Showing posts with label health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health. Show all posts

Friday, January 06, 2012

CES 2012 Preview: Life Alert for Heirs

While most of the buzz around the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas centers around the latest smart phones, touchscreen pads, and 3D televisions, a surprise entrant in this year's fray is Life Alert. Life Alert is most famous for its commercials featuring frail pensioners flailing about on the floor, woodenly wailing "Help! I've fallen, and I can't get up!" For nearly 25 years, the company's bread and butter has been selling products and services geared toward the health and safety of senior citizens. However, jumping into a market apparently spawned by the economic downturn of recent years, Life Alert will soon sell a service aimed toward children and grandchildren of the elderly teetering on the brink of poor health and mobility.

The equipment for the new service, dubbed Life Alert for Heirs, looks identical to the current incarnation, but the system does not contact an ambulance or fire department when the button on the pendant is pressed. Instead, it will play a message previously recorded by one of the ailing elder's heirs. In the promotional video shown to reporters this morning, a thin white-haired senior writhed on her kitchen floor in pain. In response to her button press, the system barked in the tinny, digitized voice of a husky sounding man. "Hello, Grandma. This is David. Sorry to do this, but this system won't contact emergency services until you agree to sign over your power of attorney and assets to me. To approve this, simply press your pendant button three times in a row. Per your contract with Life Alert, this will act as a legally binding electronic signature. Once this signal is received, emergency services will be contacted. Love you, Grandma!" Less expensive versions of the system will simply make passive note of the emergency request and send no help.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Make way for 5k race day the Illinois way

Last winter I got back on the (relatively) hardcore running horse after a difficult several months of agonizing paint and stiffness directly resulting from a surprisingly horrific tumble I took in February of 2010. The full details of that fall, by the way, are in another story I am long overdue in posting here, but one thing at a time. The fall wrenched my neck at a grisly angle, completely destroying what little poor spinal alignment I had left. At the time, I was more focused on the head injury, and it wasn't until months later that I realized just how badly it had thrown the rest of my body out of whack. Late in the summer, I tried to start running, taking baby steps by starting with the treadmill. It was impossible to make much progress, however, as I would run barely a mile before my legs began to throb, and one of my hips clicked and popped like a music box with the tines broken off. I would walk as much as I could, but after about 20 minutes, I had to give in to the excruciating pain. After a decade of considering myself a runner, this was a frustrating feeling of defeat.

In September, I had picked up a couple of smaller projects leftover from the house remodel, including replacing the closet doors in the master bedroom. Instead of buying cheap, shitty doors at Home Depot, I was inspired by a website selling custom closet doors to build my own. More accurately, the fact that the website was charging about $1,500 per set of doors was an inspiration for me to say, "Fuck that, I can totally build those myself!" Defiantly, I bought the necessary tools and assembled the first set for about $160 in materials. Near the end, however, the constant kneeling, crouching, and bending over to work on the door frames took their toll on my already weakened back, and I completely threw it out while picking up a bolt of canvas. Seriously. My back was completely seized, and I was barely able to walk for a couple of days, forcing me to call in sick to work. Even when I was back on my feet, it took me nearly a week before I could move without pain or near misses in seizing it up anew. I was 34 and felt like I was 64.

When October rolled around, I took a long-planned trip to Chicago to visit Jen and Rich. Unfortunately a weekend of fun and relaxation turned into a slightly less fun weekend when on Saturday morning, I threw my back out even worse than before. My mistake this time? Bending over slightly to adjust the water temperature for the shower. There I was, as naked as a congressman's cock on Twitter, frozen in place by horrid pain. There were a few moments when I thought I was going to have to call poor Rich in to help me out. What he could have done, I don't know. Cry at the sight my hairy bent-over man ass and throw a blanket over me? "Best of luck, Jeremy. My only regret is that I only have this very loosely knit afghan and not a thick wool blanket or blackout curtain. You'll be ok if I turn the light off, won't you? No sense wasting electricity. Oh, and I'll close the door, too. The dogs have your scent, and it looks like you had a difficult time wiping. See you when I get home." Thankfully, it didn't come to that, and I was able to hobble around after a warm bath (incidentally, I now know that a warm bath or heating pad is NOT recommended in that situation - ice that shit down!)

