Saturday, March 28, 2015

Pacemaker Number Four Is Imminent

Last Thursday I had my acupuncture appointment at 1 PM with my pacemaker check at 2 PM, so I was feeling pretty good, nice and relaxed, when the technician put the little wand over my shoulder and on top of my pacemaker. She turned the machine on and the last two checks I have had of my pacemaker from three months ago and six months ago showed the battery had about a 30% life expectancy yet. Both of those technicians told me I would probably have to get a new pacemaker sometime towards the end of 2015.

I was completely shocked when the needle came up to only 10% and was red indicating my battery has deteriorated dramatically in the last three months! It needs to be replaced in the next month.

In late 1996, I was diagnosed with a lower heart block and needed my first pacemaker. That pacemaker lasted about five years. In early 2002, number two had to be replaced and had lasted about six years. That is the one I have my attendant holding in the picture.

Then, in 2008, when this picture was taken, they inserted my third pacemaker. They told me it should last about ten years. Seven years is a long ways short of ten years, but what am I going to do?

Click on the image to make it larger: 

I have a Medtronic pacemaker with Guidant cables. The technician told me it would be an in and out same-day replacement unless the cables need to be replaced. If they do, then I will need to stay overnight one night. The cables concern me because they are the original cables from 1996. I am guessing they will have to be replaced.  I do not know how long those cables are good for.

For you longtime readers of this blog, you know I have often contended I do not know what the next thing will be coming down the line; I know it will be something and this is it! I hope the next thing waits a little while!

I know some of my posts are not fun and relaxing. I am just keeping it real. It is issues like this that keep me going. If you read my book, you know the doctors told my family in the fall of 1971 my life expectancy was nine years! At 43+ years I am still here and with another new pacemaker it should keep me going a while longer.

If you are not aware of my voice recognition software, Dragon Dictate, the microphone in front of me is how I operate all of my posts. That is why sometimes I can go on for long periods of time because all I have to do is talk and the words appear on the page. For those of you that know me well, you know I like to talk!

I will keep you informed about how this next pacemaker installation goes and probably have something to say about it in another post.

By the way, I have this pacemaker in the picture attached to my briefcase with a little rawhide strap and use it as a teaching tool when I give presentations. I wonder what the next pacemaker will look like?

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Erin go Bragh!

Ireland forever is the translation of Erin go Bragh. It is often said on March 17th, "There are two types of people. The people that are Irish, and the people that wish they were."

I am curious about just who was Saint Patrick? So, guess what I did? That is correct! I did a little research on something called the Internet. I found some interesting facts about the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. I found all kinds of information on that changed my view of who and why we celebrate on March 17th every year.

Check out this link and watch a short video on the life of the most beloved Saint in Irish history. As it turned out, he was not Irish at all. The story we have all heard about him driving the snakes out of Ireland was not true. Imagine that? Something on the Internet has taught us something we always took as fact and proved us wrong!

I have always contended one of my goals is to learn at least one new thing every day. There is one fact I learned and it is barely noon! I have the rest of the day to learn more new stuff! I wonder what it will be?

Check out this video on and see a brief summary of Patrick's life. He was born in England to a wealthy family and at an early age his family moved to Ireland.

Check out this video and see for yourself:

--> I find the video and subsequent article very enlightening in light of how Patrick started his life in England and at age sixteen Irish pirates kidnapped him. You know, the pagan Celtic kind!

I found a sign that has hung by my door so I can read it every day on my way out of my house and now my apartment. They say the time to buy an antique is when you find it. This is not my sign, but it is just like mine:

Click on the image to make it larger:

My sign reads in small letters on the lower left, Boston Sign Co. The lower right reads, September 11, 1916. 

I do not know if my sign is an original or if it is a reproduction. It does not matter to me because the sentiment is the same. Many of my ancestors came from Ireland in the 1840s because of the potato famine and to escape religious persecution. When they arrived in ship after ship being dirty and considered the scum of the earth by places like Boston and New York, everyone looked down on them. 

It was many generations before other ethnic groups and racial groups were placed below the Irish on the social scale in places like Boston. I keep that sign to remind me where I came from.

