ENTRY 0014, July 12, 2004

It has been really eventful since my last entry.  What has happened?

1. We went to Europe again.

2. The Europe Cup Football finals matches were held.

3. Iraq got autonomy from the United States.

4. John Kerry Named John Edwards as his running mate.

5. I got a vasectomy


We took our friend Kathy to Europe.  This was trip #10 for us, #1 for her.  See enjoyed it.  We did many old things again, and a few new ones. 

Some observations:

DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, GO SEE THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE.  Go see it at Windsor or The Tower of London.  At the smaller places, it is quick, to the point and looks good.  The one at Buckingham Palace is huge, drawn out, looks no more impressive than the smaller changes, and worst of all, LOADED WITH TOURISTS!!!  I have nothing against tourists, in general, but tourists can be idiots. 

Case in point.  We got a spot right at the fence for the changing.  I had my camera out, set on movie mode so I could take footage of the changing.  Next to us was a tourist.  And her friend.  Once the changing began, they began talking.  Loudly.  Nonstop.  While I was filming.  Finally one ducks out.  Good.  No, Bad. She comes back with a small child.  Apparently her husband is at the back of the crowd with the kid.  So now we have the loud woman, her loud friend, and a loud child.  All the time I have the movie running.  All the time, very little is happening in the changing.  One group of men is lined up and some guy is marching back and forth with a flag.  Over and over.  There is a drumbeat.  Eventually the guy with the flag stops and another group of soldiers marches up. 

Then begins the battle of the bands.  Each group of soldiers has a band, and each takes turns playing songs.  About this time the loud woman next to me with the child decides she can't see well enough, and tries to climb up the fence.  She bumps me so hard that I drop the camera.  Luckily, I had the strap around my wrist, so it does not crash to the ground.  I say "Jesus" out of shock, and she looks at me like it is my fault.  She stops trying to climb the fence, and holds her child up instead.  Eventually she puts the kid down, goes to the back and brings back... ANOTHER KID!!!!  Now we have two women talking loudly, two kids talking, shoving, pushing and fighting, and not much going on in the change, other than the bands playing and a few people marching hither and thither. 

After a few more minutes, it became obvious that the changing of the guard was not worth the effort, and we bailed, giving more space for the loud woman and her family...  I deleted the footage, seeing as how it was nothing more than soldiers standing around, accompanied by foreign-language commentary and high-pitched laughter.

So instead, we went to Saint James' park, which connects Buckingham Palace to Whitehall.  It is a beautiful park, filled with many, many birds.

Saint James park

View of Whitehall from st. james park

a goose in st james park

Other than this, we also went to the London Aquarium, which was a bit of a let-down after the aquaria we have here in California.

We went to see Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban  at the Odeon Theatre in Leicester Square.  It had its grand premiere at this theatre.  It was a good show, but was a bit expensive.  This theatre has assigned seats, just like a theatre that has plays.  And the ticket prices vary with seat quality.  We had good seats, and our tickets were £12, which works out to about $23 per person.  Dang, I thought our cineplexes were expensive.   Of course, gasoline runs about $5.50 per gallon in England.

Other than this, it was a lot of repeat things, for the benefit of Kathy.

Next time we are going by ourselves.  We have not done this since trip #6, and we are looking forward to renting a flat and living the London life for a week or so. 


I go myself a vasectomy. The doc needed a clean operating field, so the hair had to go. Here is what happens in the vasectomization process:

1. You get up in the morning, shower as usual, then shave your balls. If you are like me, this is unfamiliar territory, so you must be careful. I still managed to nick myself once. That bleeds like a sonofabitch!

2. Go to doctor's office. The nurse escorts you into an examination room where you get you weight, blood pressure and temp taken.

3. The nurse disappears for a while then comes back with a big glass of water and a valium. (YAY!!!!!!)  She instructs you to chew the valium, then drink all the water.

4. You wait some more. Then the nurse comes back and leads you to the procedure room.

5. She gives you a hospital gown and instructs you to take off all your clothes, except for socks. Once you are wearing that gown with no back, she tells you to lay on the table. Once you are lying down, she raises it up way off the floor. Then she puts a blanket on you and disappears again.

6. The doctor and nurse come in. The doc exchanges some pleasantries, then removes the blanket and pulls up your gown, exposing you to the mocking eye of your nurse. (that room was cold. No, really!)

7. The doc takes a long strip of surgical tape and tapes your johnson against your belly, to keep it out of the way. Then he and the nurse douse you with what seems to be gallons of betadine solution. This is also cold.

8. The doctor arranges a little paper dealie, with a whole in the middle, around your nuts. He comments on how well you shaved, pretending not to notice the self-inflicted wound from your attempt to de-hair yourself  earlier.

9. The doctor grabs a syringe with a needle attached and then begins to pump your scrotum full of pain killer. He does this the way a dentist does it. Poke the needle in, squirt a bit of anaesthetic, move the needle a bit more, repeat. eventually your balls are so numb that he could play golf with them and you would not really notice.

10. At this point the doctor grabs a scalpel. It takes you a moment to realize that all of this was entered into voluntarily by you, and now a person is sitting with a razor-sharp cutting instrument mere inches away from all you hold dear. Then he takes the knife and makes an 1cm incision in your scrotum.

11. using a hook-shaped device, the reaches in, fishes around for a second and comes out with a tissue-covered tube, the vas deferans (Remember, kids, there's a vas deferans between males and females).

12. After carefully removing the covering tissues, the doctor exposes the vas. He ties off a section at both ends. He then cuts it with an ultrasharp pair of scissors. He removes a section about 4cm long.

13. The whole time all of this is happening, you really can't see anything, as you are lying down flat. If you raise up, you might be able to see something, but this might annoy the doctor. Then the doctor reaches for a small tool, the portable cautery. He applies this to the cut ends of the vas. Even if you can't see what he is doing, you can see the smoke rising from your groin. The smell is like that little chunk of meat that gets stuck to the barbeque while doing chicken...

14. The doctor is now finished with the first vas. Using the little hook-thing he fishes out the second vas and repeats the procedure. More tying, more smoke. Then he's done.

15. The Nurse swabs all the betadine off your body, applies some neosporin to your incision and helps you into a tight-fitting supportive garment, better known as a jockstrap. They give you instructions, gauze and a hearty handshake.

16. For the next three days you are instructed to stay reclined and to keep a bag of ice attached to your balls at all times. People who ignore these instructions can end up with a purple scrotum which seems to be holding two of the world's most sensitive oranges.

17. After this, you are required to ejaculate an average of once per day for the next month. (Dang, A doctor's order to screw my wife and masturbate furiously!)

18. after the month you will msturbate for the doctor, and bring the resulting secretions to him for examination. If the doctor discovers no sperm, you are now oficially clear to screw to your heart's content, with no fear of getting anyone pregnant!

Anyway, what's new?

-Bush is still a lying moron.

-We still have two working rovers on Mars.  That is still Too Cool For Words.

-Since John Kerry has named John Edwards as his running mate, the following joke has begon to circulate.  Why did Kerry choose Edwards?  Because it's gonna take TWO JOHNS to flush the shit out of the White House.

-Today is Bill Cosby's Birthday.  I only remember it because of the story he tells about Junior Barnes and the Slushball.

Well, I gotta run.

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