On Sunday, I awoke around 6:30 am and attempted to get out of bed to use the bathroom across the hall. I was staying in the bedroom of Rich's son, who was out of town that weekend. Not helping my back situation was the fact that this bed had a rather poor mattress (which they have since replaced out of mercy for all involved, not the least of whom, Rich's son), and was on a frame that comes up to my ribcage. So I rolled over to get out of bed and threw my back out yet again. This time was a killer. I couldn't so much as roll over without my back completely seizing up or trembling in a manner that threatened to. I was stuck but good. Without exaggeration, I spent the next 45 minutes desperately, yet slowly and gingerly finding a way to maneuver myself out of that bed. Finally I had my feet hanging over the edge and had to bite the bullet and throw myself to the floor. Of course, my back seized up all over again, and it took me another 15 minutes to straighten up enough to hobble to the door. After using the bathroom, I spent the next hour pacing their living room, sitting, standing, stretching (if you could even call it that), and otherwise trying to work out the kinks so I could walk. An acquaintance of Rich who worked for Google had invited us to a tailgating party and the Bears vs Seahawks game at Soldier Field, and I was god damned if I was going to miss out on an opportunity like that (admittedly I was more excited about the prospect of seeing what kind of crazy-ass shindig Google threw than the game, and their giant RV full of booze did not disappoint). In the end, I was able to hobble my way through the rest of the day, but it was crystal clear to me that professional medical intervention was necessary.

For months, seeing me hobble around in various states of discomfort, my coworker Jameson had relentlessly tried to convince me to see his chiropractor. It wasn't that I didn't think it would help, I simply kept procrastinating in calling her. No more. The day after I returned from Chicago, I called and made an appointment. Dr. Nicole, as she goes by, was working temporarily out of a basement in a residential neighborhood in Burnsville. $40 a visit, cash, no insurance. Considering my damned office co-pay is $45, that was fine by me. Now the basement part might sound a little shady, but she came highly recommended, and it was clear from the start that she knew what she was doing. I limped pathetically to the first appointment with my right foot jutting away from my body at a right angle, my lower back sending quivering threats to seize up at any moment, and a neck that I could barely turn more than a few degrees. I filled out some paperwork, including a medical history and questionnaire about my symptoms, and she threw down a back cracky that straightened my leg and had me walking confidently, albeit still slowly and somewhat painfully, back to my car. Over the ensuing weeks and months, the adjustments continued, and I was soon running several miles at a time on the treadmill with no pain.

In February, Dr. Nicole and a partner opened up a practice in Eden Prairie, and I didn't blink an eye in making the trek over there to continue my appointments. Of particular interest, her new office also had a physical therapy area, and I was given a full range of exercises to build my core strength to help maintain my adjustments and reduce the chance of injuring my back again. This is where the real work started. No longer was I going in for a passive back cracky, I was in for a grueling addition to my normal workout routine that included dreadful lunges and crunches. But I continue with them because they clearly are doing the job.

In the spring, once it wasn't snowing in May anymore (what the fuck was that?!?), I started running outside, increasing my distance and pace, and decided to sign up with Jen for a 5k race in Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago. I had already been running 4 to 5 miles in a stretch, so I knew I could do it (5k is 3.1 miles), but to me the challenge was getting myself ready to run a set distance on a set course at a date and time set in stone. I had to be prepared, in shape, and rested ahead of time. Sure, it's no marathon, but I had never done anything like this before, so it was a bit of a daunting, but exciting prospect. So, this last Sunday, I awoke at 5:45 am in Chicago, rode in the car with Jen and Rich to Highland Park, and Jen and I ran the shit out of that race. We managed to average a 10:12 mile. Yes, it wasn't so many years ago that I could run 10 miles simply because I felt like it, but especially after a huge setback like my fall, I'm still proud as hell, and I don't feel like I pushed myself to the brink to do it. Next stop? 10k!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The peculiar Anytime Fitness logo

This is the logo for Anytime Fitness. Now I have no personal experiences with the Hastings-based company, nor do I have any reason whatsoever to believe they are anything but a fine, upstanding health club business. However, we were driving home tonight from a gathering held at the Groveland Tap by the folks from The Uptake, when I caught a sign for an Anytime Fitness club out of the corner of my eye and momentarily processed it as this:

Perhaps a logo redesign is in order? I propose this simple modification. Just change it to one running guy taking off from the starting line, and a guy next to him still in the starting position.

Who could possibly visually misinterpret that? Only total assholes, that's who. Just send me the money by PayPal, Anytime Fitness. I don't need to tell you that my work has already paid for itself.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

No fussin' with my tussin

This craigslist ad seems totally legit. Because if I want to buy over the counter medicine, I'm going to do it through a craigslist ad posted by some green teabag in West Bloomington. And you know that there is no possible way this is homemade Robitussin, filled with lime Jello and rat poison. It'll calm your coughing by making you bleed to death from your cuticles.

