Friday, May 27, 2011

3268 Orb of Madness

Friday, May 27, 2011

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


This video was on a few days ago, under the title ""Reginald Locates the Orb of Madness".

I loved it.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

3267 The Nugget

Thursday, May 26, 2011

“Women like their men occasionally childlike, but never childish.”
-- Silk --


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3266 Falling Apart

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"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."
-- Dean Koontz, Mr. Murder --


(Click on the photos to see them without interference.)

Photos from Joplin and Minneapolis, from
LinkFull set at

Photos of the latest volcano in Iceland, from
Full set at


I get annoyed at people who go on and on about how there are so many "more" and "bigger" natural disasters "these days", and how that's "proof" of whatever their pet theory is.

There aren't more tornadoes, hurricaines, cyclones, earthquakes, droughts, tsunamis, floods, mudslides, anything, really, not in the long view. (Maybe more and larger forest fires in the western US, but that has a lot more to do with forestry management policies than anything natural.)

It just seems like there's more, but only because we hear more about them now. Some years there are more than others, but that's always been true. The human impact is higher now, but that's because there's more people, not because the event is worse. For example, tornadoes that used to tear through prairies with little notice, now, following the same path, tear through suburbs.

Nature (or God) isn't out to get us. Humans are out to get Nature.

3265 Meetup mess up

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Epitaph: This is merely a temporary setback.


I was supposed to see the new 3-D Johnny Depp Pirates movie this evening with a Meetup group.

I'm very annoyed because the Meetup was canceled, and nobody notified me! Like nobody has to plan their day?

Just as well. I've got a lot to do, and I agreed to babysit Nugget this afternoon while Daughter does some shopping.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

3264 Moving forward, but slowly

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

“The deeper insanity becomes, the more consistent it becomes,
until it wraps around and looks like sanity.”
-- Silk, August 9, 2008 --


It was a beautiful day today, sunny and warm with a gentle breeze, the first nice day in the past week and a half. And I spent most of the best part of the day, from 10:30 am until almost 4 pm, in the doctor's office or the hospital.

I admit I was worried when the doctor, to all appearances, was in no hurry to look at my scans, and then once he did look at them he wanted to see me immediately. That's almost never a good sign.

Last night I ran through all the bad scenarios, what he could say, end-stage renal failure, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, etc. etc., and pretty much came to terms with it all.

When I got there, the nurse put me in an examining room, and then later the doctor stuck his head in the door and asked me to come to his office. You know, with the big desk, and the two chairs in front, and the box of tissues on the corner. Another bad sign.

That made his news a relief. The most recent scans do not confirm either the first set which implied one collection chamber and one ureter on the left, or the second scan which says two collection chambers and two ureters. This latest set says two collection chambers, with the stent in the upper, and the obstructing stone and a few smaller ones in the lower, but neither the x-ray (IVP) nor CT confirm a second ureter, because I've got really good kidney function apparently, and the upper chamber cleared the contrast solution so quickly that it never even reached the second chamber or ureter (which is blocked anyway, remember?). So we still don't know exactly what we've got in there. But at least it is pretty clear where the stone is.

So we're going to smash the stone(s).

Not this week, because of the holiday coming up, but probably the end of next week. The procedure is Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL), described here:

I told him how the stent is now causing bleeding after physical activity, it's irritating the bladder, and how I can feel it poking and it is getting worse, to the point where the seat belt hurts, and the urinary urgency is getting worse, so will we be removing the stent at the same time? He said no, because we're not sure where and how the second chamber drains, and the worst case is only one ureter, and some piece of the smashed stone gets stuck in it, blocking the entire left kidney. So no, the stent stays until we know what's going on.

Crap. I can lessen the bleeding and poking and irritation by avoiding physical activity. No lifting, raking, mowing, walking far, dancing, driving long distances, etc. etc. etc., anything that makes the stent move. Crap crap crap. I want this damn thing OUT! NOW!

So when I got home I read up a bit on ESWL. Two possible negative consequences are damage to the pancreas leading to diabetes, and damage to the capillaries in the kidney, leading to renal failure. The pancreas thing is unlikely because we're working only on the left kidney. The capillary thing worries me a little. I have fragile capillaries. I'll have to tell him about that. However, my stone isn't very big, so it (I hope) won't require much to break it up, and it's localized, and my clotting abilities are ok, so maybe that will be ok.

[My theory of what's in there is different from his, I think. I do think there's a second ureter, which the larger stone is blocking, because there are also a few much smaller stones in that chamber which, if that chamber connects with the chamber with the stent, seems to me that I should have passed those stones by now through the stent. A few other details argue for the second ureter joining the first somewhere north of the bladder. So the stent could actually CAUSE the moving stones to get jammed at the joining point. But at least then the second ureter would show up on a contrast x-ray for the length that it's open, and the blockade could be eased by pulling the stent. So I'm not going to argue with him.]

I just want this DONE!

After I left his office I went to the hospital to pick up my personal copies of the scan and x-ray done elsewhere a few weeks ago, that they had asked for for comparison, and to get copies of the recent scan and x-rays with contrast. There were at least three misunderstandings. It was three and a half hours before they managed to get it all together. About every 40 minutes or so they'd bring out part of it, and I'd have to ask again for the rest. And then wait. (At one point they actually insisted that I had NOT had the CT scan.)

