Friday, May 13, 2022

Urine or Ur-out

URINE OR UR-OUT  (of what?)   😀

WARNING:  THIS WILL BE A RATHER LONG POST TAKING SEVERAL DAYS TO COMPOSE.  It will not be humorous - funny - gagging - or even perhaps eye rolling. Instead it will be a running description of what has happened since the end of last year.  I am NOT looking for sympathy or hugs.  At age 81, hugs are rather an advanced stage of groping and propping up.  I have already heard all of the "doctors can do great things" comments.  I don't need those either.  Just need to move on..

As of this writing - May 5th, 10:45 a.m. - the weatherman on TV is showing a storm heading this way.  He is talking strong winds - potential for a tornado - HAIL - rain - we got it all.   There was a time in my life when I wouldn't say:  "Hail."  I thought it was too close to Hell -   I always said that we had "Heck."  When you get older, your mind seems to wander (or wonder) at times.  HAIL comes up later in this edition.  The worse thing about  a storm approaching at this earlier hour is:  you have to watch morning TV to see the weathermen.  They break in and out of the morning shows.  Meanwhile you must endure the morning personalities:  smiling faces, jabbering females, uninspired topics, asparagus recipes, 

So my introduction is complete.  I shall now go to our spacious kitchen and begin preparing a delightful lunch.  What will it be?  Certainly won't be asparagus and tofu fondue.

Let me add that I have been a quiet person all of my life when it pertains to my personal self.  There are just some subjects I never attack.  With this entry, all of that changes.  You will see.

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Last December, I was starting to have problems going to the bathroom.  There are 2 types of bathroom:  as in my childhood, we have #1  and #2.   My problem was #1.  I had always heard that old guys have this type of problem.   Since I had a GP doctor appt after the first of the year, I figured I could hang on till then and start the new year with the new insurance deductible getting paid.    Financial reasons.

In January, I was scheduled for a doc visit (we diabetics tend to see doctors on a regular basis.).  By the time the appt. arrived I was having more problems and my lower abdomen was hurting some.   I talked about this problem with the doctor.  It didn't seem to be an emergency to me.  The doctor arranged an appt with a urologist in Temple - Baylor Scott & White Hospital area.  Fine with me - but about 2 months away.

That was on a Tuesday.  On the following Monday, I went back to the doctor.  My stomach was really starting to hurt, and I was visiting the bathroom on the average of once an hour - day and night.  I discussed that I thought I might be constipated.   He suggested a certain laxative.   We eventually went on our merry ways.

My daughter Christine was working at her hospital Fri-Sat-Sun.  When she came in from work late Sunday, I knew that I was in trouble.  We loaded me up with the spouse and headed for BSW  (Baylor S&W) emergency room.  I was hustled into a room -  discussions were had - a CT scan was done of my lower abdomen.  Now, comes my favorite part of the story.

The emergency room doc came in and introduced me to a "catheter."  If you are as dumb as I was, you should look that up...C-a-t-h-e-t-e-r.  It is a fact that I did not understand catheters - their use - or the overall process.  I got a quick education.  They took a tube and inserted it inside of me - and water began to flow.  They measured the water.  My bladder held 2 full liters plus about 15 more ounces.  Think about the two liter coke bottles at the store.  I could have the extra ounces number wrong by a bit.  When I was emptied, my stomach quit hurting.  It was a miracle; except now, I had a tube running out of me.

I was transferred to a hospital bed after some lengthy time. My family came and sat by my side.  The doctors felt like it was a good idea for me to stay a while.  The tube extended to a bag.  The nurses dutifully emptied my bag constantly.  I discussed with the staff if perhaps my 2+ liters was some type of a world record.  They thought, "maybe."  For a person who is very self-conscious about anything to do with that area of the anatomy, this was traumatic.  Little did I know it could get worse.

Just for the record:  by the time I was placed in the hospital bed, it was Valentine's Day.  Aside stone:  food in the hospital.  I saved all of my menus from the hospital.  It was my aim to reprint them here.  Now, that time has flown and this recitative has become lengthy, I will save them for later. Surprisingly, the food wasn't bad.  There never was enough to equal a trip to Rosa's Mexican Restaurant or the Golden Corral buffet - but it was adequate.

