Friday, September 18, 2009

2591 Strange message

Friday, September 18, 2009

Charles Manning, letter in the Mensa Bulletin:
“Religious freedom means not only freedom to practice your religion,
but also freedom from being forced to practice someone else's.”


I went to a news site, and this message popped up in a little window of its own:
"Window videoAdPlayer is already registered in the DOM! Make sure you use setDestroyOnClose() or destroyOnClose: true in the constructor "
Now just what the hell does that mean? I hope it wasn't really meant for me, because if so, I don't have the faintest idea what it wants me to do. And I sure hope somebody, somewhere, closed something....

Later edit, 9/20/09: A lot of people must be seeing this message, because a lot of people are ending up here through Google searches, so I'll pass on some additional information. I can't say for sure that the above message had anything to do with it, but within minutes of seeing it, my scanners and sniffers freaked out, reporting the presence of a trojan involving "VUNDO.gen.bp" (see, very scary), "lovojefu", and "mozulavo". Because my faithful protectors prevented updates to the registry, the trojan was fairly easy to remove/disable.

If you saw the above message, you might want to scan your system, or restore from backup.

6/8/10 Edit: As you can see from the comments, people are getting this message now when they visit This time it appears to be innocent. The appearance of the message may or may not signal an attack; it may be just a bug in the code (probably Java). But keep in mind that any time an error message appears it's an indicator of sloppy code and inadequate testing, which is more likely to turn up in a trojan or virus. Don't be lulled into complacency. Scan just to be safe.

2590 Blood and bother

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chronologically gifted - "old"


The blood draw today went pretty well. The phlebotomist met me at the door, and I said, "Bet you're not happy to see me." She responded, "Bet you're not happy to see me!"

When I took my jacket off and she saw the bruise from last week, she was super sympathetic and apologetic. "I knew you bruised, but wow, that's terrible!" I told her not to feel bad, this one is pretty good.

She decided to try the back of my hand instead of the arm. I said ok. I was a little apprehensive because on other occasions in hospitals, when they try to put an IV in my hand, the veins spasm and it feels like my hand is being held in a fire until it's removed. I can feel the flames licking. The worst is waking up after surgery with an IV that had been inserted while I was out cold, and waking to my hand on fire, and nobody will remove it.

Anyway, I was willing to try, this is different from an IV. She used the tiniest pediatric butterfly, and it felt like I'd been stung by a hornet at first, but then it was ok. It didn't hurt at all after the first sting, and she got everything she needed.

That vein is now all swollen, looks like a fat blue earthworm under the skin.

Tonight I'm going to dinner in Albany. The place is the New World Bistro. There's a "New World Home Cooking" locally, and I hoped and assumed they weren't related, because I don't like the food at NWHC, and although I've been there often with friends who do like it, I've learned to just get a salad.

Well, when I looked up the address in Albany, I realized with horror that I have eaten at the place once before, after a movie, and it seems like the same menu, and I had ordered an overpriced salad, and the house-made salad dressing was poisonous. I ate less than a third.

It's too late to cancel with a clear conscience. I wonder if they can ruin a hamburger.

2589 Aging in classic hippie style?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frank Pittman, MD: Infidelity isn't about whom you lie with.
It's whom you lie to.


The blood test today is to determine whether the thyroid supplement I've been taking for the past seven weeks is sufficient, or needs to be increased. That's got me thinking.

Jay had severe sleep apnea. In 1993 we got the CPAP machine, and he was finally able to sleep at night. The oxygen level in his brain also went up at night. This was supposed to be good. Five years later the brain tumor appeared. The doctors said there seemed to be an old injury in the area of the tumor (probably from a childhood fall he'd had from a table to a cement floor).

For many years I've wondered, if we had never raised his brain oxygen, would the tumor not have grown? Was the sleep apnea's depressed nighttime oxygen starving the injured area? Did the apnea cure feed the tumor?

When we get older it's normal for the thyroid to slow down. The thyroid controls metabolism, so when it slows down we slow down. It's not just whole body metabolism that's slowed - it's also individual cell metabolism.

So, is it possible that the slowing of the thyroid is a natural defense against aging and cancer?

