Franco and I

Eye doctors in picture may appear shorter than they actually are!

Eye doctors in picture may appear shorter than they actually are!

Wasn’t That Special?

Today, I participated in the Beaver Stadium Run sponsored by the Paterno family, with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics of Pennsylvania.  I was able to raise $1,450 to benefit Special Olympians.  Last year they raised over $400,000 but I do not know the total for this year.  As a result of my fundraising efforts, I was invited to a reception with Sue Paterno, Jay Paterno, Franco Harris, and Pat Chambers, who is Penn State’s basketball coach.  I know!  I didn’t even know we had a basketball team!  James Franklin wasn’t at the reception but he and his family were there for the race.

I'm in there somewhere!

I’m in there somewhere!  Maybe.  It’s last year’s photo.  I was there.

Anyway, after the Blue-White Game, a free football scrimmage that marks the end of Spring practice,  and the private reception they had accommodations at a hotel in State College for runners that wanted to stay overnight before the race.  I only live about 40-45 minutes away depending on how many cops are alongside the road, but the reception ran till 8:30, and the race was the following morning at 11:00.  I could save gas by not driving back and forth.  It seemed like a win-win situation for me and the environment to stay in the hotel.

Until one o’clock in the morning.

That’s when the smoke alarm in my room started to chirp every minute or so.  After listening to this for a few minutes, and quietly hoping it would just STOP, I got up and removed the battery.  Hey!  It’s not like I’m in an airplane bathroom here.  And it’s not because I wanted to smoke.  I just wanted to sleep!  I have a race to run the next day!

Finally, I called the front desk.  They came relatively quickly, although my room is physically as far away from the front desk as you can get.  They gave me a map to help me find where to park.  I had to stop and ask directions.  I was afraid I might need a passport, but fortunately, I did not cross any foreign borders on the way to my room.

They replaced the battery and . . . . silence.  They apologized profusely, and excused themselves.  I turned out the lights and tried to return to my racing dreams of crossing the finish line first to be congratulated by the entire Penn State cheerleading team . . . but I digress.

Within two minutes, the chirping resumes.  WTF?!

I again call to the front desk, but there is no answer.  I guess the two who made the Lewis and Clark journey to my room haven’t returned yet with Sacajawea.  So I listened to the bird chirping and wondered if it was a finch or a blue jay?  After finally contacting the front desk duo again, I waited for their arrival and let them in.

They played with the battery some more.  He thinks perhaps he put it in wrong.  (That’s what she said.)  She just seemed distressed or perhaps she knew the entire hotel was at risk because there was no one at the front desk right now.  She suggested cutting the electric wires to the unit–which makes you wonder why it needs any battery after all except as a backup for power outages and this seems like something that could wait until say, 10:00 the next day.  He asked her if she wanted to electrocute him.  She does not answer (but smiles.)  I was sensing some tension between these two.  Or I might just be TIRED!  He pushed a button to test the unit.  Long, loud chirp.  Okay, I am fully awake now!

Finally, the chirping stops and the two apologetically removed themselves from my room again.

Sleep at last!

I have set my phone alarm to go off at 8am.  I’m only 10 minutes from the race location, but I’m pretty sure I am gong to need to eat something, but I can’t run right after I eat something, so I figure three hours is a good compromise.

Unfortunately, the previous occupant of this fine hotel (“we’ve had no fire in 117,497 days!”) room set the alarm for 6 am.  And it dutifully awoke me at 6 am.

I should have just gone back home!

Humor aside, I don’t think it affected my performance.  Maybe the two beers I drank at the reception did.  Or the two creme filled donuts I had on Friday.  Or the double quarter-pounder with cheese and fries before the Blue White Game.

Whatever,  I did not win.  There were no cheerleaders.  It was only a dream.

But I did place 64th out of 1900 runners, and fifth in my age group (old farts.)  I beat my time from last year (22:43:82) with a new personal record of 20:59:01!

