Saturday, October 01, 2005

The worst gum in the world

Have you ever been sitting in the comfort of your home, maybe you are watching TV or reading the newspaper, and suddenly thought, "Where can I get the great taste of cold medicine in a gum?"

Well, your answer is in "Uniquely Soothing Cherry Chill" flavor Eclipse sugarless gum.

As a borderline diabetic, I've found sugarless gum to be my friend to help hold off hunger between meals. A big fan of Eclipse Sweetly Powerful Peppermint (who's job is it to come up with names for these things and to they get to put "gum namer" on their tax return under "job title"?), I recently gave Cherry Chill a try.

Cherry plus menthol = Nyquil

A total nightmare. Steer clear of this and stick to the mint variants, trust me.

Monday, September 26, 2005


OK, so I haven't posted anything new here in awhile and my stat counter actually says there's been some traffic here. I suspect that somehow I've had my share of BlogExplosion traffic where people click on a link for my site and stay all of 1.9 seconds before they move on.

Anyhow, I thought I'd put a short one in here for kicks.

This just in: Old Spice is the official deodorant of NASCAR.

No, really.

See for yourself:

I don't get to watch as much TV as I did pre-kids (which is probably a good thing, although there's a happy medium in there somewhere), but that ad with a bunch of sweaty, shirtless, beer gutted, male NASCAR fans hugging each other repeatedly runs every other break during NFL games through some warped contractural agreement. It's easy to poke fun at the prototypical NASCAR fan, but did they really need an official deodorant to cap that off?

For giggles, here are some other associations that are just waiting to be made:

Doc Martens, the official shoe of the LPGA
The Man Law Firm, official paternity suit defenders of the NBA Players Association
Depends, the official undergarment of the Senior PGA tour

Feel free to add your own in comments. That is, if you actually read this far before your BlogExplosion timer is up.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Not everything is related to toilet humor around here.

I was playing pretend with my 3 year old daughter today and at one point in our little make believe game, I laid down weakly and told her, "You defeated me!"

She then replied, "Don't worry dad. I'll undefeat you."

The 24 hour urine test, part 2

Read day 1 below first

After a day of peeing into a bright orange jug and not hearing the sound of flushing, I got up early again today to go down to the same collection center that turned me away yesterday. I got there 5 minutes early and stood patiently with my jug-o-pee in the hallway. I could see people inside rummaging around and it hit 7:00 am, their posted opening time.

Then it got to be 7:05.

Finally, at 7:10 a young lady opened the door and was very apologetic for making me wait. I entered and signed in as the first client of the day. The receptionist asked if I had my "urine container" and, unlike yesterday, I gleefully held up my jug-o-pee and said "Yep!" She then told me to take a seat.

So there I was. Me, the jug-o-pee, and one of those health videos playing in the waiting room. Did you know the average American eats 19 pounds of apples per year? Yeah, I didn't care either.

5 more minutes went by and I could see that there were 3 different employees present, yet there I still sat as their only customer. They've been open for 15 minutes now, supposedly, and I ordinarily wouldn't care except for the jug-o-pee. It makes me nervous to have it sitting there next to me. If someone came in, would they ask me what it was? How would I phrase that? I hoped I didn't have to find out.

As I was having that thought, 4 women of varying ages came in together. They said hello to me and I gave them a hesitant, "Hi" with a smile in return. Another 5 minutes went by and thankfully, nobody asked me about my container. Finally, I got called to the back for the blood draw.

"You don't look happy to be here," was what the phlebotomistgreeted me with. Hello? It's not even 7:30 am yet and I've been waiting for 20 minutes with my jug-o-pee. "Well," I said in return trying to pin down my reasoning for being a bit sour faced, "it is my second day in a row here."

"Yeah, but today you got in," she replied, as if pointing out I had to come down twice was supposed to make me feel better. I have good veins, so it was pretty quick work for the blood part. As she stuck the 5th tube into the needle-thing, she said, "I'm going to need some urine from you today."

Puzzled, I grumpily said, "Not enough in the jug for ya?"

She wasn't amused. "That sample has to stay sealed, but I need some more for a different test your Doctor wants."

Among the instructions on the paperwork they gave me the previous day said to empty my bladder before I brought in the jug and, unlike the refrigeration instruction they told me to ignore, I followed that one. As a result, I wasn't sure I could go. There's nothing worse than that pressure of having to go in the cup when you don't have to go. After filling a jug for a day and being flushless, I really didn't need that added to my morning.

"Are you sure you can't just pour some out of the jug? It can't make that big a difference," I tried to argue.

"No," she insisted as she removed the needle and gave me a cotton ball for my arm, "it has to be new. The bathroom is down the hall to your left."

Fortunately, I mustered the reserve to put some in the cup. Not much, but enough to satisfy her. Phlebotomist are among the people you really shouldn't argue with. Barbers are another. Both can really mess up your day if you tick them off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The 24 hour urine test

As a "pre-diabetic" and given the epidemic that the U.S. faces for those of us who are too gluttonous for our own good, at my annual check-up my doctor has decided to give me the same battery of tests that he would for someone with full blown diabetes. My blood sugar was 106 in his office. That's down a whopping 1 point from last year even though I weighed in 41 pounds lighter. Still, it is thankfully short of 120, which classifies you as having diabetes. Given my family history and the proportions that this disease has taken on in this country, he's playing it safe. I'm glad, acutally.

So, in addition to bloodwork and an eye test of some sort which I couldn't schedule until September, I have to get a 24 hour urine test. If you haven't had the pleasure, that means I get to pee in a rather large semi-opaque jug for a day and then some lucky lab tech gets to analyze over a gallon of my tinkle. I'm guessing that's a job you get when you are pretty low on the lab tech ladder, along with semen and stool samples. Is it like the guys at the landfill say and you get used to the smell? I hope so, for their sake.