I'm not sure I want to fix this too well.


I took HomeGoods' Style Scope quiz to determine my decorating style. I think my results are pretty accurate (except that I don't care for symmetrical arrangements, I find them too tense, too confining). I like antiques, carved wood, Asian fabrics and brightly painted furniture. I like Victorian clutter. I like thinking about the "life" my antiques may have had before they came to me, the people they may have known, the places they've been, the hands that did the embroidery, carved the wood, wore down the corners. New is so sterile.

Silk, you are a Bohemian Classic

You have a refined sensibility and bring a sense of history and tradition into your decor. You appreciate how symmetrical arrangements and beautiful, well-crafted pieces create a solid foundation to a room. But you like to shake up this restraint with objects and accessories that express your personality and your love of other cultures. When traveling, you seek out unique objects that reflect what you love, and you use them in a sophisticated way. You want people to feel comfortable in your home, and cozy chairs, ethnic fabrics, unique pieces, and even a little touch of quirk or humor give your house a laid-back, Bohemian flair.
You value creativity. You are stylish and fun loving, and can be an inspiration to others. You have a natural sense of drama, and you know you have to be willing to take risks—whether with colors, finishes, furniture choices, or ideas—for your home to stand out. Your home can be happy and lively and the place all of your friends want to be.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2588 Changes

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Me: "One can be spiritual without being religious.
One can be religious without being spiritual.
They are two different things, with a casual, not causal, relationship."


I've changed the title from "The Silken Touch" back to "I Don't Understand". That's what it used to be before I had to move the blog to a new URL, and Blogger wouldn't let me use the old title on a new URL. But "I Don't Understand" is available for use again, so --- I'm back!

The URL has not changed. Nobody has to do anything to any links.


Every so often a blog I've been following goes private, and when I try to visit I get the message that one must contact the owner to be added to the list. Unfortunately, there's no way to contact the owner, since the profile goes private, too, and I never had an email address. Catch 22. So if you went private and you're wondering why I never petitioned to be invited, it's not from not wanting to. It's from not being able to.


Attn. Sister: I was surprised to find a letter from Uncle Raymond, Mom's youngest brother, in today's mail. Aunt Peggy died August 21. She'd been sick for almost a year, and died rather unexpectedly while sitting on the couch. To quote Uncle Raymond, "I don't think she knew that she died." I smiled at that.


I want to make it clear up front that I don't watch Tyra Banks. I was doing some other stuff and the TV in the kitchen happened to have her on when I walked in. She had a nutritionist on who said that to get rid of belly fat, you should eat protein at every meal, lots of berries and nuts, a little avacado and olive oil, and whole wheat pasta. Those items contain chemicals that change the way your body metabolizes fats and sugars.

Back when I lost the first 14 pounds rapidly, before the Nutrisystem (on which I have maintained the loss, but have not lost more), when I was eating what "felt" right, I had a cup of blueberries almost every day, and a bit of olive oil, and protein in some form almost every meal. Hmmmm. Sounds to me like it's true. Sounds to me like I should go back to that.

The past few weeks I've eaten out four or more times a week, and this past weekend with The Man I pigged out. Like BBQ ribs and sweet potatoes pigged out. I haven't weighed me in a long time because I was afraid to.

I stepped on the scale this morning, and wow, I haven't lost anything, but I haven't gained, either. I guess that's good.


My joining Meetup groups has packed my calendar. I've got so much on there now that I'm double and triple scheduling, and actually having to make difficult choices. The weird part is that as I'm getting out more, other people have been extending more invitations. If I were paranoid, I'd think that I'm getting more invitations because they think I won't be able to accept.

Ha! I'll show them!

2587 Multiple annoyances

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Terry Bisson, The Edge of the Universe:
“[Marriage is] about being together some of the time
and apart some of the time.

About entering and leaving together.
About being free to follow your own tastes yet always conscious that
there is a seat saved for you beside the other.”


I feel 37, but I guess I really must be getting old. I'm turning into a curmudgeon, especially where the young'un's fashions are concerned.

