Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Video and More Pictures of the Grupo Fantasma Concert

Published by Don Leach

Report On The Grupo Fantasma Concert in Tulsa

On Sunday, September 25th I had the pleasure of taking my son to see Grupo Fantasma in concert at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. It was sponsored by the Tulsa Children's Museum who actually don't have a building yet and instead have roaming exhibits to take around the area. The concept of the show was for children and parents to come and enjoy the music together and all were encouraged to get up and dance however the music moved them in the aisles and that advice was well followed. I've wanted to see Grupo Fantasma for some time so this was a great treat for me, especially when you factor in the very low ticket price of $10, which is insane for this Grammy Award winning latin/funk/soul/ska/whatever else you can think of band.

There was a 2PM and a 4PM show listed and since I had other commitments later in the day I chose the 2PM show. Afterwards I was lamenting that I was unable to see the second show because the band was flat out fantastic. About the 2nd song into the set my son told me that he wanted to dance so off we went. He barely moved and after about a minute he informed me that he was finished and wanted us to go back to our seats. People were dancing around all over the place and it was just a huge bunch of fun, a great atmosphere topped off by some incredible music.

Towards the end of the show some children were pulled up from the audience to play percussion instruments with the band and my son wanted to get on stage with them but he didn't want to go down front even though I told him that was the only way to get selected. Eventually he agreed to go if I went with him but by that point it was too late. All the instruments were taken. This disappointed him drastically and prompted a serious attitude problem from him. Luckily though there was a room opened up for the children to go into where they learned about making milagros, were encouraged to dance and had a change to look at rocks and other things under a magnifying glass. This uplifted his spirits and earlier bad feelings were forgotten.

All in all it was a wonderful day and I enjoyed experiencing it with my son. I just wish that they could have things like this much more often. You can bet I'll be looking more carefully to see what's happening in the area because it was a great time.

Published by Don Leach

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Frat Life 101: The Drinking Game

Back in the days when I used to drink I never was what you'd call a big drinker. Usually I only drank when there was a party and you would never find me drinking on a Saturday afternoon as I sat watching a football game. As a matter of fact I was called a lightweight, both literally and figuratively. My weight stayed consistently at 130 pounds no matter how much I ate (and I could eat a lot) and it normally took about a beer and a half for me to be really buzzed and not much more to continue it for the evening. Guess I was a cheap date. What I was really, was a drinking novice and on one fateful night that status was taken advantage of by my pledge brothers. Don't let your dirty imagination take over here, I'm talking solely about drinking.

On that night that I still remember to this day (well, at least part of it) I learned a valuable life lesson, just because someone is your friend doesn't mean you should trust them, especially when alcohol is concerned. On a weekday night most of the pledge class was gathering in Joe's room in Logan Hall before heading to the house for our weekly pledge meeting. As we sat there Joe offered to trade shots of rum with anybody who wanted to. Since he had no takers for some bizarre reason I said I would do it even though this was totally out of character for me. Did I mention that I was a lightweight drinker? That point would be clear for all to see shortly.

Joe and I commenced drinking and very quickly we ran out of the Coke that was there for the chaser and kept going with just the shots of rum. At least that's what I thought. Unbeknownst to me Joe was switching bottles on me and he was only drinking water whilst I was consuming rum and it turned out to be a lot of it in a short period of time. How much you ask? Don't be shocked when I tell you that it was something like 19 shots in half an hour. Yeah, I know, I was smashed.

The rest of the night was a blur broken up by solitary moments of clarity. Some of what happened was related to me the next day and I have to believe it because I have absolutely no memory of it to this day. Somehow I walked with my pledge brothers to our dingy, rundown frat house (I say that with pride) and the members were shocked that I was in that condition early on a weekday night. They weren't happy once they heard the explanation either since it really went against everything they were trying to teach us about brotherhood.

