Monday, February 21, 2005


Today Grandpa was transferred to Oakwood, a local care facility, where he'll stay for a few weeks, learning to use his new hip. There are things he's not supposed to do (like bend over 90 degrees) because that might dislocated his hip. He rode over to Oakwood in a wheelchair van and seemed to like that a lot -- he didn't even have to get out of his wheelchair. His room at Oakwood is nice and there's a facility cat that visits his room regularly as it has the best window. Oakwood actually encourages pets -- it suggests you bring yours when you come to visit. That's awesome. Instead of regarding pets as dirty animals, they feel they are a health benefit, and I agree (especially for the elderly).


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

New Hip for Grandpa

Grandpa got a new hip today. Everything went beautifully. He didn't even know anything had happened. When my mom and I went to see him at noon, after the procedure, he wanted to know when the surgery was going to be! Looks like he'll be in the hospital for another week and then he'll go to rehab.


Saturday, February 12, 2005

Grandpa Goes to Hospital

Today I had to take Grandpa to the emergency room. He couldn't get out of bed this morning. His right leg was bothering him too much. He screamed in pain when I just looked at it, let alone touched it or tried to move it. He decided he'd just stay in bed all day. Not a good solution, considering he might need to use the bathroom eventually. I was concerned because this was not normal. His leg frequently bothers him and he has good days and bad days, but this was almost complete immobility. To be safe, I called his doctor. The doctor on call freaked when I mentioned Grandpa had a slight temperature (99.2) and said I should immediately take him to the hospital. Apparently even a slight temperature is a sign of serious things in an 89-going-on-90 old man. At the hospital they took blood, urine, and x-rays, the ER doctor reporting that Grandpa had not broken his hip as originally expected, but he definitely needed a hip replacement. Since this hip issue had put Grandpa in a care facility at Christmas, the doctor couldn't figure out why nothing had been done then. But Grandpa's previous doctors hadn't suggested anything even though we asked if something couldn't be done to help him. This doctor immediately got on the phone with the hospital's orthopedic surgeon and within an hour he was there, dressed in jeans as he was not working on Saturday, and examining Grandpa. It was quickly decided that hip replacement surgery was the only thing to do. Without it Grandpa would remain bedridden and in pain. With it, he might even walk (with a walker or cane) and he should be pain-free. So it looks like that's what's on the schedule.


Saturday, February 5, 2005

Crazy Marc buys truck, er, van

I've been wanting a truck, van, or stationwagon for a while now: anything that would carry more than my tiny Neon. Especially with the new house, I'm finding I need stuff (furniture, accessories, tools, etc.) and it's tough getting them home. Most of my needs are simple and it's annoying to find an inexpensive desk costs more to deliver than it costs for the desk! Yesterday I started shopping, just checking local dealers to see what was available. At first I was pleased to see that there was so selection in my price range (I was thinking about $5K for a used vehicle), but once I started thinking about it, I got depressed. You see, most of the vehicles I was finding were ten years old and had more miles than my Neon! Paying $5K for a used vehicle with unknown problems and 100,000+ miles was not exciting. Then today I stopped at the local Mazda dealer. The car I really wanted was the Mazda3 5-door, but for right now, it's too small for my needs so I'd decided to buy a used truck and wait a year or two for the Mazda. But the Mazda dealer had some used vehicles in stock. After considering a Ford Focus Wagon, I saw a large van/truck and asked the sales guy about it. "Oh, that's a little older, but hey, it would probably work for you." It was a third to a quarter of the cost of most of the vehicles I'd been studying, but was a 1990 model with nearly 200,000 miles. But it started right up. It was a Mazda MPV which Consumer Reports rates highly (though unfortunately their ratings don't go back to 1990). It's in great physical shape and seemed to run well, though of course you never know about an engine that old. In the end, as the price dropped during our negotiations, I decided to take a gamble. I wrote a check and drove home a new minivan/truck! (It's technically classified as a minivan, but has four-wheel drive, so I guess that's why Mazda calls it a Multi-Purpose Vehicle.) Here's a picture if you're curious. I'm not sure exactly how I'll use the van: if it drives well I may use it a lot, or I could only use it when I need to haul things. I hope it lasts a year or two. It seems like it should, unless I discover the engine needs some major work. Then it because a dilemma of how much to put into an old vehicle. But if I can get a year or two of good use out of it, it'll be a steal. Meantime it's so cheap I can keep my Neon and have two vehicles, which is nice as they back each other up (my Neon will be eleven years old in March). I'm probably crazy to be so impulsive, but that's how I do things.


Friday, February 4, 2005

Life with Grandpa

Grandpa has been living with me for a couple weeks now and life sure has been interesting! To provide family and friends with a glimpse at what it's like, I decided to start a little newsletter. It's full of little humorous stories about Grandpa and his new life here with me. Even if you don't know Grandpa, you might find it entertaining.


Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Revolution in the Valley

Book: Revolution in the Valley
Writer(s): Andy Hertzfeld

Terrific annecnotes about the creation of the Macintosh computer back in the early 1980s. Andy was one of the original software developers who wrote many key parts of the OS and his insights and memories in these short stories really bring the creation process to life. Read it even if you're not interested in computers or Macintosh, simply because it provides a wonderful look at what it was like to create something so ground-breaking.