Hair combed and glued into a pointed ridge on the top of a man's head makes him look like a dunce. And what's with that isolated bump on the top of young women's heads? And why do they dress like they should be standing on a street corner twirling a by-the-hour room key on a chain? That's not the way to get respect.

Not to mention overblown lips that flap.

The latest is that super-shiny lipstick. The stuff that looks like the lips are enameled, so shiny that they reflect light. Those lips do not look soft and kissable. They look hard and plastic. Just because some lab was able to create it doesn't mean you should wear it.

Plus the smoothness magnifies any tiny complexion defect on the rest of the face.



The Man confirmed recently that a diagnosis of alcoholism can get you a handicap parking permit in New Jersey. I can't stop thinking about that. If you're sober, why do you need it? If you're too drunk to walk far, why are you driving?

I don't understand.


I just got a call from the doctor's office. My CBC and glucose are fine, but the lab screwed up the thyroid test and I have to go in for more blood tomorrow.

The bruise from the last one (last Friday) is now 2.5" by 1.5", green with a purple center, and still hurts when I bend my arm, even though I kept pressure on it for a very long time. I am not happy.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2586 The birds

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A line on “Criminal Minds“, 09/09/09:
“Bad news stops you for a while, then you move on. Hope is paralyzing.”


I forgot. There is one thing I want to write about, to keep for however long. It's about the birds on my front porch. It's very sad.

For the past five years or more, a pair of birds have been raising chicks on my porch lights. I looked them up in my bird book one year, but I've forgotten what they are. Very small round body, long narrow beak, a small crest on the top back of their heads.

The male always arrived first in the spring and staked out the porch. The female would arrive a bit later. They always built their first nest on top of the light to the left of the front door, and there were always four eggs. When that brood was all grown up in mid-summer, they'd build a second nest on the light to the right, and raise a second brood of four. Late summer and into the fall they'd take their vacation, bug hunting in the shrubs near the porch and sleeping on the wire intertwined hearts that hang from the porch ceiling,

This meant I couldn't use my porch lights all summer. I didn't want to cook the eggs or the chicks. I thought about wrapping wire or something around the lights to discourage them, but then decided I liked them there.

Last year, in late summer, I found the male fluttering desperately around a space between the house wall and the cement porch floor. He flew away when I got close, and I could hear chirping and scrabbling down in the crack. The female had somehow fallen in there, had gotten up behind the siding, and couldn't get out.

I tried to figure out how to help, but there was nothing I could do.

The chirping and scrabbling went on for perhaps two days, then it stopped.

The male sat on the intertwined hearts alone, and finally flew south.

This spring the male arrived early, and staked out the porch.

All summer he has been sitting alone on the intertwined hearts.

I cry a little every time I see him. He's out there right now, and tears are running down my face.

2585 Blank page

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chris Darden's Nanny: “You have to expect as much from yourself
as you do for yourself.”


I had lunch with Piper today.

Duh. Staring at blank screen. I have no other thoughts, nothing happening.

Actually, I have many thoughts, I'm worried about a few things that are completely occupying my thoughts, but it's all up in the air right now, my mind is circling the landing field, and nothing else seems worth the effort until the wheels touch down and I find out where I am.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

2584 I am a sweetheart, literally.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Me: “I like my men occasionally childlike, but never childish.”


Dextrose = sugar, sweet.
Cardia = heart.
Therefore dextrocardia = sweetheart, right?


Dextrocardia is a condition where the heart is on the right rather than the left, or reversed, sometimes mirror image. It sometimes also includes Kartagener’s Syndrome, where the cilia in various parts of the body, like the sinuses, respiratory system, ears, etc., are malformed and don't function correctly. There may also be malformation of the nasal sinuses, hyperemia of nasal mucosa (that means there's a lot of blood vessels there), and a tendency toward mucus accumulation in the lungs and sinuses. There's also a higher likelihood of asthma and frequent bronchitis in childhood, and congestive heart failure in maturity.

I discovered this by accident today. Know how you look something up on the internet, and it mentions something else so you look that up too, and pretty soon you're several streets over from where you started? That's how I ended up at dextrocardia.

