Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Operation Iraqi Freedom

The sun set earlier today on Operation Iraqi Freedom. Thousands of brave warriors gave their lives including Captain George Wood, Captain Chris Seifert and Specialist Carson Ramsey. Their sacrifice was not in vain. May their families garner strength from the budding, yet fragile, democracy taking hold in the desert of southwest Asia.


That's how long it took for President Obama (in a speech about the end of the Iraq war) to blame former President Bush for the economy. Why'd it take so long, I wonder?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Punxsutawney Mason

We saw the doctor today to get an X-ray of Mason's healing arms. The X-ray saw its shadow; four more weeks of casts.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Casts ... One Week Later

Mason is adjusting nicely to his new hardware. I should have expected nothing less when I picked him up after his first day back at school and discovered he was playing football on the playground. That hasn't stopped him from reminding us about his injury.
Me: Mason, Can you help bring some of the groceries in the house?
Mason: But, Dad, both of my arms are broken.
He also got a very sweet note from one of his classmates, Grace (it didn't scan well, my apologies).

Thanks to Grandma Huber and Grandma Slezak for their gifts and wishes. Also a warm thank you to my boss at work who was kind enough to send a get well wish with some delicious cookies.

Rest assured, Mason is back to his old tricks. Just with casts.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Casting Call

Since orthopaedic surgeons don't work on weekends, we had to wait until this morning to see one. We arrived at Clarian North Medical Centera bit before eight to see what was in store for us. Noel had dropped Mallory off at school and was already at work which made it convenient ... considering her employment at Clarian North.

There were a couple of distinct possibilities heading into the appointment. First, and most painful, would be that the doctor would have to reset the left arm. That would have cause all-around boo-boo tears and we hoped to avoid this option. The second was that the doctor would look at Mason's arms and say, 'Yup, let's put 'em in casts'.

Luckily for us, the doctor uttered those words (well, not exactly those words) and Mason got to choose some colors for his brand new casts. He chose red with a 'cool' white stripe on each. I think the nurse (who was awesome, by the way) was channelling Indiana University colors. I was all for it because I knew that in six weeks both casts will be scarlet and grey.

After getting fitted for casts, we stopped by Noel's area so Mason could show off his new hardware. 'I wanna see Kent," Mason said. Apparently, Mason and Noel's boss (the aforementioned Kent) are on a first name basis.

In the car, on the way to school, Mason and I had a discussion about what he could (and could not) do when returning to school. No gym, no playground, no swings, no nuthin'. I had sucked every last bit of fun out of two broken arms. He began to cry in the car and was mopey and weepy as we entered school.

That all changed when we entered Mrs. Lamaster's first grade class. You would have thought Mason had just come home from the war. Everyone wanted to see his casts. Suddenly, he was the center of attention and relishing every moment of it. 'Yeah, I broke my arms.' 'I was on the swingset and I fell off.' 'Yeah, it kinda hurt.' He was firing off lines he had rehearsed now a solid 36 hours. Having practiced on everyone from the random guy in the CVS pharmacy to the random woman in the elevator at the hospital today, Mason was ready (and willing) to hold his impromptu press conference right there in front of Mrs. Lamaster's desk.

This afternoon when I went to pick him ... where was he? Playing football on the playground, his casts covered with signatures.

Broken arm(s) + 1st Grade = Rock Star status

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ground-breaking (et al) Event on a Saturday Night

Mason has now accomplished something I never have. Mason broke his left arm.
Last night, Mason's friend came over and they were playing outside. I decided to mow the lawn, trying to beat any rain that we may get later in the evening. It was cool and a bit windy. Our neighor was mowing, as well. As I came around the back of the house making my first pass with the mower, I saw Mason sitting on the back patio crying. "Wow," I thought to myself. "Is Mason in trouble?" I continued around the perimeter of the back yard when Noel came out of the house and motioned for me to come over where she was standing and Mason was sitting.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I fell off the swing, Daddy," Mason said, still crying.

"Okay, what hurts?"

"My arm."

Given my years of medical training (Hey, I watched ER for like four seasons), I asked if he could move his fingers. He moved his index finger on each hand but was obviously tentative to trying anything else. And, his left arm looked a bit 'funny'. Not 'haha' funny, mind you; more 'funny' odd.

Noel saw the same thing that I did. She said we should take him to the doctor. I agreed and went to get my keys and change out of my especially nasty lawn-mowing shoes (a pair of tennis shoes that I got at Fort Leavenworth in 2001 that I refuse to part with).