I was laid down on the couch while the meeting went on although that didn't stop me from trying to interject my opinion. Afterwards my brothers were instructed to get me back to my dorm room so that I could sleep it off and not do any harm to myself. Man, they were pissed at the rest of the pledges, or so I'm told. I have no recollection of the walk to and from the house that night but once I was brought to my room they tried to put me in my bed and leave. Notice that I said tried. As they walked out I got out of bed and started to follow them out the door so they turned around and put me back in bed. Once again I followed them out the door and once again they turned around and put me in my bed firmly telling me to stay put.

Did I listen? Of course not. This time as I followed them out of the room they grabbed me and put be in my bed threatening to kick my butt if I got out of the bed again which prompted a drunken ramble from me about not needing them or anybody else, that I was alright on my own dammit. Needless to say this freaked out my roommate who had no idea what was going on. Come to think of it this night might have majorly contributed to his reason for asking me to allow him to switch rooms with another person but that was much later.

This time their threats against bodily harm took hold and I did not leave my bed. Instead I quickly sank into a deep, drunken slumber from which I did not come out of until after I had missed all of my morning classes the next day. I staggered over to the cafeteria and melted into a chair and decided quickly that it was in my best interest not to eat anything for a little while longer. As the members, pledges and sisters came to the table I had the details of my blacked out night filled in for me and I was repeatedly asked why I had chosen to drink in the first place. The honest truth was that I did not know why. In hindsight I can guess that I was trying to fit in and gain acceptance from those that I trusted the most only to have that trust abused.

My only question about that night was why the other pledges did nothing to stop this from happening. Why had none of them told Joe not to do it or even just informed me of what was going on? Where was the brotherhood? I guess we were all just learning about ourselves and didn't know when to say the joke had gone too far. As I said earlier I learned a valuable lesson from this experience and while I would trust the others with many things, drinking was not one of them. I vowed never to have a repeat of that night and I didn't. Well, at least not until I was in the Army in Washington, D.C. but that was much later and under entirely different circumstances and that's a story to be told in the future.

Published by Don Leach

Friday, September 23, 2011

The High Cost Of Getting Into Shape

My march towards becoming healthy continues on. Last week I had a consultation to see if I needed a new sleep study. I had one about five or six years ago and it showed that I have severe sleep apnea. After my son was born I stopped using my CPap machine because I was usually the one getting him from the crib so he could feed and then returning him to the crib. Basically it just made no sense to take it off for a few minutes, put it back on, take it off again for a few minutes, put it back on for about an hour or so and then repeating it all over again. So I got out of the habit of using it and didn't go back to it. Then it disappeared. My wife swears she didn't do anything with it and that it's in the house somewhere but I can't find it so...........anyway.

Anyway, at my consultation they took my vitals, etc and found that my blood pressure was 116 over 73 which is a long way from the 146 over 93 range that it was in. Great news, it looks like the medication is working. They also weighed me and I found that I've lost five pounds since I started working out. Now I know that five pounds isn't a lot but hey, it's a start. To tell the truth, I've started this week by adding another set to my workout routine on the weight machines and today I did two full sets on all of the machines. I don't want to fall back after I've had such positive results so far. Whenever I leave the gym I feel tired but good, sort of more aware of life and I definitely feel more positive about life.

Of course the consultation determined that indeed I did need another sleep study and that came about last Tuesday night. I took the night off from work and did everything they instructed to make sure I would be able to go to sleep. The time came and I arrived at the sleep study lab promptly at 7:30 PM ready for the study. After doing some paperwork I was given a little bit of time which I used to flip through the channels on the television and then I read a few pages of my current book. The tech came in and started hooking me up which is not an altogether pleasant experience.

Note: This is not me, just a free picture I found on the internet.

