Category: Misc.

On the Road? Buc-ee’s For All Your Travel Needs!

If you’re driving and you need gas, a clean restroom, food or drink, then you cannot do better than Buc-ee’s. My guess is that if you have a Buc-ee’s anywhere near you, you know about them.  But in case you don’t…

A Buc-ee’s is what you would get if you took a huge convenience store, added a bakery, a kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner items, a gas station with dozens of pumps, restrooms with dozens of individual stalls plus a worker who is dedicated to keeping each of them clean, multiple fountains for soft drinks of many flavors, sections for snacks of every kind, a wall of jerky of all types, plus books and other items you’d find in an ole country store.

Buc-ee’s are currently located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.  New locations are coming to Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.  We have two in Florida.  When the closest one was being built, I didn’t understand the excitement.  “It’s a gas station for crying out loud,” I thought.

Once it was built, I visited and understood the appeal.  It’s a one-stop shop for all your traveling needs.  You get cheap gas with virtually no waiting because of many pumps.  There are all kinds of snacks available.  If you need breakfast, lunch or dinner, they have you covered.  The brisket sandwiches are most popular, but I’m partial to the turkey sandwiches.  If you’re a Coke or Pepsi fan, both are available as fountain drinks.  I usually choose an Arnold Palmer (lemonade & iced tea mix) that is also on the fountain.  Oh, and a fresh cinnamon roll from the bakery is a bonus!

It’s funny seeing a person on their first visit to a Buc-ee’s.  You can spot them a mile away.  They have the look of a kid visiting a theme park for the first time.  If you’re traveling and a Buc-ee’s is on your way, plan a stop.  You won’t be disappointed.

2nd COVID-19 Shot; Day Two Side Effects

Yesterday I posted that my wife and I received our second COVID-19 vaccination.  Like with the first shot we both experienced some pain in the arm that received the injection.  In the afternoon I felt sleepy, but my wife didn’t experience that issue.  We knew that with the second shot many people experienced tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea.  We hoped to avoid those reactions.

Unfortunately, as the night wore on we began to experience them.  We both developed chills, joint aches and hot flashes.  I also had muscle pain (lower back) and nausea.  Neither of us slept well, waking up throughout the night several times.  We took Tylenol and drank water.  It felt like the flu.  It’s a little after 1;00pm and we’re starting to feel better.  I imagine by tomorrow we’ll be back to our normal selves.

Given that in two weeks we should be assured of not dying or being hospitalized if we contact COVID-19, the side effects were a small price to pay and if we have to get booster shots ever year, I’m fine with that.  It sure beats the alternative.

Today We Received Our 2nd Covid-19 Vaccination!

This morning my wife and I received our second COVID vaccinations.  We arrived at 7:15 for our 8am appointments, which were the first of the day.  For our first shots we arrived at the same time and were the very first car in line.  Today we were probably the 50th car in line.  Like last time it was set-up so that you were directed to a parking spot and then allowed to enter the building.  They had folks monitoring the line so that people went in according to their appointment time.  They even opened things up about 15 minutes early.

We entered the building and it was laid out so that everyone stayed spaced apart.  For my first vaccination I felt some heat when getting the shot and my wife didn’t feel a thing.  For the second shot, neither of us felt anything.  After getting the vaccination we moved to an adjoining room for a 15 minute waiting period to make sure we suffered no ill after-effects.  Neither of us had any reactions so we left and again, the layout made it a breeze.

On day two of the first shot we both had a little arm pain tomorrow, but nothing that Tylenol couldn’t handle.  I felt sleepy this afternoon and took a nap.  Can I blame it on the shot?  My wife has felt no ill effects.  In two weeks our immune systems will have the full effect of both vaccinations and we will be able to start visiting friends and family again. I can’t wait.

Update: Craig’s Medical Emergency

I went to my doctor/surgeon for a follow-up this morning.  Originally, I was scheduled to go in tomorrow, but one of my incisions started to look infected so, he brought me in a day early.  My vitals (blood pressure, temperature, oxygen levels) were all great.