On the 17th, I went home - urine bag in hand - tube sticking out.  An appt. was made with urology for the future.  After a couple or more weeks at home carrying the bag, the urology appt approached.  Meanwhile, I had learned how to disconnect the tube from the big bag and attach to a smaller one which I strapped to my thigh.  Later, I learned these were to be attached to the calf of the leg.  I didn't know.  The leg bag was better than the big bag carried in hand.

Another CT scan was taken.   When I arrived for my urology appt, I was ushered into a room where a short discussion was had with staff.   Then on a table, I had the tube removed.  A female nurse had me stand & I was told to fill the jug.   Big Jug.  I tried.   I failed.  I could not make anything work.  

I paraphrase here:  She said something like FINE...or  OKAY .... or ALRIGHT THEN - You get the picture.  She waltzed out and back in carrying 2 large sacks.  The nurse handed me a catheter about 18 inches long.  I am standing there with my pants down and a catheter in my hand.  She told me to insert it.  Yes, my education continued.  I was able to insert the tube - it doesn't really hurt like a hammer hitting you in the head - but it is a quite uncomfortable experience.  Tube inserted, water started to flow.  She handed me a sack of new catheters.   I was told to insert a catheter 4 times a day to empty my self - then, pull it out and discard.  I went home with 2 large sacks of catheters.

I learned that Medicare pays for catheters.  The staff put in an order with an Oklahoma company for more catheters and sent me home.  I had no large bag - no leg bag - but a sack of catheters.   

When I got down to 2 days of catheters, I called the staff and asked about the replacement ones.   It seems that an error had been made and the order never placed.   There was all kinds of scurrying about.  A new order was placed and my order was "overnighted" to me.  They did arrive the next day.  I have learned much about this process.

I did figure out that 4 times a day was not good.  On many days, I needed 5 times a day because of  the long over-night hours. I called Staff - new RX was made and more catheters overnight arrived in order for me to do 5 times daily.   Me thinks I may drink too much tea and diet coke.

Life went on.  I was still waiting for my urology doctor appointment to arrive. One morning, I was unable to insert the tube.  No matter how I tried.  It would not work.  I tried another tube with extra lubrication (yes, they are pre-lubricated).  I tried and I tried.  My bladder began to fill.  I made a quick phone call to urology -  loaded the wife into the car - and headed for Temple.   Once there I laid on another table.  A nurse tried to insert the tube.  She couldn't.  A doctor was called in.  Nothing.   Finally a team of 5 or 6 doctors and nurse worked on me.  Imagine me on the table with my pants down during all of this.  On 2nd thought, don't try to imagine that.

One doctor inserted a camera inside me - they DO have a camera that small.  Diagnosis:  When I had inserted the tube, it had taken the route of least resistance, right into the Prostate.  The doctors tried to insert another tube.  A smaller tube was tried.  The eventual answer was a wire which was able to make the trip - then a tube was inserted over the wire -guiding its path.  Tube in - the water began to flush.  I filled another couple of liters.

The new catheter was attached to a leg bag - I was given extra bags - and I went home.  No more self-insertion ----- self mutilation if you will.  Meanwhile, my phone message to daughter C brought her flying from work up to rescue the both of us.  I am going to point out here that the date was March 17th ... St Patrick's Day.   First hospital on St. Valentine's - 2nd emergency problem on St. Patrick's.  This does not bode well for Halloween - All Saint's day???

Just in case any of you are as dumb about this as I was.  The prostate sometimes increases in size as a feller ages.  This presses against the tube coming out of the bladder.  Eventually, it increases enough to completely close off the tube.  That was my joy.

About a couple weeks or so later, I finally had my first visit with my urologist.  We sat and talked for a while.  He said that he needed to feel my prostate.  I dropped my pants.  When he was done with his 5 second feel, he returned to his chair and said: "You have prostate cancer."  5 seconds.  None of my other doctors since January had noticed that.  This doctor decided in 5 seconds.  We talked.  He explained things fairly well.   I am going to jump ahead here.