If you've never had a sleep study before then allow me to describe it to you. They attach a bunch of wires all over your body as well as some EKG leads and bunch them altogether with a few belts around your chest and stomach area. Other lines run down through your shorts to your legs. Then they use some kind of adhesive on your head and attach a bunch more wires there. These are all kept together and attached to wherever they need to go around the bed. Then they put an oxygen sensor on your nose and you lay back to go to sleep. I had taken an Ambien (prescribed of course) to make sure there would be no problems with going to sleep quickly. My co-workers had assured me that the Ambien would knock me out.

Only it didn't. I truly felt like I never actually went to sleep. It was horrible. Think of it, you're lying there with all of these wires attached all over your body and you basically have to lie still, with little movement. That's tough for me to do. I constantly roll onto either side, tossing and turning throughout the night but I feared that if I did that on this night I might mess something up and have to do the test all over again. Finally the tech came back in and took off all of the EKG leads and so forth but leaving the rest of the wires intact. Now it was time for a full face mask CPap, the kind I call the Darth Vader. Half of the time left seemed like I was fighting breathing with the mask and then eventually my mind got used to it and I really fell asleep. Seemingly shortly thereafter the tech came back in and unhooked me from everything. I took a shower and got dressed.

Note: This is not me, it's some guy named Joey that I found on the internet.

These things always seem worse than they are and in fact it probably didn't last nearly as long as it seemed to me. But the Ambien had absolutely zero effect on me and was useless, I was on my own. I must have a high tolerance for it. The doctor came in and went over the results and he used the very official term when he stated that I have "Very severe sleep apnea." Apparently anything over thirty instances of your sleep being disrupted in an hour is severe. I had eighty-two. Almost three times the number for it to be severe.

Needless to say the paperwork has been turned in to my insurance company and now I only await word from them as to whether I get a new machine or not. Clearly it's needed but that doesn't guarantee that they'll okay it. I mean after all this is an American insurance company we're talking about and keeping down costs is holy for them so until I hear the affirmative I'll remain guardedly optimistic. This looks like the second to last step (until something new comes up) for me to get my act together and finally get in shape.

The last is for me to change my diet away from too many bad things (junkfood) and move towards more good things (veggies and fruits) and that will come more slowly. I can only hope that I live up to the expectations for me from my doctor, my wife and most importantly myself because if I'm not doing it for the right reasons I'll fall off the wagon at some point. For now I'm enjoying doing it and can't wait to see what the future holds.

Published by Don Leach

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Paul Westerberg Quote Sparks A Song

While reading the book "Our Band Could Be Your Life" by Michael Azerrad I started the section on The Replacements and came across this quote from Paul Westerberg: "Sometimes you don't want to be creative. You just want to be normal and not have to worry, or think, or write." Of course it got me thinking and my creative mode kicked in so in about fifteen minutes I came up with these lyrics. My plan is to give them to two different friends who write lyrics and see much they change, maybe even get two songs with a similar core but they become totally different. Then if only I could get them recorded, even lo-fi would be fine and all would be well with my world.

Grow Up Somewhere

Nothing to do no place to go
Always driving down the same road
Staring at all the pretty girls
We're never gonna talk to
This night ends the same as the last
Always looking for the big blast
Sometimes I just wish I could
Turn normal like all the rest

Are these supposed to be the happy years
This time filled by all the pain and fears

Take me away from this one horse town
Take me away from all this running around
I know something is in me better than this
So take me away before I take me down

Walking up and down the same old halls
Same old faces mock and haunt me
Looking at the life I know I’ll never have
Not sure I’d want it all anyway
This day drags on like all the rest
Waiting for the thing to relieve the stress
Don’t tell me things will get better
When will my future become my life

It's not easy when you don't grow up somewhere

All words by Don Leach and may not be used without permission.

Published by Don Leach

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brand Loyal

If I had to describe myself the first thing that comes to my mind is the word plain. Now don't get me wrong, to me plain is a good word, being plain is a good thing. If you add average to plain perhaps that's closer to the point. I prefer clothes that are average and plain, no labels, nothing that's in or cool at the moment, no company logo. Just plain is fine with me. Of course that makes me different from a lot of people in the world but that's fine with me, I've never felt like I fit in with what the mainstream world does anyway.

