Friday, June 12, 2009

2434 Pandemic

Friday, June 12, 2009

Al Capp: "[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered."


In a Mensa bulletin board, one person noted that the World Health Organization has raised the swine flu pandemic to the highest level. Another commented that it isn't more deadly than the regular seasonal flu, which results in about 30,000 deaths every year.

A third responded, "The significance of a pandemic is not whether it is deadly at first. It is if it mutates into a deadly form at a time when it is global in nature."

I don't understand that comment.

If it's global, and it mutates, it isn't going to all suddenly mutate in the same way everywhere all at once, is it? It'll mutate in one patient somewhere, and then the new strain will spread from there. The original form being global doesn't matter.

I'm amazed that it's a Mensan board, but not one person has yet smacked that third guy upside the head.

Or maybe I'm missing something.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

2433 Gonna try something new

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I collect bits that tickle my mind or my funny bone. If I didn't agree with the sentiment expressed, I at least admired the way it was expressed, and the way it made me mull the topic. (I am amused that some of the very old political comments still apply.)

I'm going to start tucking a favorite into each blog post. Here's a few to start with:

A PostSecret - The “cool kids” in high school were not the ones worth knowing.

G. M. Trevelyan: "Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading."

Life is a slowly unfolding tragedy.

DH Lawrence: "The world is supposed to be full of possibilities, but they narrow down to pretty few, in most personal experience. There's lots of good fish in the sea-maybe! But the vast masses seem to be mackerel or herring, and if you're not mackerel or herring yourself, you are inclined to find very few good fish in the sea."

The consumption of alcohol may lead you to think people are laughing WITH you.

2432 More blood

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Results from yesterday's encounter with vampires is back. A month ago my blood sugar was too high, white count was high, and "there's something wrong with the thyroid". Now my blood sugar is still too high, the white count is ok, and thyroid is ok.

They want me to come back in six weeks hence to recheck sugar, and three months hence to recheck thyroid.

And "if I want to" I should see a dietitian about a low fat low sugar low calorie diet plan.


(Does "if I want to" mean it isn't covered by insurance?)

I've been reading a bit online about diets for diabetes, and I'm not very happy. Actually, I could be very happy eating mostly vegetables and fruit, I try to do that anyway, but when you live alone, it's not easy. Almost everything I could buy that would be good is available only in large amounts, and I end up throwing out most of it before I can eat it all. That gets expensive.

I wish it was possible to buy two stalks of celery, or one stalk of broccoli, or one handful of baby spinach, or a quarter of a cantaloupe, or two carrots, or a half a loaf of bread. It looks like I might be limited to apples, oranges, onions, and the ilk, the things you can buy one at a time. Either that or buy what's available and then eat the same thing every meal until it's gone, or waste half of it.


I hate low fat mayonnaise.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

2431 Vampires

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

With The Man last night. Bed was too soft. I tossed and turned all night, and my lower back is out today.

I had to go to the doctor's office for a blood draw this morning. It was pretty bad. The first phlebotomist couldn't find a vein on the left arm, so she tried the right. She got into a vein, but couldn't get a flow. She tried again, still no flow.

She called in the second, more experienced vampire, who tried the left. It hurt, a lot. I was making squealing sounds. She couldn't get a flow either. I asked her if she quit because of the yelps, and she said no, that she couldn't get anything. So they sent me to the lab at the hospital, where the guy tried a different spot on the left arm, and got it done.

On the drive over to the hospital I was wondering why they had so much trouble. I drank a lot of water last night and this morning, so I should have been hydrated. Then I had a thought. If one had absolutely mind-blowing fantastic incredible sex an hour before the blood stick, and if one were still, um, congested, you know, is there still a large proportion of the body's blood supply in the pelvis and could that make it difficult?

I asked the hospital lab guy, in as roundabout way I could, and he cracked up. He said no, that shouldn't matter. (He doesn't realize how congested I get.) But I guess if the brain is still getting blood, there should be enough in the arm.

I have a problem where sometimes my blood vessels go into spasm when they get punctured, and they shut down. It's actually a good thing, I'm less likely to bleed to death if I get cut, but sometimes it's inconvenient. I think my left arm was shut down for most of the morning. My hand was cold and the whole arm felt weak. Now the elbow feels bruised side to side, and my forearm aches like I'd been working it too hard.

A new thought - I often wonder why I'm still seeing The Man. I do believe he loves me, and I love him. But I also don't believe this is going anywhere. I want something more accessible and more comfortable. More companionable. And yet, every time I see him, the first glimpse of his face, I fall in love all over again.

