Lost Juggling Ball Found!

I lost one of my new juggling balls temporarily this morning while trying the behind the back throw. OK, so I dramatized the video a little. That’s because I got interrupted in the search to help Sena hang our new wall clock.

I had no idea where that ball was. I even considered a wormhole vortex opened up in my office—briefly.

But the place I finally found it was just where I’ve dropped juggling balls before—on one of my bookshelves.

New 12 Panel Juggling Balls!

I got one of the two new sets of juggling balls today. They are the Zeekio 12 panel, 67 mm, 130 gm balls, which are noticeably heavier and a little harder to do certain tricks with-like the behind the back throw.

I dropped them several times, so they are getting broken in very well!

Terry Trueblood Outing Today or How to Find Hearts Needing a Home

We had enough of bad news on the web, so we went out to Terry Trueblood Recreation Area today. Good things are happening around here, including what we found at Trueblood. Sena ordered some items last week. One is a clock, which we’ll hang somewhere and then not look at. Another is a chair that I will put together, and which will probably give me a reason to use up at least some of the oversupply of band aids.

The best deliveries, in my humble opinion, will be a couple of brand-new sets of juggling balls. One reason for buying them is that my other juggling balls are already starting to leak their millet fillings.

Millet is bird seed. I first noticed it on my hands, and then saw it on book shelves and my chair. I practice juggling every day, and see to it that they get banged up as much as possible, even if that happens to involve impacts with my head. Many juggling balls are stuffed with something: plastic pellets, sand, dandruff from extraterrestrials—no reason to avoid millet.

The new juggling balls will be bigger and heavier: a little over 2.5 inches in diameter and around 130 grams. I’ll probably knock myself unconscious dropping them on my head. One set of 3 will be as close to Iowa Hawkeye colors as I can get: black and yellow (which is what black and gold usually look like to me). The other set will be multicolored and have 12 panels. Balls covered with leather or other material have to be sewn shut and some say that the more panels, the more the impact will be spread, possibly reducing the risk for breakage. On the other hand, I can’t help wondering if there are more seams, wouldn’t it be more likely they’d be split when (not if) I drop them?

I’ll think about that later. We had the best time today at Trueblood. In fact, a lot of people were having a great time out there. The weather was fantastic; the temperature was in the fifties. One trail walker claimed she saw 16 bald eagles! I took this with a grain of salt, but then we saw at least a half dozen, though they were flying too high to get good photos. There were plenty of shore birds.

The best sightings were the quilted hearts hung on several trees. They are from an organization called “I Found A Quilted Heart” and you can learn more about the people who got this started at their web site www.ifoundaquiltedheart.com. Volunteers place the small quilted hearts in various places, often local parks. The sole purpose is to brighten your day. That beats the daily news any time.

What we didn’t know was that we could keep the quilted hearts we found. We saw 4 of them. We’re going to let others find them and share the joy.

Xylazine More About Death Than the Walking Dead

The recent news stories about xylazine-adulterated fentanyl (also known as Tranq) describe it as turning users into zombies because it causes skin necrosis. This can lead to abscesses which may require amputations.

Even more important, it can kill users. Xylazine, which is an animal tranquilizer (hence the name “Tranq”) is said to be available for free in some locations. It has been reported in the eastern states, including Pennsylvania and the availability has been moving steadily westward across the country. The Iowa Office of Drug Control website has posted information about it.

Connecting xylazine to zombies may be a way to get people to pay closer attention to this dangerous substance. That’s ironic because it doesn’t make users just look like the walking dead—it causes death. Xylazine-laced fentanyl overdoses can’t be completely reversed by naloxone because xylazine is not an opioid.

Dr. George Dawson wrote an excellent blog post describing the scientific details about xylazine and its deadly effects in April of 2022.

Those who make this drug know exactly what they’re doing. It’s one thing to sell it on the street, which itself is a terrible thing to do. But if it’s true that it is available for free in some places, then something other than the profit motive is at work.

Ugly Juggling So Far

I thought I’d make a video on the progress I’ve made so far in the last 4 months with ugly juggling. Man, it’s ugly; I’m still lunging and grabbing and making faces. But I’m also getting a real good workout.

Psychiatric Times recorded my After Hours video via Zoom this morning. It won’t look like my progress YouTube show at all, but it was a lot of fun. They’ll need to edit the thing because I talk too much. It’ll have to go in a queue after that, so I have no idea when it’ll be available.

I’ll keep you posted.

Thoughts on Regrets

I’ve been thinking about Dr. Moffic’s article on regret, posted on February 16, 2023 in Psychiatric Times.

I’ve dwelt on it long enough that I feel compelled to inject humor into the subject. It’s one of my many defenses.

