Friday, December 28, 2007

1617 Oil Again...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Busy day yesterday. 2.5 hour lunch with one friend, and a 3.5 hour dinner with a different friend. For dinner we chose a diner where we could sit without being rushed out after the meal, and we went through his vacation photo CD, and then some photos from a photography class he's taking. And that was pretty much yesterday.

I mentioned to Roman on the phone Wednesday that I'd run out of oil, and had got an emergency delivery, and he said the same thing had happened to him, he'd run out, too, earlier than expected.

Now, Roman has this thing that drives me crazy. He argues. And he gets very superior and condescending about it. When I said that I was completely out, and got 253.1 gallons for my 250 gallon tank, he said that's impossible, that the tanks come in 200 and 275 sizes. I insisted that my tank was 250, and he decided I was wrong. It couldn't be. Either I have a 275 gallon tank and wasn't completely out, or I have a 200 gallon tank and got ripped off by 53 gallons.

Then we were talking about the price, and I said I was getting a discount for prepayment, and he said he pays current price. I asked how much, so he went and got his bill, and oddly enough, he'd got exactly 253.1 gallons, too! (Different oil companies.)

Smackdown time!

He he! Snork!

Gee, Roman, either you weren't completely out, or....

Even better, he paid a dollar more per gallon than I.

I was rolling on the floor hugging myself.

1616 CPR Study

Friday, December 28, 2007

In CPR classes they teach you to alternate chest compression with ventilation. A new study says that compression alone will suffice. The article (at seems to imply at first that it's because bystanders are reluctant to do mouth-to-mouth, so compression alone is better than nothing. But the actual study compared ventilation plus compression to compression alone, and found no significant difference:

Earlier this year, the then-largest study comparing survival rates of cardiac arrest victims in the light of the kind of rescue efforts performed by bystanders concluded that chances of leaving the hospital alive were actually higher for patients who received Continuous-Chest-Compression CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation by bystanders with chest compression only (SOS-KANTO): an observational study; Lancet 2007:369:920-926).

Dr. Ewy says, “It is interesting that Continuous-Chest-Compression CPR, a technique that has not been advocated or taught and is most often performed by individuals not trained in CPR, results in similar survival as the guidelines-advocated approach, on which millions of hours and millions of dollars have been spent teaching and advocating.”

He adds that mouth-to-mouth ventilation is disadvantageous in cases of sudden cardiac arrest for three primary reasons. “A person whose heart suddenly stops, for example because of a heart attack, was breathing normally only seconds earlier so there is plenty of oxygen in the blood. The important thing is to move the blood around, and this is only possible by uninterrupted chest compressions. During CPR, blood flow to the brain and the heart is so marginal that stopping for anything, including ventilation, is harmful to the brain. In addition, research has shown that forced ventilation, including mouth-to-mouth breathing, increases the pressure in the patient’s chest, which in turn inhibits blood flow back to the heart.”

(Actually, survival rates are dismal in any case. But you have to try, I guess.)

So, CPR might become easier to learn. You still have to learn, because most people (even those who have taken the class) don't press in the right place. And you have to compress pretty quickly - more than once per second. And if you break a rib or two, you aren't compressing too hard - in fact, that's probably about right.

I will be happy to do away with ventilation. Not because I object to mouth-to-mouth, that really doesn't bother me (I carry a mask), but because when you're doing it alone, it takes time to get the head and neck in the proper position. I've seen even trained EMTs blow up the stomach instead of the lungs. (Besides not helping, it can lead to vomiting, which is a danger in itself, besides screwing up the rhythm. Bleck.)

I wonder if a change in recommendation will happen? And how soon?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

1615 Speculation on Oil

For those who keep track of such things - I usually use 800 gallons of fuel oil per year. Last year was a mild winter, and I used only 500, a portion of which was even left over from the winter before.

I don't know why this winter is so "oily". It might be that we've had a lot more wind, and I'm high enough to be affected by it. It could also be that my new roof isn't insulating as well as the old one, although the snow cover stayed on the roof longer this year than ever before. It could be that the new larger ventilating fan in the attic is alowing the attic to get colder.

In short - as usual, I Don't Understand.


