Monday, June 18, 2012


This bloggy thing of mine is many things.  One of those things is
a record of my life.  So, if you’re looking for comic-book content
today, you won’t find a lot of it here.  Some comic-book content,
but not a lot.

The biggest recent event in my life was my son Eddie’s graduation
from The Ohio State University on Sunday, June 10.  Something like
10,000 graduates plus their families in the largest such ceremony
in the institution’s history.  The close-to-90-degrees heat was a
challenge, but the ceremony was an unforgettable experience.

A strong sense of community was evident throughout the “Horseshoe,”
as Ohio Stadium is commonly known.  It was the only place on campus
large enough to host the festivities. 

That sense of community flows from Gordon Gee, the president of The
Ohio State University.  You can’t listen to this guy for even five
minutes without recognizing how passionately he loves the college,
and you can’t watch the student reaction to him without recognizing
how much they love him back. 

The commencement speaker was Susan E. Rice, United States Permanent
Representative to the United Nations.  Her father was one of the
Tuskegee Airmen.  Rice was a terrific speaker, though one right-
wing lout a few rows up from us would boo every time she mentioned
President Obama.  That ended when I stared him down and told him he
was being a jerk.  He shut up.  As you can imagine, I have little
patience with racists and the right-wing creeps who are ruining our
nation. Or their clueless uninformed supporters.

After the ceremony, we were crazy busy.  I went with one group to
make sure the restaurant (J. Alexander) held our reservations while
Barb’s group collected Eddie and one of his best friends, stopped
at Eddie’s house to get some stuff, and then joined us.  It was a
really nice meal.

Of course, just when Barb and I were feeling cocky about being down
to one college tuition, the universe gave us the finger.  Yep, our
van died before we left Columbus.  We were lucky to be able to roll
down an exit.

The van was towed to Medina where it looks like we’ll be needing a
new transmission.  Thanks to AAA, though, the tow only cost me $20.
And the driver was from Montrose.  He had towed a car to Columbus
when the call came in from us and he was thrilled he didn’t have to
drive back empty.  We had an entertaining ride back, exchanging our
stories about the nutty characters we’ve run into.

Last week was crazy busy.  On Monday, Eddie had his third interview
with the same company.  On Tuesday, he was hired.  After three weeks
of training in Columbus, he’ll be doing his civil engineering thing
in Parkersburg, West Virginia.  I’m sad that he won’t be around as
much as I’d hoped, but very happy for and proud of him.

On Friday, Sainted Wife Barb and Eddie went apartment hunting and
came up bupkis.  Fortunately, they have a whole bunch of excellent
leads that Eddie will follow up on next weekend.  Still, no matter
how great an apartment he finds, it’s going to be a major change in
his life.  Ohio State has a larger population than Parkersburg and
nearby Marietta Ohio combined.  It’s a bigger “city” than anything
in West Virginia.

Before Eddie’s graduation, it was looking like I’d have to sit in
a handicapped section of the stadium.  I was suffering from gout,
a condition also known as, in one of life’s cruel ironies, the rich
man’s disease.  Leave it to me to screw up the “rich man” part of
this annoying disease.  However, it is treatable and I just needed
to wear a special boot to keep my foot from hurting.  Which it did.
As a friend of mine described it, even the pressure of a bed sheet
can be agonizing.

On Friday, while Barb and Eddie were apartment-hunting, I was back
at the Medina office of Kaiser Permanente.  In an amusing note, the
automatic appointment message mispronounced Medina.  I’ll have to
mention that to someone.

The good news is that my gout had subsided earlier in the week.  I
was offered medication, but since part of the problem was caused by
one of the two blood pressure medications I was taking, and since
I am the poster child for side effects, my teenage doctor agreed I
could pass on any medication unless the gout reappears. 

I’m exaggerating in describing my doctor.  He’s not really Dougie
Howser.  But he did seem almost insultingly surprised that my 60-
year-old blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart were all in great
shape.  As a bonus, and because it had become a problem, we decided
I could stop taking the troublesome blood pressure medication and
just stick with the other one.

My blood pressure is better than it’s been since I had that mini-
stroke several years back.  That was my “Nick Fury” phase, during
which I had to wear an eyepatch.  The lower blood pressure is the
result of my working hard to remove as much stress from my life as
humanly possible.  We’ll talk more on that another time. 