He has given me a hormone shot - actually an anti hormone shot.  Later, he performed a prostate biopsy.  This exam uses a device to remove 12 different small pieces of my prostate. I felt nothing. The 12 samples are examined and a determination is made.  It verified cancer.  Mine is called level (4+5) 9 - which means aggressive.  This is not the same as stage I or IV or V cancer.  It is different and can be found on line.  Once the cancer was verified, we moved on.  

I went in for a day surgery.  They performed what is called HoLEP.  You can look that up online.  He explained that I had two problems.  One was the cancer and the other was the catheter.  The HoLEP made it possible for the catheter to be removed.  I am going to simplify here.  A device is inserted.  It goes into the prostate gland and removes the inside leaving only the shell.  I don't know if everything is removed or just most of it.  At any rate, I slept through the procedure - happily.  I spent one night in the hospital.  I had to urinate 2 times on my own before being released.  I won't go into this gory detail or the description of my roommate, but I did my 2 jobs and went home - no bag - no catheter.

Meanwhile, being concerned about the spread of the cancer, the doctor had me go for a Nuclear Bone Scan.   This was on Tuesday of this week.   Arriving at 9:45, a tiny bit of radioactive material is put inside my veins.   Then, at 1 p.m. I laid down on a table while the big ole machine passed over me taking pictures.   I asked if I could get an 8 by 10.  Apparently not.  It looked at whether cancer had spread to the bones.

Three days later, I received the call that my bone scan was negative.  There is no cancer in the bones at this time.  Now we are in the process of heading towards radiation.   That's it. I don't believe they ever cure prostate cancer...prolong,  but not cure.  We'll see.

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Now in an effort to make you feel sorry for me.  Other things have happened during all of this.

#1  My little dachshund Sadie suddenly had back problems.  The day after I arrived home from the hospital.  I had problems moving.  Luckily daughter Laura was here - She and my wife rushed Sadie to a vet.  Pills and drugs were given.   The next day, I changed vets to go to one who offered Laser treatments.  About 3 weeks later, Sadie was moving again.  I'm not sure she is perfect, but we hope so.

#2  Our dryer quit.  Bang.  It was older.  I decided to buy new instead of  fixing.  It took a week to get a new washer/dryer ordered.  Now get this:  it will be delivered on May 31st.   It is taking over a month for the items to arrive and be delivered.  My wife is going crazy waiting.

#3  We had the Salado tornado and hail storm.  The tornado missed us.  We had 3 inch balls of ice pound the house.  The back window of the Marauder was broken out, and the car took damage.  When the adjuster arrived, he calculated that all was fixable but the car would be totaled.  It is a 2003 Mercury Marauder.   However, the next day he called.  It seems that the Marauder has an $11,000 value while a normal 2003 Mercury is only about $5000.  The car is covered and not totaled.   It has been to a shop and is home in the shed.   Aside:  when it arrived, the left back window had fallen out of its track.  That window is halfway down and won't move.  Next thing is another trip to a mechanic.

#4  Roof damage.  Adjuster said only the north and east side of room had any damage.  Insurance would pay for half a roof.  He assured me that roof was plenty stable without new shingles.  I would have no problems with roof.    There is more.  That will come later.  Mtz

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

good week

 Last week was a week that was.

Thanksgiving with eleven of us humans and ten dogs.

I smoked a 12 lb. turkey in my electric smoker - I put it in about 6:30 in the morning.  Cook it slow and easy - right - that's what they suggest or say.   I cranked the temperature up about 10:30.  Didn't work.  Eventually, when all other food had been prepared, I pulled it out - cut it into pieces - and we used the microwave.  Yep, Microwave.  It worked wonders.   In just a few moments, turkey was on the table.

In years gone by, I got the turkey leg as all others ate the remaining turkey.  Then, one Thanksgiving - or it could have been a Christmas - who remembers? - One of the granddaughters made that unforgettable comment: "I want a drumstick."   Another said something like, "meeeee toooo."  As most of you may know, a turkey comes with only 2 drumsticks.  I was beside myself.

