If former students can’t meet their payments, lenders can garnish their paychecks. (Some borrowers, still behind by the time they retire, have even found chunks taken out of their Social Security checks.) - Robert Reich, "Why Ordinary People Bear Economic Risks and Donald Trump Doesn't"

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Footloose Part 2

Reader: Steve asked me to fill in for him from time to time for a while – he expects to be unable to blog-post for about two weeks. The following is my less-than-perfect attempt to echo his words this evening. George Batten

A couple of weeks ago, perhaps a little less, I suddenly started feeling extreme pain in my right foot – the one that was already troublesome; i.e., the one with the boot. After some visits with physicians – my usual one and a DO – I was eventually sent to the clinic at Memorial Herman Hospital (MHH) to be diagnosed for something more severe. Ultimately, this led to my being admitted to MHH, and to a decision that I am reasonably happy with: the foot will be amputated on Thursday.

As you can imagine, this was not a simple decision, and I did not make it without a lot of discussion with professionals of the medical profession. It is possible to have reconstructive surgery done, but people with my condition that have had that generally have had more problems than those who have had the amputation. An amputation seems to terminate the infection. In my case, the surgery will take off the lower part of the limb starting about halfway up to the knee.

After surgery on Thursday, I will start rehabilitation with a clean start (perhaps I should say a clean “end”). I feel that I have about half the staff at MHH helping me, and it seems that I will be seeing them at MHH for a couple of weeks. While that is an exaggeration, the team helping me does have five members. One good thing is that, according to the team, after all of this I will be able to drive. One bad thing is that during the two weeks I probably will not be posting on this blog – George will do some for me.


  1. In that terrible news lies a new and very encouraging future. You are a brave and stalwart man. I suspect six months from now these past painful years will be old history. We are rooting for you, wishing you well and will stay tuned. Peace, my friend!

  2. You've endured a great deal, Steve and although losing part of your body is distressing in the extreme, losing a foot that has (in Bill Cosby's words) joined the enemy and is trying to kill you is unfortunately the correct thing to do. May you get a prosthetic that gives you a spring in your step and lets you walk to the library without a care.

    Hugs and much waves of the pom poms from the cheering section.

  3. wow, I'm really sorry to hear about this. I haven't commented on your posts about your health problems in the past, largely because I didn't know what to say. But I'll give it a shot anyway: my thoughts are with you. I'm glad to hear that you are happy with the decision to amputate and I really hope this represents a light at the end of the tunnel for you. Have a swift recovery!

  4. Steve, I am sorry to hear this, and I wish you a swift and uneventful recovery.

  5. My thoughts are with you Steve. Speedy recovery.

  6. I'm sorry to hear this Steve. I hope all goes well and you have a seedy recovery.

  7. A little something to cheer you up Steve--over at http://adgitadiaries.com/ Peace my friend! Your CA. buds M&T and Bodhi dog

  8. karmanot's blog shout out to you sent me on over. Enjoying your writing and your topics very much -- you're my kinda guy. Best wishes for your recovery and physical therapy. You are in the land of doctors, nurses I.V.s, oh my!



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No Police Like H•lmes

Current and Recent Reading and Viewing

• King, Laurie R., Mary Russell series.
—. The Beekeeper's Apprentice.
—. A Monstrous Regiment of Women.
—. A Letter of Mary.
—. The Moor.
—. O Jerusalem. ...
If you are unfamiliar with Ms. King's Mary Russell series of Holmes novels, please do yourself a favor and begin with the first, The Beekeeper's Apprentice, and just keep going. If you have female children of the right age, you may want to introduce them to these books; Ms. Russell is a splendid role model for someone who would become a strong, intellectual, adventurous woman. King's prose is beautiful, too. Highly recommended!
• Rennison, Nick. Sherlock Holmes: The Unauthorized Biography.
Rennison weaves the scant information Conan Doyle provides on Holmes's background into the fabric of the stellar lights of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with such convincing detail that one could almost believe Holmes was an actual historical figure. If you like reading British biographers (face it; Americans write biography wholly differently) and you have a passion for Sherlock Holmes, you will very likely enjoy this book. As in eating a Dagwood sandwich, it helps to take it in small bites at a time.
• PBS Masterpiece - BBC. Sherlock, Season 3. Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman.
Sunday 1/19/2014, Premiere, "The Empty Hearse".
Sunday 1/26: "The Sign of Three".
Sunday 2/2, "His Last Vow".
Need I even comment on this?

I imagine people, especially Sherlockians, will either love this series or hate it. I am inclined to take each episode at face value, as a sort of parody of the traditional Conan Doyle Holmes story model, having (in my opinion) very little obligation to conform to that model as long as it does not deliberately poop on the basic conventions Doyle established. The setting is either present day or near future (some of the technology, and the reference to hardware Holmes apparently has installed in contact with his brain, lead me to call it the future), and many of the human elements are right out of Doyle: Holmes, who has just returned from his "dead" period, is an absolute a(bleep!)hole to Watson; Mrs. Hudson starts out talking to Watson, who announces he is recently engaged, as if he is surely gay; Watson is played (to type) as not the brightest bulb on the string, etc. My advice: do watch, but just sit back and enjoy the fireworks, the effects, and the unsubtle humor. I've read that women find Cumberbatch very good-looking; perhaps some men will as well.
• Douglas, Carole Nelson. Irene Adler series.
—. Good Night, Mr. Holmes.
—. The Adventuress (formerly Good Morning Irene)
—. A Soul of Steel (formerly Irene at Large)
—. Another Scandal in Bohemia (formerly Irene's Last Waltz)
Here's Dr. Watson (i.e., Conan Doyle) on Irene Adler:
To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. In his eyes she eclipses and predominates the whole of her sex. It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler... yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.
Carole Nelson Douglas, perceiving the memory of Adler as anything but "questionable," frames a series of mystery novels in which Adler is the detective, accompanied by her own Watson, Penelope "Nell" Huxleigh, Adler's husband Godfrey Norton is the strong male lead, and Holmes appears only incidentally. Adler is granted an astonishing but undeniably plausible variety of skills to ply in her role, and her background as an American opera diva contributes to the stories in an entertaining way. Douglas has done us a real favor in fleshing out this character, who is only once mentioned in the Canon but deserves and receives a much deeper treatment in Douglas's books.
• Millett, Larry. Sherlock Holmes in Minnesota series.
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Red Demon
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Ice Palace Murders
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Rune Stone Mystery
—. Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Alliance
—. The Disappearance of Sherlock Holmes
Millett writes a flavor of Holmes novels that I call either "American Sherlockiana" or "Sherlockian Americana," take your choice. Either way, the series comprises novels in which Holmes and Dr. Watson have an adventure involving America, which nation to all appearances Conan Doyle himself admired. Millett sets his stories in Twin Cities in Minnesota, adds his own detective, Shadwell Rafferty, a barkeep with an analytical mind, and lets loose with a series of five adventures well worth your time. I read these years ago, but they have been recently re-released; see Millett's web site at the link above.