I haven't been posting lately because of a problem I'm having at the incision area of my spine operation.  It's called a pseudomeningocele which is cerebrospinal fluid leaking into a swelling near where the surgery started.
The surgeon's office instructed me to see a neurologist for the terrible headaches that it sometimes causes but the swelling should heal on its own.

It seems to be getting larger and I can't put much weight on it like lying on my back in bed or leaning on my back while I sit.

The neurologist referred me to neurosurgeon for advice but I haven't heard about it yet.  In the meantime he's doing nerve conduction tests on my legs for my drop-foot condition, which is not related to the pseudomeningocele 

The original operation for back pain and leg weakness was a success.  I'm able to walk without using walker or cane.  My back pain is gone.

Now I'll have to get this new problem fixed.  But I'm still very lucky compared to the diseases that are out there.   

Another reason for not posting as much as usual is the Christmas season with its decorations and shopping for gifts.

Notes and Links About Being an Introvert

I consider myself to be an introvert.  I'm comfortable with this even though sometimes I wonder how it would be like to have a few close friends.  I'm not lonely.  I have my wife, daughter, grandson and a small family.

Maybe I'll have to get involved with some volunteer work.  Or is that using the volunteering for ulterior purposes?  I'll have to look for something I truly believe in.

Here's a link to my earlier post about being an introvert:
Understanding the Introvert

  Here are some ideas.  While copying from a few interesting sites I lost some of the credits.  I hope they won't mind.

"Remember, introversion is not an all-or-nothing characteristic. People can be what you might call introverts with a capital I (aka "very introverted") or they might be outgoing in some situations with some introverted tendencies. Introversion exists on a continuum with extroversion, and most people tend to lie somewhere between the two."

"One type isn't "better" than the other. Each tendency can have benefits and drawbacks depending upon the situation. By better understanding your personality, however, you can learn how to play to your strengths."

"Introversion is marked by a number of different sub-traits:
Very self-aware
Enjoys understanding details
Interested in self-knowledge and self-understanding
Tends to keep emotions private
Quiet and reserved in large groups or around unfamiliar people
More sociable and gregarious around people they know well
Learns well through observation."

"As you might imagine, jobs that require a great deal of social interaction usually hold little appeal to people high in introversion. On the other hand, careers that involve working independently are often a great choice for introverts. For example, an introvert my enjoy working as a:
~computer programmer
~graphic designer

Here are links to articles you might want to read or skim:

Five Signs You Are an Introvert

introvert - Search Results - Naturale Chronicles

Friendship 101 for Introverts: 4 Steps for Success

Friendship Lessons From Introverts

  1. "Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognized as a film and fashion icon, Hepburn was active during Hollywood's Golden Age." Wikipedia

Sunset Outside My Kitchen Window November 2014

The tree in the distance was lit up by the sunset, which is not in view.  The tree is between the other trees which are going into twilight.  

I took these images through the window so they're not in sharp focus but they almost look like paintings

Why Barrels Are Shaped That Way

I wondered why they made barrels in such a different shape.  It's not a neat cylinder or garbage can shape.  

"Barrels often have a convex shape, bulging at the middle. This constant bulge makes it easier to roll a well-built wooden barrel on its side, changing directions with little friction. It also helps to distribute evenly in the material by making the container more spherical."
From Wikipedia 

I could be wrong but I think the barrel's shape also allowed it to be rocked back and forth to make it easier to stand it up.

Here are the parts of a barrel:

This is an amazing contraption!

Hawl Away Joe

"What Is a Sea Shanty?
Shanties are the work songs that were used on the square-rigged ships of the 
Age of Sail. Their rhythms coordinated the efforts of many sailors hauling on 
lines. Much loved by modern sailors and folk musicians, they are rarely used as 
work songs today. This is because modern rigging doesn't require many people 
to be working in the same rhythm for long periods. 
Traditional shanties can be grouped into three types: short haul shanties, for 
tasks requiring quick pulls over a relatively short time; halyard shanties, for 
heavier work requiring more setup time between pulls; and capstan shanties, 
for long, repetitive tasks requiring a sustained rhythm, but not involving 
working the lines." 

The Rats of Night

Image from:
Image from
(c) Lynette M
A poem by my wife Lynette

A Better Mind Map Program

Last January I discovered a free mind mapping program that I enjoyed using for a while.  It's called Blumind I still keep some of the maps I made with this program.  
Here's the link to my post: I Finally Found a Mindmap that I Like

Now I'm using a better free mind mapping program called X Mind. This may sound sort of like a commercial but I think the FREE version is more than enough for me.

"XMind is an open source project, which means it's free to download and free to use forever. XMind Plus/Pro with more professional features are also available."

You don't need to purchase the advanced program for personal use. 
" to download and free to use forever"

Some of its features are best described in this video:

(Use full screen for a better view.)

Let me know what you think.  

Blumind is still a good program but XMind has more features.

The Free Plane and Free Mind programs were overly complicated and difficult for me. 

Lead Weighted Darts - Roman Plumbata

I just learned of another Roman weapon called the Plumbata.  The lead must make the impact much more damaging. 

The darts are about a foot or more long (12 inches or 30 centimeters).  

They can be thrown by hand like regular darts or from a slingshot instead of using a rock.

Turn up the sound to hear the swish of the dart.

Here they are mounted behind the shields.

Cell Phone Beginnings and Future

I wonder how the reception was.  

They had a solid brick-like appearance

Here's one possible solution to privacy while on the cell phone.

I Don't Hear Myself Snoring

The other day my wife showed me an entry in her diary about my snoring.  As far as I can tell I do not snore.

Anyway, here's a Korean cartoon about snoring larva.

Some Interesting Sites I Recently Discovered October 2014

Ever since my back operation two weeks ago I'm still trying to get back into a comfortable routine.  
Daily naps, ice packs for the incision site and increasing my time spent walking are recommended.
I don't need to use a cane except for staircases.  I've had a few bad headaches but no fever. When I see Dr Lebl for my followup visit I'll tell him.   

In the meantime:
I've been meaning to add these links to my "INTERESTING SITES" and LINKS TO EXPLORE" lists on the lower right column.
I'm eager to look more deeply into these sites myself.

I found this while looking for the difference between loose tea and tea bags.

About Food

Practical information.
Instructables - DIY How To Make Instructions

I want to try one of these courses.


I Just Joined Linda's Lair Blog

Her site has videos, quotes and other wonderful things. It made me laugh and improved my mood. I found her blog after reading a comment she put on one of my posts.

Link: Linda's Lair

Some videos:

So Far My Back Surgery Is A Success!

Today my back is even better. I can now walk without my cane. Climbing stairs is less of a problem.  But for the next six weeks they want me not to lift anything heavy and to rest when I feel tired.

Here is the link to a video from the hospital explaining the procedure in great detail. 

Spine - Lumbar – Minimally Invasive Discectomy (Percutaneous Disc Removal)

After my wife did research to find the best hospital and doctor we drove six hours from Virginia to New York City for my treatment.  It was worth the trip.

Home page:
Spine Care Institute at Hospital for Special Surgery - HSS


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