Friday, July 22, 2011

3315 Black Metal Pad Thai

Friday, July 22, 2011

Leave the stage while the audience is still clapping.


Like Pad Thai? Here's how to make it. This is the Vegan Black Metal Chef. He's a riot. A Kiss escapee with the most wonderful knives. The contrast between what he is - and what he's doing - and how he's doing it - and what he's doing it with - is a riot.


3314 Ugly stuff - avert your eyes and skip this one.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Definition: Punker - Rebel without a clue, with a high school art project hairdo.

(I suspect there's a more current term than "punker" for them,
but the effect is still the same. You know, like the guys with the rainbow Mohawks?)


I'd mentioned that I can't wear tight jeans, that I get "bumps" on my bottom from them. Well, I also get bumps in front on the mons, around the anus, or in the creases of the groin if I wear anything that is both tight and that rubs there. (But not on the labia.)

The ones on my bottom seem to resolve quickly without getting nasty. The bump comes, complains, then goes away. The others don't.

The bad ones start out as a hard pea under the skin. The bump gets bigger. Then it gets red over the bump, and it gets sensitive. Then it gets dark gray over the bump. Then a black dot appears. The lump continues to grow until the skin seems very tight, there's no more room for it, and it hurts like hell. Then two or three weeks or so since it first started, it either forms a head under or next to the black dot, which eventually bursts and drains, or it drains through the black dot without forming a head, or, and these are the worst, it forms a tunnel deep under the skin, to the outside, and drains an inch or more from the center of the bump. The latter take forever to resolve. The drainage is almost all dark blood, with a little white pus. After two days of draining, there will be a hard plug of white cheesy stuff, and then it's done. They all usually leave a black scar spot when they're gone.

Many doctors, GPs and GYNs, and one dermatologist, have seen them. I've had many diagnoses, been told they are ingrown hairs, infected sweat glands, infected oil glands, rectal tears, my cleanliness and sexual habits have been called into question, everything. Two doctors have cultured the contents, looking for the right antibiotic, and surprise, there IS *NO* BACTERIA involved. It seems to be an immunological overreaction to something, but no one was sure what. In those few cases I had gone to the doctor when it was so painful I couldn't stand it, and about when the doctor decided to lance it after taking it down with antibiotics, by then it had resolved itself and gone away.

First one. Never mind how I ended up on a horse with flopping stirrups at 24, long story, anyway the horse ran away with me and the bouncing tore up my bottom pretty well. I got a bump the size of a softball between the nether cheeks, so large and hard I couldn't close my legs. The doctor called it a perirectal abscess, and put me on antibiotics, planning to lance it once the infection was taken down a bit. But it soon burst on its own, and immediately healed.

Over the next ten years I had small ones all around that area, about one a year, painful for two to ten days, then burst and/or cleared up. (I had one smack between the vagina and anus when I gave birth to Daughter. That's probably how I avoided the "prophylactic" episiotomy everyone automatically got in those days. Doctor was afraid to cut into it.) I blamed them on leftover tears from that damned horse.

Then they moved. In my late 30s and 40s I got them mostly in the crease at the top of the leg. Smaller ones, not so painful, about one every two years.

In my 50s they moved again. Now I get them on the mons, the fluffy part, right in front, maybe one every ten months or so. The bumps get about the size of a large marble (what we used to call a shooter). They aren't very nasty, but they look bad. Try entertaining a man with a bandaid on your mons. I still get told "ingrown hair", "big pimple", and "sweat gland".

On "The Doctors" today, they had a woman who had a similar thing going on in her armpits. They said the name of the condition, but I wasn't really watching and missed it. It took me a while of roundabout searches on the internet, but I found it.

Hidradenitis Suppurativa.

It's a real thing, and the descriptions match mine perfectly! There's a lot out there on it, and as with so much, not all accounts agree. I think some sites are mixing these things up with ordinary boils (caused by a strep bacteria), lumping them altogether in the same pot. This stuff is NOT the same as a boil. It acts differently. And it's not a bacteria thing.

