  My son was sitting between the girls and as the discussion got more heated he anxiously starred at me as if asking to either step in or help him.  I opted for the latter much to his relief, and I sensed a strange man-hug forming between us – an awkward fast paced wrapping of arms and then a gentle pad on the back.

My lovely wife had recently started to attend a women club at the local church, meeting up with women from our parish, hanging out with Father Ted and chatting with the man upstairs.  All-in-all a very innocent evening with friends.

It had been raining a fair bit and my wife decided to wear her awesome cowgirl boots, while driving her oversized SUV.  The next few paragraphs are hearsay, so would not stand up in court as the actual event, but it’s based on an expert witness testimony (my wife’s).

She had been gone for less then 45 minutes, when she suddenly stumbled in through the front door.  At first I thought she was completely hammered, after dipping too many times into the alter wine, and that she had broken several traffic laws on her way home.  I was certain the house would be surrounded by a SWAT team and media crews pulling into our driveway.

BUT, from the tears that were rolling down her chin I figured it was something else.  I’m rather clever at times!  It’s a 15th sense I have.

With the tears rolling down, she collapsed on the sofa and asked me to remove her awesome cowgirl boot from her left foot.  She had slipped at church and felt her ankle snap.  As soon as the boot was removed her ankle doubled in size.  I know it was a classic schoolboy error to remove the pressure and support provided by the boot, but I could not face that a 22 year old doctor would cut into the goat skin shitkickers.

It was pretty clear that this injury would not be healed with a simple ice pack, so I rushed over to the neighbours, persuaded them to baby sit the kids for a few hours while I headed to ER / A&E … whatever it’s called these days.  Perhaps money milking machine is more appropriate?!

As she was sitting in the wheel chair waiting for the 19 year old nurse, I suddenly realised that she was like Kim Jong-Un – short, black hair and a bad ankle.  No offence to the North Korean leader of course.  And my wife had fantastic sparkling pink nail polish on her toes – looking awesome for any occasion.

We spent the next 2 hours in the local ER, with my wife eating drugs and I taking selfies.  The doctors were somewhat surprised by our reaction, especially when I gave the doctor high-five while proclaiming this was the first broken bone in the family history.  It was a new event on the Facebook timeline and I of course had to check-in as well as post cool selfies on Instagram.

I guess dancing was out of the question for the next weeks.  She had to wear a not-so-sexy supportive boot, and apply little pressure while the ankle was healing.

Hit the floor crying

herofalling“The bigger you are the harder you fall” and “My dad never cries!” are two urban myths that I’ve grown up with, and rarely witnessed myself.  My dad was the toughest guy in town.  Never cried, never showed pain and rarely fell … only when we played badminton.  I’m sure that’s the case for most families, but my dad was the best!

Now I’m the dad and I have to show strength, composure and pain resistance when my kids are around; showing them that I’m the toughest dad in the hood.  But, something tells that I dropped slightly on the “daddy is tough” bell curve recently.

My wife, oldest daughter and I were chatting in the kitchen, and my daughter was hugging me while telling us about her day at school.  It was a very nice and calm family chat, and the other two kids were causing havoc in the living room; screaming and singing along to their favourite movie “Frozen“.

I needed to move towards the cooker, preparing food as a great dad, and harden noticed that my daughter was standing with her legs in a slight split position.  As I gracefully started to move past her, she released her hugging grip.

The next few seconds happened in absolutely matrix slow motion.

My super awesome body was lifted magically off the floor, floating in midair and then hit the floor smack down style on my side.  This was like a David vs Goliath moment, where a tiny girl was able to bring down a giant with a simple old-school style ninja trick.  Her legs clipped my legs away from underneath me.

As I was lying on the floor, wind knocked out of me, I felt pain shooting through my ageing body; from my ankle to my head.  My entire left side was humming with pain.

  • My dear wife initially burst out laughing uncontrollably, and gently kicked me to get off the floor.  But I couldn’t move!
  • My daughter was amazed that she was able to clip her dad down, with a simple swipe of her tiny legs, but gradually got upset as she realised I couldn’t get up.
  • My tear ducts released a few drops, in pain of course and against my dadly will, and I made a few pain related grunts.

Boehner-Crying

6 minute passed and I could start moving my joints again, but at this stage my daughter had left the room crying as she thought she injured dad a lot and my wife was demanding that I got up.

Slowly, as a 120 year old giant turtle, I rolled onto my back and slowly prepared my body to get up.  It was not easy, but I had to show the family that dad was fine.  So, as my body start to rise, I started to laugh – it was a pain filled laughter, but nevertheless a sign that I was doing “fine”.

Another 18 minutes passed and at this point my body was starting to get its mobility back and a few key areas on my body was sending signals to my brain that they were not operating at full capacity, more like 58% and charging.

confirmedJust like in Mythbusters, when running experiments, I can truly confirm that the above myths have been ‘confirmed; dads can cry and big men fall hard!