Archive for June, 2008

Enhancement by Hog

June 25, 2008

Don Pier \"I am not a snake\"


Pier’s travel plans

June 24, 2008

Amy and Chapin...Don in the middle.                                                             

 Hello all,

I am heading out July 1 for a road trip. I rented out my place for the month of July.

So, who wants me to visit?

I know all of you do.

The gas prices are making me travel in the NW, into British Columbia…

I had thought of driving down the coast to SF, and all, but the more I calculate gas, the more I know I will probably need to stick around here.

If I fly to Phoenix see my parents, I may rent a car and visit New Mexico. Would be fun.

I would really like to attend the reunion. Money is always an issue. Social Security in December!!! GEEZ
Are we that old?

I will try to figure out a way. Maybe be the mystery guest!
I am not a snake!



Agent M Gleason

June 22, 2008

Yunz Balteze,

Attached find the last known photo of Agent M Gleason before he went black with you know who!

Actually, Mike, it was on the mantle at BALTA2004 (and several others) indicating that you’ve always been in our thoughts. Good to hear from you.

PS: Likely most of us are HIGH (AlertStatuswise).



Note from Hannan

June 21, 2008

Hi Dee-

I got a note from John the other day – a short note with an attached image file. The image file is a SPECTACULAR profile portrait of our friend John done by his daughter Meg. Meg is (or was?) an art student at NMSU and musician and is John and Carolyn’s younger daughter. I think the portrait is nothing short of spectacular and I wanted to pass it on to you and all our BALTA Friends.

Gleason contacted John last week and later called me – we spoke for about an hour. First sighting in 39 years.

The knee progresses slowly because of worsening sciatica but I shall prevail.

John Michael


Latest from Hanna about his knee surgery

June 7, 2008

Hi Dee and BALTA Friends-

Until today – 2 weeks and a day post surgery- I have not been able to spend more than a couple of minutes at the computer. My knee wouldn’t bend enough to get under the desk but now there is progress and I have 110 degrees range of motion. I might be better today if my long standing problems with sciatica hadn’t resurfaced soon after I got home from the hospital. Thankfully the back is not as bad as it has been on several occasions over the last few years and I hope it will get no worse.

Maybe I should go back to the beginning. I have been considering total knee replacement for several years – probably since about the time I had my first sciatica “attack” in the summer of ’02. I always associated the back problems with my limpy gait caused by my bad right knee. That knee was injured during the 80s while I was doing the 45,000 screen prints for La Quinta. That probably accounted for a couple hundred thousand hyper-extensions of my right leg going under the printing table and leaning out to pull each color of the images.

I was Old to have a total knee replacement in 2004 but the waiting list at the VA was about 2 years and my knee was OK much of the time so I opted out at that time. In 2006 and 2007 we cancelled several national sales tours in the Grand Banana because of the knee and back problems which virtually laid me up for several months in each of those years. It had become obvious that I had to do something so I returned to the VA and they approved a series of cortisone shots and finally surgery in Sept of 2007. I was shocked when they sent me a referral to have the surgery done with the doctor of my choice in the location of my choice – instead of having to go to Nashville to have the new knee done I could have it done in Knoxville or Chattanooga. Still pulling the trigger on the decision took me until late February. Since I had long planned to go to my nieces wedding at the Naval Academy in early May, the Doctor decided that we’d do the surgery after that – hence the May 22 date.

I can tell you that after reading volumes of literature on hundreds of websites, I was confused as hell and finally decided that I’d just have to turn it over to the hands and skill of the surgeon and hope that as his sole credential he had not just stayed in a Holiday Inn Express.

Now after 2 weeks of re-hab, I can notice some improvement and Elizabeth says a bunch of improvement. I go to the Doctor Monday to have the 20 staples and 50-70 stitches removed and have the knee x-rayed. I’ve had a bit of a setback with a slip from my good leg to my bad and bending it quickly to a place it didn’t want to be and fairly severe back and hip pain from my sciatica. Nothing is simple…and this certainly has not been. I’m still at the stage where I question my decision.

Hope you are all well and that your daily trials are limited.

Love and best wishes-

John Michael