Um, that "brain getting enough blood" thing? Maybe that's my problem. One look and the blood all goes south.


Thuds from TV news readers, who should know better:

The word is oriented, not orientated.
The word is conversed, not conversated.

Hey, I've told those guys a dozen times! They're not listening!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

2430 Thud

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some fool in Senegal arrived here by through the following Google search:
"google show me all penpals current email address in the world from age of 38 to 88".

My blog was on the 75th page of search results.

That has to be the most senseless search I've ever seen.

Oh well. I suspect the searcher was up to no good, and whether he/she got what he/she wanted, I'm sure it kept him/her busy for a while.

2429 Serendipity

Tuesday, June 8, 2009

I have turned the heat off, but have not yet turned the A/C on. I have a large attic fan that goes on when the temperature in the attic gets above 80, and a few weeks ago I fully opened the drop-down hatch to the attic. It's in the bedroom wing hall, and you have to duck under it to avoid bonks, but it's only me so that's ok.

The attic fan has been going on earlier and earlier every day now, but I haven't yet needed the A/C (which, by the way, is still the old groundwater-based heat pump; I'm hoping that the new well pump will make a difference).

Last night I was in the bathroom. Jasper flopped down next to the forced air vent and asked for a belly rub. I reached down, and felt a strong flow of cold air from the vent.


I checked, and the heat and A/C are both off, so it's not either of their fans blowing cool air. The only thing I can figure is that since I have no windows open, the attic fan is pulling air from the basement up through the ducts. I had assumed it would be satisfied to pull air through the soffit and peak vents in the attic itself.

It's surprising how strong the pull is.

Hey, that works! There's so much rock lining three of the four basement walls (the fourth wall is walkout) that the basement stays cool no matter how hot it gets outside or upstairs.

This could absolutely work!

Monday, June 08, 2009

2428 Playing the field

Monday, June 8, 2009

On the boat yesterday I happened to overhear a group of women discussing dating. I think someone asked one woman if she was still seeing so-and-so, and she said no, because he wasn't too happy about her simultaneously dating several others. The opinion of the group seemed to be that yes, one should be free to date others, as many men as possible, BUT, they all agreed that one sleeps with only one of them.

I tuned out at that point. My head was spinning. I don't understand how that works.

If you're dating six men, and sleeping with only one of them, how do you hold the other five off? How long can you hold them off? Is it fair to them? Are you wasting their time? Do you tell them to stop hoping for sex? Do you urge them to date others, too? How 'bout the one you're sleeping with? Is he allowed to casual date too?

I also have the "one man at a time" rule. I don't think I would like me if I were sleeping with more than one man at a time. But I don't know how to do that and also date other guys. The only way I could date several men is if I'm sleeping with none of them, so they all have an equal stance, (which would pretty much mean I am attracted to none of them), and since I prefer very sexual men, I don't think they'd happily stick around long, no matter how much they like me.

At my age, men come in two varieties - they don't want to waste time (there's so little left), or they're incapable. The ones who don't want to waste time usually expect to score by the third or fourth date, if not before.

Back when I was meeting men through online dating sites, I was surprised at the number of men who asked about sex on the first or second meeting. Mostly in the form of "What do you think about...". My response was always, "I like sex, a lot, and I've heard I'm pretty durn good at it, but I don't sleep with anyone casually. I don't do casual, period. I need friendship, trust, and some degree of commitment first. That takes a while."

None of the men cared for that answer. It was like they wanted to check out compatibility right away, so there's no time wasted. One guy spat, "I have female friends. I don't need more. I'm sick and tired of women leading me on." He didn't get a third date.

I get that attitude a lot. Even The Man said that he'll give it three months, absolute outside limit, and if it doesn't look like it's going to happen, he'll give up, figuring that she must not much care for sex. That wasn't early in our relationship. If it was, *I* may not have stuck around that long.

(Incidentally, I heard from many men doing the online dating attempt, even several male friends, not just guys I met online, that they meet women who seem perfect, and they wine them and dine them and gift them for months, and in the end they discover that the women just want dates, they have no interest in sex at all. Ever. I don't understand that, either.)

So, just a few more things I don't understand.

2427 Sunday's river tour

Monday, June 8, 2009

I went on the singles' group Hudson River tour yesterday. As usual I was pretty antisocial, kind of stand offish. I was there for the boat, not for the mingling.