My color preference has always been for darker or earth tones. It's very rare to find me in a red shirt, hat, etc. As a matter of fact I don't think I own much that is red. Orange and yellow are out of the question. I just don't like things that are bright because overall bright equals flashy and that goes against my whole plain ethos. This also bleeds over into other areas, like cars. I've never owned a brightly colored car in my life and never will if I can help it. Right now I've got an old white truck and that's as bright as I can get. Most of the vehicles I've owned were older, a good deal of them beaters and I've never even owned a brand new vehicle. The closest I ever came was one that was three years old.

I've been that way as long as I can remember. Back in the 70s when I was a child designer jeans became very much in demand. Everybody had to have them at my school. Everybody but me that is. To me it didn't make sense, the only thing really different about these jeans was that there they used some extra stitching to put the brand name on the pocket. Otherwise they looked pretty much the same as any other pair of jeans. That's it. For the privilege of paying three or four times the cost of a regular pair of jeans that's what you got. I still don't get the sense of paying solely for a name.

Another descriptive thing about me is that I'm what you call brand loyal. On the rare occasion that I do choose to wear something that's not plain I will wear something that shows my support for a team, product or cause. However I will not wear another teams clothing no matter how popular they are or even if I am given the clothing for free. For instance, I am a fan (sadly) of the Cleveland Browns and will only wear a shirt from them, not any other NFL team. The NFL of course wants people to be fans of the league more than any one certain team. That way they watch more games which drives up ratings which drives up the cost of commercial time which means more money in their pockets.

Many years ago my younger sister went to Florida and when she came back she gave me an Orlando Magic (NBA) t-shirt. While I didn't expect and even appreciated the gift, it sat in the bottom of my closest for about a year before I gave it away with some other clothes to charity. More recently my mother-in-law had sent me two shirts that I could wear to work but both had designer logos on them and I asked my wife if she could get the receipt so that I could return them and get something plain. Well, my wife is from Peru that was considered to be rude but I'd rather be rude than let them sit and end up giving them away. One good thing that came from it is now my mother-in-law knows what I like (and how I am) and about three weeks ago she sent me two more shirts, exactly how I like them. In both cases I really appreciated the thought and the gift but I had to stand by my convictions.

To sum it all up what does this messof opinions mean, other than that I'm weird? I can't really say. It's just an apt description of me, what I like and what I feel like. I feel quite happily that I'm plain and brand loyal, it's just the way I am for better or worse. The lesson is don't go sending me a bunch of bright flashy shirts (bowling and rockabilly type shirts do seem to be an exception) although if you do I promise I'll find them a happy home and I'll truly be thankful that you thought of me.

Published by Don Leach

Friday, September 16, 2011

Come Back To Me

She’s calling to me
Whispering my name
Infiltrating my dreams
Teasing me daring me
Pleading with me
Encouraging the thought

Come back to me
Come back to me

Haunting me at every turn
Always lying in wait
Underneath the surface
In the back of my mind
Hinting at what will be
Promises of happiness

Come back to me
Come back to me

Beautiful and ugly
Strong and weak
Bold and timid
Rich and poor
New and old
Safe and dangerous

Come back to me
Come back to me

Boisterous and silent
Vibrant and without color
Adventurous and shy
In motion and at rest
Energetic and lazy
Strange and wonderful

Come back to me
Come back to me
Volver a Peru

Published by Don Leach

Sunday, September 11, 2011

What Will Be Will Be

As I was driving to pick up my wife two weeks ago she called me to say the reason she needed me to take her to the Emergency Room. Her MRI had shown a dark spot. Immediately I followed my nature and started thinking deeply about what this could mean, not only to her but our family. What if it was something like a tumor? What if it was terminal? What would we do?