But I have to admit I was humbled a bit.  As we lined up before the race, they attempted to group people by how fast they run.  I moved to a point just ahead of the sign that read 7:00 to 8:00 pace (my official pace was 7:00!)  NAILED IT!  I stood near a young woman (and quite frankly, they all look young to me anymore except for my cataract patients.)  I find it helpful to have something to focus on while running.  She was wearing very short, very skin tight gray shorts, and a tank top.  She was very focused.  She would be the rabbit to my greyhound.

However, as the race started, she was more like a turbo charged super ninja rabbit on steroids, and was out of my sight before we reached the one mile mark.  I never saw her again.  I ate her dust.

Worse yet, the person in my age group that beat me out for third place and a possible medal (by 12 SECONDS) blew by me about 3/4 of a mile before the stadium.  I know this because my first thought when he went by me was, “that guy is old.”  He was.  Gray hair (not tight gray shorts) and everything.  He had on a gray T-shirt with words on the back.  “Ask your doctor if getting off your ass is right for you.”

This is what losers see.

This is what losers see.

The shirt distracted me.  Not the same way the gray pants did.  I had to think about this–it had words and humor and everything.  The shorts only had a Nike Swoosh.  (And that’s what they did.  Swoosh!)  Meanwhile, he’s sprinting ahead of me like I’m standing still.  I’m doing 8.57 miles per hour in a 7 mile per hour zone!  He only beat me by twelve seconds, but I never recovered from that shirt.

It had to be that shirt!

Although it might have been the smoke alarm keeping me up all night.

Or the donuts and beer.


Safe Running

My loyal readers know that I am a runner.  And over the years, I have had issues with my toes, which apparently were not well designed to run, at least not the way I run.  (Think awkward albatross trying to take flight but failing.)

Anyway, my podiatrist suggested I try a product called gel toe caps (toe condoms is what she actually called them).


I have been having some toe nail issues recently–the little piggy that stayed home in particular had to be cut down below the nail bed to allow some blood and fluid to be released.  So I agreed to road test these–literally.  The girl in the picture seems happy with the condoms.

With a clinical trial of ONE experience, I have to admit, and I don’t ordinarily care for condoms, but I kind of like running with the condom.


I ran six miles today in 50 minutes.  There was a little discomfort in the toe, but quite frankly, it was not comfortable before the run.  And it certainly was not worse.  I have been taping with Coban tape previously, but I think I like the toe condom better.

I highly recommend practicing safe running!


Steak and Lobster Fail

So I went to Outback Steakhouse tonight.  Now I have been known in the past to try and order a whopper at Wendy’s–they do not appreciate that let me tell you!–but it’s a Steakhouse.  How could I go wrong here?  Order an Onion Blossom instead of a Bloomin’ Onion?

No.  I took fail to a whole new level tonight.

I was perusing the menu, and  I saw Coconut Shrimp and Steak.  This looks good.  I’m not a big shrimp fan, nor a coconut fan, but for some reason, when you put the two together, I can go co-co-co-coconuts for that.  Throw in that orange marmalade goop and you don’t even know you’re eating shrimp!  (Although the pina colada stuff at Red Lobster puts the orange crap to shame, but I digress.)

Can you go wrong with this?

Can you go wrong with this?

But they also have some lobster specials, and while shrimp is meh, lobster is the real deal.  Add a steak, and you can definitely deal me in.  Add some coconut shrimp and orange goop, well, I may just have died and gone to Heaven.

Do you not see three items here:  steak, coconut shrimp and a lobster tail hiding in the back?

Do you not see three items here: steak, coconut shrimp and a lobster tail hiding in the back? (Pay no attention to that green crap.)

My meal arrives and looks as advertised.  I quickly put away the two shrimp, which by the way, were humongous.  They must be like super jumbo shrimp.  But slathering them in orange goop, I get them out of the way, since that is my least favorite part of this triple play combo.

Up next.  Steak.  Say what you want about the folks from Down Under, but they do a great steak on the barbie.

I have saved the best for last.  The lobster tail.  The pièce de résistance.

Fish may be Friends not food, but Bruce is having Lobster tonight!

Fish may be friends not food, but Bruce is having Lobster tonight!

It looks so good.  My mouth is watering in anticipation, although it might be due to the spice on the steak or the fact that my waitress hasn’t brought me a refill.  I turn it over and . . .