It's described almost everywhere as rare. HA! I'll bet it's not so rare - just that nobody recognizes it! So cases don't get reported or counted.

A few sites mention a theory that high androgens contribute. I am high androgen. High enough that back in the 60s, birth control pills not only didn't work on me, they leveled me out so that I was more likely to get pregnant.

Gee, it's nice to have a name for it, even if there's no cure. Now I can say to a man, "oh, that? That's nothing. Just hidradenitis suppurativa. Not even contageous."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

3313 Compendium

Thursday, July 21, 2011

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
-- South Park --


I have decided not to go upriver today. 100 degrees is the prediction there for today and tomorrow, and there's an ozone alert. The A/C in the old house is totally inadequate. Bleck.

Here's a bunch of stuff I found wandering around and want to save:


Someday I absolutely want to try this:
The pages are just folded, no tears or cuts.


I'd like to try this, too. I have a dremel....


The Orlando police have been arresting people for feeding the hungry. This guy is the lone police supporter at a protest rally. It's very good.



This is not exactly what I want to do with the stairs in my new house - I want to paint sort of like Moroccan mosaic tile designs on the risers and varnish (poly) the treads. But this is inspiration:

This is why I didn't change my name (for the third time!) when I married Jay:

Why do men think it's so easy for women to change their name when they marry? And why should she, anyway? It smacks of a transfer of ownership, literally a title transfer.


And finally:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

3312 Meetup - anger!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It matters not what you call me, but what I answer to.
-- African Proverb --


If "disgruntled" is bad, then "gruntled" should be good, right? So why does it sound so bad?


So. Tonight is the first dinner I scheduled under Meetup. The way it works is that you post an activity, and then members can RSVP.

I set the limit at 8 people, and closed RSVPs at 7 pm on Tuesday. As of Tuesday 7 pm, I had 9 people signed up, including me. That's not supposed to happen, to end up over count, but one person RSVP'd for herself, and then instead of checking the box for bringing a guest, so the guest could be counted in the total, she just added the guest as a comment. Sheesh. Idiot.

Anyway, 9 people were signed up at 7 pm Tuesday. Now I've got 2. Seven cancellations yesterday and today - the latest at 4 pm today. Gee, thanks for the notice. "Something came up" being the common excuse.

Yes, I am thoroughly absolutely utterly pissed. Disgruntled.

If they had cancelled BEFORE the RSVP cutoff, maybe others who DID want to go might have signed up. Talk about me-ism. Entitlement. "I'll reserve a space so nobody else can have it, just in case I decide to make the effort." I can't believe these people can't make plans two days in advance.

There's ONE other person left now. And if she doesn't show up I'll spit nails. Actually, I'd like to cancel, but I figure it's too late now. Thanks a hell of a lot, 4 pm person.


6:50 pm Update: The last person cancelled at 6 pm, after I sent her a note asking if she was still coming. She "forgot". (Um, hey, Meetup sends reminders.)

It's not something I did, honest. I can't feel responsible in any way. All the information was in the event posting, Meetup sent automatic reminders, I sent out no broadcast notes so it's unlikely I offended anyone, and I didn't do like a lot of organizers and change the details every other day.

I don't understand.

Monday, July 18, 2011

3311 Snork.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Evans(?), in a letter to the Kingston Daily Freeman: There is no necessary connection between the desire to lead and the ability to lead.... Leadership is more likely to be assumed by the aggressive than by the able and those who scramble to the top are more often motivated by their own inner torments than by any demand for their guidance.


From :
Posted Monday, July 18th, 2011
29 suspected underage gamblers have been rounded up at the Borgata in Atlantic City, and casino regulators have seized more than $2,600 in cash. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced today that the gamblers were rounded up recently, and the money was taken as a forfeiture. The money will be given to special state programs that benefit from gaming. The decision was approved earlier this month, and announced today.
Let's see, 29 gamblers, $2,600, that's $90 each. Not exactly high rollers. That next to last sentence, "given to special state programs that benefit from gambling", cracked me up! Anyone want to take a guess as to what kind of programs? I'm stumped.