When I arrived at the Newburgh waterfront, there was some kind of festival going on. Crowds. No parking spaces. Tents and booths all over the place. I ended up parking a half-mile away.

It was something called "Flotilla Day". Some tall ships were due to arrive that evening.

We were on a paddleboat. The tour was from 3 to 5 pm. Down the river, turned around at Cold Spring, just above West Point. Lots of boats on the river. (I saw a guy on a jet ski who looked just like The Man. He doesn't like getting wet, so I'm reasonably sure it wasn't him.)

I took up a position standing at the rail near the front. Three women pulled chairs from somewhere and jammed in behind me. I was very aware of them because one woman literally rammed her chair into my behind. When the boat got moving, she loudly said to her companions, "She's gonna block my view!" I was very tempted to respond, "Perhaps you should have thought of that before you poked that chair in my rear", but I didn't.

Bannerman Island, and the east shore. The "castle" was used to store explosives way back when, and well, they exploded. So now the building is just a shell. The island is administered by the state park service, and it's very dangerous, so you have to go with a tour group. I want to find me one'a them tours.Yes, it is an island. There's more river behind the light green trees.

Above West Point, the Hudson is very wide and deep, lined with rock bluffs. In the following photo of the west shore you can just see a horizontal cut halfway up the bluff. That's route 218 (I think). Someday I'll have to drive it. Railroad tracks run along the length of the river, at the waterline.
On the boat, there was one guy who tried manfully to pick me up, even told me he noticed me right off and that I was beautiful. Imagine that. I did talk with him a bit, but I also casually mentioned "the guy I'm dating". Turns out he spends winters in Florida and summers in New York, and, uh, there IS a woman in Florida. He wants one in NY. No sh*t, fella. Anyway, after a while I guess my negative vibes finally got through. I turned my head to look down the river, and when I turned back, he was gone. No goodbye, no nuthin'. Well, that was easy. No problem.

I confess I don't know how I would have reacted if he were anywhere near meeting my minimum requirements. There were about 90 people from the (age 40+) singles group on the boat, and I didn't see any males that looked likely to meet my requirements, and they're not that high. What hair they have must be clean, no goop or gels, no comb-overs. No chunky gold chains visible through the neck of a shirt unbuttoned halfway down the chest. No brilliant Hawaiian shirts. No T-shirts with not-as-cool-as-you-think writing on them. Sober. Don't be loud. If I can hear you across the room, I'll stay across the room. Please sound intelligent. No panting at me. Above all, DO NOT TOUCH ME without permission.

Crowds at Cold Spring, too, waiting for the flotilla.
After we got off the boat I went to dinner with two of the women from the boat. I like them both, and hope to see them again at future events.

Fire boat from NYC:
Replica of Henry Hudson's "Half Moon", sailed up the river with the flotilla:
"Half Moon" on the right:
I wore a lightweight long-sleeved shirt over a shell, and slacks. I forgot my hat in the car, but there was so much wind I couldn't have worn it anyway. I was wearing a makeup base with 35+ sunscreen in it. I didn't burn much, except for the top of my nose. But I noticed today that I have scattered spots of a blotchy bumpy rash on my chest, where the sun didn't even hit. I wonder if the sun poisoning from 5 weeks ago has sensitized me.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

2426 Early childhood "training", and unfair attacks.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

There are early education packages advertised on tv. They show three year-olds (or younger) "reading at the third grade level" through the use of flash cards, or naming states on a map and their capitals, and so on.

They disturb me. They disturb me because those packages are teaching facts, things, specific skills. That's ok, but not in my opinion what should be taught at that age. It's rote, it's memorization.

What we should teach a toddler is how to learn and how to think efficiently. How to notice things, how to determine what is important to a problem and what's not, how to analyze and synthesize. Logical thinking. How to figure things out, and enjoy doing it. I think that's much more important than lists of facts.


I don't understand why so many people beat up on Rosie O'Donnell. Ok, she had some political views many people didn't like, and ok, she was strident about them, and ok, she changed the feel of The View during her tenure. So if you want to say you don't agree with her, and you're tired of hearing her, and she's not a good talk show host, well, ok that's fair.

But I guess that's not enough for a lot of people. They have to also attack her morals, her weight, her appearance, her lifestyle, her very being. They have to completely destroy her. She has good parts, like her philanthropy, but except for Sunday Morning's profile this morning, nobody gives her credit for the good, and that's not fair.

It's not just Rosie. I see it often on a smaller local scale, and I have never understood it.