Saturday, June 11, 2011

3283 Poor Little Thing

Saturday, June 11, 2011

If there is life on other planets, they probably won't believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God.
-- Andy Rooney --


I saw a firefly (lightning bug) in the front yard this evening. One. All alone. Its blinks were far apart, and lasted a long time. So slow.

Poor little thing. It looked so lonely. So discouraged.

3282 WOW!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A great leader knows the way, shows the way, then goes away.


No bleeding today, for the first time in ... uh ... ages!

I'm happy about that.

Friday, June 10, 2011

3281 Out, out, damned stent!

Friday, June 10, 2011

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, far quicker, than a germ.”
-- John Steinbeck --


Yesterday it hit 100 degrees. Odd, I didn't notice the heat much at all. I did notice the humidity in the house. Bleck.

The Nugget visited with me for a few hours Wednesday and again Thursday while her mother went to appointments. We played "stick your tongue out like Gramma". Now "open your mouth wide like Gramma." At 6.5 weeks, she's very good at copying what you do. She loves the sound "moo", so Old MacDonald has a lot of cows when we sing the song. She smiles a lot, especially a big grin when she first sees me, which feels nice.

Today I saw my new GP for the first time. Actually, he and his daughter practice together, and I really wanted his daughter (I prefer a female GP), but she had jury duty this week, and I needed to establish a GP before the pre-admittance testing next Tuesday. The urologist and the hospital require my "family" doctor's approval for the ESWL procedure.

I like him. He really listens, and added some stuff to the testing based on things I said.

Tuesday's testing will involve a LOT of blood drawn. At least I can drink water that morning. I intend to be absolutely bloated.

I see the urologist again next Monday. I have many concerns, mainly about how we don't really know what my anatomy is in there, except that I do have two unconnected collection areas in the left kidney, and I'm concerned that if the second ureter joins the first somewhere along the line instead of going all the way to the bladder, the stent could actually block the broken up stone pieces from passing. If the second ureter goes all the way to the bladder (and it seems like it should be easy to LOOK in the bladder and see if there's a second ureter), then the stent is useless, and I don't see why we can't get rid of it.

Plus there's my fragile capillaries thing, and I'm worried that the zapping could damage the capillaries in the kidney and cause eventual failure. Plus there's no way the anesthesiologist is going to get an IV in me if I'm dehydrated (as they want me to be) for the procedure. I need the IV in place the day before. Plus I want to be absolutely certain there's no NO NO infection in the kidney, and I'm not sure they're going to check for that.

And so on. I intend to be a pain in the urologist's rear.

Right now, the procedure is scheduled for next Friday, assuming I pass all the tests.

I don't care about the damn stone anymore. I could probably live with that. I'd still have one and a half functioning kidneys, and that seems to be enough. I just want this stent OUT! My bladder is irritated, I've had bloody urine for the past few weeks, it feels like something's poking sharply at the bottom, and my stomach is sticking out horribly and I can't hold it in because even that hurts.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

3280 Spam

Wednesday, June 6, 2011

"SpellCheck programs may ensure that the word is spelled correctly,
but it doesn't ensure that you used the right word."
-- Me --


I just came upon another slur against Spam - you know, the ham in a can?

For the thousandth time, Spam is NOT gristle, brains, eyeballs, innards, or anything else.

Spam is perfectly good shoulder/hip meat, and that's ALL it is.

When you buy a boneless ham in the store, ever wonder how it got boneless? When the ham is removed from the bone, there's a lot of meat left on the bone, because the bones are oddly shaped and there's a lot of scrap left when you cut out a nicely-shaped ham (boneless hams come from closer to the joints than bone-in hams, which come from the area with nice straight bones).

Spam is the trimmings left on the bones. Trimmed off, put in a can, and cooked in the can - and that's where the jelly comes from. There's nothing in Spam that isn't also in the ham. If you've ever fried a slice of ham, you've seen it make the same jelly, that turns brown in the pan and tastes sweet and salty.

So quit panning SPAM! Stop following the herd. It's good stuff, nothing to turn your nose up at.

3279 Humid

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Computers may make it easier to write, but they don't make the writing any better.
-- Andy Rooney --


On Saturday morning I finished crocheting a blanket for Nugget. My kitchen floor is large ceramic tiles, perfect for blocking a rectangular item, so I machine washed the blanket, pulled it out after the "gentle" spin, and then laid it out on the floor. That was Saturday morning.

Tuesday morning, three DAYS later, it was still damp. I figured air wasn't getting through it, maybe? I figured the shape might be pretty well set by then, so I draped it over a stool to finish drying.

