Saturday, July 02, 2011

3295 Bits

Saturday, July 2, 2011

There's no reason to waste a creative thinker on an implementation task.
-- Dilbert --


When the Nugget got her first immunizations, Daughter had been worried about how she would react when the nurse hurt her baby, and she didn't want the Nugget to think her mommy had done this terrible thing to her, so she asked me to go with her. Well, when the time came, Daughter did take over, and talked to Nugget. Nugget startled, the lower lip came out, but she recovered quickly and smiled at her mommy. All was well. Daughter picked her up, held her in her arms, and told her she was a good girl, very brave. And I put my arm around Daughter and told her she was a good girl, very brave.


I'm reading one of the free books that came with the Kindle, a collection of old fairy tales. Very bloody. They use a lot of old or unusual words, too. I have to look up words in every story, like "firmity" (a sort of a pudding-like glop made with soaked cracked grain, thickened with egg), "league" (the distance a man can walk in one hour, being farther on flat smooth ground and shorter on rough or steep ground), "cimeter" (a smallish knife with a curved blade shaped like a scimitar), "drest" (old adjective form of dressed), and so on.

I most enjoyed looking up "league". The first part of the Wikipedia article on anthropic measurements is very interesting. Ever wonder what a cubit is? Or a fathom? Furlong?

It struck me as odd that many of the measurements seem to assume an average human height of six feet. (On a well-proportioned body, the distance from the tips of the fingers to the opposite tips of outstretched arms should be equal to the height from the ground to the top of the head.) And yet I'd always heard that people in antiquity were much smaller than now. That David's giant was actually probably just a bit over six feet tall. I know that when you look at uniforms in Civil War museums (I lived in Gettysburg a few years) the uniforms seem tiny, too small even for me, and that was only 150 years ago. Same with Victorian dresses.

So it seems odd.


I'm thinking I can probably live with this kidney stone. I still have the other part of that double kidney functioning well. I believe the stones formed because I had the year-and-a-half kidney infection, and if I can avoid any future kidney infections, it won't get any worse.

The organism was the usual Escherichia coli (E. coli). "They" tell women that to prevent UTIs, we should wipe front to back, and piddle after sex. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I have great difficulty doing either. I have to wipe side-to-side, just being careful not to pull forward. And I can't piddle after sex because I have to piddle before, or I can't relax to enjoy it, so there's nothing there. Besides, I can't piddle that many times in one evening.

So I was thinking about that, and decided that I will have to use the Azo strips periodically. Check often, and insist that if something does show up, we cannot assume it's just a simple bladder infection.

That got me wondering about bidets. Um, wouldn't they contribute to UTIs? I can't imagine that the stream of water is very careful about where it carries and splashes and deposits stuff. At least then it's your own ickiness. Not like the automatic-flush toilets in public restrooms, like those along the parkways and throughways, that flush even while you're still on them and splash your bottom with God-knows-what left by God-knows-whom. Those things make me cringe.


I heard fireworks last night. I automatically got up and went to the window, and was disappointed to find that I could see nothing. The sounds were coming from the north and northwest, and from the southeast. North and northwest would be Brooklyn and Staten Island, and in the winter I can see them, but with the leaves on the trees now I can see next to nothing. Southeast would be along the bay shores or ocean shores, but being at sealevel myself and surrounded by trees, I could see nothing.

Disappointment. The old house is on a ridge with a view to the mountains, and I used to be able to see the fireworks from Bard college, Kingston, Rhinebeck, and Saugerties, and if Woodstock invested in the good stuff that would rise above the mountains, I could see theirs, too.

Tsk. I'll miss them.

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