Ya see, since the diabetes thing hit, most of our traditional Thanksgiving dishes have too much sugar or carbs for me -- or, in all fairness -- dishes I would try not to eat until I was starving.  Yes, I am a picky eater.  With no offense meant to the family chef, why would anyone want to eat green bean casserole?  Give me a plate with a few beans, I'll survive.  So, since I can't or won't eat most dishes, I pretty well am limited to a turkey leg and mashed potatoes with gravy.   Rolls?  Love em.  

Thus, I learned.   We all must learn lessons.  I did.   

Now, I buy a minimum of six (6) extra turkey legs.   These were smoked and cooked beautifully.   When our day was over, there were two turkey legs remaining.  Lesson Learned.  Should ever my grand-dots marry and have children, I may have to cook twelve extra turkey legs.  Ya never know.

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Legacy,  Will you have legacy to leave?

I married my wife Brenda in August of 1962.  My mother-in-law, Josephine Cooper, was a great cook.  Her maiden name was Macha.  Most people might call her Josie or Josephine.  I used the Spanish Jose.  She didn't seem to care. 

When we ate at the Cooper's, she would put a wife variety of food on the table.  You might have ham and roast and another meat.  MEAT.   She had my number.  Meals were great adventure at Josie's.

Being a Macha - she cooked traditional Czech meals and dishes.   The one thing that she introduced to our family that has stuck like  a glued mouse trap - klubosniks.      I may have misspelled that word.  You see them at stores all the time. -  rolls wrapped around meat.  She made her own yeast bread from a large lump of yeast.  The bread was beyond description.   She used a sausage - can't think of the name right now - you see them at the store.   Polish / Czech type sausage.   Now-a-days, people put all sorts of wieners or "beanie-weenies" in their rolls.  You really miss out not using Yeast rolls and polish sausages.  Poor Babies.

These have become a staple in our meals.   I consider this Josephine Cooper's legacy to all of her children and grandchildren and great grands.   It goes on.



Sunday, November 14, 2021

quickie - tv

 

I am siting here watching Jay Leno's newest show:  You Bet Your Life.

.
 In my world, this is a fun show to watch - only 30 minutes long.  I believe it is on Fox, but I couldn't tell you the time or day.  I record, then watch.  
When I recorded my first episode, it was Season 1, # 24.  I couldn't tell you what happened in the first 23 episodes.  This seems like a lot of episodes for season one or any season for that matter.

Back to the show.
m

Friday, November 12, 2021

I can't be the only one....can I?

 Here it is 8:08 a.m. today.   I'm snuggled in sleeping.  Not even the dog is barking.  

The cell phone rings - right next to my ear (the good one).  I'm jostled awake and grope for the phone.

TELEMARKETER !!!   That is what my phone tells me; that is what it says.  Too late.   I'm awake.  Rolling out of bed (bad choice of a phrase - see previous ear blog), I'm up.   I'm up, already.  Did not answer the phone.  No, did not.

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Yesterday evening - oh, let's say about 6:15, the house phone --- I now understand that I should refer to this phone as a landline --- the house phone rang.  I am sitting here waiting for a call from a person whose phone number I know not.  The phone says I have a call from Marlin, Texas.  That's not too far away and could be the one I await.    Cute word:  "await."

It is a lady with an oriental accent who recites my name followed by a recital of my house address here in Salado (zip code included).   Right away, I know that I have been suckered.  She wants to buy my house that I bought in June.  I said sure - send me a half million dollars with no closing costs and I'll consider it.  

Since yesterday, I have decided to up my price to $600,000.  The house is not worth that much, but I should care?  Send me a check for six hundred K, I'll move out in a week.

I told her, rather politely I thought, that I had no intention of selling and to leave me alone.  I had picked up the phone in the bedroom - not extremely important to know, but there you are.  I waddled into the living room to hear my cell phone chirping.  Thinking about that important call that I "await," I pressed the buttons.

It was the same oriental voice.  She recited my name and recited my address again followed by the same spiel regarding selling my house.  Yes, the exact same person reciting my exact name and address again.  "Listen Lady, I just told you on my other phone that I didn't want to sell the house."   she made a gasping sound.   I continued,   "This line of work is really not for you.  Why don't you go find a different job?"   Hung Up.

I sat and waited for my wife's phone to ring.  Surprisingly, it did not.

