Tuesday, June 30, 2015

After work, June 30, 2010, a splendid summer day in Portland, Oregon


Music on Main Street, presented for free by what was then known as the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. This group, Pancake Breakfast, took the stage and entertained an nice-sized audience happy to enjoy live music from 5 to 7 p.m. The building to their right is Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, to their left it's the Antoinette Hatfield Hall. There's one stage in the Schnitz and three stages in the Hatfield. They are four of the five stages now known collectively as the Portland'5 Centers for the Arts. The other stage is blocks away inside Keller Auditorium. I used to be a volunteer usher at the Hatfield and a volunteer tour guide at it and the Schnitz. Quite a lot of responsibility and some great times witnessing shows at the Hatfield and leading interested folks on tour in both buildings. Having the keys to the Schnitz in your hand is such a rush! It's an awesome vintage beauty to experience.


Folks of all ages come out for these events, year after year.


I'll bet these ladies are smiling at how the crowd reacted to the song that had just been performed.


A wider view of the crowd.


One of my favorite signs and marquees in Portland, at the Schnitz.

From the Portland'5 Web site:

Music on Main Street

The Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and ArtBar & Bistro are proud to present the 10th Annual Music on Main Street outdoor concert series.

The free concerts are held in downtown Portland on Main Street, between Southwest Broadway & Park Ave., next to Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

On Wednesday evenings starting in July, Portland’5 takes advantage of the lovely summer weather in Portland to present Music on Main Street, our free outdoor concert series. The concerts feature popular local musicians playing a diverse collection of music.

The 2015 season features jazz, salsa and world music with tributes to the Stevie Wonder and the Allman Brothers. The free concerts are open to the public and run from 5pm to 7pm – tickets are not required. The ArtBar & Bistro will be serving seasonal fare and delicious libations starting at 4:30 p.m.

Music on Main Street 2015 Schedule

July 8 - The Minus 5

July 15 - Joey Porter’s Tribute to Stevie Wonder
Ah, I see a goal for my recovery here! Have folding aluminum lawn chair, will travel!

July 22 - The Shanghai Woolies

July 29 - 3 Leg Torso

August 5 - Melao de Cuba

August 12 - Freak Mountain Ramblers

No show on August 19th due to private event

August 26 - Brothers and Sister

September 2 - Jujuba
This group makes great music and puts on an energetic show! I hope I'm able to see them again. We'll have to see what my treatment schedule dictates.
*In case of rain or extreme heat, Music on Main Street concerts will be held in the rotunda lobby of Antoinette Hatfield Hall, located next to Main Street at 1111 SW Broadway.

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2009 - Mama and I thought we were on a multi-night trip to Lincoln City. Little did we know that her heart had other plans for us.


We did get to see the beautiful Pacific Ocean from outside our nice room at the Ester Lee when we got up after spending our first night there.


We enjoyed watermelon before getting ready to go to the Chinook Winds Casino to play the penny machines, one of Mama's favorite ways to spend time when out and about.


Mama and I cleaned out half of that little Dulcinea Pureheart Seedless watermelon in no time flat.


See what I mean?


Here's Mama after she put her face on and a great big smile of anticipation. She's ready to go have some fun! Although I didn't look nearly as put together as she did, I was ready, too.

We won some, we lost some, we were just about ready to head back to our room because she said she wasn't feeling well when Mama had what I guess you could call a spell, but to tell you the truth, I'd never seen anything like it. Her little ol' self got rigid and shaky when she stood up off the stool in front of the slot machine. I got alarmed and asked for the casino to get us some help, so they sent their security people with a wheelchair. After checking her out in the first aid space inside the security office, they highly recommended that she get go to the local hospital ER. She wouldn't let them call an ambulance, so I quit wasting time trying to convince her to change her mind and got directions--it was not a long drive. At the ER, where they didn't have her records, of course, the EKG alarmed the doctor enough that he ordered her an ambulance for the ride back to Portland, straight to her primary care doctor's affiliated hospital. So, she left in an ambulance with the siren going, and I went back to the Ester Lee to put all of our stuff back into the car and check out. We lost our Christmas present coupon for the cost of those nights that my brother and his wife had given us, but it couldn't be helped. At least, that's what the management at the Ester Lee told me. And I had to call Lamont and Leland, not only to let them know what was going on with their Gma, but to also tell them that our plans to spend the two more nights there with them as our guests had now been cancelled. Luckily, they hadn't left Portland yet, so they went to the hospital just about the time that Mama should arrive by ambulance. When I got to the hospital in Portland, she was doing OK because they had her previous EKGs and such to look at and knew that what was going on could be controlled with her medication. She stayed overnight and came home to recuperate just fine. We enjoyed her company for another year and a half.