Besides being a deep thinker I am also a realist. What will happen is what will happen, there is no avoiding it. I'm not one to sit and bemoan why something has happened to me. Quickly I decided that if it were something that bad then I would make sure we that the time we had left together as a family would be special, that we would do everything that we always wanted to do but put off. If that meant letting the house go back to the bank and quitting my job to have the time for it to happen then I would do it. No question. I also said a quick prayer as I drove that none of this would be necessary.

Thankfully the news has been good. Although she has a blood clot on her brain it seems like surgery will not be needed at this time. By the time of the MRI her body was already fixing the problem. Last week she had a CAT Scan that showed that the blood clot was getting significantly smaller. We're hoping that in the coming weeks it will dissolve completely and there will be no more problems from it.

Then I asked myself, "Why do we always wait until it's too late to make our time special?" Instead of taking time away from our busy lives to do the things we want to do we instead put it off to do "tomorrow." Then we find out that there are no more "tomorrows" and we wish we could change it all. Why don't we try to have that spirit all the time?

Life just gets in the way. I mean we have to work to pay for our food, housing, clothes and transportation and that is getting harder to do every day. It's only natural that we keep trying to do those important things while dreaming of a time when we can do what we want instead of what we have to do. Once realized though, how much longer can we keep putting things off for a better time? After all, time is not infinite.

Published by Don Leach

What's The State Of Our Union?

Today is a day of reflection for many people, after all, it marks the anniversary of the worst terroristic event ever on U.S. soil. There have been and will be tributes to the people who died and all those that were affected by the events that occurred on that tragic day. Let me be honest and straightforward about all of this. Anybody who lost someone or even thought that they might have, anyone who who had to live with the aftermath, having it impose on their daily life, those people have every right to remember it how they wish. If they want to have a ceremony every day then so be it. After what they lost and went through I don't feel that anyone has a right to say a word otherwise to them. I myself did not know a single person that was in the Twin Towers, at the Pentagon or on United Flight 93. Nor did I know any police or emergency workers involved either. My admiration and respect go out to them for what they went through.

However, everytime I've gone online the past few weeks there have been constant stories about 9/11 and for the most part they all seemed to be sensationalistic. By that I mean they all are trying to upstage the other with intense images and gutwrenching stories. There doesn't seem to be any resolve to look at it in the proper manner. Instead it's as if all that is cared about is ratings or website hits and because of that these stories have the appearance of being crafted very carefully for maximum effect. It's sort of like in a movie where you're hit over the head with music at just the right moment in order to draw the emotions from you. Personally I hate being hold "Hey, this is the part where you cry." I kind of like figuring it out for myself.

What I find myself thinking is where are the stories about the real reasons that horrible day happened? Or how about stories reflecting on the state of our union now compared to then? Or even how about detailing the lessons we've learned after gaining knowledge from our past mistakes? Nothing. Instead the powers that be would rather we reflect only on the emotional part of the equation. That way we're all kept in our places. We only have these stories that distract us and keep us away from where our attention really should be. Like for instance why don't we hear about our soldiers in Afghanistan that are guarding poppy fields that belong to warlords we're trying to keep on our side? I might add poppy fields that produce heroin which is illegal to have/distribute/use in this country. A ton of money has been lost, totally unaccounted for and is there any question about the fact that we're paying them for their loyalty? Our forces are giving viagra to these older leaders because they have multiple wives and they need to show how viril they still are to their wives as well as their soldiers. Anything to get them on our side even though they have no real loyalty to us or our cause. If we have to pay someone to be on our side then they have no real stake in helping us to succeed with our mission so can we really depend on them when it counts?