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You ask:  "What phone call do you await?"   My daughter Christine, who will eventually be a 100% live-in member of this household, ordered some paving stone from Lowe's to be delivered.  Lowe's sent her a text that our stone would arrive Thursday, between  9 a.m. and 9 p.m.  I rolled my eyes.  By 6:15 p.m., the daughter had already headed for her own home and puppies - somewhat fuming that stones had not arrived.  No delivery or phone call, yet.

It just occurred to me that this is a "Stone" about stones.   See top explanation.

She called Lowe's.  They said that a 3rd party delivered stones.  She called the 3rd party.  He said that stones are delivered on a flatbed; thus, Lowe's did this delivery.  He said, "Hang on.  I will call them for you and stay on the line to be your advocate."   ADVOCATE!!!  Nobody answered the Lowe's phone.

At 6:30, the dot called Lowe's again.  Delivery had been called off for Thursday.  I'm sure it was because they were all attending a Veteran's Day celebration - or they were delivering food for Meals on Wheels.

I had a text this morn that delivery has been rescheduled for SUNDAY.  Yes, Sunday.  Do you feel the urge to roll your eyes?   I certainly do.   Roll My Eyes.

This Stone - stone will continue.

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This evening is the start of the Salado Scottish Festival.   There will be a gathering of the clans about 6 p.m.  Tomorrow and Sunday, the games begin.  Actual Scottish games - plus bagpipe and dancing contests.   There is a website if you care to search for it.  

I cannot prove it, but my ancestry tree indicates that I descend from  BRUCE.  Look that one up.  It would be fun if I were, of course.  Ancestry also puts me a descendant of Charlemagne, a couple of English Kings, and at least one French King.  It may not be true, prolly not.  With that information and a five dollar bill, you can get a coffee at Starbucks - with a bit of change (Scottish lingo).

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See ya; Me thinks I shall go into the shower and sprinkle me head.

mtz

 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

81 has come and gone

 Last week, I hit 81 yrs of age.

It reminds me of a bit I heard many a year in the past.  

When you are first born, your age is counted in months.   Baby is 6 months - or 3 months - or 8 months - 1 year and 6 months .....

Sometime during the elementary ages you start using single digits -  age 13 or 20 or 22 or ....

Then you get old, really old.  I'm not sure when that day comes, but no longer do you use single digits to express age, you go back to the months.   I am 94 and a half   or  86 and 3 months.

So you see, I turned 81 on the 4th.   That makes me 81 and 5 days old.    I was born at 12:05 a.m.   my mother once said.  I suppose I could list my age by years - days - hours.

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This is one of those stories of my youth.   Pardon me, this is a "Stone" of my youth.  We moved quite a lot as a child.  My father worked for Standard Oil of Indiana (now BP) in the oil exploration side.  We moved quite a bit in western Kansas and eventually Nebraska.  He ran a truck that measured underground man-made disturbances (dynamite, maybe)   He had a Logging Truck.   Meanwhile, my mother was a school teacher.

Originally, both parents were band directors after college.  She was the band director in Tecumseh, Okla when I was born.   Eventually that all ended.  We lived in Dodge City, Kansas twice.  During the first time I was about 5 yeas old.  Mom taught Kindergarten at one elementary school.  We lived in the attendance zone of a different elementary.  

Dodge city had a rule that you had to be 5 by November 1st in order to go to Kindergarten.

What would you do.   Hire a baby sitter or - yes, or - she took clorox and put a drop on the "4" on my birth certificate    - After it dried, she wrote in a "1."  At 4 years of age, I never knew.  For years, I thought my birthday was November 1st.

Suddenly I was 5.   I attended 1/2 day kindergarten at one elementary - traveled across town, climbed some stairs, and attended her 1/2 day class of kindergarten in the afternoon.  I'm sure I learned quite a lot that year.  Or not.

That put me as the youngest kid in my class for the rest of my life.  My wife is 6 weeks older than I .  And she was in a high school graduation class a year after mine.  

AND SO,  the stone ends.

(aside:  when I was in school, we were never allowed to write "and, so,"  It was one of the many rules of prose.)