Just goes to show that we don't know what's next in life. Mama, both of my parents actually, that my brother and me and my sons that one should always be ready for whatever comes your way, to handle it the best you are able, and with a smile on your face if the situation warrants.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ira Keller Fountain, downtown Portland

UPDATE: I slept so-so until 1 a.m. and then woke up to deal with allergy-induced phlegm in my throat. After making Twinings English Breakfast hot tea and drinking two cups of it, I settled down to sleep for a few hours, made a pit stop and then went back to sleep for another two and a half hours. At 6:30 a.m., I had breakfast (a small bowl of blueberries picked last Saturday on Sauvie Island, a toasted left over Grands biscuit and one more cup of tea), then at 8:30 a.m. I gave myself the Lovenox shot to ward off blood clots. I have walked the 67-step-L-shaped-loop that makes up my apartment hallway, three times around before I came back in here to rest. Now I'm about to take a nap in the recliner after I have a mid-morning snack of a few bites of sheep cheese, some cherries, blueberries, two Ritz crackers and cleaning out the last bits of Rose City Pepperheads' Mango Madness from the jar.

Since I am not yet able to get out and take new photos, I thought it appropriate to share this one today.


I took this photo on Saturday, June 28, 2008. If I've done my Google-ing correctly, it was a record-setting 100 degrees in Portland on that day. I have no idea if there has been a higher temp on June 28 since then--I couldn't find anything about it quickly and decided to go on with the post so that I could walk the L-shaped loop in my apartment hallway instead.

I wonder how many people have taken advantage of this fountain in the last week? And how many will continue to do so this week. We're in the midst of unusually high temperatures for the month of June, going into July. Right now, through July 4, we're looking at 87 today, 86 Monday and Tuesday, 92 Wednesday, 96 Thursday and Friday, and 98 Saturday. Whew!

About the fountain: Keller Fountain Park is a city park in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originally named Forecourt Fountain or Auditorium Forecourt, the 0.92-acre (0.37 ha) park opened in 1970 across Third Avenue from what was then Civic Auditorium. In 1978, the park was renamed after Ira Keller, head of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) from 1958–1972. Civic Auditorium was renamed as Keller Auditorium in 2000, but is named in honor of Richard B. Keller.

The central feature of the park is the concrete water fountain. Keller Fountain is often noted as a memorable feature of the public landscape in downtown Portland, and in 1999 was awarded a medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The fountain was designed by Angela Danadjieva using inspiration from waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge located east of Portland. While the park is named Keller Fountain Park, the fountain itself is named Ira Keller Fountain. The fountain's pools hold 75,000 US gallons (280,000 l; 62,000 imp gal) of water, while the waterfalls pump 13,000 US gallons (49,000 l; 11,000 imp gal) per minute over the cascade.

HISTORY: Prior to being a park, the block was the location of a popular tavern run by Bud Clark, who was later to become a mayor of Portland. Clark purchased the tavern formerly known as "Dot Tavern" for $1,600, including acquisition of the lease for the building. Clark renamed it the Spatenhaus and it was reopened in October 1962. As the area was already part of the South Auditorium urban renewal area, Clark lost the lease when the PDC acquired the block in May 1967. The firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill was then asked by PDC to draw plans for the park, which foresaw a fountain, a traffic turnaround, and underground parking for 150 cars. Protests were raised however, by Walter Gordon, the architectural adviser to the PDC, and in July 1968 the Lawrence Halprin design firm was commissioned in to design the park, partly due to Gordon's advocacy.