Now, what nobody told me is that I had to get my blood drawn and submit my pee jug at the same time. Probably because the crack staff at the collection unit can't possibly keep track of separated samples. I showed up at 7:00 am ready to get a vein pricked and get my container only to be given a container and told I had to come back at the same time the next day. I work at home and usually don't start work until 9:30 or there about, so getting up to get to the lab place at that hour wasn't exactly convenient. Far less convenient 2 days in a row, obviously.

Throughout the day, I've actually tried to avoid peeing as much as possible, because it was very awkward. The paperwork said I was supposed to keep it refridgerated and my wife told me there was no way in hell I was putting it in with our food and that I'd have to rent a dorm fridge of some kind. Fortunately, the top notch lab staff told me the exact opposite of their preprinted paperwork and that it only had to be stored at room temperature. It fit nicely behind the toilet next to the scrubbing brush, so nobody had to really notice it.

Peeing in a jug all day is just weird. Unscrewing the cap on the jug after the first time greeted me with a scent that just kept getting better as the day went on. You'd think the bubbles from the previous deposits would fizzle out after awhile, but I found that some stayed strong throughout the afternoon. I have no idea how a woman would do this. The jug was about a foot tall by 6 inches around or so. There is no way you could sit on the throne and put it underneath you without dipping it in toilet water. A special hose attachment? Unclear. For me, it was just a matter of sticking it in and letting it fly.

After eash session, though, I felt this strange sense of incompleteness. No flush. We are taught from an early age that when you pee, you flush. Here, lots of peeing, no flushing. I felt detached in a way. Once, I even flushed just so I could hear the sound.

Also, I avoided taking a crap all day as I tend to alternate between the two when I go and I didn't want to keep having to stand up during that experience.

Tomorrow I make my drop off and will await results to be given to me in mid-September sometime. Until then, a lab tech somewhere dreams of urinalisis.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Do you want to see my poopy?

Potty training has been a challenging time at our house the past few months. Our 3 year old daughter is quite subborn and just not interested in using the toilet for the longest time. She's finally got the concept down the past 2 weeks or so, but I admit that there are some aspects to it that, although better than diapers, make me cringe a bit.

When we're at Target and she screams "I HAVE TO MAKE PEEPS ON THE POTTY!!!" it's not so bad. Just about everybody has kids, has been where we are, and tends to give us "Aw, isn't that cute" looks.

The latest habit, though, I'm not a big fan of. Elizabeth has established a ritual when it comes to a #2. For some reason, she'll only do it for me. I'm not sure why this is so because she prefers my wife for most everything else to the point that she'll occasionally refuse to eat macaroni and cheese unless her mother makes it. Anyway, she of course picks this to be our bonding item.

The ritual begins when I help her get on the potty and then I read to her one of my favorite books from when I was a kid, Harry the Dirty Dog. Kids seem to love repeatable structure and why this one is the chosen book, I don't know. I'm thankful it's a Strawberry Shortcake book, though. If you have young daughters, you are no doubt with me on that one. Those toys are great, but the books are quite a mouth full to get through.

So when she's done, every day she asks me, "Do you want to see my poopy?"

Wanting her to have a positive association with this act, I find it hard to turn her down. She then proceeds to tell me what her poopy looks like. "little balls" and "a Christmas tree" are her most common descriptions, although "volcano" came up the other day. Such is life in the parenting world. I just have to remember this one for when she's a teenager and brings her first boyfriend home.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My 3 year old noticing my baldness

I am bald and have been since my mid-20s. Rogaine was the dam that held back that raging river for awhile, but eventually the power of nature was too much for even advanced chemicals to overcome.

Genetically speaking, I reall had no chance. My Dad is bald. All of his brothers are bald. Both of my grandfathers are bald. It's kind of a family tradition.

When my 3 year old started to notice my baldness when compared to other people I had to either get embarrassed by it or really accept that this is the only way she'll ever know me and laugh about it. I've chosen the latter and her comments help.

When I got up with her this morning, for no particular reason, she says to me:

"Daddy, did you know that you, Calliou, and Charlie Brown have no hair?"

Ah, the keen observations of a pre-schooler. "Yes, dear, I did know that."

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Pregnancy and pube jeans

As a 35 year old man, by definition I don't understand fashion. I barely comprehended it as a 25 year old man before I woke up one day to discover that things like fashion and pop music betrayed me, turning me into the old man I swore I'd never be.

But I was at the mall today and saw a pregnant girl. I say girl because she couldn't have been 20. She looked big enough to be in her 3rd trimester, maybe a little closer to the end of that marathon than that even. Her attire consisted of what a friend of mine would describe as "pube jeans" (because you have to shave the top part of your pubic hair in order to wear them), a crop top that exposed her now very large stomach, and spiked, stiletto heals that her feet were bursting out of.

Now I know from my wife's pregnancy that it can be a trying time for body image. Even if your body isn't raging with all kinds of hormones, you probably weigh more than you ever will again and even though you know that there are literally two people (or more) along for the ride, our model-thin infatuated society takes its toll on your psyche.

Despite that, a good rule of thumb is that if you can't see your feet, you shouldn't wear heels. I know when Laura was pregnant with Elizabeth she could barely walk in sneakers during that last month. I can't imagine the desire to look good at the mall eclipsing foot comfort at that stage.

Who was this girl trying to look good for? I haven't been a 20 year old guy for awhile, but I don't recall hitting on pregnant chicks much. Again, I certainly understand that it can be a difficult time, but she looked like she was going clubbing.

I don't get the "show your stomach and your butt crack" fashion statement on non-pregnant women and that seems like something you wouldn't want to show off more when you are eating for two. That look and stretch marks just don't go together.