Thursday, December 20, 2007

Aimless Ramble #944

'Cause if there's one thing I'm good at, it's aimlessness.

This is turning out to be one of those Christmas seasons that I seem so dead inside; as in not "feeling" all Christmasy. They happen from time to time, and this is one of them.

I've long suspected that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, where the short days wreak havoc with my emotions. In my case I tend to be robbed of my emotions. We watched the TNT version of A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge the other night, one of my all-time favorite movies, and I didn't get all teary-eyed even once and I didn't get all fired up about straightening my life out with all kinds of positive self-talk like I usually do when I watch it. That may be a big yawn for y'all, but that's a warning sign for me that something's amiss.

On a related note, I found and hope to buy pretty soon, one of those alarm clocks that gradually lights up over 30 minutes and reaches full brightness as the time for the alarm to sound. I have a tough time waking up, and maybe that'll help.

I would also try one of those full-spectrum lights that you sit under for helping with bad attitudes due to the shortened days, but those things are, like, $250. A little too steep for me. But I like the idea of it. Maybe I should just get in a comfy chair and go sit outside a while each day. I walk around outside at work most days, just to have a break, but that hasn't helped my attitude any.

What I really need is a spine transplant.

Whenever I take some of my pain medicine and am at home, I'm all of a sudden in a good mood and joking and laughing. The other day Lovely Wife remarked about me acting like my old, silly self, but I had to fess up and an tell her that I had taken some medicine and that she'd caught me in that short window of opportunity where I was barely hurting and could feel and act normal.

It's times like those that bring home to me just how life changing chronic pain is.

I'm supposed to go see a pain specialist in January, and he's a guru at placing TENS units into the spinal cavity, or also he does morphine pumps that are internal and release small doses of the morphine right at the site of the pain.

Only problem is, that I really hate to take the step of having a morphine pump installed into my back. Any narcotic stops being as effective the more you use it, so I'm always walking a tightrope with my Lortab, which works wonders for me short term, and I know that switching to morphine is a big step.

I have a couple of weeks to think and pray about it, but I'm already nervous because it's as if by having set up the appointment with the pain specialist, that I've already taken a turn down a long and difficult road. The whole idea of a pain specialist is to get pain relief, but…

Sudden Swerve!

We've done most of our Christmas shopping. It's a really lean Christmas for us financially.

The girls are grown, more or less, and the things they tend to want now are specific books and DVDs so the lion's share of the shopping was done online at

Lovely Wife has been wanting some arts and crafts style lamps to go with the furniture we bought this year, and the other day she found some she liked that were on sale for a great price, so I ordered a couple of those for her. They are due to arrive on Christmas Eve, so we'll see if that actually happens and therefore gives her a "big" gift to open this Christmas.

I have a Gibson Les Paul Studio electric guitar that I bought used from a friend at work several years ago. He had made some changes to the electronics, which I then changed back to be more like original, but in all that changing, some of the pieces-parts don't work all the time. It's no big deal, I just play the guitar at home, but just knowing it's easily fixed, but not fixed, bothers me.

So for Christmas this year I ordered "from Santa" all new parts for the switches and the four volume and tone controls. As an electrical engineer I find it impossible to go the easy route, so I simply waited until I could order the parts I needed to really do a job on the electronics. The changes I plan to make are ridiculous, but will allow me to get several different sounds from the guitar as opposed to simply leaving it how it works from the factory.

Yeah, I know that's as boring as watching paint dry, but it's exciting to me. Normally, guitar electronics are easy to work with, so I'm going to try to rig up my own version of Jimmy Page's customized Les Paul he used during his Led Zeppelin years. (My wiring will be a variation of this diagram) If I get the electonics switched out with the new stuff, and my wiring system works like I plan, and if there are no parts left over (always a possibility with me) I'll have had hours of fun and a more reliable and more versatile Les Paul to boot.

I'm also getting a set of locking tuners (those things in the picture up top that you twist to tune the guitar), because this guitar goes out of tune pretty easily and I think a set of high quality tuners will help.

The latter half of next week should be pretty loud around the Masters' home if my nefarious plans for my Les Paul work out, because I'll then have to crank my amplifier to 11 to test the guitar out properly. Rock on!

We live such exciting lives around here.


Anonymous said...

I haven't been in that Christmas mood either this year. Took me days to get my tree decorated and I didn't even put out all my decorations or garland. I was out of town the first three weekends of Dec. and I haven't even finished my shopping! Waaaaa,Waaaaa

Marsha (Big Sis) said...

Uh, oh, I clicked the wrong thing. That was my post above!

The Rock Chick said...

I'm hearing "I just don't have The Christmas spirit this year" from a lot of people. Myself included. I normally love to Christmas shop and select what I think are the perfect gifts for people, admire the decorations and sing along with the Christmas carols on the radio. This year I feel like I'm just going through the motions. Hopefully, next year will be better!!!!

A while back I suffered a pretty serious injury that left me with chronic pain for years. It's not even something you can describe unless you've experienced it and I want to let you know that I hear you. It's awful, but I did (after a while) have some success with pain clinics and finding the right doctor who actually listened to what I was telling him.

I still have problems with it but it's nowhere near like it was. I also have TMJ which is usually painful. You never get used to pain, but you find ways to go on, that is true!


thethinker said...

I really have not been in the Christmas mood. I don't know what it is about this year, but it really doesn't feel like Christmas is in just 3 days. (We still don't even have ornaments on our tree!)

Beverly said...

I do hope you get a solution to your pain soon. My mother-in-law lived in constant pain, and I was never very patient with her until I had an injury and needed a total knee replacement. The doctor tried everything short of doing that, and I just know that while we were trying the alternatives and I was living in pain, I began to get a bit depressed.

Pain is depressing. There are no two ways about it.

I hope that in the midst of it all you can have the peace and joy that Chritmas brings. Emmanuel!

Hammer said...

I've been trying to get into the spirit too. It's not always easy.

I know what you mean about the pain meds. They work 2 days for me then nothing. I'm just happy that my back is not out this year.

I hope you find some relief bud.
And those fill spectrum lightbulbs are 10 bucks online and they really do work bulb

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