Angela Danadjieva, a designer at Lawrence Halprin & Associates, was charged with the artistic conception. Danadjieva began her career in design with work on Constructivist set designs for the Bulgarian State Film agency. In the early 1960s she defected to Paris and studied at the École des Beaux Arts, and then emigrating to the United States towards the end of the decade. She took her inspiration from a book on waterfalls of the Columbia River Gorge, which was given to her by Ira Keller at the design studio. It was built by the Schrader Construction Company for $512,000. A personal observation: I find it totally weird that the designer supposedly took her inspiration from a book on waterfalls instead of driving out into the Gorge and seeing the waterfalls in person. These beautiful sights are about an hour or so away from Portland. I know from personal experience that you are able to see at least three inspiring waterfalls from almost the spot where you park your car. I hope that she actually drove out into the Gorge to take inspiration from their glory and then used the book as a visual reference point while she worked on her design. Just saying.

The plaza was dedicated on June 23, 1970 by Halprin who called for the people of Portland to come together, referring to the Portland State University protests, which had occurred only weeks previously, stating, "I hope this will help us live together as a community, both here and all over this planet Earth." As the water began flowing, Halprin waded into the water, dressed in a jacket and tie. Jane Jacobs, author of The Death and Life of Great American Cities, mayor Terry Schrunk, and PDC chairman Ira Keller attended the fountain opening.

In 2003, an article by Randy Gragg in The Oregonian summarized the moment, saying:

[T]he fountain's 1970 unveiling became a local legend. Held in the edgy days following a violent clash between Portland police and antiwar protesters, the dedication took on the mood of a Wild West drama as city officials gathered for speeches at the foot of the fountain and hundreds of youths assembled at the top. When the spigots released the fountain's 13,000-gallon-a-minute flow, however, any tensions quickly dissolved. While the officials politely applauded, the youths jumped in to the rallying cries of "Right on!" "These very straight people have somehow grasped what cities can be all about," Halprin said, turning from dignitaries to revelers to emphasize the democratic spirit underlying his design. "As you play in this garden, please try to remember that we are all in this together."

In 1988, the Portland Water Bureau expressed their surprise at the cost of running the fountain, which at the time was consuming $34,000 in water and $13,000 in electricity each year. Also in 1988, a 26-year-old Vancouver man was drowned when he attempted to swim through a small water pipe and got wedged under a concrete slab. He was taken to the Oregon Health & Science University and was listed in critical condition. According to Portland police, he had been drinking alcohol.

In 1993, all city departments were requested by mayor Vera Katz to identify areas where budgets could be reduced, and the Portland Water Bureau suggested mothballing fountains, including the Keller Fountain. The Oregonian stated "administrator Mike Rosenberger said the fountains were not an essential service, but he conceded that he would probably be taken out and shot before the public allowed him to shut the water off."

Vandalism from "Soaping," putting dish detergent in the fountain, has been common, and the massive amounts of generated foam cause more than $1000 damage, due to the need to drain and clean the fountain. In the first "soaping" incident soap and green dye was placed in the fountain the night before it opened. Another incident happened in September 2002. In 2007, the Portland Water Bureau posted the name and photograph of a 19-year-old who placed dish soap in the fountain and received a misdemeanor criminal mischief. The public shaming of the teen caused the incident to be discussed in many places, including KATU, The Oregonian, The Portland Mercury ("This is what happens when you screw with the Water Bureau"), and The New York Times ("Don't mess with the Portland Water Bureau"). The fountain was soaped at least four times in August, 2007 alone.

From May to late August 1996 the park was closed for a $700,000 refurbishment that included repairs and upgrades to filters and pumps, automated chlorination, restoration of cement, and updating of the lighting system. The fountain was also shut down in 1997 and 1998 for 10 months while the water bureau replaced a 1930s-era pump. The piping was also relined with cross-linked polyethylene in the spring of spring 2000, a costly operation due to the original piping being cast into the concrete.

The Halprin Landscapes Conservancy was formed in 2001 and an article in The New York Times in 2008 stated that Keller was a Portland "ensemble considered to be one of Mr. Halprin's masterpieces."

FEATURES: The park holds 75,000 US gallons (280,000 l; 62,000 imp gal) of water, pumping 13,000 US gallons (49,000 l; 11,000 imp gal) per minute through the waterfalls. While Portland Parks & Recreation maintains the park, in 1988 the Portland Water Bureau assumed responsibility for the fountain.

The park, which is known for its accessibility for allowing visitors to stand at the top of the waterfall, is designed according to construction code to prevent children or adults from falling down the waterfall; the top of the falls are actually 36 inches (910 mm) pockets of water, acting as a safety wall. City officials were worried about liability from falls and had wanted a fence put across the top.

