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Years before TWC's vagrant yoot, when he was but a wee lad, we had family friends that were turkey ranchers. The Patriarch spoke with a heavy Irish brogue that may as well have been a foreign language as it was entirely unintelligible to me. Old Man Porter once told me that, after the Big War, a prosperous Irish family owned two bicycles. That pearl was entirely lost on me at the time. He'd come to America and become fabulously wealthy, at least by Irish standards of living.
I loved his 1959 Cadillac with the bullet taillights, the 1959 El Camino with the 348, and the turkey egg that invariably found its way home with me after every visit. For the uninitiated, turkey eggs are pretty much chicken eggs on a Barry Bonds diet. Nothing exotic, they're just big. Fry them over-medium with a little butter, salt and pepper and serve with bacon, toast, and cold milk.
American St Patrick’s Day celebrations date back at least three hundred years. Like so many other things that makes this America, we have embraced this Irish festivity in a style that is uniquely ours. Shamrocks, leprechauns, green beer, green hair, a green river, and a lot of racket, which is old-country Irish slang for an old fashioned welcome-to-the-neighborhood party.
But in Ireland today it’s a softer and more subdued festival that often begins with a morning church service. Despite Ireland’s hard drinking reputation, as recently as thirty years ago most pubs were closed on St Paddy's Day in honor of this religious holiday. Even today the pubs are open mainly to serve the tourist trade arriving to celebrate a real Irish St Patrick’s Day.
We’re all Irish today—or maybe just a secular, Americanized version of what we imagine being Irish to be.
After a short, cold winter that ended just before Christmas, the days have been mild, warm, and windy. This served to confuse the trees, many of which weren't quite finished with the autumn leaf shedding ritual yet were already seeing spring bud break. Yesterday, there was only the plump, roundish bud below the flower. This morning? Voila!
Wine in San Diego? Well, sure, there's some great wine venues in the Gaslamp District as well as the ever awesome Wine Bank, but actual wineries? Who knew? Avocados? Yes. San Diego County produces the lion's share of home grown avocados, but grapes? Then again, much of San Diego is blessed with a mild, Mediterranean climate that favors the vine. Perhaps the surprise is that San Diego isn't known for its wines.
Scattered almost randomly around the county are a growing number of wineries: 84 bonded or virtual at last count. The two largest of these, according to Wines Vines Analytics, each produce a scant 20,000 cases per year; 28 produce between 1,000 and 4,999 cases annually, and the majority (51 in all) have extremely limited production of less than 1,000 cases per year. Most have been established within the past 20 years.
San Diego certainly has the population and the income to support a thriving wine culture and it would be nothing less than awesome to see the success of Temecula's wine country spill over (heh) into San Diego County.
Sure enough, you lost an hour last night. But look on the bright side, a couple people I know lost four or five hours that they're not getting back. And, at least you know where your undies are and how you got home.
As Daylight Savings Time becomes increasingly an exercise in the irrelevant, the government powers on. Heh. TWC had been waiting for weeks for a tinge of daylight at 6:00 AM. That day came recently, but this fully automated stroke of meddling instantly banishes the late winter sun to the 7:00 AM time slot. Practically speaking, that means The Boy will be driving The House Blond to school in the dark. I've whined previously, but our narrow rural road has become a makeshift commuter highway, and come Monday it will be filled with people running late who are navigating with one eye open and didn't get enough coffee. Throw the usual road rage suspects, the timid, the crawlers, and the pocket rockets into the mix and you've got a recipe for disaster. Which is one reason why Mrs TWC makes them text her the second they arrive at school.
There is ample evidence, both circumstantial and documented, that DST is futile. It creates massive disruption with no quantifiable benefit to anyone. Pushing it out this far, as the CONgress did a few years back, just compounds the misery. Time to take a lesson from Arizona and Hawaii and opt out.
The other day TWC observed that it was pretty likely that the practice of medicine is one third science, one third experience, and one third darts. And maybe another third magic.
I had my meet up with Doc Eko today. Turns out that the best time of day to book an appointment is at 2:00, right after lunch. Wham. Bam. Thank You Ma'am. I handed over the co-pay and a mere three pages into Jack Reacher she called my name for the blood pressure and then whisked me off to the room.
I can't fault the ER doctor at Loma Linda last Sunday, he did the best that he could with the information at hand. Hey, I still give these guys five stars. CT Scan, blood workup, pee in a cup.....his money was on kidney stones, but all he got was zip and nada. After ruling out everything else he settled on a colon infection. What else could create that kind of pain? The RN gave me a shot and some serious antibiotics and sent me home.
What I assumed to be an allergic reaction to a powerful antibiotic called Cipro, was something altogether different, thus explaining why the pictures of allergic reactions to Cipro on the intertubes didn't look like my mess.
Doc Eko took one look and pronounced it to be shingles, not an allergic reaction to antibiotics. Shingles(!)? That's what Old Man Kenny had. He used to live down the alley from me in Fullerton. Good Lord, I ain't that old.
The reason why the ER doc, Dr Z, wasn't able to diagnose is because the full symptoms hadn't manifested yet. Apparently shingles starts down deep, near the kidney. Then the pain follows the nerves that wrap around your belly and ultimately explodes on the surface of the skin. The pain is unbearable (Hear! Hear!) but it takes about a week before you see the inevitable pustules and sores on the skin wrapping around from your back to your groin. TMI, I know. Be happy I didn't take a pic.
When you have chicken pox as a vagrant yoot, the virus never goes away. It hangs around, causing trouble, but your immune system slaps it around and beats it down. Until you get some miles on the odometer, that is. Eko says it's stress induced. I don't know exactly what kind of stress triggered this, I don't feel particularly stressed out. Yeah, I know, it's tax season, but still. The upside is that there is a vaccine that will stop this from happening again. Yes, I'm getting it.
Oh, but wait, there's more. That elongated water balloon swelling on the same side of the abdomen? Completely unrelated. My error was assuming a connection to the pain without end, when really it's a dam hernia. WTH? Probably from wrestling that dang Beans around. Who ever heard of an 85 pound puppy? Surgery to come, which don't impress me much. I've not had surgery, except tonsils when I was young enough to care about anything but the promise of ice cream for dinner. I don't think you get Breyers after hernia surgery.
Doc Eko gave me steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs. I'm just happy it isn't anything more serious, though it hurts like hell. But not like it did a week ago when I was looking for double edged razor blades and a hot bath.
Thanks for all your good wishes and concern over the past ten days.
This too, shall pass, and I'm glad it isn't a kidney stone that shall pass.