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  January 9, 2005


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Sunday, January 9, 2004


Some have noticed that its been a while since I wrote. If I said that I had ďwriters BlockĒ Iíd be flattering myself because I donít consider myself a writer. To put it simply, I just havenít felt like writing and I donít want this journal to become a chore or obligation. I make entries when the mood is right and if I have to force myself, it stops being fun.

Iíll just hit some of the highlights and bring everyone up to date.

Because I spent a lot of my younger years outside in the sun, Iíve occasionally had to be treated for sun induced skin cancer. This is the least serious form of basal cell carcinoma and itís common with fair skinned people. Itís not the form that metastasizes easily and itís effortlessly treated with a trip to a dermatologist every six months or so.

George Carlin does a comedy bit about how after a certain age, people find odd things growing on their bodies. He likes to go into lengthily detail and describe all the peculiar aberrations he discovered on his own body after he turned 50. Theyíre the kind of things that make people uncomfortable so naturally he goes on for 10 minutes and describes them in grand detail. I can get into that too and on my last trip to the dermatologist, I pointed out a lump I had noticed on my upper thigh. I always have things to point out to the doctor and he usually makes me feel like a hypochondriac by shrugging them off as inconsequential. This time he surprised me and said, ďI have no idea what that is but we should get it out of thereĒ.

I donít like having a doctor say he has no idea what something is. In my mind he was really saying, ďThis is serious but Iíd better not let on and just tell him I donít know what it isĒ. He referred me to a surgeon and I was scheduled to have it removed in 10 days. Of course he tried to reassure me that it was probably nothing but dang, if he had no idea what it was, how could he tell me it was nothing. I spent the next ten days on the internet researching all I could about cancerous tumors. Before I was done I had myself worked into a sweat and was mulling over how I would spend my final days.

On the day of my appointment the surgeon walked in and displayed something that my dermatologist lacked. Confidence. Funny I hadnít noticed it before but compared to this surgeon, my dermatologist really lacked self-assurance. Anyway, she looked at the lump and with a quizzical expression asked why I was bothering to have it removed. I described my dermatologist's fuzzy diagnosis.

She sighed and said it was a benign neoplasm (cyst) and said they are quit common. She went on to explain how to tell the difference between a benign and malignant growth and said removal wasnít really necessary. She would do it if I was loosing sleep but that would be the only reason.

I gratefully declined and headed for the door as soon as I could get my pants on.


Actual construction on our new house wonít begin till March. At that time the contractor comes in, bulldozes the pad, widens the road, installs a new culvert and begins the foundation. He will also be the one who supervises the placement and takes care of all the details involved with tying a manufactured home together. Expensive.

Of course we have special circumstances that have brought the price up. We wanted a foundation that was above and beyond what is typically done on a manufacture home. We donít want it looking like a mobile home, Catherine is very concerned about earthquakes (she works for the SDSU geology dept.), and the home is being placed on a hill where the wind has been known to reach 80 MPH or more. Preparing for all those issues adds to the construction expense. Iíll be doing the electrical, sewer and water tie-ins myself.

I can honestly say Iím not excited about getting a new house. All I can think about are the little details I have to take care of first.


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