Trees in the park include shore pines. For many years, the park has been home to a popular food cart serving bento. Personal note: I've not been at the park during lunch hours, so I can't say that I've ever seen a food cart of any kind there, even when I've been by on weekends.

EVENTS: In 1987, Tom Grant played a piano solo in the park for a KGW TV public service advertisement. In 1988, a parade and march of The Music Man began at the fountain, walking to Pioneer Courthouse Square with actors John Davidson and Sally Spencer.

In September 2008, the Time-Based Art Festival included the "City Dance of Lawrence and Anna Halprin," held at the fountain. The Oregonian called the performance "a major event and brilliant achievement." The event included music by Morton Subotnick.

RECEPTION: In June 1970, Ada Louise Huxtable said it "may be one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance," comparing it to the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. An article for The New York Times by Ivan Doig discussed how Portland's "livability" didn't contribute to its "visitability," pointing out that the Forecourt Fountain and lunchtime was "one more moment of Portland's showing some loveliness and then getting back to its self-assured routine of life." The Oregonian wrote that Halprin's parks "changed the way American landscape architects thought about city parks, and it sparked a Portland tradition of great urban plazas and parks." In 2003, New York's Thomas Balsley said, "I love the Lovejoy and Forecourt fountains" when asked what Portland open spaces stood out the most to him.

In 1999, the park was awarded a centennial medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects in a ceremony with Vera Katz on July 29.

According to Steven Koch of the Halprin Landscapes Conservancy, the parks in Lawrence's Portland Open Space Sequence represent local geography: Source Fountain is above the timberline, Lovejoy Fountain and Pettygrove Park are in the middle, and Keller Fountain represents "the foothills with the roaring falls." A writer in the Oregonian said the fountain "is an abstraction of a mountain waterfall." Local architect Marcy McInelly said "they were the first full realization of a theory about reflecting forces of nature but not mimicking natural forms. People came from all over the world to see them." Bob Gerding, who turned the First Regiment Armory Annex into the LEED Platinum-rated performing arts center, said that in 25 years, "I hope [the Armory is] loved by the city. I hope people love to see plays there or have a meeting there or whatever, that it becomes just a cool thing in the city, like the Keller Fountain."

In 2006, Laurie Olin said the Halprin's Portland sequence was "a huge influence on even becoming a landscape architect. I had gone off to Europe and saw them published there. They had to do with representation and meaning but also had an exuberance. They are landmark pieces. When Ada Louis Huxtable wrote in The New York Times that Forecourt Fountain (in front of Keller Auditorium) was the greatest civic fountain since the Renaissance, I knew she was right. They were also transformative for the field of landscape architecture, not all for the best, because there were a lot of bad copies and wannabes."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In the natural order of things, it's Saturday again. I am thankful and blessed.


Last Saturday, I picked these ripe blueberries and left the others right where they are on the bush so that they would have the chance to ripen. That's the natural order of things.