And this other ad for boxes of Just For Men by the dozen, seemingly from the same character in West Bloomington, made us suspicious that maybe he had walked into into a Walgreens and filled his denim duster with cough syrup, hair dye, and unlubed condoms while his partner distracted the clerk with a fake heart attack. Something tells me you'd open up these boxes to find a bottle full of squeezings from brown Crayola markers. Dyes your hair and your glitter-glued construction paper in one shot.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Even in my sleep-deprived state this morning, I found myself doing some mental math on the drive to work (I tend to try to do most simple math, like calculating the tip at a restaurant, in my head to keep my brain from withering). The question that popped into my head was, "How many ounces of jizz I've shot out since I bought my house?" Why pick the move-in date of my house? Who knows, though I have been thinking about the house a lot lately given my remodeling stint.

So let's say that spread out over the entire 8 years (well, technically 7 years, 11 months, but let's just tack on that extra month), including masturbation and the full spectrum of sexual activities with a partner, that I shot a load a couple times a day on average. This would include dry spells of a few days where I didn't have time to raise my flag, periods where I've been in a relationship and was sexually active but didn't wack it all that much, and also those years of long, boring weekends single and alone, painting the ceilings with thick eggshell (and don't forget the glossy enamel finish).

8 years x 365 days/year = 2,920 days

2,920 days x 2 angry yanks/day = 5,840 angry yanks

[admittedly this is where my estimation gets hazy, as I have never measured the volume of my espoogens, but lets say 1.2 tablespoons on average, or 0.6 fluid ounces]

5,820 angry yanks x 0.6 fluid ounces/angry yank = 3,492 fluid ounces

Let's break 3,492 fluid ounces (US fluid ounces, mind you) down into a few different measurements. And no, these I didn't do in my head. I would have had to drive all the way down to Iowa to have enough time to calculate these conversions in my head.

In England, you could have bellied up to the bar and ordered 181.7 steaming Imperial pints of my wazz.

In the United States, that's 218.3 of our weak-ass little tiny pints. Bitches be cheated!

You could have filled up your gas tank with 27.3 gallons of my thick and creamy swimmer salad. If I charged you $4 a gallon, I could have made $109! And your car would run like a rocket from Hell. Ladies, if it ever gets too expensive for you, stop by and I'll top off your face and rack for free.

And on the subject of fuel, I could have filled 0.65 petroleum barrels with sack sauce. Oh, and I tried so hard to fill it to the brim, too. [frowns for all]

According to the Bible, that would be 4.55 baths, 27.3 hins, and 327.4 logs (tee hee!)

You could have walked down to the local farmers' market and haggled for 2.9 bushel baskets full of freshly squeezed Minnesota Jeremy juice.

0.4 hogsheads. I probably couldn't fill it all the way because staring at that severed piggy head while I spanked away probably wilted my stiffy.

11.7 pecks of pecker juice!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

What the fucking fuck???

God dammit! I think I just got stung by a wasp or some shit. Oooohh. Owie, owie, owie. Look at it. It's all swollen and purple. It's also throbbing and sensitive. And it appears to be leaking pus. No, wait. I just have an erection. False alarm everyone. I just wish I hadn't doused it in iodine.

Friday, April 18, 2008

April 18th: Poop for Peace Day

Today is Poop for Peace Day. It is a day when all of humanity comes together in the knowledge that we all share the same experience. We all laugh, we all cry, and we all poop. So as you're pooping today, think of one world coming together to rock a rank mega-duke, holding hands (after washing them) and launching said poop into the sun in an act of unity. It doesn't matter if you're American, Chinese, Canadian, North Korean, Indian, Brazilian, white, black, brown, yellow, red, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, or Atheist. You poop. We are one in shit.

Love, Jeremy

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

For your health, part 2

Part 2 in a provocative series examining your health in the eyes of Reader's Digest and the societal impacts of you shutting the fuck up and reading this post.

A healthy work environment includes an uncluttered workspace, ergonomically arranged computer equipment, and a few personal effects like flowers, plants, and a collar with about 25 square feet of frill.

When writing a "lifetime" guide to health, be sure to include as many elements as possible to date your illustrative photos, such as a popular band name and recording technology that will be all but defunct within 10 years.

Something isn't quite right with this photo, but I can't put my finger on it.

Much better.

Once you retire, you should consider taking up a hobby to keep your mind sharp. This couple passes the time by torturing young backpackers kidnapped from a Slovakian hostel.