An hour later there were 8" pools of water where the four corners were dripping. DRIPPING!

Today is Wednesday. It's still damp.

Daughter opens her windows. I don't because the air out there is full of dust and pollen. I can't believe how dusty it is around here. The town is amazing about sweeping the street, and there isn't all that much traffic. I don't know where the dust comes from. So, anyway, I have the A/C on. I thought A/C pulled moisture from the air. That's what the "Conditioning" part means. Otherwise, it's just air Cooling.

This is as bad as Florida. I'm waiting for my leather stuff to start molding.

Speaking of Florida, we expect to reach 95 degrees today, and 97 tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

3278 About Blogs

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A lot of men consider rape merely assault with a friendly weapon.


I follow about 94 blogs through Google Reader, and another 10 that don't have feeds. Some of them are things like LOLcats, many are news blogs of one type or another, most are people's personal journals. Of those personal blogs, many update only sporadically, and a few are people I happen to know in "real life".

I also read a lot of Just-Plain-Stuff that I find here and there. One thing leads to another, you know, that sort of thing.

I have several regular readers (I haven't the faintest idea why), only a few of whom have been known to leave comments.

A few things I've noticed about bloggers:
  • Many people with personal blogs start out innocent enough, doing it for themselves, then they find out that if they build up a readership, they can make money! Several of the blogs I had followed for years turned into books. Others don't get a book contract, but they start selling advertising space. And then next thing you know, either they stop blogging (book), or the tone and content changes (advertising).
  • Many of the old blogs I had enjoyed suddenly had a post saying, "I'm moving to Facebook! (...or Twitter) Follow me there!" and the blog abruptly died. For about half of them, the owners got disenchanted with Facebook or Twitter when they discovered they didn't have the control over their time that they'd had with a blog, and they came back.
  • Many blogs just plain peter out, like the bloggers can't think of anything more to say. That's sad.
  • With other bloggers, their life suddenly gets interesting, and they think they don't have time. That's even sadder ... just when things get interesting.
  • A lot of bloggers pretend to be something they're not.
  • A lot of bloggers flat out lie.

A few things I've noticed about blog posts:
  • "TLDR" means "too long, didn't read". Yup. My posts are sometimes long, and I know a lot of people won't read long posts. I don't care.
  • Too many posts a day will make people not pay attention. Yup. I often do that too. But again, I don't care. That's one reason I don't subscribe to feeds from many of the good middle-eastern blogs - several have multiple members, and you can get buried in posts. Instead, I visit once a week or so and skim, or more often if I know something interesting is happening.

About blog readers:
  • People take things personally. A few months ago I wrote about people who try too hard to be BFFs, and end up turning folks off, and it came from thinking about a guy I used to work with, and a few Mensans, triggered by something I'd read somewhere. I was very surprised when TWO of my blog readers whom I know personally asked me if I was talking about them. Many bloggers have gotten in worse trouble for that kind of misunderstanding, when someone read something and thought they recognized themselves.
  • Other times, when a blogger DOES attempt to address some cautionary tale to someone in particular that you know will read it, without naming names, hoping they'll see themselves and "get it", it's really funny how they never recognize that it applies to them. Exactly the opposite of the above point. So if you think something here was addressed to you, you're probably wrong. If you think it wasn't, maybe it was. But mostly it isn't. Mostly I deal in generalities, thoughts that wandered through my head. Maybe you kicked it off, but probably not. Even if I say "a blogger", remember that I follow about 100 bloggers. I'm amazed at the coincidences that crop up constantly.

About comments:
  • Most readers never leave a comment.
  • There seems to be some kind of convention that all comments on personal blogs must be agreeing/positive/encouraging. Bullpoopy. Fire away. I've been banned from a few blogs for telling the blooger what I thought they needed to hear as opposed to what they wanted to hear, like that they'd find life a lot easier if they quit drinking, or if they're really looking for a nice girl, maybe they should try someplace other than a bar, whatever. Back on AOL Journals, in about 2005, before the economy tanked, I had one occasion when the supporters of a gal who was blatantly soliciting, and GETTING, expensive gifts from her readers, came after me personally because I simply asked, "Have you applied for any jobs?" The spam was incredible. I have learned that people don't want and don't appreciate constructive criticism, but I won't support something I can't agree with, either.

What are your thoughts on blogs, bloggers, blogging? Is personal blogging (as opposed to "special topic" blogging) going to be around for a while, or have you, like I, seen blogging dropping off? (That list of "blogs I follow" over there on the right is woefully out of date. Half those people aren't around anymore, but I keep the URL and keep visiting just in case they decide to come back.) Given that a lot of people use anonymous blogging as cheap therapy, will Facebook and the like fill the role?