I'd love to see them bring all of our soldiers home safely but there's too much money to be had in war so big business won't let that happen right now and the politicians will do as they are instructed. If this all sounds pessimistic I don't intend for it to, it's just that I'm a realist and that's how I see things, without the constraints of whether something should or shouldn't have happened. I don't want to offend or upset those that lost somebody a decade ago (and since) but as a veteran I have to say what I feel. There are far too many soldiers being shuttled between Iraq and Afghanistan on multiple tours, it's time to bring them home. Better late than never. I understand as well that my opinion might be drastically different if I had a direct involvement with anything that happened that day. The fact is however that I don't and so I write this on this day as I reflect on where I was ten years ago, where I am now and where I might be in another ten years. I can only hope that it all gets better.

Published by Don Leach

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Conflicted State Of Mind

This is something I wrote a few months back and haven't really edited since, until typing it here tonight but I thought I'd put it up. I think there's something there if I can get the time to think about it but really if I can sit down with Tommy I know we can turn it into something good. But then time is elusive isn't it?

How am I supposed to feel
when a man is killed
should I shout and cheer
because he was evil
how should i react to the news
the bringer of death is dead
should i fly a flag on high
stand in the rain fist raised

according to you God loves us more
we're on his side and he protects
according to you we've got the right
to do as we please where we please
according to you our God rules supreme
and sets us on a pedestal

you tell me that God takes sides
thank God he's on ours then
but if his hand touched them
why didn't he save the towers
what makes one life worth more
than a thousand others
does he pick and choose who
or let us do for ourselves

it can't be both so
is my God the same as yours?

Published by Don Leach

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Frat Life 101: Greek Week Football

During my time at NSU, which was marred by my lack of studying, I only had occasion to play in the Greek Games twice and the first time was during my first year of school. They had this pesky rule about maintaining a good grade point average so normally that left me out. It's not that I was dumb or anything, I just wasn't interested in what they had to offer. The Greek Games was a competition of multiple sports held once a year in which only the Fraternities and Sororities were allowed to compete. Since Sigma Tau Gamma was made up of the dirtbags (and I say that proudly) of the school it's an easy guess that we were not very competitive at all.

Phi Lamb

Sig Tau

Which leads me to the Sig Tau versus Phi Lamb flag football game during my freshman year. Phi Lambda Chi (our mortal enemies) was made up of redneck jocks (at least they had been jocks in high school) and this was looked upon as an easy victory for them, as it always was. This year would prove to be no different. However, we did find a way to a small personal victory during the beatdown that they administered us. It wasn't easy but all the spectators in attendance (there had to be at least ten or twelve) saw it with their own eyes.

After lining up and seeing that they physically larger (and much better athletes) across the board than we were we knew that defeat was inevitable. That notion was proven true rather quickly. At one point in the game we were using very simple play calls since not many of us were experienced in playing the sport for real when we noticed that they were keying on our simplistic snap count. We were tired of getting beat almost every snap of the ball and never actually gaining any real yardage, much less scoring any points. In our huddle somebody had an epiphany, we would change our snap count and everybody understood that no matter what happened we all had to remain absolutely still, as if frozen, for the plan to work.

So there we were, lining up for what the Phi Lambs were sure was another play of lost yardage when our QB made the snap count and nobody on our side of the ball moved. On the Phi Lamb side however their entire front seven came roaring across the line with their ears pinned back in the safety of their knowledge that we were little more than practice fodder for them. Flags were thrown and whistles were blown. Offsides defense, so many in fact that they couldn't name who was first. We walked back to our huddle laughing because for at least one play we had shown them that we were smarter.

As we huddled and laughed instead of coming up with a new play the question was asked "You don't think they'll fall for it again do you?" We decided to see and sure enough, the snap was called, we remained frozen and they came flying across the line. Again flags were thrown and whistles were blown. Offsides defense. We could barely control ourselves now, the laughter was rolling from us and the sparse crowd joined in, even the fans of the Phi Lambs. Once more we asked "You don't think they'd be dumb enough to fall for it again do you?" They were. The snap was called and once more they came rushing at our frozen line only to have flags thrown and whistles blown once again.

