Counter Thingy that Counts Crap

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I quit! (again)

I'm officially on day 4 of being smoke-free.

Think I've pulled through all my normal triggers successfully:

Driving (boredom/ritual)
Drinking (not while driving)
Work crap (hour+ conference call with dimwits yesterday)
Ex crap (talked to her for the first time in 3 weeks yesterday, pulled a bunch of crap (pics, etc) off the computer for her last night... while drinking.)
Mad Men (40 people lighting up in every scene just makes me want one)

Doin it cold turkey, smoked about 6-7 in a row Friday on the drive back from IL to polish off a pack and ruin the taste for me. Mission accomplished. Got news while I was home that my grandfather, who I'm not exactly fond of, but regardless, was diagnosed with emphysema and a secondary terminal lung issue, he'll be the 2nd smoker in the family to go from emph.

Also, I decided my life has stabilized enough I don't need the emotional crutch anymore, I'm more worried about the 2nd one than the 1st right now. But, we'll see. Ex is coming over tomorrow, that will probably be the true litmus test.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

In light of everything, dug this up about a really awesome guy.

PAXTON -- Dr. Robert Basler walked up to his front door, collected his mail and let in a visitor.
He threw the mail on the table. No worries about receiving any more "famous" letters -- not at 86.
Basler's first famous letter came at age 22 from Adolph Hitler, inducting him into the German army.
About a decade later -- after immigrating with his family to the United States -- Dwight D. Eisenhower extended an order for Basler to serve the stars and stripes.
There aren't many who can claim such a dual role.
Today, Basler remains active in medicine and looks back on a life that has seen the horrors of war in Europe and the most prosperous period in the world's richest country, the United States.
A native of Austria, Basler began his medical education in Prague, Czechoslovakia, but after one year took a planned trip overseas to visit relatives in Michigan in 1938. "I fell in love with this country and everything it stood for," Basler said. "I said, 'That's where I'm going to live,' but I only had a visitor's visa."
As he was returning home to medical school, "the ship newspaper announced the Czech-German border had been closed and war was eminent," Basler remembers. Unable to return to Prague, Basler went with his mother to Vienna and enrolled at Vienna University to further his medical education.
After basic training, Basler was relegated to the medical corps. "I was put in charge of a refill battalion (that sent replacements to the front lines)," Basler said.

To the Russian front

The draftee soon was packed into a cattle car and sent to the Russian front, a trip that took about a week. Basler said. "On our arrival in Orel the temperature was minus-32." Basler doesn't have to watch The History Channel. He lived it.
"The troops on both sides as well as the people endured the hardship of the hardest Russian winter in years," ended up at Orel, about 75 miles south of Moscow.Basler
The mercury would plummet to as low as minus-58 during his stay.
"German soldiers were utterly unprepared for the hardship of the Russian winter," Basler said. "They had no lined overcoats, knitted gloves instead of mittens, inadequate hats and shoes. Comparatively speaking, the Russians were well-prepared."

Medical studies

After three months in the Soviet Union, Basler was ordered back to Vienna to continue his medical education, but he had to return in the summer of 1943.
"Next to the railroads, all the forests were deforested for 200 yards to make it less possible to blow up the trains," Basler said. "I experienced one of the blowups myself."
The Germans were retreating near Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. Basler again returned to Vienna; air raids threw everyday life into a panic.
Peace came April 11, 1945, when the Soviets took control of Vienna.
Basler worked in a Viennese military hospital. The Soviets made him an interpreter because he spoke Czech, which is close to the other Slavic languages. Afterward he became an interpreter for the U.S. Administration of the Inter-Allied Command.

A long voyage

After receiving his doctorate in 1948, he worked as a physician in a U.S. field hospital in Vienna. He and his wife and two children immigrated to the United States on Feb. 1, 1950, and he found a job in a Michigan hospital.
Six months later, Basler secured an internship in Chicago, passed his state boards and settled in Gifford, where he set up his medical practice.
He received his U.S. draft notice in 1954 and was assigned to the Air Force, where he was commissioned a captain. Basler served in the Strategic Air Command and was stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base.
"In those days I had to participate in base command briefings, which had a lot of confidential secret papers," Basler said. "At one of the meetings I mentioned it was kind of strange to be reviewing these papers when I am not a (U.S.) citizen." The statement left everyone present stunned. Within three days he was in St. Louis and was sworn in as a citizen.

His Air Force duty interrupted his Gifford practice for two years. He returned to the Champaign County community, where he resumed his medical practice. In 1960, he also opened an office in Rantoul.
Basler and his family moved to Champaign in 1964, where he has maintained a practice ever since. He continues to maintain an office in Urbana on a part-time basis and is medical director of Asta Health Care Center, Paxton.
Basler has four children from his first marriage. He and his second wife, Renate, also from Austria, have one son, Chris.
His outside interests have changed -- he once liked to fish, bike, play tennis and ski -- but now is interested in stamps, chess, reading, history and languages.
He also is working on an autobiography.

Monday, October 12, 2009

wait, baby wait

212.4 this morning.

What this means is my weekend diet of turkey, gravy, and Taco Bell is working wonders. Maybe I should move up to that full-time.