Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Laptop dancing

Pray for Mama ER!

OK, so anyone who knows me in the Real World knows I go kicking and screaming into the future and new technology.

At the paper I worked at in Texas in the 1990s, I was the very last holdout when they went from a mainframe computer system to PCs. Ask Nick Toper. He was my boss at the time -- as much as it pains me to say it, :-) -- he was so pleased when I said to him one day: "I think I'm a mouse person," meaning I'd learned to use a mouse rather than function keys.

When I bought a microwave oven for my first apartment, in Stillwater, while a student at Oklahoma State back in the 1980s, I bought very last one Wal-Mart had that had a knob rather than those electronic touch pad things.

I like old movies and old music. My favorite beer is one I've had before -- same with food, movies and just about anything else.

If it's new it's bad -- that's my motto.

So, imagine my surprise: I LOVE this here laptop computer, which work provided, in a pinch, against bureaucratic odds, so I could keep working and still be close to Mama ER. It's not just that I want to be here, or that I think she needs me, although I do believe the experts who say that people heal faster with kin around. The fact is, I have to make medical decisions for Mama ER sometimes right now because he is unable to, and it's easier if I'm here.

I'm sitting here next to Mama ER in her hospital room right now. A minute ago, I was out in the hall because she needed a little privacy. An hour ago, I was somewhere else on the floor when there got to be too many -- dadGUM, I just THIS INSTANT had to go back into the hallway for a doc to do a procedure. The hospital has lent me onje of those beside tray-tables for just such purposes.

ER discovers laptops and wireless Internet! And more kind, helpful people than you can sling a cat at. Dude.

Mama ER update: Platelet count up to 56,000, another record. BUT, the level is nowhere near as high as the docs had hoped it would be by now (125,000 to 400,000).

So, the top hematologist ordered two outside-the-norm blood tests, one of which can only be done in California -- which means at least another five to seven days here, which everyone expected anyway, maybe longer since Christmastime's a comin'.

This is really cutting-edge stuff. Mama ER might very well be written up in a medical research journal or something.


I still have friends my age that refuse to get a computer or use e-mail. I don't hear from them much even by snail mail or telephone.
When I left my final job, I turned in my laptop and my cell phone (and my frequent flier platininium plutonium card) without regret.
Actually my home phone just went touch tone only 5 years ago and I don't answer it anyway.
I'm about ready to endulge in another laptop to use on trips and such. They are damn cool are they not? And this is from a guy that shit in an outhouse until he was 10 and whose telephone number was two longs and short.

Stay close to your mother and on the doctors and nurses case. She will get better medical attention while someone assertive from her family is there by her side.
That's just a fact of life.
We in the family think about grandma several times a day. Just wanted you to know we got the Jewish prayers for her health covered, too :).

Grandma's Jewish granddaughter-in-law.
These medical situations are a long run for everyone involved. Glad you have access to multiple cannisters of figurative oxygen, and perhaps the occasional whippet of nitrous.

Good luck to all.
Hey, E.R., if you can't stand using the touchpad in lieu of a mouse, you can probably plug a USB mouse into the side. I have to have my mouse to be at all effective.

And do stay close, as much as possible. Invariably, if I left the hospital to go grab a nap or a hamburger, that was the EXACT time there would be a major change in the situation. Or that's when the docs would make rounds. I think they were watching and waiting for me to make a move.
Drlobo: Stay close for better med. attention. Absolutely.

Jew Girl: :-) Grandma feels the love, I promise!

Thanbk you, TSTOCK. Kind words from you count more than from many others, 'cause I know you think before you comment. :-)

Trix: Ya know, I got one of them newfangled laser mouses, but I never used it today. Barely room on that little table for the 'puter itself, let alone a mouse.

BTW: Even tho she didn't eat much of it, my heart skipped when I saw her enjoying a bit of Sonic burger! And the ice cream sammich was drippin' off her arms by the time she was done. Mama ER does know what she likes.
I've added your prayer request to my online prayer group, E.R. We've just slipped below 1,000 members -- standing at 993 members at the moment.
We've seen God at work in a lot of situations over the past four years, so know you're not going it alone.
Thank you.
Shoot, I thought you were going to say that you and yours would be coming to California. I guess they don't really NEED Mama ER to do the test, just her blood, huh? ;)

You're a good son, ER, and welcome to the 21st century!
I just finished unpacking and setting up a brand new Gateway laptop this morning. I don't understand much of it yet, especially how that wireless internet thing works. Do you have to pay extra for access?

Biggest solved problem so far is this: setup said I was supposed to flip some switch but didn't identify which switch it was. I tried several switches and I must have flipped the right one, cause it worked.

Just to show how confident I am in my expertise on the laptop, I am typing this from my own reliable desktop model.
Mark, I'm hitching a ride on the hospital's wireless, which is the norm, I think. Friend of mine who works from his home out in the country drives into towsn and sits in his car in the parking lot of a coffee shop to use their wireless. At home, I did have to pay for a wireless modem and some other doohickey to get wireless access from Cox Communications, which SUCKS. Oh. Excuse me.
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