Tomorrow is another day; and, I will be 81 and 6 days.

smile.

mtz



Wednesday, November 3, 2021

31st

 Halloween   ( or  Halloweenie as we dachshund lovers say )  has come and gone.  This should be a fairly short post.  Share it with me.

I retired from teaching in May of 2004 - I prefer to call it graduating.  Within the following year, we sold our house and moved into the motorhome.  We had great plans.

Over time, we drove around the State looking at lake front properties until we found Richland-Chambers Lake east of Corsicana.  We overpaid for a lot and began the process of planning a new house.   

Now let's jump forward to this year, 2021.  Sunday night was Halloweenie.  I bought a couple sacks of chocolate type candies, and we waited.  About 5:45, "Trick or Treat!"   Nobody finished it with "Smell my feet."  We probably had 40 or more visitors.  Most were small - some not.

There was one family that had a girl who was taller than me dressed in a big M  for M&Ms.  My wife gave her candy along with the smaller tykes in her group.  Then, from the back stepped the mother - gray headed, in costume with a big smile and an empty sack.  She got candy too.   The lady had to be in her 50s.  This, of course, has given me an idea for next year.   Me - going as pirate with a big sword.

There was one little girl on her first outing.  She could walk, barely.  She understood the process, but you could tell she wasn't quite sure what was happening.

One little kid (I'm guessing a girl) was in a big orange dinosaur costume.  The costume was well over six feet and she had to be under 3. She could only move one foot at a time.  When she left our door, her father came and carried her to the next candy factory.  So cute.

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The reason this has any significance is:

Since October, 2004, these are first tricker or treaters we have seen.  Nobody ever visited the motorhome.  And, nobody ever found our house on the lake.   Every year, I bought candy.  Every year, the candy was eaten by my wife.  I use to help eat the candy until 2008 when I found out about my diabetes.

There it is.  After all these years, we bought a house in a community full of young adults who have little kids   Next year I plan to buy 3 bags of chocolate.  Tell your children, your niece and nephew - 

WE HAVE THE CHOCOLATE!!!!

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Just for record, tomorrow the 4th day of November - I will be 81 years old.  Think of me.

No, wait, pool all your money and buy me a beautiful big golf cart.  I'd like that.

mtz

 

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Cousin It (Addams Family) well, no

This may make someone mad.  Okay, Fine.  I'm 80; I can have my own opinions.  They can't fire me.  I suppose they could take me to Washington and make me testify before a Congressional Committee.  

I could care less if you are a guy who thinks he is a gal - or a gal who thinks she is a guy.  It's your life.  Ruin it if you want.  All this mixed  up sexist stuff, may mess up lots of people over time.  I figure that I won't solve this situation.  

With that over announcement over, there was an article in the Temple Daily Telegram from a few days back titled:

"United States issues its 1st passport with 'X' gender marker."

This person in Colorado, a State almost as freaky as San Francisco and Oregon, wanted a passport.  However, this person doesn't IDENTIFY as male or female and wants an "X" placed in that area on the passport.  Of course, our liberal freaks obliged.  Now I am quoting from the paper.

"The department did not identify the passport recipient, but Dana Zzyym of Fort Collins, Colo., told the Associated Press in a telephone interview it was its passport.  Zzyym, who prefers a gender-neutral pronoun, has been in a legal battle......"    Zzyym is pronounded  Zimm.  I don't know if that is a long I or a short I.  Does it really matter?

So now we know.  Cousin It on the Addams Family is gender neutral.   And, we must - that is MUST - call Dana "It."  If we refuse to use "It" then we could be called out for hate speech.  I'm betting that before long they (excuse me) the its of the world will use a good ole English word as a pronoun.  They will incorporate a word, as they did with "Gay" and the "Rainbow," making the word unusable by the common market.  

Now, I ask.  Am I the only person (a  "He") who finds this pure nonsense.  Here we are catering to someone with either a mental problem  (hate speech again) or someone starving for attention.  I could prolong this conversation but I choose to move on.  

The world is full of morons.   I use to tell my students: "Don't do stupid things."  I am still waiting for someone to apply for a marriage license to marry a sheep.  Maybe they already have and I missed it.

Gaggingly yours,

mtz