Several years ago, a local realtor was trying to sell the land to the north of us. That lot had no access to our street, and their drive would have to go down to the main road, and the ridge was very steep on that side. The realtor visited us (Jay was alive then) and asked if it would be possible for new owners to cut a drive through the woods across the crest of the ridge to our driveway, for emergency access just during the snow months. Otherwise, she doubted she'd ever be able to sell it. We said yes, no problem, but then we never heard anything else about it.

The land sold about two years ago I think, and there's a huge house there now that I can almost glimpse when the leaves are off the trees.

My regular oil delivery man told me that the folks who bought and built apparently weren't familiar with ice and snow. Their driveway is very long and steep, with two "U"s in it, and turn-around or not, the fuel delivery trucks flat out can't chance it in the winter. So the owners had to put in several very large fuel tanks which they fill in the fall.

I hope they're better at estimating usage than I am.

1614 Thank You, Plow Man

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I was up late last night, so I slept late this morning. Usually the cats let me sleep, but this morning Jasper was bouncing all over my legs by 10:30, and Miss Thunderfoot was complaining loudly. Very unusual for her. I was having a nice dream, and held out until 11, but finally gave up and got up.

Their complaint was that it was 60 degrees (F) in the house.

I have a programmed thermostat, so the temperature does drop during the night, but never lower than 63, and it should be above 70 by 9 am. Something was wrong, and the cats didn't like it. Not one bit.

Neither did I.

The furnace fan was blowing, but it was blowing cold air. The outside temperature was 32. Freezing. We had power. I went to the basement, and the furnace was "running", but it was cold. The fuel tank gauge said "empty". I knocked on it with a knuckle, and it was hollow all the way down. I have a 250 gallon tank. I got a delivery only two months ago. Ouch!

Remember my chief concern about getting the top of my drive cleared? So the fuel oil truck could get up and turned around?

I called the oil company and told them I was out and needed an emergency delivery, then moved the Aerio to the street to make sure the truck could turn around. Within the hour, I heard the "beep beep" of a truck backing up the drive.

Backing up?

It was a new guy, and he didn't know that Ms. Silk always makes sure he can turn around (although the dispatcher knew, and had made sure to send a small truck). I met him at the top of the driveway, and scolded him, "Sheesh! I did all this work (waving at the cleared top) to make sure you'd be able to turn around, and you BACK up the drive? But I've gotta admire your courage!"

I guess it was a scary trip. This complete stranger walked up to me and hugged me, with a relieved laugh.

It took 253.1 gallons, at $2.449/gal. $619.84 total. It would have cost a lot more, but I had prepaid in September, with a discount on the September price. I've got one more delivery's worth of credit, then I'll have to pay the real price.

Let's hope it's a short winter.

Monday, December 24, 2007

1613 Keen

Monday, December 24, 2007

This started out as a response to Chis's comment on entry #1611, where he asks if the strange noises could have anything to do with a fault zone. I decided to make my response to his query an entry itself:

Not a fault zone, exactly. But the house is perched on a rock ridge, about 2 miles from the Hudson river. Between here and the river is another ridge. Railroad tracks run along the banks of the river, and sometimes, not all the time but sometimes, I can feel the vibration of the trains. Something to do with the rock shelves, I suppose.

Sound carries very far, too. There was a police bagpipe band that practiced IN a firehouse a good ten miles away as the crow flies, across the river, beyond two ridges, and on summer Sunday afternoons I could hear them clearly inside my closed house. The back wall of the house is about half glass, and it collects and amplifies sound. Outside, no one could hear the sound. Inside, I had a concert.

The keening I heard last night could have been coming from 10 miles or 10 feet away. It sounded like a half-asleep hawk, or a fawn in difficulty. (Or a rabbit dying, but I prefer to discount that one.) It continued off and on for three hours. It's too early for fawns, so I don't know.

The last time I heard a similar sound I was convinced it was a fawn in trouble. There's a doe who parks her new twin fawns in the woods just outside my bathroom window, and I thought perhaps one had gotten trapped somehow. When I investigated, I discovered the red-tailed hawks who nest out back were teaching their fledgelings how to fly and dive and soar, and the sounds were calls, encouragement, and exuberance.