Two other health concerns turned out to be nothing to be concerned
about.  A new health concern surfaced and will require additional
testing, but this new annoyance may proved to be related to either
the now-dropped medication or damage done many years ago.  Neither
seems particularly worrisome at this time.

The best laugh of my visit to the doctor came when I filled out my
medical history record.  It asked if I'd ever had a colonoscopy.
The first question was yes/no and the second was "when." The third
was "location." To the best of my knowledge, there's only one entry
point for a colonoscopy, so I asked about this.  Had the form asked
"where," I would have said "Akron and Parma," which is where it was
done the two times I’ve had the procedure.  Ah, well, my confusion
brought a smile to some faces.

Moving on to some comics talk...

I’m almost caught up with Marvel’s Avengers and X-Men titles, but
I’m taking a break from them to finish reading all the Free Comic
Book Day giveaways sent to me by Stormwatch Comics in West Berlin,
New Jersey.  Look for a bloggy thing or three featuring my reviews
of these issues later this week.

Why take a break from the Marvel books?  Honestly, because I find
them tiresome at the moment.  Rehashed plots.  Overblown crossover
epics.  They often read more like marketing campaigns than actual
stories.  There are bright spots and I’ll certainly discuss those
in upcoming bloggy things, but I’m disappointed in the most recent
Marvel titles.  Which is a shame given that the wonderful Avengers
movie might be getting some new readers to sample the Marvel books.
The movie is better.

My VAOS (Vast Accumulation of Stuff) sales are progressing slower
than I would like.  For Father’s Day, my wife and kids intended to
clean out the garage so I could start preparing for my summer-long
garage sale.  Alas, inclement weather made that difficult.  There’s
still quite a bit of cleaning to be done.

I’m really looking forward to when I can start making regular runs
to my storage unit to bring back boxes of stuff for sale and stuff
I want to keep for a while longer.  I’m constantly rethinking what
I can part with.  For example, I have really nice Silver Age runs
of Batman, Superman, and related titles.  Realistically speaking,
I don’t think I will be rereading those more than once more before
selling them to other eager fans.

My online sales will continue.  Later today, I’ll post the list of
still-available items, albeit discounted from their already low prices.
On Tuesday, I’ll post a couple dozen newly-offered items.  I
appreciate your business.

Moving forward, I have three major goals:

Lose at least 15 pounds by next June.

Transition to an eBay/garage sale financial system so that, if and
when I get back to writing, I am able to do it on terms favorable
to me and my work.  Within two years, I would like to be able to
dispense with my rental storage unit.  Within five years, I want to
get my VAOS down to where it can fit in my office and my designated
library room. 

Get the "I want to write this" items on my long bucket list of things I
want to write written.

Depending on where I am with the above three goals, I'd like to
start doing some traveling next year and connect with friends I
haven't seen in ages or have never met at all. 

One more item for today:

Saturday was Sainted Wife Barb's and my 28th wedding anniversary.
Her sainthood is assured. 

I’ll be back tomorrow with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella


  1. On Monday, Eddie had his third interview
    with the same outfit. On Tuesday, he was hired.

    ... Now he can afford a new outfit.

    Seriously, though: Congrats to Eddie, you, Barb, and Kelly too!

  2. I post this with no name as it contains some of my personal medical info.

    TONY - losing the 15lbs is a great idea. I, like your spouse, an an RN. Over the last 4 mos, I have lost 50 lbs (Weight Watchers works) and have eliminated all meds but Zocor, with my insulin being cut by more than half!!!

    Good luck to you!!!

  3. Blam...thanks and it's been fixed.

  4. Barb isn't an RN. She's a pharmacist and runs the home infusion program for our health carrier. But I do appreciate the suggestions.


  5. Aw, heck, I wasn't "correcting" you, Tony!

  6. Tony, congratulations on your son's graduation. My daughter is scheduled to graduate next May (from Walsh University in North Canton), and I am just as proud as can be already.

    A few years back, I dropped around 65 lbs. and started running/jogging. Best two things that I've ever done, health-wise. All the best to you in your efforts.