Friday, April 10, 2009

Hot Shower, Bronchitis, and Old Finnish Friends

I stayed home today. Bronchitis. It's been a rough winter and I think this is my third bout of bronchitis this school year. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic called Avelox (which worked well the last two times).

In the last 16 hours (since about 11pm yesterday) I've learned a few things. I've learned that if I lay down flat I may drown. I've (re)learned the simple truth that ibuprofen cures chills - temporarily, at least. I've learned that snoring just makes you cough more. I could probably add to the list.

At 2:00pm I sat down in the recliner and tried to take a name. I used one of the news channels as background noise...

  1. Joe Biden is a liar. I know it's true because Karl Rove said so.
  2. Tornadoes have torn up parts of Arkansas and Tennessee (and they may be headed this way).
  3. President Obama divested the U.S. of most of its sovereign powers at the G20 meeting by bowing before the King of Saudi Arabia. At least that's the view of Conservatives in the blogosphere (like the space aliens who roam the halls of Hot Air). Never mind that custom seems to dictate that one kiss the King's neck (or something like that) to swear loyalty in the Saudi Kingdom. I've seen the video and I think that if President Obama had intended it to be a bow there would have been more flourish. It was a two second event that probably won't have much impact on the course of history...
  4. Oklahoma is on fire.
  5. Two people are dead after an apparent murder-suicide on a community college campus in Michigan.
  6. A construction worker in Indiana got buried when a trench he was in collapsed.
  7. The president of Arizona State is an idiot and doesn’t want to give President Obama an honorary degree (the traditional reward for speaking at a commencement service). They still want him to speak, though. (Wonder if McCain will come.)
  8. Pirates still have the ship captain near Somali.
  9. Dead cats can bounce, or maybe there's a glimmer of hope of the economic front.
Eventually I fell asleep. I woke back up after a few minutes and coughed for a while. Then I fell asleep again. Perhaps I slept 20 minutes. I woke up cold. Socks to my knees, two layers of cloths including a sweat suit. Covered with a wool afghan. Cold.

I got up and took some ibuprofen and decided I'd take a hot shower. I went in the bathroom and shut the door. I don't know why I shut the door; no one else is here. But it seemed polite. Undressing was torture. I turned the shower to as hot as I could stand it and breathed the steam. Eventually I sat down.

In the early 1990's I lived in Canberra, Australia. Some of my friends were Finnish. Canberra had a community of about 2,000 Finnish immigrants. Most families had built their own sauna in their back yards. I would go to their houses and the men would sit in the sauna for 20 or 30 minutes (okay, sometimes an hour). They enjoyed keeping it between 75C and 85C degrees. That's 167F to 185F. When it was dry, I thought that was nice. A teaspoon of water on the rocks could drive me out (while they all laughed). I sat in the shower and remembered those days. Wish I had a sauna...

For now, the ibuprofen has kicked in and my wife will be home soon. Big Daddy's on Friday is a ritual. It's seafood night. I'll eat what I can and bring my leftovers home.

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