Over to you....

Monday, June 06, 2011

3277 Critical Analysis

Monday, June 6, 2011

Woman describing how one does not realize how final death is: “And then I found I was waiting for him to come home. He'd been dead long enough now, it was time for him to come home.”


Yeah, back on one of my favorite hobby horses again. Mainly because I've recently been exposed to a few more egregious examples of muddled thinking.

Another blogger mentioned a newsletter. I located it and read it. As often happens when someone has an agenda, the writers stated "facts" (whether verified or not is another issue), and then drew conclusions from those facts that were in no way supported by those facts! Connections were made between statements where there was no direct connection. "Oh, this sounds good - let's throw this in, too!"

If someone were to read this uncritically, they'd believe those conclusions to be valid. They may or may not be true - my point is that they are not supported by the "evidence" offered.

I stewed about that for a while, and concluded that anyone who'd accept those "proofs" and arguments is beyond reason anyway, so I didn't bother to attempt to refute it.

Then just this morning I ended up (again, one of those link to link to link wanderings) at a site on making one's own kefir (pronounced keFEER, by the way, regardless of how Dr. Oz mispronounces it - it's an Arabic word), where there was a discussion of making it from non-bovine milks, including cocoanut milk and soy milk. Some commenter sneered that she didn't see why anyone would want to make it from soy, after all, "soy is very bad for you", and she included a link to a site that slams all soy products.

So, ok, I went there.

And yeah, they had their own drum to beat. And again, they stated "facts", and drew from them asinine conclusions. Which to an uncritical reader, would sound like a valid argument.

For example, the author states that since soy products have arrived in the western hemisphere, the rates of high cholesterol and obesity have soared. From this, they drew the conclusion that soy causes obesity and high cholesterol.

Um, the timelines might match up, but that doesn't mean they are in any way related. In fact, the people who consume the MOST soy, both fermented and unfermented, who seek it out, are vegetarians and vegans, and they are emphatically NOT members of the typical artery-clogged obese herd.

Note that by the same logic (or lack thereof) we could conclude that actually, obesity and high cholesterol create a craving for soy! How is that any more silly than the other conclusion? It's based on the same data, handled the same way.

It may or may not be true that too much soy is bad for you, but this website sure as hell doesn't present any good arguments.

It reminded me of the breakfast cereal commercials that pissed me off - the "healthy" cereal that bragged that people who ate it were the most healthy, and had the best BMIs, implying, of course, that it was the cereal that did it. Snort! The people most likely to buy a cereal whose very box screams, "this stuff tastes like cardboard, but it's loaded with FIBER!!!" are the same people who take the stairs instead of the elevator, and run marathons for "fun". Oh, come on.

Please, everyone, read critically. Think critically. Ask whether the conclusion is really supported by the facts.


3276 Morbid urge

Monday, June 6, 2011

“Progress ... is not the result of individual accomplishments, but the product of a vast human consciousness that contains ... a perception of purpose, potential, and need.... [The] contributions of any single person is not substance, but style.”
-- Les Kamm, letter in the Mensa Bulletin --


I've been bitten by an urge I don't quite understand.

By the usual circuitous internet links route I ended up this morning at this article,, about how people misquote the Bible. I then read the comments, which were interesting until people (as usual) stopped commenting on the article and began sniping at each other.

Many of the commenters in attempting to refute the author's arguments did not seem to realize that they did exactly what the author bemoaned - they interpreted the passages to suit their desired interpretation.

Anyway, I wanted to look up the passages in question. My late youngest sister's Bible happened to be on the shelf over the computer, so I pulled it down. My late sister had tucked in a newspaper clipping of my mother's obituary, and apparently my sister's mother-in-law had also tucked in a clipping of my sister's obituary before she sent the box of materials to me.

I read the brief obit again, for perhaps the third time since I'd discovered it, and was seized by a strong desire to visit her grave.

I'm not a grave visiting kind of person. I visit the place where Jay's ashes were spread, but mainly because it was one of our favorite places. Otherwise, no. I see no point. But for some reason I want to visit youngest sister's grave.

The obituary has the name of the town, the name of the church and the cemetery, and the name of the funeral home. It's smack in the middle of Georgia. The town is tiny. Google maps has found the church for me, but not the cemetery. That's disappointing. I would have liked to see the satellite view. There are many online lists of cemeteries in Georgia, but the one I'm looking for isn't listed anywhere.

I suppose I could call the funeral home and ask, but somehow I don't want to. I want to go to the little town this summer sometime, when I'm able to drive distances again, and to the church, and find her myself!

I lost her, and now I want to make the effort to find her.