It just SOUNDED like a distress call.

1612 Kitty Update

Monday, December 24, 2007

I've had many cats in my life. Most of them went through a youthful phase where they wanted to climb everything, explore everywhere. Every one of them was delicate about it. They all could walk across a crowded knick-knack shelf and never knock anything off. They carefully tested the footing before venturing onto a heap of anything.

Jasper is a total klutz.

A few months ago, I tracked his progress through the house by the "Eeeep, Eeeep?" (he's a talker). Now I know where he is by the crashes and thuds.

He's my first (young) male cat. Is that the difference?

1611 From Afar, Very Afar

Monday, December 24, 2007

Today I received a Christmas email from ... man, I'm not even sure who. Jay's mother had like 3rd-degree relatives in Sweden, and next summer some of them are coming to visit relatives in Mass., and Niagra Falls, with a short stay in the Rochester NY area. The woman sent the email to Jay's father, and Jay's sisters and I (although they probably thought Jay would be receiving the email - I'm still using his id) were copied. She hopes to see "us" while here.

My head is spinning.

How did she get the email addresses? Obviously she's in touch with someone....

In my family, my sister and I don't know where our youngest brother is. I have no idea where any of my 1st degree cousins are. Occasionally I find one, usually at a funeral of an aunt or uncle, but then I lose them again, and the aunt and uncle supply is dropping rapidly. But Jay's family hovers around each other constantly, out to the 3rd and 4th degree, and new members are cropping up all the time.

My entire family is dysfunctional. But although Jay's family looks so perfect from the outside, I know they're dysfunctional, too, just more subtly. His family has a very strict set of social standards that my family never subscribed to. Perhaps some might call it breeding.

Different dynamics.


I'm getting strange noises in and outside the house again. Last night there was a weird keening in the woods. I've never heard it before.

Just a few minutes ago there was a thud somewhere in or close outside the house, exactly the sound of a heavy box being dropped on the floor. I hadn't heard anyone come up the drive, but I checked the porch anyway to see if there was a package. Nothing.

Sometimes birds fly into the glass walls on the back, or into the siding, but it didn't sound like that - unless it was a turkey falling out of the air onto the deck.

Mystery. I don't like it.


I've figured out why Jasper insisted his name was Jasper. He was trying to say Exjasperate.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

1610 Silent Night

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Simon and Garfunkel's Silent Night - 7 o'clock News - 1966. Set to various covers of TIME magazine. From: rsensorat3 .


Silent night
Holy night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace.
- - - - - - - - - - -
This is the early evening edition of the news.

The recent fight in the House of Representatives was over the open housing section of the Civil Rights Bill. It brought traditional enemies together but it left the defenders of the
measure without the votes of their strongest supporters. President Johnson originally proposed an outright ban covering discrimination by everyone for every type of housing but it had no chance from the start and everyone in Congress knew it. A compromise was painfully worked out in the House Judiciary Committee.

In Los Angeles today comedian Lenny Bruce died of what was believed to be an overdose of narcotics. Bruce was 42 years old.

Dr. Martin Luther King says he does not intend to cancel plans for an open housing march Sunday into the Chicago suburb of Cicero. Cook County Sheriff Richard Ogleby asked King to call off the march and the police in Cicero said they would ask the National Guard to be called out if it is held. King, now in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to return to Chicago Tuesday.

In Chicago Richard Speck, accused murderer of nine student nurses, was brought before a grand jury today for indictment. The nurses were found stabbed and strangled in their Chicago apartment.

In Washington the atmosphere was tense today as a special subcommittee of the House Committee on Un-American activities continued its probe into anti-Viet nam war protests.
Demonstrators were forcibly evicted from the hearings when they began chanting anti-war slogans.

Former Vice-President Richard Nixon says that unless there is a substantial increase in the present war effort in Viet Nam, the U.S. should look forward to five more years of war.
In a speech before the Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in New York, Nixon also said opposition to the war in this country is the greatest single weapon working against the U.S.

That's the 7 o'clock edition of the news.

Time passes. Only the details change.

Silent Night - Iraq. From: ChristellaKury .