I find it ironic in 1946 the Basketball Association of America, which later became the NBA, named its Boston franchise the Celtics! They changed the name from a hard C to a soft C and Boston has embraced its Celtics ever since. The Celtics are now embraced by Boston Celtics fans the world over and seventy-five years ago they were considered to be not even worthy to apply for a job. We all know change takes time, and this is a classic example of how Boston has taken time to look upon an entire class of people.

I have not even begun to research the beginning of green beer! I will let someone else do that. With that I wish you all a happy and safe celebration of St. Patrick's Day!

As always, I look forward to your comments.


Michael Arlin Patrick

P.S. Yes, there is a little Irish in my name. There is also German, English, and supposedly a tad bit of French, so I am basically a European Mutt! Yet, I have never considered myself a European American. I will not get into the whole hyphenated American issue as that is material for another post.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

March Madness Has Begun!

It is here in full force folks! The annual rite of spring for college basketball fans is well on its way to the battle for 65 teams to get into the Journey to the Tourney! Some teams have already punched their tickets to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on April 4 and 6, 2015.

Some of the field has automatic bids by way of winning their conference tournaments. Most of them are the mid-major conferences with the big conferences holding their tournaments this weekend.

If you had not heard, Minnesota had to play Rutgers last night in the first round and won to play the last game tonight against Ohio State. FYI: Ohio State beat Minnesota earlier this year in overtime by two points. I hope the outcome is different tonight!

All of the prognosticators have their number one and number two seeds set for who will make it into The Big Dance. There are always upsets in every tournament and this year promises to be the same. It will just be a matter of which and when which big dawgs fall.

I am anxious to watch tonight's game to see if the Gophers can advance to play another day. The only way Minnesota is going to The NCAA Tournament is if they were to win five straight days! That is not going to happen. My guess is they will go to the NIT again this year. I have no problem with that because that means another game or two we would get to go to The Barn and watch them play again. However, I am not thinking that way right now.

I would love to see them put on another good show like they did last night. They are very capable of beating Ohio State if they play as well as they did last night. The only problem last night was Andre Hollins had no points. That is the first time he has been shut out since his freshman year in 2012! He has been very sporadic this senior year and hopefully he will have a good game tonight to go along with Joey King and Mo Walker who had excellent games last night!

Deandre Mathieu also needs to step up as a senior and play well. They are an experienced team now and have shown in their upset when at Michigan State they are capable of playing with most teams.

It will be an exciting weekend for college basketball fans. I hope your team does well. As always, Selection Sunday will determine who will be going dancing in April!

As always, I look forward to your comments.



Saturday, March 7, 2015

Tim Conway And Harvey Korman (Redo)

I am going to do something today I have never done, and that is repost one of my first and favorite posts from October 2007. I have my reasons for doing this so please let me explain. 

First of all, the 1960s was an era of the variety show. Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Sonny and Cher, The Andy Williams Show, The Red Skelton Show to name just a few were watched by millions on the only three stations available ABC, CBS and NBC.

I should also list the granddaddy of them all which introduced us to the Beatles and countless other acts that went on to great success in the entertainment business because Ed Sullivan gave them a start on his weekly variety show.

For those of you younger than the Baby Boomer age bracket, you may not remember a time before cable, hundreds of channels and remote controls! I am reposting this skit because I showed it to my 41-year-old attendant the other day and she had never heard of the names in my post nor any of the shows I mentioned.

Another reason I want to post this skit again is because I think it is just plain funny!  It is a classic example of two grown men making you laugh out loud without saying a thing! It is so funny in the beginning as Harvey Korman tries to stay in character and not laugh at the bungling of his dentist, Tim Conway.

The last reason I am posting this is I have more subscribers today than I did in 2007 and I would like to introduce them to a time gone by.

This type of television would never make it today and illustrates how much is shown on hundreds of channels of violence, sex, illicit drug use, language and adult oriented behavior during prime time when children have access to thousands of murders, rapes and other violent acts before they are eighteen, it is a wonder they are able to understand the difference between right and wrong when they are raised in front of a television. I guess we can include video games in that genre as well.

Click on this URL to see my post and watch a short video of The Dentist's skit:

I will end this post with a Test Pattern the way every network ended its viewing day every night:

Do you remember this?

As always, I look forward to your comments.