November 12th, 2009

speed limit

General well-being update

I've been sleeping better of late. I have more energy. I'm trimming up some. I attribute all of this to the ENT putting me on nasal steroids. Once I get this sinoidal cyst removed and my turbinates shaved down (sometime after the first of the year), I think I'll be feeling great. This is now, and promises to be even more so later, a great change. I've spent most of the last three years dragging my carcass around, barely getting over each hurdle in my path.

I finally got tired of being tired and decided this was the year I was going to get myself in shape. I need to lose weight for Philmont next year, anyway. So I got a referral to an ENT to look into sleep apnea, sinuses, yada yada yada. I've been holding off on scheduling the surgery, though, for another reason.

For at the same time I finally went to an ENT, I was also consulting with a urologist. I had a PSA test spike last summer, which prompted a visit. The next PSA was back down to normal, but the urologist recommended (at some point) a prostate biopsy. He wasn't in a hurry about it, so I waited until all the summer's craziness was in the bag, then scheduled another visit and made the appointment.

Getting a prostate biopsy doesn't exactly hurt, but it isn't exactly comfortable, either. And afterwards, you feel like you've been given a boot to the rear. Even without pain, you're weak and worn* -- after all, your body has been "insulted," to use some specialist lingo. Well, I've been waiting for my next appointment, and went today for the results of the biopsy.

The good news is, there is no evidence of cancer anywhere. If nothing else changes, the urologist doesn't need to see me for a year. Yay! On the other hand, 6 of the 12 specimens extracted showed signs of inflammation. So, I've got some sort of infection in my nether regions. He's put me on a month-long course of powerful antibiotics to try to clear it up.

All of this means that I can quit worrying about that end of my body and concentrate on getting the other end fixed. After the surgery, we'll see if I still need a sleep apnea study. But I am determined that 2010 is the year I get my body in shape and lead a crew back to the mountains. Excelsior!

*Although I felt well enough a week after the biopsy to take a 20-mile hike with some Scouts. collinsmom thought I was crazy. But then, she always thinks that; maybe I am.
cook with fire

Handicapping The Next Iron Chef

So, now it's down to three. I was sorry to see Chef Freitag go. I thought she was awesome. The remaining contestants are Chefs Mullen, Mehta, and Garces. I have a sneaking suspicion that I can pick the winner.

Chef Mullen is consistently awesome in what he cooks. He can do almost any cuisine, any style. The problem is, that while his food has amazing personality, he himself has almost none. Nothing really comes through on camera. This is a problem for a show where the personalities of the Iron Chefs are as important as the signature quirks of celebrity athletes. Last time around, I think the final twist on judging -- where the serving Iron Chefs joined the series judges -- enabled more than the food to be judged. It was a toss-up, food-wise, between John Besh and Michael Symon. But there was no contest in terms of who lights up the screen with his face and laugh and personality. I won't be surprised if Mullen makes the final Two, but I just can't see him as the next Iron Chef.

Which leaves Chefs Garces and Mehta. Both are amazing chefs. Mehta's cooking covers a wider range than Garces' does. Personality-wise, Mehta comes across as puckish and sly, a mischief-maker; Garces is the ultimate Nice Guy, and we all know where Nice Guys finish. Which leaves me to prognosticate that the next Iron Chef will be Jehangir Mehta.

You heard it here first.