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Sunday, March 22, 2015

If It Is To Be...

I've had a few folks check in lately and ask; "How are your knees?"
They're just fine, thanks for asking.
For those relative newcomers to this blog, on 13 January 2013 I fell down a set of concrete steps while carrying a heavy container. I could not brace my fall with my arms, so my knees hit first. I completely ruptured both of my quadriceps tendons. My right kneecap was halfway down my shin, and...well - you get the picture. Approximately 28 hours later, I was on the table @ Wilkes-Barre General Hospital getting everything reattached.
The Dr. who did the surgery was a hard-charging 30 something; a no-nonsense kinda guy that was very, very good at his chosen profession. Although he never said "you'll never walk normally again", he clearly indicated that wherever I was at 12 months post-surgery, that's the best I could expect for the rest of my life.  
So that's the first piece of bad news received.
As we live in SE PA, and the surgeon was in the Kingston area in NE PA, we decided to transfer my follow-up visits during the rest of my recovery and rehab to an orthopedic surgeon closer to home. "Dr. C" was a sixty something that just retired in early 2015, and my wife had worked with him ( she's an O/R nurse ) for over 20 years and felt he was the best of the best in our area.
During our initial appointment, his message to me was: "Take it easy & protect your knees; don't fall again!" When I asked how much of my leg function I would get back, his simple answer was:
"That's up to you."
He set-up a rehab schedule with a P/T group we picked in Harleysville, and from March through July, I was there twice a week getting pushed and stretched and scraped. Prior to that, from late January through March, I also had an RN and a P/T coming to my home several times a week to monitor my health and my progress. My wife took a brief leave of absence from work, and most of her time was spent on the phone fighting with insurance companies to get approval for the equipment and care that she knew I needed. My daughter, also an RN, came home from CA for a week when my wife went back to work. She helped me start walking outside while there were still patches of snow on the ground.
As of late and for a variety of reasons, I've been thinking about the gap in experience between 30-somethings I work with and those of us that are potentially within a few years of early retirement. I will simply offer this: Although I recognize there will always be exceptions, there is no substitute for experience. I'm at 26 months post injury, and I am still making progress. Thankfully, my recovery did not stop at 12 months as predicted.
My takeaway? When experience speaks, slow down a little and listen. You just might learn something.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me


Friday, March 20, 2015

Federal Judge: Bend Over and Take the Pipe

A U.S. District Judge has stripped away an individual's right to choose what happens to their property.
From the article:
"U.S. District Judge Malachy Mannion ruled that the Constitution Pipeline has the necessary permits from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that it serves the public interest by providing additional natural gas pipeline capacity."
Read more here.
Watch this one & the PennEast Pipeline closely in the days ahead.
Is Fuugly a word?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Obituary for the Proud American Craftsman - Part I

As each of our children graduated from college, we found that our cash flow began to improve...little by little. We survived 9 years of private grade schools, 4 years of private high schools including some of the top $chool$ in the Philadelphia suburbs, and four years of private universities...all times three.

And it was worth every cent & sacrifice.

So, each year for the past ~5 years, we've taken some of that newfound cash and invested it into our home and 401(k)s. New roof, new heat pumps and completely new internal heating/cooling system except for the ductwork, new garage doors, new walkway and fire pit patio, new sunroom windows...and so on. No expensive trips...no expensive baubles.

Okay, maybe a new kayak. And better beer...

Anyway...this year, we went for new gutters and downspouts and having 25+ year-old wallpaper stripped from two rooms on our first floor and painting them from ceiling to baseboard.

And that, my friends, is where the nightmares began.

More in a few.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Balanced" Pipeline Forum Set @ Wilkes

According to a recent online post, Wilkes University Energy Institute will hold a public forum on pipelines in northeastern PA at the Stark Learning Center on Thursday, March 19th @ 7:30 p.m.

Read more about it here.
Whenever I see the word "balanced" used...
According to the announcement, Senator John Yudichak will be in attendance.
See you there?

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Respite & Recharged

Hi, folks.
Had to take a little break for personal and professional reasons.
No, I did not retire....just became very tired at many different levels.
Thanks for the cards & letters.
There's just something about watching a Saturday morning sunrise.
At 3 degrees, I wasn't out there too long.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Value of Not Taking a Stance

Is Zero. Zip. Nada. ничего. Nic.
"Robert Hughes, executive director of the Ashley-based group, said Tuesday EPCAMR is not taking a stance on the project, but ..."
Read the rest here.
I am against the PennEast Pipeline going under the Susquehanna River at any point in the Wyoming Valley.

I already know what I am going to do to stop it, and I am not affiliated with nor am I conferring with any coalition, group, or cause. That is my choice and mine alone.
See y'all at RiverFest in June.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Étienne Brûlé: 1615-1915

According to just about everything I've read, ~20 year old French explorer Etienne Brule travelled down the Susquehanna River from near present-day Sayre, Pennsylvania to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in 1615.
Accompanied by Susquehannocks and perhaps others, many believe he was the first European to paddle down the Susquehanna along that stretch of the river. Since there is plenty of historical evidence to support much earlier visits to that region ( Sayre/Carantouan) in the 1500's by the Dutch and Spanish,  suffice it to say that Etienne Brule was definitely one of the earliest.
In a series of stages, mostly on weekends, I plan to paddle the majestic Susquehanna from Sayre to either Shickshinny or Sunbury in 2015. I've paddled this section of the Susquehanna many times, so I know there are plenty of opportunities to stop/camp/refuel and visit historical sites along the way.
I'll be looking for folks to join me for one, two or perhaps all of the stages. 
More in the days ahead.


Thursday, January 15, 2015

DEP's John Quigley: Freudian Slip?

If you are not yet up to speed on our incoming governor's new cabinet selections, take a few minutes to ramp up here and here.

I don't know if you caught it, but while reading the latter piece, this quote from our incoming DEP Secretary John Quigley did not slip by unnoticed: 
"I know my way around Harrisburg, I understand the politics and issues," Quigley said. "Citizens need to have confidence in the agency and the agency has the responsibility to be transparent. One of the most effective ways to do that is to be engaging all interests and trying to find the most construction paths forward."
Now, I wasn't there, but I have to start with the premise that the reporter that wrote the article was there and that he/she took accurate notes. In my mind, what Mr. Quigley should have said was "...the most constructive paths forward."
But, assuming once again that the reporter got it right, and spell-check and/or a tight deadline was not ultimately responsible for this obvious error, Mr. Quigley's parapraxis does not bode well for Pennsylvania's environment in the years ahead.

Corbett needed to go - period.

However, I'm beginning to feel uneasy about his successor.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

DEP's New Fracking Video & Federally-Subsidized Brainwashing

This new DEP video is being shown at the 99th annual PA Farm Show.

Your tax dollars and our DEP hard at work!
   Meanwhile, a small explosion in Wyoming County and federally-subsidized brainwashing are in the news.

Seriously...100 buck$ to attend a minimum of 8 sessions!?!?!?!
Where do I sign up?