Often, young people who have distinctly different outlooks than their peers become outcasts. This boy's classmates have shunned him for his repeated attempts to rape them.

When the cleaning lady found Mrs Schuller's body in the foyer, it was clear that Mr Schuller had discovered her poorly concealed affair with the junior varsity track team. Could it have been the photos on MySpace?

The cleaning lady unwittingly contaminated the crime scene by undressing Mrs Schuller's corpse and crying on it.

Oh dear. Apparently Mr Schuller retired to the master bedroom and shot himself, as well.

Ok, seriously, cleaning lady, what is your fucking problem? Call 911!

Steven Seagal neck snap! Kee-yahhhh!

I don't think it's happening tonight, buddy.

Early Scientologists and a primitive E-Meter.

"Alright, I'm going to show you a series of videos in which I appear in various stages of undress and arousal. But it's ok, I'm a doctor."

"Ok, you're blood pressure's good. So what did you think of the videos?"

[from inside] "Hey, you didn't go out on the roof, did you? You still have 3 more hours of video to go!"

Monday, March 24, 2008

For your health

Aside from a bunch of booby cream, another treasure I found at Valu Thrift at Sun Ray in St Paul on Saturday was a 1984 book about personal health from Reader's Digest. If there is an authority I trust when it comes to my health, it's Reader's Digest. I also rely on the Saturday Evening Post for investment advice and get ideas for spicing up my sex life from Collier's.

Note that this is the complete manual. Not a partial one. However, it also says it is a lifetime guide. The fact that I bought it for a dollar at a thrift store seems to indicate that its claims are false and/or its previous owner is now dead.

On the inside title page, we find a primary-colored Stephen King and his family hiking through long grass on a cloudy Maine day. Mr. King has chastened himself by securing his fitness trousers shut with a padlock. Or maybe it's to keep out the Lyme disease-ridden deer ticks that his wife and children will be picking from their scalps and genitals.

Clearly they stole this photo from the spandex section of the 1983 LaBelle's Christmas catalog. If she hikes those bottoms up any further, she can use them as a sports bra.

Women like to compare fat rolls, blubber, waddles, and pooches. But do they have to do it in line at Subway?

Women, to measure your fitness, place a yard stick on the floor and line it up with the bottom of your feet. Spread your legs open as wide as you can and measure the distance. Looks like this lady's going to need a lot more yoga before the spring DP party at the yacht club.

An important key to your child's future mental health is reigning in his wild dreams with realistic expectations. This young lad is so excited to grow up to be a doctor that he leaps in the air for joy. Luckily his parents are there to hold him down. "Not so fast, Johnny Repeats-a-Grade!"

For some reason, one section of the book gives a time line of historical figures. Here we discover that Walt Disney may have created Mickey Mouse, but he couldn't draw so much as a circle to save his life. "ARRGHH! Why do these topless dancers keep turning out like short pants-wearing mice???"

Somehow the cut rate illustrator for Reader's Digest managed to make Eleanor Roosevelt even more hideously repulsive.

"EVERYBODY DOWN ON THE GROUND! The first motherfucker at this pool to try to be a hero gets their head blown off! Now put the chlorine in the bag."

One of the women in this photo wants to bury her face in the other's vagina. And by "one" I mean "both" and by "vagina" I mean, "I'm totally jerking off to this photo right now."

This guy took the Shriners Fun Run way too seriously.

Her partner is so tired of her squeals of delight every time balls are flying at her face.

In the 1980s, it was believed that exercising while your computer farted into your air supply was good for the "sanguine humours."

When participating in the "Buns of Steel for Men" class at the Y, try not to make your leering too obvious.

"Hellooooo! Vulnerable, fit man here! Anyone back there? Anyone?"

"Strut, pout, put it out, that's what you want from me!"

1. "I'm strong."
2. "Yay."

NordicTrack's Bosom Squeezer 36DD was the top selling home fitness system of 1984.

This diagram shows how easy it would be to rip your spine from your back should you wear that sweater vest again.

Always wear bib overalls while painting boxes. ALWAYS!

"I give up."

Uh... you do realize you're in the middle of a photo shoot, don't you? There's a box of tissue right next to you for crying out loud!

"Just appreciating my perm."

Start your daily meditation by attempting to kill your enemies with your mind.

Ugh... well, at least clean your pus off my mirror when you're done squeezing.

Now put a little peanut butter down there. Oh my! Is that the dog?

If you're going to work your way up to me, you better try three fingers, lady.

Ok, where do you want me to aim when I finish?

Got it. I'd close your eyes if I were you. I've been doing prostate exercises.

To be continued...