Dextrocardia itself often has no symptoms, and often causes no problems - except that leads must be reversed for valid ECG results, and defibrillator paddles must be reversed for them to work. So it's important to know if you've got it. Maybe even medical bracelet important, since if you need a defibrillator you're not likely to be able to mention it to the emergency workers.

The Kartagener's, depending on its severity, causes all kinds of things like a heavy cough, rattling sounds in the lungs, deafness, sterility, sinus infections and difficulty draining, and other icky things.

Now, get this: My mother had asthma (or something diagnosed as asthma) as a child in the late 1920s, and died of congestive heart failure at 67ish. She had been told when she was young she had a congenital heart problem, but the details were fuzzy (as were all medical matters with my mother). In her late forties she started having hearing problems. She'd always had a heavy steady cough. She smoked, but not enough to account alone for a cough that frequent and heavy.

Add this: When I was 11 or 12 years old, I went though a battery of tests at the Ottawa Medical Center to figure out why I had a constant heavy cough, "loud" lungs, and serious bronchitis so often that it was almost constant. That was about 1956, so no CAT or MRI, just X-rays. The doctors told my mother that my heart was "reversed", that I had lungs 150% the size they should have been and the lower 1/4 of them were filled with fluid causing the bubbling sounds which didn't clear simply because I didn't breathe deeply enough because they were so large, and that my nasal sinuses produced a lot of mucus, and excessive post nasal drip was what caused the coughing.

Mom said the coughing was driving her crazy, could the sinuses be drained? So they referred me to another doctor, who explained to my mother that draining them involved a huge needle through the bones of my face, and it was very nasty and painful and would leave scars, and he didn't feel that it would help because the sinuses would just fill up again. Right in front of me, Mom said she didn't care, to just do it, because the coughing was driving her crazy. Luckily, he refused.

Throughout my youth I had frequent nose bleeds. I always assumed it was because I was beaten so often, and I have fragile capillaries**, and it just never healed. By the time I was 15 I had a hole clear through the septum. (The hole is huge now. I'm waiting for my nose to collapse.)

Since my early 20s I've noticed my right ear doesn't work as well as the left. I always assumed it was from shooting at the base rifle range in my teens without protection (I shot an "elephant gun" once, had to lie on my stomach to do it and the recoil kicked me back three feet, and I couldn't hear from that ear at all for a week, but the airmen thought it was a riot).

Until my mid-thirties I coughed every time I drew a deep breath. It disappeared during psychotherapy, and I assumed that it had become a defense mechanism - if I coughed I didn't have to answer questions, and after I found me I didn't need it any more. I still cough sometimes when my sinuses act up, and for a very long time after a cold.

My sinuses still give me some problems, I still have excessive post-nasal drip, and they do seem to be getting gradually worse, like this summer from all the dampness and mold, but I assumed that it was because of some bad sinus infections I'd had in the early 80s, that probably had scarred the drains.

So, now I wonder. Do I have Dextrocardia with mild Kartagener’s Syndrome? Or do I have a bad case of internetitis?

I've had maybe two chest x-rays in the past 50 years, the most recent in perhaps 2002, and nobody has said anything about a reversed heart, or even that it's on the wrong side, but is that something they would happen to notice if they weren't looking for it?

It's not like there's anything I'd want or need to DO about it, but given the ECG/defibrillator cautions, I probably should know. If I asked, would my doctor be annoyed and diagnose internetitis?

'Tis a puzzlement.


**In the 1960s we siblings were diagnosed with a form of hemophilia that affects both sexes, but we were never told which of the several clotting factors was missing. (One brother and one sister has it more severely than the other three, but still not incapacitating.) I suspect that it's not hemophilia at all, but fragile capillaries.

Monday, September 14, 2009

2583 End of the week Bits 2

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dean Koontz, in Mr. Murder:
We sense that life is a dark comedy

and maybe we can live with that.
However, because the whole thing is
written for the entertainment of the gods,

too many of the jokes go right over our heads.