Right now I'm going through what could be seen as an unnatural order of things:
  • March 7 discovering cancer in my body after the appearance of a surprising symptom
  • April 24 having a hysterectomy because the diagnosis pointed with certainty at cancer and afterward thinking that the result of said surgery meant it highly unlikely that I would require further treatment, just close monitoring
  • May 21 having a baseline CT scan to use in that close monitoring which revealed a blip in expectations
  • May 29 being told that the blip meant a needle biopsy and that the results of that could warrant a change in plans
  • June 1, after recovering slowly but surely, returning to my job that I thoroughly enjoy, do well, and am appreciated and enjoyed at, where I work with adorable, wonderful, smart, kind human beings who care about not only themselves and their families, but also about our community and its citizens
  • June 1 through June 23, striving to eat right and walk more
  • June 17 having a needle biopsy to get a closer look at the blip seen on the CT scan
  • June 18 getting a call about what turned out to be tissues suspicious for cancer in the blip and agreeing to have an appointment at 2 p.m. the next day with Dr. Steiner and tentatively to have a second operation on June 25, realizing at that very moment that I'd need to spend what I thought would be each of the three days at the beginning of the week before the surgery on Thursday training someone at work to do what I do that no one else does
  • June 19 spending two hours engulfed in a whirlwind of information with Dr. Steiner and Lamont during which we discussed so much that I felt like I'd been on a twirly, swirly ride at the state fair, plus finding out that I would not be at work on June 24 because I would be involved with clear liquids and a laxative to get ready for the surgery the next day AND that it looks rather certain that radiation and chemotherapy are also in my future
  • June 22 and June 23 sharing with a quick, smart young man at work who paid great attention to everything about the job he will do for me until I return, set for August 10 right now, and realizing that I have nothing to worry about because he will do it well, along with the help of others at work who know parts of the process; we in the admin area support each other wholeheartedly because we realize without a doubt that what we do supports those who directly serve the citizens of our community
  • June 24 following all directions to the letter for the pre-op routines, including patting myself all over one hour after I had showered and washed my hair with these man-made tissues saturated with antiseptic to help my skin be as ready as possible to be invaded during surgery and not have on it as the incisions were made something bad for my health
  • June 24 and June 25 going without solid food, period, but still managing to enjoy Jell-O and Popsicles and Twinings English Breakfast tea
  • June 25 being prepped for surgery by swell women and men, then being rolled into the operating room where I saw the robot and the station where Dr. Steiner would sit to guide the robot through its paces with me--that robot is all arms, y'all, multi-functional arms, no doubt; then eventually looking toward the window of my hospital room and realizing my sons were there in silhouette along with my friend Sharon from work. The best thing, I never even knew that scary-panic-inducing oxygen mask from the hysterectomy was any where near me!
  • June 25, at some point late after the surgery and the recovery room, when I had come to enough to ask for them and hold them and eat them, I enjoyed more Popsicles and Jell-o in my room
  • June 26, about 2:30 a.m., although who knows for certain since my grasp of time within my memory is skewed right now, learning from my nurse how to use the computerized Order Food link on the touch screen hanging in front of me so that I could order breakfast from the regular diet menu, and a morning snack and lunch, an afternoon snack and dinner (although I call this supper)
  • June 26 eating what I could of what I'd chosen
  • June 26 being able to get up and go to the bathroom once the catheter had been removed and sit in the chair instead of the bed
  • June 26 once I stood up off the bed realizing I'm pretty certain that I now know how folks who've been stabbed in the abdomen must feel the day after having their wounds stitched shut and being so thankful for Ibuprofen 600
  • June 26 talking with one of Dr. Steiner's partners who said the main thing now is to get to the point that I can empty my own bladder the way that the Good Lord intended so that I wouldn't have to learn how to self-cath at home! and to recover from the surgery! and to learn at the post-op appointment on July 8 what the pathology reveals and what the plan of action includes, such as radiation and chemotherapy.
  • June 26 walking the triangle outside my door which is the convenient shape of the hallway in the surgery patient area; I had a walker with wheels on its two front legs which I held onto, tilted, and rolled in front of me; I didn't like how it vibrated into my hands if I kept the wheel-less back legs on the floor
  • June 26 finally drinking enough water to get myself back to normal operation in the bathroom, hallelujah! I don't have to learn how to self-cath!
  • June 26 learning from one of the multitude of fabulous nurses that I now for the next 14 days will have to give myself a shot in the stomach to ward off the possibility of deep vein thrombosis and/or pulmonary embolism
  • June 26 waiting for the wheelchair to take me to the door so that I could go home. 
  • June 26 and until July 8, it looks like: Lamont explained to me yesterday, more than once, and Leland just explained to me again that Dr. Steiner said this to the two of them in the consultation room after the surgery was completed: The pathology tests have to be run so that the results will be known once they are complete. It's won't be something that she wants to discuss over the phone, that she wants me in the office with her to go over it, that if an earlier appointment opens up, they will let me know. She'd left markers inside me so that radiation oncology would know where to point whatever, that what she found inside me was somewhat unexpected - it wasn't in or attached to the lymph node as she had expected so this is throwing up flags to her that we should go ahead with radiation and chemo and what was going on with me wasn't following the statistics of normal, whatever that means. I believe that hearing the news straight from Dr. Steiner is best because I can look her in the eye and process what she's telling me.
Yes, that's the unnatural order of things. But, and I truly believe this, woven into it, through its shock, pain, aggravation, are-you-kidding-me moments are the some of the most sublime natural order of things I've witnessed in my entire life.
  • My sons Lamont and Leland and their caring, sweet smiles, their loving hearts, their great memories for details, their patience to explain the same thing to me over and over again because I'm confused right now; the way every single day they live the evidence of their monumental Daddy right in front of me.
  • My family and friends contacting me by myriad means, letting me know from their hearts how much they love me and care about what's going on with me and how much they are praying for the best possible outcome. 
  • Yes, Gunn in Stavanger, Norway, I had surely done at each opportunity what you wrote in your comment on yesterday's post: You must tell your doctors and nurses that you have people ALL OVER THE WORLD who follow you and your blog, and we pray, wish you the best treatment and that they have to do their very best!!
  • My awe-inspiring medical professionals whose every desire is for me to have the best outcome possible, be that from surgery, pain pills, walking the hallway, understanding what's going on with my treatment, why I have to do all of these things to myself. Best explanation for all that I'm going through, period, from Naomi, Dr. Steiner's nurse, on June 19 as we wrapped up the pre-op appointment for my second surgery within a two-months-one-day-time-period: We are about getting you the decades that I have coming to you, Lynette.
  • My heart and soul have felt every single prayer, every single warm wish, every single bit of love and concern that all of you have for me and what I'm experiencing. And I thank you.