Dude!  Somebody stole yo' lobster!

Dude! Somebody stole yo’ lobster!

OMG!  The bastards gave me an empty shell!  They are trying to rip me off!  I frantically try to find our waitress, and quite frankly, don’t they all start to look the same when you need one?  I finally get her attention without having to stand up on the table and swing from the lamp, which would have totally embarrassed my sons to death.  Little did they know that they should have already headed for the door.

So I point to the empty carcass and complain, “I didn’t get my lobster tail!”

To which she replies, “Sir, you already ate it.”

Oh, no!  Don’t you be that waitress.  I did not already eat this tail and then try to game you out of another one.   After all, it’s not like this is going to come out of your pocket.  The damned chef is the one back there eating my lobster on his break.

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes you did.  It’s coconut lobster.  You ate it already.  I saw you.”

I stared into her eyes.  They were telling me that not only did she see me eat the coconut “shrimp” but she saw me down them so fast that I still have orange goop on my lips.  I think I had just shoved one in my mouth next to my tonsils when she stopped by to ask how everything tasted.  Apparently she didn’t understand me complimenting the shrimp that was stuck in my throat.  It was not a pleasant stare.  She was looking at me with disdain.

“You mean . . .”

“It’s steak and coconut lobster.  There isn’t any shrimp.”

Well put a star on my forehead and call me a Christmas Tree.  I did not see that coming.

My triple play ultimate combo was really a double play, with a fake tail that the waitress claims they put on the plate for “effect.”  Like a placebo effect.  It just makes you feel like you’ve had lobster.  I’ve heard of the Butterfly Effect but I have never heard of the Lobster Effect.

And worse yet, I have already eaten my damned lobster!  First instead of last!  You can’t do it in that order!  And I thought it was shrimp!  (In all honesty, it was really good shrimp, which now in hindsight makes sense since it was lobster and not shrimp after all.)

I should have read the menu, instead of just looking at the pretty pictures.

My sons may never eat with me again.

Next time, I’ll stick to Red Lobster.  At least there is lobster in the name.

Going Bananas

Like most runners, I like me a banana now and then.  I usually eat one every day.  It’s a nice quick snack between patients or surgeries that is actually good for me.

Now in all those years of carrying my banana to work with me, I have never had a serious banana incident.  Oh, I may have dropped it on the ground once or twice, but I don’t eat the outside anyway, so it’s not necessarily a problem.

Other people must have banana issues I am not aware of.

Fortunately, we have science.  Technology meets healthy snack in a new way:  THE BANANA BUNKER.


It seems Groupon marketed this product on their website with some hilarious reactions.  The basic problem here is that the protective banana bunker resembles something else . . .

Among the comments and Groupon’s responses:


Laugh if you will, but  they sold out.

So we must wonder now, is that a banana bunker in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us?

Don’t forget to sponsor me in the Beaver Stadium Run to benefit Special Olympics!  Thank you!

Beaver Stadium Run

I have signed up for the annual 3 mile Beaver Stadium Run, which courses through State College and ends at the 50 yard line of Beaver Stadium.  Proceeds from the race benefit Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, and the run is sponsored by the Paterno family.


This race combines three of my loves:  1) running, 2) the Paterno family, and 3) Beaver Stadium.  The fact that it benefits Special Olympians is just icing on the cake.

But I need your help.

I’m okay with the running part.  Three miles is nothing to me.  I don’t even need you to bring me water.  Or bananas.  (Beer and donuts would be great, but I don’t NEED that!)  I don’t need you to stand on the sideline and cheer me on, but you are welcome if you so desire.

No–what I need is your financial support.  I have set a goal to raise $1000.00 for Special Olympics. As of writing this blog, I have raised $260.00.

If you can afford it, and think the Special Olympics is a great cause, then donate in my name at my home page.

I thank you for your support!


Get it?  :?  Colon.  Oscopy.

I was really hoping to find some humor in this procedure.  This was my first colonoscopy.  Welcome to being 50!  It is like a right of passage.  I have read many stories over the years about this procedure.  Most of the horror surrounds “the prep,” which is a nice way of saying that Satan is coming down your colon with a supersoaker from hell.  And while that was mostly true, it was not as bad as I was expecting.