Only in New Jersey. You know, in any other state the money would be given to programs like Gamblers Anonymous.

Looked a little further. Other news outlets have now picked up the story (and they are now all using the same wording, different from the above wording), and they say:
The money will be split between state-funded programs to help senior citizens with prescription medication and transportation, and programs to help compulsive gamblers.
Oh. Ohhhhkaaaaaayyy. I wonder what the truth is.

When I see the exact same wording in every place I look, I don't believe it any more. Once upon a time, "reporters" did their own "reporting", and you could get different views of the same story, the truth being usually somewhere in the middle. Now, everyone copies the same story word for word, and you have to wonder if there was a slant, bias, agenda, of the original writer, and what it was. No way to know. Doesn't matter so much with this story (I suspect it was just a poor choice of words in the first rendition), but it's important for other matters.


I have already eaten six fair-sized tomatoes from my tiny potted plant - two ripe and four as fried green. There are about 24 more tomatoes on it in various stages of development.

I'm getting anxious about the bell peppers. There are 14 peppers, growing slowly larger, but I don't think the largest is full sized yet. I want one now!

It's been putting out more flowers, but the flowers just drop off. It's not setting more peppers. I did some research, and it turns out that in high heat and/or high humidity, pepper pollen gets gummy and won't fertilize the flowers. Duh. So I hope there'll be a second crop later, when it gets cooler.

3310 Boozy yogurt

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Freedom" is the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
"License" is a freedom that is used with or allows irresponsibility, or disregard for rules of personal conduct.
Too many people confuse the two.
-- Silk --


I had always bought Dannon fat-free yogurt, either the coffee flavor or plain. I was never concerned about refrigeration. After all, it has live cultures, and think about how you make it, if you make it at home. Lack of refrigeration would simply allow it to get thicker, until the cultures run out of milk sugars and stop multiplying. I prefer the taste and texture at room temperature. And, in fact, I never had any problem leaving them out for days.

Lately I've been getting the Chobani non-fat Greek, live cultures, in plain, honey, or blueberry.

Man, you can't leave that stuff out on the counter, not even for a few hours. The foil cap bulges, and it gets a definite odor of alcohol. I got a little drunk on the honey yogurt this morning. It was like milky mead.

I wonder why the difference from Dannon? Is there yeast contamination in the Chobani?


This is cool.

I have two a/c systems, one for upstairs and one for down. I guess this is supposed to make the total more efficient. The compressors are out back, just on the other side of the wall I'm sitting near. There's a definite disadvantge to two. When they're both running, they go in and out of phase. So I hear "AHH-rooommmmm, AHH-rooommmmm, AHH-rooommmmm, AHH-rooommmmm, ...." (When only one is running I hear nothing.)

Very annoying.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3309 Amazing!

Saturday, July 17, 2011

Ted Kennedy, of his friend Barry Goldwater: [He] had one motto. It was "Ready! Shoot! Aim!"


This video is absolutely amazing. I kept wishing I could slow it down. We sometimes forget that there's so much more to the world than what we see through our windshields.

Quoting from the uploader's description: "A short tribute to the Planet Earth and the the people that inhabit it. Edited by GrahamboProductions. Song: Baba Yetu by Christopher Tin. Most clips are from the BBC series' Planet Earth and Human Planet. I do not have the rights to any of this content, including the song, and am not associated with BBC, Tin Works Publishing, or any of their affiliates." ...So I guess you'd better watch it quickly. It may not be on YouTube much longer.


3308 It takes time

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Follow the man who seeks the truth; avoid the man who thinks he's found it.


I was thinking about Friday, so few bags of garbage. What took so long?

Shredding. I spent more than two hours, in half-hour shots because of the shredder overheating, shredding paper. I filled three large white garbage bags with tiny paper diamonds, pressed down tight.

Medical films. CT scans, mammograms, x-rays, ultrasounds, MRIs, a stack of old-fashioned actual films over 10 inches high. All except my mammos and one chest x-ray, and one x-ray of a cat, were Jay's.

I couldn't bring myself to throw any of them out. Just leafing through and figuring out what they were brought back so many memories.