Friday, June 26, 2015


These are two of the four windows in the largest room in my apartment. I keep the blinds shut most all of the time, especially when it's hot. Portland's having some unusually hot days right now, so they're shut. I now have a window air conditioner unit in a window to the right of these two--thanks to some fantastic friends!


I walked out of my apartment on Thursday, June 25, at about 10:40 a.m. I walked back into it about 9:20 p.m. Friday, June 26.

I'm still in a bit of a blur because of the drugs used to relax me prior to the general anesthesia. I know for sure that I have four incisions glued together because I have a sensitivity to adhesive tape. I know that at least one thing was removed during the robot surgery and has been sent to the lab--I don't have any details and am OK with that. Right now I have a post-op appointment on July 8 at which time the pathology report and a plan to deal with the cancer will be discussed. Dr. Steiner told Lamont and Leland that what's going on with me isn't fitting the statistics, so she recommends an aggressive approach, radiation and chemotherapy--I just don't have any details and am OK with that.

Every single person I'm aware that I came in contact with at Kaiser struck me as capable, professional, kind and caring. Lamont stayed with me until we left the hospital--Leland brought me home and is spending tonight with me. I am blessed.

I'm pretty tired, so I'm going to bed real soon. Thanks again for your prayers, love and concern.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Yea for me!


Good morning, y'all! Picture my face when I read this in an e-mail in my online Kaiser account yesterday, from the Anesthesia Care Provider Team for my surgery with Dr Steiner: You can have clear liquids until 2 HOURS BEFORE (9:30 AM) you check in. This includes water, clear apple juice, 7-up, tea, or black coffee.

Here's how the emotions went yesterday as I processed that statement. First, disbelief. Huh? I can? Then, joy. Oh, boy! I can have some tea when I wake up in the morning! I'm going to be so empty after my pre-op routine's success that this is spectacular news! I sat here in my chair, excited to even think about drinking some tea Thursday morning!

Now it's Thursday morning. I took this photo while the tea cooled in the mug which I gave to my little Mama years ago; it's so fine to drink from it as she used to do. I have sipped half of it. That's all I needed to make me feel somewhat normal, y'all. I know, what's normal mean for a never-dull-and-boring gal like me? Let's just say that I feel as if I could get dressed and go to work after that half a cup of Twinings English Breakfast Tea, even though the only thing I've had to eat since Tuesday evening has been Jell-o and Popsicles. Yea for me!

About my pedometer. I'm not wearing it again until I get home tomorrow, at the earliest. If I were to wear it today and somehow forget to put it into my purse (which Lamont will be in charge of at the hospital) and then never see it again, devastated would be too small a word to describe my emotions. That little device packs a motivation wallop way out of proportion to its size. Yea for me!

About the robot. My surgery is labeled as robot surgery. Dr. Steiner explained, "The robot has a 3-D camera and little hands that I will use during the surgery." She herself has small hands, so to me that says that the robot's hands will serve as a natural extension of hers. Sort of like a hockey stick serves as an extension of their arms and hands for those wild folks who zoom headlong across the rink. I'm in awe of professionals whose skills transfer from themselves into their tools. Yea for me!