When I first arrived at the hospital, at about noonish, as I was putting the top up on Hal, I got a call from Piper. We had a lot to talk about, and about 20 minutes in I mentioned that I had a bone to pick with The Angel, and told Piper about the IRS and NYS letters. Piper said he was worried about The Angel. He's had some kind of serious medical problem for the past few weeks or months, and Piper had called him twice yesterday and again this morning, "...and he always returns my calls immediately", but he hadn't heard from him. Piper was afraid The Angel was in the hospital, and if so, it was bad because otherwise The Angel would have contacted him.

Piper said if he hadn't heard from The Angel by this evening, he'd call his parents. He'll let me know.

So. Onward. Fred's tire is still flat. Sigh.

3263 Snapper

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The worst time to have a heart attack is during a game of Charades.
-- Demetri Martin --


Can't post comments to blogger blogs today. Getting error messages. So, to RockyCat - "Coincidence! I found one in my back yard this morning (photo to follow in blog). They're out now looking for places to lay eggs."

And here's the subject of my comment:
Snapping turtle in my back yard this morning. Slightly larger than a dinner plate. Her throat is thick, but her actual head and eyes are tiny.

She'd dug several holes in the grass for laying eggs, but hadn't filled any of them in. This hole (following photo) was the closest to her. It's not in focus because I was afraid to get too close or stand there very long. There are some brown round things in the hole, but I'm not convinced they are eggs. They seem too small. But unless a very brave rabbit ran up and pooped in the snapper's nest, I don't know what else they could be.

Monday, May 23, 2011

3262 I am overwhelmed.

Monday, May 23, 2011

People who are easily annoyed are more annoying than the people who annoy them.


I am feeling very beaten down.

I spent much of Saturday on my knees with pruning shears cutting down the thicket of Japanese knotweed taking over the back yard. There was nothing there but grass when the snow melted. Now it's already four feet tall. It's next to impossible to get rid of. The websites say stuff like getting a hypodermic needle and injecting weed killer into the stems - for years! And then maybe it'll die.

Saturday night, I had a lot of blood in my urine again. Apparently any kind of physical activity causes a problem. Sunday morning the first urine was dark brownish, but it quickly went to the usual pale yellow. This morning it was brownish again, and then alternated most of today between pale yellow, and the color of pink iced tea. I'm hoping it's the useless misplaced stent tearing up my bladder, not something more nasty going on.

The urologist has had my contrast x-rays and CT scan since Monday of last week, and hadn't even LOOKED at them as of Friday! I was so angry that over the weekend I researched another urologist. I figured if the current one didn't have something to say by mid-afternoon today, I was going to make an appointment with the only other in-network urologist within 15 miles who has a local hospital affiliation.

Well, I guess he looked at them this morning, because his office called just after lunch and asked if I could come in tomorrow morning. So now I'm a little worried. First there's no rush, then there's a rush?

And, the urinary urgency is getting worse. Like, oh gee, maybe my bladder is irritated. By a useless stent. Which is in the wrong place. Thank you.

In Saturday's mail I got a letter from the IRS. They think I owe more, want their money immediately, and are assessing a penalty.

In today's mail, I got a letter from the state of NY. Apparently The Angel didn't file my business sales tax return for 2010. (I've made no sales and have filed zero-dollar returns for years now.) They want their money immediately and are assessing a penalty.

Yesterday I figured it was about time to force the builder to fix the crappy stuff, like the bedroom windows that won't open. NJ has a new-construction warranty that builders have to honor. It's one year on everything, two years on structural defects, and three years on dangerous stuff. It's supposed to start from the closing date. So I dug the booklet out of the file to find out what the process is. Surprise. The starting date on the warranty is 6/30/10, which means it expires for the non-structural stuff next month! Um...I didn't close on the house until 10/13/10. I'm getting screwed out of four months of the warranty?

Uh uh. Hell no.

I fired off an email to my attorney this morning. He said to write a certified letter to the builder reminding him that he has to change the date, and listing what I want fixed. And copy my attorney on it.


Then I remembered that Hal needs a state inspection by the end of the month. I haven't changed registration on the three vehicles yet because two are here and one is still at the old house, and that makes things very complicated. (Also the titles are still at the old house.) I made an appointment for Friday morning with the nearest BMW dealership in NY, one hour 35 minutes up the road.

I need to pick up copies of my records and films from the White Plains hospital. I need to actually go there, because there are some things I want that I don't know what the technical words for them might be, and back and forth by phone or mail (no email) would be a pain.

And then this evening, just a half hour ago, I discovered that Fred the van has a flat tire. I know how to change a tire, but -- funniest thing -- because of the dropped floor, when a tire goes flat on Fred, you can't get a regular jack under him to lift him. I guess I'll have to call AAA tomorrow afternoon.

There's just too much pecking at me.

On top of all this, the old house is abandoned up there, probably overrun by mice digging nests in all my upholstered antiques and mattresses and closet contents, I'm losing my possible buyer, and I'M SITTING HERE ON A STOOL WITH NO REAL FURNITURE!!!

3261 Tornado

Monday, May 23, 2011

I read an ad for a toy that "flies as far as a football field".
I'm wondering, just how far can a football field fly?
-- Silk --


Those green quotes at the top are random, honest! About once a week or so I set up skeleton draft posts, numbered, with the next seven or so quotes on the list, and then use them in order over the next few days. This quote is apt for today - I think maybe Joplin, Missouri, can tell us how far a football field can fly.

Wow. It looks really bad there. Houses are just heaps. I wonder how many people are trapped in basements under those heaps.

A hospital got hit. A reporter said that patient records from the hospital were found 60 miles away. What about the patients? Where are they now?

It's completely overwhelming.