There’s a quote from Men in Black 3 involving a short telephone conversation between Agent K and Agent J:

Agent K: Do you know the most destructive force in the universe?

Agent J: Sugar?

Agent K: Regret.

You could probably sense that joke coming. Whenever there is talk of regrets, I always recall maybe one or two remarkable episodes which led to lifelong regret. Because regret is pretty corrosive, as noted by Agent K, I need something to counter it.

My trouble is that I have many regrets. Am I so different in that regard?

Sometime in mid-career, a very important leader told me, frankly and calmly, “You’ll never be a scientist.”

Well, by then it was far too late for me to change life course. It was true; I’ve always been the rodeo clown, never the matador.

On the other hand, I know one thing I’ve never regretted and that’s my retirement. At least I think I haven’t regretted it. I have this recurring dream. It’s not every night, but often enough to make me wonder what I should do about it.

In the dream, I’m late for an exam or class and I fear I’m going to flunk. I look for the building where the exam is going to be held. I can never find it. Hallways appear and look vaguely familiar, but as I wander about looking for the bookstore or classroom or exam room, I feel like I’m in a maze, climbing stairs, almost like an Escher drawing.

That reminds me. Incidentally, several years ago, one of the medical students rotating on the psychiatry consult service drew a picture entitled “The Practical Psychosomaticist” which contained images of stairs running in different directions similar to an Escher drawing (see the featured image). It was really just her expression of how I got around the hospital. I avoided elevators and always took the stairs.

Anyway, I’m carrying several notebooks and loose papers keep falling out. I get lost in this jumble of halls and stairways, never finding my destination.

The dream is probably just me telling myself I’m failing at something in my waking life. It’s not like I need a dream to notify me.

This is a long way of saying I have many regrets, and that I may not know exactly how many. Some of them are less important than others. Take the “I’ll never be a scientist” theme. I’m not terribly broken up about it.

After all, rodeo clowns do pretty important things.

Jim on a Winning Streak on the Bigfoot Cribbage Board

Ever since we got the Bigfoot cribbage board, I’ve been winning. If you believe in lucky streaks, I’m on one. However, Sena wins most of the time when we play on the jumbo cribbage board.

Is it the Bigfoot cards? Is it the Bigfoot pajamas? Sena was so overwhelmed she put her house slippers on backwards.

My reward was to put together more knockdown furniture.

Iowa Snowstorm Aftermath

We got 10.5 inches of snow from the storm yesterday, according to National Weather Service statistics. It was in the single digits and about 3 below zero with the wind chill this morning. We had to shovel one more time. It was slippery because there was ice on the driveway and sidewalk underneath the snow.

Yesterday the snow plow plugged our driveway and the curb ramp. We managed to get the driveway cleared. I had to clear the curb ramp this morning.

Then the plow came through again. But he didn’t plug the ramp again. Instead, he carefully scraped around it—maybe because we were outside watching him at the time. Thank goodness for small miracles.

It’s chilly but sunny. The ice is melting. The forecast says it’ll be icy next Wednesday. Furthermore, there is more snow coming next Thursday. That’ll make 3 Thursdays in a row that snowstorms hammer us.

What is it about Thursdays?

Big Wet Heavy Snow for Epic Snow Juggling!

Well, today’s snowstorm was a mix of fluffy as well as wet and heavy. The latter made for pretty good snowballs, which led to epic juggling on a windy day, snow blowing in my face while I juggled.

We had to clear the sidewalks and driveway first. I’m sure we got over half a foot of snow.

Sena shot the video while I tried to increase my throw count, which meant I had to make a lot of snowballs.

One clip showed a group of deer across the street. Neither one of us noticed them. I didn’t see them because I had my back to them and was concentrating on my juggling. What’s surprising is that Sena didn’t notice them either, even though they were clearly in the shot, trotting across the neighbor’s yard and across the street.

She was focused on my juggling too.

We made the YouTube video without music because we want you to count the throws along with me and hear our reactions.

Fluffy or Heavy Snow Tomorrow?

We’re going to get another several inches of snow tomorrow. Whether it’ll be a heavy, wet or fluffy snow is apparently up for debate among weather forecasters. We definitely got the heavy stuff last week. I made great snowballs for juggling.

We’re going to be shoveling it, fluffy or heavy and wet. Sena noticed I was “flinging” snow from my shovel last week and wishes I would not do that. It’s a push-plow type shovel and I can’t get enough snow in it to lift a heavy load of the stuff.

But I will try not to fling my snow. We’re hoping for the fluffy stuff. If it turns out to be heavy, I might juggle more snowballs. We’ll see.

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