Lamont will be here in not quite three hours to take me to the hospital. Once I brush my teeth and get dressed, I'll be ready. Mama's recliner. That's where I'll wait. Yea for me!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It's all about the details. Just found out that I check in tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. for surgery scheduled at 2:45 p.m. Whew. Am I ever gonna be hungry and looking forward to Popsicles in my hospital room tomorrow night, heh?


Here's one short video for y'all, detailing my diet possibilities the day before surgery. You'll understand what I'm talking about after you watch the next short video.


And here's another one which shows you the details of my diet the day before surgery. The info sheet was provided to me by Naomi, Dr. Steiner's thoroughly excellent nurse, at the end of the office visit last Friday. A kind co-worker of mine drove me to the lab for No. 1 on the list - Type and screen blood test to be done day before surgery at your nearest clinic. Completed thanks to him prior to 7:45 a.m. this morning!

Good news! Not only am I getting ready for surgery, I'm learning how to enjoy my new iPhone6 Plus, the big one! I'm able to use it and will continue to explore it, with the aid of all those young techies in my life--thanks, y'all!

At the store, I took advantage of the low-cost offer to get an LG G Pad 7.0 which is a tablet, my first ever tablet, well, one not made out of paper anyway.

After much effort and self-control on my part, I finally got the tablet to where I can watch NYPD Blue as I eat my lunch at work--it's on Amazon Prime Instant Video; I'm in Season 4, Episode 22, "A Draining Experience," a title appropriate to how my day shall proceed on the clear liquid diet.

Using an Android-system device made me think I'd been invaded by aliens who successfully sucked my brains out through my finger tips! Today I'm taking my brains back! I shall make the tablet work with Facebook and Gmail and Netflix.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

UPDATE and the blog post - Size, often it's all in perspective and location. Sometimes, it's just flat out huge. No. 4

UPDATE: Dr. Steiner's nurse Naomi let me know Monday afternoon that the final pathology report says it's probably cancer, so I'm having surgery on Thursday, probably at 1:30 p.m. I'll check in at 11:00 a.m. or so. I will get a phone call on Wednesday with a definite time for both. I will be in the hospital at least one night, probably just the one. I will then be recovering for weeks and, if all goes well, will return to work on August 10. During those six weeks, I will have two appointments with Dr. Steiner, one a post-op, on an evaluation of my fitness to return to work. Probably at the post-op, I will learn the results of the pathology of any tissues removed during the surgery. If it is really cancer, I'll have to have chemotherapy and/or radiation.

To tell you the truth, this is what I expected to hear, that I would have an operation on Thursday. I am thankful that I found out for sure today and didn't have to wait any longer--Thursday will be here very soon. I am ready for what's next and feel certain that Dr. Steiner is paying the best possible attention to my situation. My sons and I thank each of you for your prayers, your love, and your concern.


Close up as The World approaches the completely open Steel Bridge.


Closer but with maneuvering left to be done.


Looks like it's a straight shot from here, doesn't it?


You can see that The World must angle its way through the raised Steel Bridge. The Steel Bridge is a through truss, double-deck vertical-lift bridge across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, United States, opened in 1912.


My goodness, but that's one huge ship, y'all. Clearances . . . 26 feet closed, 72 feet with the lower deck raised, and 163 feet fully raised as it is here.


Now it is headed for the Broadway Bridge which is where I'm standing and taking photos.


Commuters held up by the lift of the Broadway Bridge.


So close and so huge, about the head beneath the Broadway Bridge.


Slow going.


There in the background, a portion of the Big Pink.


You can see the barricade with its reflective section in this photo--it's down to keep folks from falling off the bridge while the bridge is up.


A tugboat which surely has been working with The World to help it leave Portland.


Folks waiting for the bridge lift to be over so that they may continue on their way. Their view certainly is amazing.


Looks like all or most of The World is now past the Broadway Bridge and headed for the Fremont Bridge. It is not a bridge that opens and was built high enough for even ocean-going ships like The World to pass beneath.


Good-bye to The World.


By the time I'd walked part way to the bus stop so that I could catch one and get to work on time, the traffic had cleared very well. You can see that the bridge is completely closed, of course.


Here's a view of the bridge deck as it joins the streets at the west end of the Broadway Bridge. I took it through the bus windshield.