Granted, having to stay within 30 feet of the toilet for most of the night was not pleasant.  The time actually spent on the toilet was not pleasant.  I did get to play a lot of games on my iPad, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Here I sit and dream of glory, alone inside the lavatory.  (An obscure reference–leave me a comment if you know the source.)

Personally, I thought that drinking “the prep,” a concoction called Suprep that comes in two 6 ounce bottles of cherry flavored hell, was actually worse than getting rid of it.  I’m not a big fan of cherry to begin with, and that is probably a good thing.  My dad underwent a colonoscopy a number of years ago.  He mixed his prep at that time with Squirt, a citrus soda.  From that day on until the day he died, he could not bring himself to drink Squirt again.  And that name is kind of ironic, doncha think?

So if taking this prep turns me from cherry flavored anything, it is certainly not the end of the world.

It looks so innocent!

It looks so innocent!

And it was god awful.

Yeah, there was cherry.  With bitter undertones and a hint of maybe seltzer–or mineral water.  I think I detected some acetone or benzene, if my senses have not failed me from biochemistry.  The bouquet was nonexistent–it didn’t even smell like cherries.  And it was crystal clear, so you could almost convince yourself you were drinking water or vodka, until it actually touched a single taste bud on your tongue.

You see, you had to dilute this wonderful prep into 16 ounces of clear but vile crap that you must choke down before you have to run to the bathroom.  Twenty minutes.  That’s all it took.  And I had to down two more 16 ounce cups of water afterwards, or it would have sucked the water out of my brain.  I would have ended up a pile of dust floating in the toilet.  The beast had to be fed water.

So after choking down the cherry shit, alternating forced gulps with some coffee or white grape juice (you can’t drink anything with red or purple dye!) to try and save my taste buds, I then had to down 32 ounces of water over the next hour.  I’m not sure I drink that much water in a single day!  I drink–coffee, tea, soft drinks, wine, beer.  But only occasionally do I ever drink plain old water.

The first bottle came out explosively but without any accidents I am happy to report.  I did get baby wipes as recommended since toilet paper could be “irritating.”  By the time I was ready for bed, I was no longer living on the seat.

Unfortunately, bottle two had to be taken seven hours before my scheduled time, with another 32 ounces of water in the hour after that.  Then, no more liquids until after the procedure.  With a 9:00 appointment, I had to get up at 2:00 am to force another cherry jubilee down my esophagus, and through my intestines.

I was hoping that being half asleep, I wouldn’t mind the cherry crap so much.  I was wrong.  It was worse.  I have never drank gasoline, but if you throw some cherries in it, I imagine this is how it would taste.

Boom!  I’m back in the bathroom.  Cholera without the actual disease.

In the morning, I looked longingly at half a cup of coffee left over from the previous night’s escapades.  I carefully took a mouthful, swished it around my mouth to tantalize my taste buds and maybe absorb some through my mouth’s mucosa, before spitting it out in the sink.  I watched as the coffee went down the drain.  I was devastated.  But I didn’t drink anything!  I did not swallow!  (That’s what she said!)

So I arrive at 8:45, and I am back in the holding area with all my clothes off except for my socks, a hospital gown and a sheet to keep the young women from laughing at me, or at least, not laughing at that.  At 11:00 o’clock, they finally come to take me for the procedure.  Waiting that long was more irritating than the toilet paper.  And I’m a doctor!  There had better have been an exploding colon somewhere to delay me getting my damned coffee.

Anyway, I’m all ready to take notes about the actual procedure for this blog, to bring the colonoscopy experience alive for my readers my reader  the person who stumbled here by accident.  They ask me to lay on my left side.  And  . . .

Then I woke up.


What a disappointment!  This is the closest thing to a sexual encounter I’ve had in years and I missed it!

And in case you care, my colon is just fine, thank you very much.  Not even a polyp.  Come back in 10 years.

And I finally got my coffee.

Seriously . . .March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  And if you are over 50, don’t be like dead-from-colon-cancer Rob Lowe–get DirecTV and a colonoscopy today.



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