I helped Mason into the car and we were on our way to the hospital. I tried to make small talk with Mason. We listened to 'rock star' music (Classic rock on Q95) on the radio ("Daddy, what does 'classic' mean). He had stopped crying before we got in the car and was now just in a fair amount of pain. He took a keen interest in traffic signals; only the red lights, wondering when it would be 'our turn' to go.

We arrived at the ER in short order walked into an empty waiting room. We went immediately to triage. Weight, blood pressure, pulse ox, CBC and chem 7, stat!. Oh wait, more ER the TV show flashbacks. Just weight and BP at this point. Some paperwork for daddy and we were back in an exam room awaiting a doctor or nurse.

At this point, Noel began a steady drip of text messages with questions. I was doing my best to keep her informed as she was very worried. We spoke a couple of times on the phone. We met the nurse, Daphne (who, apparently knows Shaggy, Scooby and he rest of the gang), Brian the EMT and finally, the doctor. We met Barry, the X-ray technologist. Looking at the X-ray it was fairly obvious what was wrong.

It was nearing 10 when we were discharged and still had to hit the pharmacy to fill his prescription. "Don't wait until tomorrow to fill this," the nurse advised. "he will be in a fair amount of pain tonight."

We found a 24-hour CVS and waited for 20 minutes to fill the prescription. CVS, it turns out, was much busier than the ER.

Arriving home at 11pm, Noel was so happy to see Mason. She hugged him gingerly and we went upstairs to change out of the clothes he had been to the hospital in.

So now we were left to figure out what the immediate future would hold. He has an appointment to see the orthopaedic surgeon on Monday morning and soccer season is all but over (I joked that it started and ended this week). School should be interesting. He's right-handed so school shouldn't be a problem, right?

Oh, wait. Did I forget to mention he broke both forearms?
Never a dull moment here at the Huber household.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Respect and the Mosque at Ground Zero

Dennis Miller reads a powerful letter from a soldier when the trooper states that U.S. soldiers cannot eat, chew gum or drink water in front Muslims during the Holy month of Ramadan out of respect for their holiday.

Respect for a group's feelings cuts both ways. Being deployed to three different countries with a Muslim population, I can attest to the fact that that U.S. Army bends over backwards to respect the culture of others.

Click here to listen to it on the DMZ)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obama and the Mosque

I felt it necessary to weigh in on the proposed mosque being built at Ground Zero. You can read my brief commentary here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mason is Entering 1st Grade

Almost one year ago, I wrote about Mason entering kindergarten. It seems like a long time ago because Mason has grown so much in 12 short months. He has gone from an interest in the Disney channel to 'big boy' programs on Nickelodeon and more mature cartoons (no, not that mature ...) on Cartoon Network. His size 3 shoes seem so big when I hold them in my hand yet perfectly proportional to his body when he has them on.

He (along with Noel and I) love Stonegate. I know I must sound like they feed us Koo-Aid there, but it is a wonderful, nurturing place to help educate our son. The faculty and staff remain in our high regard.

I, too, am gearing up for another year as chair of the Stonegate PTO Dad's club. I am fortunate to work with some of the most selfless women who dedicate many of their days to the betterment of our dear elementary school. Wish me luck as I try to cobble together a pancake breakfast in the winter (I am on the lookout for guest stars, mainly one of the Colts if you know them ... just sayin') and possibly a spaghetti dinner in the Spring; along with the usual help we provide setting up, tearing down and whatever else the PTO needs assistance in doing.

Here's what we hope will be another terrific year at Stonegate.

Mason with his new teacher, Mrs. Lemaster.

Mason at his new desk.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Looking backwards or Forwards?

President Obama on Monday, Aug. 9th 2010:
The policies that crashed the economy, that undercut the middle class, that mortgaged our future, do we really want to go back to that, or do we keep moving our country forward?" Obama said at another fund-raising event in Austin, referring to Bush's eight years as president.
Can we really move forward if we are always looking backward? I won't forget the day that Major Matt Kaufman (now a retired lieutenant colonel and forever a great American) looked at a soldier who was complaining and simply said, "Its hard to roll up your sleeves when you are wringing your hands."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Photography Choices

I laughed so hard yesterday night that I almost cried. It doesn't take much, apparently.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Argument for Charter Schools

From tomorrow's Wall Street Journal op-ed page:

Of the country's 20,000 high schools, only 2,000 produce about half of all dropouts. And a black child has a 50% chance of attending one of these "drop-out factories." The urban school problem isn't too many charters but too many failing schools.

R.I.P. Google Wave

Google announced today that it is letting Google Wave go out to pasture. It was a noble effort that just didn't gain the traction. I used Google Wave (or at least tried it out). I just wasn't functional enough to incorporate into making my life more productive.