This time our laughter was different. Instead of belly laughs now they were more of an unbelieving nature that a team could be so ill prepared as to have multiple players come offsides THREE plays in a row. It testified to their disdain for us as a team almost as much as their lack of intelligence and discipline. They were so angry at what we had done after the first play that they couldn't control themselves and each play after only made them angrier and more out of control. Finally calmer heads prevailed on their team and normal play returned. They finished the mismatch in the expected dominating fashion and moved on in the tournament and sadly we were eliminated.

The more time goes by nobody remembers what the final score was or who scored the points. That information becomes lost, pushed out for more important things as we realize just how unimportant it was in the grand scheme of things. But for the players and the few fans in attendance the memory of how Sig Tau was smarter and a better team lives on. For those three plays at least.

Published by Don Leach

The Week In Review, Health Scares And So Forth

Last week proved to be a difficult one in my household. My wife had been having symptoms that sounded like they were TIA which is also called mini-strokes. There is no lasting damage but it can be a precursor to an actual stroke so she went to the clinic and had an MRI of the brain scheduled. Five days before the MRI she stopped having her symptoms but decided to err on the side of safety and went ahead with the MRI. Once there they saw a dark spot and sent her to the Emergency Room and due to a mis-communication (happens a lot in U.S. healthcare it seems) she was admitted. The doctor thought that she was continuing to have her symptoms. It was determined that she had a blood clot but that it was old and wasn't currently bleeding so she was allowed to go home. The followup MRI is on Tuesday and hopefully it will show that the clot has decreased in size otherwise surgery may be needed.

She was understandably upset and her nerves were on edge and then she developed something new. She said her head felt like when you fall down and scrape your knee, that sensation, and she was almost sure that it had started to bleed again. On Wednesday she went back to the clinic and they did the neurological tests and determined that she was fine, what she was feeling was brought on by stress and worry. Since then she's been doing much better. Perhaps she just needed to hear from another person to relieve her tensions. Around this time our son started sounding like he was getting a cold but really it was nothing to hold him back. He took his medicine every day and since we caught it early it's almost all the way gone now. He's at a wonderful age when little things like being sick are not enough to hold you back or slow you down.

As for me, well I had a follow-up appointment at my doctors office so that he could check on a few things. He decided to take the decision out of my hands and started me on medicine for high blood pressure since it seems to be getting worse instead of better. He also put in for me to have another sleep study so that I could get a new C-Pap machine for my sleep apnea which as he remarked, is quite severe. I stopped using my C-Pap machine over four years ago after my son was born and it then later simply disappeared. I have my suspicions about what happened but in the spirit of keeping harmony in the house I'll keep it to myself. For now.

Perhaps with a new C-Pap machine and the exercise routine that I started a few weeks ago I'll be able to discontinue the medicine as long as my health improves. The other thing that he discussed was my cholesterol level which is also high. As a matter of fact he said I'm in the pre-diabetes stage which means I need to make lifestyle changes now before it's too late. So I've been doing a lot of thinking about what needs to change and how I can make it happen. I'm already on the way with my commitment to exercise so now we have to see about a change in diet, even though I wrote last time about not doing so at this time. Karma has a way of biting you in the butt, doesn't it?

I believe the best way for me to do everything is to make a loose schedule of what needs to be done each day and that way I can have something to work towards. Since I agreed to teach in my men's quorum at church (two Sundays a month) and I want to start learning to play bass guitar, as well as needing to start to improve my pitiful Spanish language skills (after six years of marriage to a Peruvian woman it's way past due) I'm sure I can fill up the time that I have before and after work. And if I can't then my wife will be more than happy to assist me so I better do it on my own. We keep putting our heads down and are trying to move forward no matter what obstacles are put in our way. The only other option is to give in to despair and give up on life and I don't see that as an option. Life goes on whether we agree with it or not. Stay tuned.

Published by Don Leach