So was the incision.  There were no signs of infection.  The doctor said that what we thought was infection was just a material expected to be found in surgical recovery wounds.  He removed the drainage tube from my side.  I felt like I was in a magic act when he took it out – he kept pulling and pulling until a tube about 1 1/2 – 2 feet long was removed from my side!

My doctor said that he has shared my charts, scans, etc. with a few other doctors and they agreed that it was lucky that I had not been sent home with meds.  One of the doctors with 30 years experience said he would have definitely sent me home based on the evidence they were seeing.  That could have proven fatal!  Hopefully, this will help others in a similar circumstance in the future.

The doctor said I am recovering at a great pace.  I won’t have to see him again unless something develops.  Fingers crossed that won’t happen.  So this should be my last medical update.  Thanks again for all the prayers and kind thoughts.  I hope to be back to full interaction on the site and message boards soon.



Craig’s Medical Emergency

I was admitted to the emergency room on Sunday, September 20th at 7pm after suffering from excruciating stomach pain for five hours.  It didn’t take long before I was given a room and they began to poke, prod, administer blood tests and scans to determine the cause of my pain. 

This went on until Tuesday morning.  Results showed my white blood cell count was high, but scans were inconclusive as to the exact problem.  It could be my gall bladder, an ulcer, diverticulosis, or something else.  The meds they gave me to control pain helped for about three hours, but another dose couldn’t come for five hours.  I hadn’t ate (ok, since I had no appetite) or drank (I would have loved some water) since Sunday afternoon.  The reason for no food or water was in case I needed to be rushed to surgery.

I met with my doctor who said that they couldn’t determine the exact cause of the issue but were leaning towards the gallbladder.  There were two courses of action to consider:  1) Continue to bring down the infection and control the pain through medication.  When appropriate I would be released to go home to continue with the meds.  I would follow-up regularly with his office and then when things were clear we would move forward to remove the gallbladder.   2)  Go in now and remove the gallbladder.

He was leaning towards the first option but wanted to consult with a colleague with more experience. 

When my doctor returned from his consultation his opinion had changed.  Due to the intense pain, white blood count, etc., it was probably best to go ahead and remove the gallbladder.  I was all for it.  The doctor said that since the scans didn’t show any trouble spots things should go smoothly.  If they did, the surgery would be done arthroscopy and take about one and a half hours.

A little over three hours later I came out of surgery.  When the doctor got in he discovered that my gallbladder had basically exploded,  That was why nothing was showing up on the scans!  Gangrene had set in.  That is why the surgery took so long.  He said he had done over 500 gallbladder operations and mine was in the top three worst.

I seemed to be on a fairly quick road to recovery once out of surgery.  My white blood cell count returned to normal and the pain was what you’d expect from surgery.

I’m home now and feeling better day by day.  I’ve got a drainage tube in my side and there is still discomfort from movement.  I can’t sleep in my bed and it’s hard to get comfortable but those are minor complaints compared to where I was.  I return to the doctor for a check-up on Thursday and I’ll keep you posted.   

Thank each of you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.  

John Beatty Cataract Surgeries GoFundMe

I’m going to shift gears this morning.  This post isn’t about a movie, comic, tv show, or novel.  My buddy, John Beatty, is running a GoFundMe to raise enough money to get much-needed cataract surgeries.

John makes his living as an artist.  He has worked on all the major characters and some of the most groundbreaking and loved comics of all time – Secret Wars, Captain America, Batman, the first Punisher mini-series, the Nam and so many more.

Some of you may know John since he helped me with the early development of the StalloneZone and when he had more free time was a regular on our message boards.  I know some of our older members will remember the fun posts John provided.

If you’re in the position where you can donate, please consider doing so.  Every dollar counts and will be appreciated.  Here is the link if you can help out. Thank you for any consideration you can give.

What If You Fell Out of a Plane Without a Parachute?

In 2007, Travis Pastrana jumped out of a plane with no parachute as part of a stunt promoting Red Bull.  In short order, Pastrana’s friends caught up to him and he finished the plummet to earth strapped to his friend in a tandem chute.  Still, how crazy is that?


Could you survive if you fell out of an airplane without a chute and no assistance?

Marshall Brain at How Things Work say you have a chance in Brain’s article What If You Fell Out of a Plane Without a Parachute?