Monday, April 30, 2012

Colorado Springs Recommendations: Electric, Garage Doors and Door Openers

Electric. As a person known to repair almost anything, I avoid electrical repairs after having received a strong shock while fixing my hot tub. And though I’ll never need another perm or a pacemaker, the risks, in my opinion, outweigh the benefits of playing home electrician.

One afternoon I decided to enjoy a riveting game of Miller Moth Tag. Currently there are more millers than in a Wisconsin phone book. The goal of the game is to suck the three billion creepy, dusty fellas entering my garage and home each night into the great abyss of my 10-gallon Shop-Vac. If you haven’t tried it, I strongly recommend it, particularly if your hand-eye coordination is suffering and you don’t have a date.

Amidst my joy and determination, I must have touched a lightning bug instead of a miller, because, suddenly, my freezer, alarm system, and garage door opener ceased operation. Panicked and wondering how to rectify this major disaster (that I was certain would cost more than a week’s pay, which would be easy since my weekly income equals zero), I leashed Shiloh and headed out for a hike. These almost-daily jaunts double as thought and prayer time while observing God’s creatures and creation.

Within five minutes, I saw a well-dressed young man step out of a Rocky Mountain Electric van. I got a tingle.

"Gee, I could really use your help," I said to him, then explained my great moth adventure.

Jason Kelly, master electrician, handed me a card and said he’d call after his appointment. Rather than walk-jogging the three-mile trail, I ran so I wouldn’t miss him. As I was leaving the park, he rang. We met at my house, where he quickly assessed and repaired my electrical problem. Jason was my answer to prayer, something I term a miracle.

I recommend Jason (719-229-6633) and believe him to be honest, hard working, kind, and able to handle most electrical challenge.

Garage Doors, Door Openers, and Repair. Practically everything I have is old and falling apart (she said as she looked in the mirror), so when I find a trustworthy, reasonably priced company that handles repairs and replacements, I like to share these treasures with others.

Having had much experience with the folks at American Overhead Door (719-538-9900) to balance my two-ton Crawford oak door on the continually shifting old brick house, I’ve found all technicians skilled, courteous, and timely. They’ve also replaced parts in my early ’90s Sears Craftsman opener. Sure, they offered replacements but appreciated the quality of my Crawford, as well as my desire to use old parts till they’re no longer reparable.

As for plumbing, I’ve been fortunate to have my ol’ pal Norman rescue me from repair to repair.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Kidney Donor Appeal [a guest editorial]

My daughter Sandra is in need of a living kidney donor.

Twenty years ago, Sandra’s diabetes led to her need for a new kidney and pancreas. Through the generosity of a donor family, she received those organs. She worked hard to care for her new organs that have lasted several years longer than expected, however both of the transplant organs have failed.

Currently she is being kept alive by dialysis. Though a person can live several years on dialysis, the procedure requires a person to be attached to a machine for roughly four hours, three sessions per week. Because of the unpleasant side effects, such as nausea, exhaustion, and headaches, coupled with weakening of the body and reduced quality of life, dialysis is a life-sustaining measure, not a solution.

Sandra is on the list for a deceased donor kidney, but for a person like Sandra with blood type O, the wait is more than four years. There are 80,000 to 90,000 people in the United States awaiting a donor kidney. A person with type O blood can volunteer to donate a kidney directly to Sandra. A person with another blood type can donate to the Living Donor Exchange Program, which in turn would donate a kidney to her.

Once a donor steps forward, the procedure can be expedited to within two to three months. About 30 percent of living kidney donors do not know the recipient. Donors can live anywhere in the United States. Surgery for the donor is laparoscopic, and the recovery time is 2 to 3 weeks. Sandra’s insurance pays for donor tests and all other medical costs including surgery and post surgery.

Anyone interested in donating should contact the University of Washington Medical Center at 206-598-3627. The identity of the inquiring person is never revealed to Sandra or her family.

I know this is a lot to ask, but we lost her mother to diabetes and my hope is to have Sandra with us for many more years. I am asking you to talk about the Living Donor Program to many people. I am willing to talk with anyone, including groups, about this need. Please contact me at 719-635-0798. Also, I would ask that you consider becoming an organ donor by checking the donor box on your driver’s license.

 Thank you for your time and your thoughtfulness.

 Glenn Driscoll

Monday, April 2, 2012

Lent ’n’ Easter

For the past few weeks, Pastor keeps talking about Lent. As much church as I’ve attended in my half century of earthen wear, I’m still unclear as to what it really is.

Raised by an old banker dad who headed a loan department, I saw Lent as meaning “loaned yesterday,” as in, “I lent those poor borrowers my daughter each summer so I didn’t have to deal with her.” So to me, Lent is more like Passover, as in, “During my childhood, my dad opted to pass over raising me to poor borrowers each summer.” No kidding.

In the old Wisconsin days, my high school buds and I would joke that we were giving up something for Lent. “Yeah, for Lent I’m giving up smoking and liver.” I didn’t smoke, only morons eat liver, and God already knew I wasn’t about to give up the sinful things I enjoyed.

Research break: I just looked up Lent and learned that it consists of the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter and is devoted to fasting, penitence, and abstinence. I’ve fasted most Fridays for years, but if I had to fast for eight weeks I’d look like Gandhi did, all nose. Abstinence—well, if it’s from sex, my Lent began years ago. If it pertains to beer, forget it.

Easter reminds me of my daughter, Ivy. Late on the Saturday night before Easter when she had just turned four, I hopped ’round the house hiding plastic eggs filled with unhealthy stuff like beef, pork, and onions.

To top off this gourmet with creative juices, I took a piece of printer paper, drew two bunny tracks on it, and cut them out. Then I grabbed the baking soda and headed for the stairway.
Laughing to myself at how clever I was, I sprinkled baking soda through the track holes, two paw prints per step. I’ll admit, I was pretty proud of myself. Here was Miss High-tech Businesswoman stooping over stairs at 10:45 p.m., pretending to be a cute little bunny, all for the joy of her little angel.

Easter morning, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, little Ivy rose and began searching for her rotten meat ’n’ onions. (Okay, I hid candy, but that makes me sound like a bad mom.) When she tootled toward the stairway, I was psyched, anxiously awaiting her surprised reaction at seeing bunny tracks. I could almost hear her jubilantly say, “Look, Mommy! The Easter bunny hopped from downstairs!” and be all happy.

Instead, this precocious four-year-old ambled down a few steps, bent down, and closely observed the tracks. She wiped her little hand over the white powder, then rubbed her thumb against her fingers. “Baking soda,” she said. “Why would the Easter bunny walk through baking soda?”

“How do you know that’s baking soda?!” I demanded.

MOMmy,” she replied, as if to say, “Are you really that dumb?”

Sometimes. I suddenly understood penitence. I should have dropped chocolate-covered rabbit turds instead.