Saturday morning I drove to NJ to meet The Man at noon. He had changed his flight back from SC to get in early, so we could go to [undisclosed location, because I want it to be a surprise for him if we ever actually get there], but it was raining, and where I wanted to take him was 90% outside, so we didn't go. He'd slept badly the night before, in fear of missing the flight, so we napped instead, which was fun anyway, then went out for dinner.

Sunday we went to a rehearsal studio where he played drums for three hours. I expected to get a bit bored after the first hour, but I didn't. Damn, he's good! I took a few photos then realized my digital camera is also a video camera, so I recorded a few.

He had brought some recorded music to play to. He started out fairly simple because it had been a few decades since he'd played, and then got more complicated as he got into it. Even better, he sang along with the songs. This is The Brazen Heads, "Who's Yer Paddy". I'm kicking myself because I didn't record him playing and singing to this one. It was so much fun I was bouncing up and down and singing, too. (If you click on this to play it, don't forget to first stop the music in the pink box in the left column, if you haven't already.)


I know he doesn't want his face on the internet - so, suitably obscured:

On the drive down Saturday morning, my car had been vibrating very badly. The alignment had gone completely. I couldn't go over 58 mph without fearing for the steering. I didn't want to drive the two hours home with it so shaky, so on his way to work this morning he led me to his mechanic, and went in with me.

We had a discussion this morning (well, ok, I sort of majorly flipped out and said some things that had been on my mind for a while - this is a problem I know I have - I tend to blurt without a plan), and I think he took it well for someone who avoids any kind of relationship talk. I just hope he still feels the same way after he's had a chance to think about it. Whatever happens, I guess I'll live. I absolutely don't want to give him up, I adore him!, but I can't continue on the current basis, either.

2582 End of the week Bits 1

Monday, September 14, 2009

Epitaph: This is merely a temporary setback.

My own epitaph: Continued next page....


I went to a movie in Albany Friday night, saw "9". It was pretty ok. A bit thin, but a nice diversion. It was steampunk! I made that comment to the group, and not one person knew what I meant. It's odd, but I am noticing a difference between all-Mensan groups and mixed groups. If I had said steampunk to a Mensan group, the topic would have taken off.

This was a new-to-me meetup group. I'm finding that I'm more likely to critique the attendees to myself than the movie. Not something I admire about me, but there it is. There was one woman who is apparently a regular, and who may cause me to avoid the group. She's very large, and she bought the mega-ginormous popcorn, which is enough to make me question her sanity, but then she made it worse. The (triple) butter must not have been distributed well enough for her, because throughout the movie she shook the bag violently.

The group chose to sit in the stadium section, which must be popular because it filled up quickly. The popcorn woman, who was sitting right next to me, put her jacket on the seat in front of her, and didn't move it even when that row filled up. The stadium seats are so steep that it was not necessary to do it to preserve her view. She also put her feet up on the back of that seat, which made me cringe. But that wasn't the worst. She seemed to think that every substanceless thought that crossed her mind was of the utmost interest to everyone within earshot, and she spoke in a high, piercing, carrying voice, loudly! My voice is low. She interrupted and overrode me over and over, until I gave up saying anything, for fear it would trigger another inane thought.

I can deal with idiots. I can ignore idiots. I can't deal with or ignore a loud pushy idiot with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement.

As Mark at "Shoebox" observes, “There are some extroverts that you just wish weren’t.”


Instead of taking the Thruway home after the movie, I decided to take the back roads. It could have been a nice drive if it weren't for the people who don't dim their lights. About every fourth car on the windy hilly road blinded me with high beams.

I have to wonder if these are the same people who never (or always) use the caps key.

The careless blinding reminded me of a friend who once said that if he ever decided to commit suicide, he knew exactly how he'd do it. He'd speed on a back road, and run head-on into the first oncoming car that didn't dip their headlights. Suicide by high beam.

He figured that way, his death would be beneficial, ridding the world of someone who deserved it, who was flat-out asking for it.

So think of that next time you forget to lower your beams. That other car may be him, and he might have had a bad day.


The RED DOT on the Chart shows where I fit on the political map.

Your PERSONAL issues Score is 50%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 30%.

According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is...


CENTRISTS espouse a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice.

Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind,

tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what

they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.

[World's smallest political quiz.]