Ill Thrift

When I was in college in that tiny little town in southwest Arkansas, I would sometimes get sick and go see a doctor. One of the few that I could afford was this guy in a small clinic on the other side of town. At the end of the session, he’d check off a preprinted diagnosis form and hand it to me with any prescription orders and send me to check out.

I got a sense that he was, in some way, a classic sort of country doctor, because the form had this one diagnosis that always caught my eye: failure to thrive. Of all the diagnoses on that form, that’s the one that made me chuckle. Of course, it’s a bad thing to have, but c’mon, that’s a great turn of phrase.

I kinda felt like, socially and economically, that definitely was my Twenties. Rough.

Reasons Why I Still Buy Music on Compact Disc

  • Lossless; clear sound with no compression artifacts or “sizzle”
  • Liner Art! Feelies! Presentation! There’s an art and a vibe for each album.
  • Supported on most platforms
  • No encryption or Digital Rights Management
  • Can listen to CDs long after the music store goes out of business
  • CDs are never “no longer available in the library”
  • After ripping, I can push the files to my own media server and listen everywhere
  • Since I own the physical media, I have a Fair Use license for ripping
  • If my storage crashes, I can re-rip from disc without buying from the store again
  • Nobody tracks my playbacks and pushes recommendations to me
  • Because fuck you, that’s why.

Back Fourty

Follow-up to Set Back:

Good news. Doc says the MRI shows I have herniated disks. The stabbing knife in my mid-back is a big herniation, the kind where the disk is bulging out of its space between the vertebrae and pressing against the spinal cord. That’s pretty cool. And I have three smaller bulges in the vertebrae in my neck which are responsible for the numbness in my left shoulder. See, nerves exit the spine and move downward and outward diagonally, so it makes sense the stabbing knife below isn’t responsible for the numb shoulder above.

Just flummoxes me that both happened at the same time. The past month has provided me more than its share of soft tissue injuries. First, a tendon on my right knee got stretched while standing up from a kneel. Then, my lower back injury (a previously-herniated disk from years ago) flares up because of how I’m walking to compensate. And now…two other spots on my spine.

I gotta get back into physical therapy and get my life back into shape. Or something. Suffer. Fine. See if I care.

Set Back

Working through some spine issues. I need a new backbone. Coming up on two weeks of backpain; feels like a crushed disk, pulled muscle, or whatever. Pinched nerve, left shoulder numb. Stabbed in the back feeling. So good. So right.

Laid down in an MRI tube this weekend; will know the results shortly. MRI machines are cool. Loud, so loud. Industrial rhythms and sucking liquid nitrogen pumps. Magnetic waves and radio transmitters keeping you warm. Foam earplugs. Clinic gown. Just lie still, Mr. Thomas. Don’t move.

Don’t move. Moving slowly when possible. Hobble, cane, chair. Good times. So good. So right.

Hope this gets fixed soon.


So with the recent bombings in Paris, Syria, et cetera, and the anti-Islam radicalism that’s popped up, it seems Texas has shown its own special brand of hate by defacing mosques. I’m against this sort of thing, personally. It’s a hateful act.

BUT: I’m an atheist. Normally, I would not give a damn if someone defaced a baptist or catholic church. I just wouldn’t. It’s not something I believe, so why do I need to be offended or take arms to defend against hate when it’s lobbed against the majority U.S. religion? Right? So where does this defensive urge to protect mosques come from? Because they are the underdog? The underclass? There’s an inherent racism and classism going on there, and I need to keep that in check. Islam is no minority shareholder. So why the defense?

I see posts of people making signs and human walls around mosques in a show of “we don’t hate you” solidarity. That makes me glad. But why? Is it some hope that we as a race of privileged white folks get to say, “Please don’t be mad; we’re not all racist assholes”? I mean, sure, I want to say that, but I’m not sure standing up with a sign is good enough.

There’s some healing going on, I hope. I guess. When you have a whole heterogeneous body subconsciously clumped together into a homogeneous stereotype, there will be a subsection of that body that will be terrible people. It happens.

But in this case, I’m just not sure what to do or where I stand. Maybe this is why people just post links and say they’re in support without actually doing anything in the hope they get to be absolved when the shit hits the fan. :shrugs: