Saturday, November 14, 2009

2662 Feeling blah

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Albert Einstein: A problem cannot be solved at the same level
at which it was created.


I was supposed to have quite a busy day today. I had signed up with a Meetup singles group, for a walk at a beautiful and scenic local park, followed by drinks and then dinner at the Beekman Arms. I love that park, and I'll always leap at a meal at the Beekman.

However, it rained, so the walk was canceled. And the Beekman is very busy on weekends, and when the group had grown to more than 40 people signed up, the drinks and dinner was moved to another restaurant, which happened to be one I don't like.

I went ahead and set my hair, did my face, got dressed, and then decided I don't feel all that well. I feel achy and generally blah. (That's been happening disturbingly often lately.) I went to the website and canceled, pleading illness. Well, I didn't notice until AFTER I'd canceled that a horde of people had also canceled. It's down from the original 40-ish to somewhat fewer than 15, and ALL of them said they weren't feeling well. Either there's a lot of illness going around, or my excuse now sounds suspicious.

The organizer has a perfect right to be pissed.


I did go to the doctor's office today. I have that distinctive odor to my urine again, and I checked with the sticks you piddle on, and the stick said positive (a little light pink, and a lot of deep purple), so I called this morning and they saw me this afternoon. However, the urine test at the doctor's office didn't show anything (too dilute?), so they're going to culture it. They're starting the antibiotic anyway.

I never have any of the usual symptoms of a UTI beyond the odor. No urgency, no burning, no abdominal pain. The doctor pounded on my back and pressed on my abdomen, and nothing. Of course, the internet scared me. The tiredness and body aches I've had lately say kidney failure. But my blood cell counts are fine, and I have no edema anywhere, so probably not.

But there sure is something going on. I wish I knew what.


Sort of a side issue, possibly related, I look at photographs of me from two years ago, and compare them to this year's photos, and I've aged a lot. My face has gotten remarkably saggy in just two years. I have a very drawn look. The Man has also noticeably aged.

Friday, November 13, 2009

2661 Garlic?

Friday, November 13, 2009

For a true scientist, being wrong is just as interesting as being right.


I've been taking a (supposedly, I don't know) odorless garlic supplement for the past few weeks, as an experiment.

Also for the past few weeks, I've been freezing, as soon as the sun goes down, regardless of the inside or outside temperature, and no matter what I'm wearing. I am neither flushed nor pale. I doubt that it's a brain perception thing, because boosting the thermostat to 78 fixes the problem.

This evening it finally occurred to me to wonder if there might be a connection.

Jay had been very sensitive to everything in the onion/garlic/leek families. He'd eat the stuff, but then he'd "throw off heat" for the next eight to twelve hours. His internal temperature remained normal, but he'd complain of feeling hot, and you could feel the heat flowing off him. No sweat, no flushing, just BTUs radiating. Feed the man onions and you'd get a space heater. (Dilated capillaries doesn't explain it, because he didn't flush.)

Cue internet search.

The folk wisdom has lots to say about beneficial effects, but nothing to say about body temperature except that it's supposed to cause sweating, which will lower a fever. Nope. That's not what happened to Jay or me.

Science has provided several controlled studies which have pretty much verified none of the folk claims (beyond the anti-insect, anti-fungal effects), and also says nothing about people feeling hot or cold. Interestingly, folk wisdom says garlic lowers cholesterol, and a few clinical studies have shown that it does in fact lower cholesterol and triglycerides, BUT, and here's the interesting part, it lowers LDL but does not affect HDL. Um, that's not very helpful....

So, I am freezing, even when the house temperature is 77. At 78 I'm ok. I don't know why. Nothing mentions a temperature effect, neither my freeze nor Jay's swelter.

2660 Beatified, not beautified.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Intelligence does not automatically convey knowledge.


It's easy to tell it's heating season. I just brushed my hair, and now I have a 3-foot-wide halo around my head.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2659 Strange Searches and a Wordle

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Don Bender, letter in Mensa Bulletin:
"It is not statistically (or logically!) valid to examine facts,
create a hypothesis that fits those facts,
and then cite those same facts as proof that the hypothesis must be true."

People do this all the time, especially gossips, and it drives me crazy!


I've been getting a lot of hits from Google searches lately, which is not unusual. What is unusual is that the search arguments that are getting people here do not exist in this blog! I've never used those words. That's downright scary. The second odd thing is that suddenly I'm getting a lot of "direct" hits from Mountain View, Ca. That's where Google lives.

Anyone else seeing the same pattern? Or do I need a tinfoil hat?


I made a word cloud at for the past few weeks of this blog:
(If you want to read the smallest words, click on the Wordle, then on the new screen, use "Ctrl" and "+" at the same time to enlarge it. "Ctrl" and "-" will reduce it. Or you can go to and see it huge and clear.)

It looks like a shoeprint.

What I especially like about it is that the big words are positive in connotation (to me, anyway), and the negative words are small. I'm pleased to find that although those things are in my blog because they're in my life, they are not very important. That pleases me.

On the other hand, "Jay" has been getting smaller and smaller as time passes. That's sad.

2658 Yesterday and Today

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Kneeling is not a position of strength,
and begging is not an effective tactic."
-- Clarence Thomas --


I went to a movie last night, "The Men Who Stare at Goats". Having seen the promos, I was looking forward to it. It was a bit disappointing. It started out really good, with an interesting premise, and absolutely outrageous statements delivered by a deadpan George Clooney (he's very good at that). I must have said a half dozen times to myself "The Man will love this...." But then it died. Just petered away. It was like the writer and director lost interest.

After the movie, seven of us went to an Albany pub for dinner and drinks.

Today I got a call for Habitat for Humanity. I'm a volunteer, but they haven't done any projects in this area since the houses I worked on a few years (two? three?) ago. I've been a little frustrated by that, and I guess that's how I found myself agreeing to fund raising. Of all the things I like doing least in this world, fund raising is at the bottom. I can't ask people for money. I would happily tape a house full of sheetrock and paint all the ceilings before that. Sigh.

I was supposed to go to dinner this evening, but I'd have to leave before 5, and when I looked up at the clock it was 5 pm, and I wasn't washed or dressed yet. I called and canceled.

Just as well. I still have to straighten out a few medical insurance snafus. It looks like the lab double-billed the insurance company for the last two blood tests. Same date, same procedures, same charges, but different invoice numbers. Even weirder, the insurance company allowed and paid different amounts on the second submissions from the first. Also, the lab is dunning me (Overdue! Collection agency!) on some invoices that I have no record of, neither a bill from them nor an explanation of benefits from the insurance company. I need to get the ducks in line (or as The Man laughs, get the ducks in a bag) before I make some calls tomorrow.

Monday, November 09, 2009

2657 On the way....

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ad for Norwegian Cruise Line: "Most of the Earth is covered by water.
And most of the water is covered by Norwegians."


I haven't been paying attention to my investments, not since the mini-crash, when 25% disappeared overnight. I figured all checking would do is upset me, so I just sat back and let it ride. I figured either everything would recover, or it wouldn't, and there was nothing I could do to make any difference.

Today I checked. My stock portfolios are back to where they were in the summer of 2008. Jobs will take a bit longer to come back, but they will.

Lookin' good.

2656 I'm not ill?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Gaston Bachelard, scientist and philosopher:
Even a minor event in the life of a child
is an event of that child's world
and thus a world event.


I don't understand what's going on with my body. I've been going in and out of hot spots in my throat, body aches, sneezing, powerful headaches, not all at the same time - things take turns - and so on for the past two months, but it's all very brief, alternating with feeling fine.

Yesterday I wanted to go to an Arabic dinner (for charity), but I had no energy whatsoever. The temperature outside was 67, and 74 in the house, but by late afternoon I was freezing. I put on a hooded sweatshirt over a turtleneck, but that didn't help my hands and nose, and by early evening I had the hood up and my hands tucked into the pockets.

By the time I went to bed, my body ached and I had that heavy wheezy feeling in the chest and the dry feeling in the back of my nose and throat. I took my temperature, and it was 100.2. I was sure I was going to be very sick today. I wished I had paid the bills and deposited the latest checks, because I knew it wouldn't get done for a while. I wondered if I'd be capable of calling 911 if it came to that.

I woke up several times during the night, freezing and feeling awful.

I woke this morning a little before 8, and was surprised to find that I feel fine. More energy than I've had in a long time. There's a lingering pain in the top front of my right shoulder, like it's been bruised, but that's all. Even my sinuses feel good, dry and empty.

I wish I knew what's going on.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

2655 Great minds....

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mario Cuomo's mother: The two rules for success:
1) Figure out exactly what you want to do.
2) Do it.


Wow! Dilbert's strip today addresses my comments about the luncheon yesterday, even to the "hijacking" reference. Cool. I guess I'm not the only person it bugs.