Monday, August 15, 2005

CATScan Results

You know when you get a call from a doctor's office right after some exam was done that the results can go either way. Good or bad. I got a call from my surgeons office the day after my CT Scan last week and since I was not home there was a message on my voicemail that revealed nothing. Just call back as soon as I can. So I waited a few minutes and prepared myself for what might be bad news, then called. The nurse told me straight up that the CT Scan was normal and that despite my recurring head pain I am essentially normal. Whooo Hoooo

No more packing in there any more.

The one oddball thing that will continue to be a "problem" for the rest of my life are my disfunctioning estacheon tubes. In a normal ear the tube drains fluid and opens the air pockets from the ear to the throat a couple times an hour or more. In my ears they don't do it themselves at all. I have to snap my jaw every 30 minutes or so to clear the tube. It's a wierd feeling but one that I am now used to doing. I try not to let anyone see me do it since I look alot like a creepshow monster when I snap my jaw open.

Things are looking up.

All for now.

Love To Everybody

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Email from a very dear friend and my answers...An Update

My dear friend Babette wrote me and wanted to know what was up. Here are the questions and answers...

Hi Jimmy,
Let me know what the doctor says about your headaches....I did not know you were having such problems still. I am very sorry to hear this.

He told me the same thing as last time...neuralgia...the reconnected verve endings on that side of my head where the operation was are still sending pain messages to my brain and then they shoot out all over the left side. I sometimes forget things now...he retold me the whole story and told me it could take some time for the pain to go away. I had stopped taking two 600 motrins a day about 3 weeks ago. I was afraid of screwing up my kidneys. Thompson told me today that motrin at that dose for a person my size is OK. So back to the motrin. I have been taking the neurontin off and on the whole time. Now he wants me to take 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. Even though it makes me tired it DOES work. Speaking of sleep...I haven't slept more then 3 or 4 hours at a time since the operation. I have not been able to use my bipap machine hardly at all, first because I couldn' may have blown out my new ear drum if I had used it. Later as everything was healing up I tried to use it and found that since my nasal septum was rebuilt, the air passages are much more wide open than they were with my old "twisted" nose. It feels like a jet engine now blowing up my nose. So another sleep study has to be done to determine how much my settings need to be decreased.

Are you still having the white noise?

The white noise and tinitus have decreased markedly. Just a faint shhhhhhh sound now. All the packing is now out which is a miracle. There must have been a pound of the stuff in there to start with.

Have you had a lot of memory loss? This also is a worry I have.

Not so much memory loss but there are some significant cognitive pauses sometimes when I am speaking. I just stop for a second, think, then start talking again. As if my brain sometimes can't keep up with what I want to say.

Are you working at all?

Selling on ebay. Want to buy something?


Still doing lessons on Saturdays

Any gigs?

Playing 5 gigs a month average. Two with ORB and two or three with CB.

Are you going to start school soon?

School's on hold until I can establish more routine sleeping habits.

Sorry to bug you so much....I would like to sit down for a cup of coffee and chat with you, only if we had the time.

Coffee anytime. Decaf though.

Please keep in touch

I will. Thanks for the mail!

Much Love,


Saturday, July 16, 2005


I've been asked to start posting on The Liberal Avenger which is currently my favorite spot to follow centrist and liberal thought.

Check it out.

I am Jimmy26YrVet there.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Band Logo Posted by Picasa

The Crew Posted by Picasa

The Boss Posted by Picasa

Birthday & Band Management

I have over the past years minimized the importance of my birthday. I figure why remind myself of the fact that my journey is at its midway point? My three sisters and my brother have slowly over the past years minimized this as well by not calling me, nor I them, when our birthdays occur. I do usually go do something nice for myself or make an impulse buy on July 14th. Something for myself that I dig. This year it was a San Diego Padre fitted baseball cap. Now if I could just get used to turning it backward like everyone else is wearing ball caps now. So, everyone 45 years or something nice for yourself on your birthday.

Don't Think You Can't Be Replaced

It's obvious to me that the reason most well paid bands have a manager. When a majority of a band run in a democratic or even federalist way decide that someone is not working out, the manager does the dirty work and fires the offending person. The reasons can be many and varied. Booze, drugs, refusing to show up for rehearsal, no transportation, playing poorly, offending the crowd...these are just some of the reasons you might get shit canned from the band you are with. As the leader of a band that does make pretty good bread at most gigs I decided early on that it is my job to hire and fire. It's not happening all the time and I really do have deep respect and love for the people I play with. But as the boss I know, and so do they that if screw ups become chronic or if use of the chronic becomes a screw up, then the end of employment with my band is nearing its end. I don't like doing this nasty little job. Who would? I'll tell you who...managers. Band managers live for this type of thing. I hate it. My ability to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of a specific firing are sound. I have pretty good common sense when it comes to this. The planning, reasons and motivation behind my decisions are sensical and real. It's just the bottom line that gets to me. I have to call or meet with the offender and solve the problem. It's not a big deal once it is done but I do oh so hate giving someone the axe.

Happy Birthday To Me!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

On St. John's Road

I have been paying the mortgage on my house now for three years. Notice I did not say I have owned my house for three years. The bank holds the note right? And if I don't pay they throw my ass out in the street. The payment is a bit stiff for a middle class liberal but it's a 15 year loan and we throw a little extra scratch at it every month to push down the principal. Something I alway wanted to do in high school by the way.

In the Highland neighborhood in Austin there is a veritable fruit salad of races, colors and creeds. We all get along pretty well. There are a few violent crimes around here and the majority that happen are either drug dealers on the street or domestic violence cases. The numbers are low on these and have been continually decreasing over the past months. Thanks in good part to the poepoe cruising the area. Yes we have to thank our men in blue. But there is something else happening out there. I see it every day. People are not ignoring each other. And this is making my side of town a much more pleasant place to be. Is this something to look forward to? Is there a move towards massive societal caring of one another, more forgiving, more diverse friendships, more moderate thinking?

I found early on that Austin is and always has been a bastion of free thinkers, humanists, liberal students and teachers and many many dems with a few right siders along for the ride. Redistricting by the senator from Texas has carved up this for the sake of the repubs and really only benefitted them. But Austin stays dem and it drives the right nutty. Which with everything going on is great...we all need more things to be cheerful about.

It just makes me wonder...are things starting to get better? Even in the face of daily death of Americans in a war that a vast majority of us disagree with now. Or is this the motivating factor?

I don't claim to have my finger on the pulse of US attitudes but I do know a little about my street and the people that live on and near it.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

1901 German Lowendall Full Size Violin

Here's the 1901 Lowendall Violin after all the cleaning, etc. from the luthier. I love that word...Luthier. Sounds alot more romantic than "Repair Guy" doesn't it? Posted by Hello

I've Got To Admit It's Getting Better

I never pass up a chance to relate to others by quoting a Beatles tune, thus the title.

My back has loosened up and my ear has only about a quarter inch of outer packing left. The ringing and white noise in my ear has decreased first from a 747 jet engine to a Lear jet engine to now a medium size Sakorsky helicpter jet engine. Each bit of packing pulled out, each bit of gel foam absorbed into my dome decreases the noise suffering.

I haven't posted in over a week, partly because I have been busy (classic excuse) and partly because I just needed a break from the blogosphere. I have been hanging mostly at (thanks to my son Ryan gifting me with a one year sub.). I've got to say this...that Salon is a way better source of info and editorial than my local fish wrap (the Austin American Statesman) and blows to hell any and all the cable news networks. I know that much of the coverage is wire produced but there certainly are more choices and numerous entertaining columns reported on Salon.

I haven't played a gig in a week...slowly getting back in to the leading/drumming/singing mode. Tonight I play with a 7 piece band as the leader (left right left right) and singer at a wedding at one of the best BBQ places in the world the Salt Lick but after speaking with the nervous wedding planner I found out it's not going to be a BBQ dinner at the wedding. Damn, I was looking forward to ripping tender morsels off of the bone tonight. Instead it's probably going to be salad, chops and water. It's from 8 to 11 so the gig ought to be smooth and easy. The wedding planner emailed me an 8 page excell file with all the wedding details. Talk about efficient. One fourth of one page pertains to me. Hell, I don't need to know when the garter gets put on or when the bride gets her make up or when the groom gets dressed. Just tell me when to start playing. Which of course she did.

If you've been following you know I am selling a violin for a friend of a friend. I had about 350 bucks of work done on it and now it's ready to sell. It's on Craigslist and also posted to and I expect plenty of people to check out the pictures which are here at webshots. Gee whiz what a fine violin. The repair guy and 2 othe teachers at the shop played it and didn't want it to leave. I was told not to take less than 2K for the instrument. Nice commission on this one when I get it sold.

That completes the roundup in my life for now. Back to Salon.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

And Now My Back?

I played a gig Saturday night with Casey Just who is pretty much the top Psycho-Billy guitarist in town. I did his CD with him a year ago and since have been doing gigs here and there with him since then. Of course six weeks of letting my ear heal meant that I wasn't playing many jobs. This means I wasn't moving my gear around on a regular basis. So when I took my stuff home after the gig I noticed a twitch and a pain in my lower back. When I got up the next day sure enough I pinched one or two nerves in my lower back and since then I've had to deal with a new pain. My back. Is this a bad year for me physically or what? My next job is coming up this coming Saturday again with casey but it looks like I won't be able to help move gear at all. To top this little vignette off I am supplying the PA for the gig as well. I have a large Mackie PA system that weighs a ton. So Casey and the bass player Gary are coming over way before the gig starts to move all my stuff. Yay! In the mean time I am going to be doing stretches, taking Motrin and drinking lots of water to try and heal up my acheing back.