You know, I think Jay was accident-prone, or something. Medical problem-prone, maybe. It's almost like his time was up but he kept surviving anyway, until Fate decided to bring in the big guns.

The brain cancer overshadowed everything else, and I'd forgotten.


A few months before I first met him, he'd been working in Texas, and The Company transferred him to Poughkeepsie, NY. He had been dating C, I believe it had been for almost a year, and when he got the transfer, they decided to hurry up and get married.

In an old box from that time, I found the results from some kind of church premarital counseling questionnaire, showing the answers from both parties. It asked questions like "Are you sure this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with?" She answered "Yes". He answered "No". "Does your partner have any habits or attitudes that you think might cause major relationship problems?" She answered "No". He answered "Yes". And so on for four pages. It was really bad. I know they both had to be aware of the other's (his) answers, but I'll bet real money that they never discussed them. I don't understand why no one took him aside and cautioned him. I mean, what else was the purpose of those questions? Why did no one stop him? I know him well enough to know that he probably felt committed and couldn't back out, and this was his attempt to say "Stop me!" but no one listened.

At the rehearsal dinner, he had an attack, turned white, couldn't breathe, passed out, and was rushed to the hospital. C and the guests thought it was a heart attack, but the doctors said it was a severe panic attack. I'm amazed that no one thought about that and talked with him.

So they got married. He told me that C "was convinced" that it really was a heart attack but that people lied to her, so she used that as an excuse to avoid sex, and especially not to have children. Actually, she hated children, and sex was a bother, so it suited her to believe that.

While he was in the hospital with the panic attack, they discovered that his cholesterol and blood pressure were both through the roof, so he started taking the heavy duty meds for that (which he continued to take for the next fifteen years, with the every-six-months tests for liver function, etc.)

Maybe two years after the wedding, his mother died, and he managed to turn his ankle at the funeral, tearing ligaments and tendons. I found the X-rays from that. I remember that he was on crutches for a very long time, and wouldn't let us bring him lunch from the cafeteria, he insisted on going with us. It was a good half mile to the cafeteria.

I found the x-rays for the broken wrist he had about two years later. Then there was the x-rays of his foot. Never did figure out what was wrong, but it was painful. Maybe bone spurs.

Then shortly after we were married, there was the automobile accident. Head-on. Cracked sternum and split ribs.

About a year later his back went out. Ruptured disk. Surgery to remove disk and immobilize the spot.

And then a year later, the seizure, brain tumor, cancer.

It's like Fate had been preparing him - "Get more life insurance!"

When he started chemo, they took him off the BP and cholesterol medications, because his liver would have enough to handle, didn't need more stress. Surprise - his BP and cholesterol were fine. I wonder how long he'd been taking liver-destroying meds that he didn't need.

It's interesting that he died of organ failure, not cancer.

3307 Emerging Pattern

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It isn’t how you start that matters, it’s how you finish.


From "In the latest gambit in the debt limit talks, the GOP has figured out a way to make Obama take all of the blame for keeping interest rates down, paying Social Security recipients on time, and continuing to pay soldiers. No, wait. That wouldn’t be blame, that would be credit. We’re so confused."


Today's Sunday Morning is described as a "special edition". IT'S A RERUN! Oh come on! Special? (Yeah, I know, it's "special" because it's all about animals, and the tag is left over from the original airing, but still, I didn't know that when they piqued my interest....)


I have established a pattern for upriver.

I arrive early evening. Last Thursday the drive took me 3.5 hours because there was an accident on the Garden State Parkway.

The next day I spend the whole day sorting and throwing things out, into the Hunk's trailer for him to take to the dump for me. This past trip I tossed six large black garbage bags, plus a dozen or so tape and floppy disk storage containers, and outdated programming books in there. I spent the entire day on the den. It's not a large room, it's the third bedroom, but that's the room in which, after Jay died, I found seven computers and a huge laser printer that I didn't even know existed. The room also contains every important piece of paper that ever entered the house. And no longer important paper. And never was important.

That's how cluttered that room was. Jay never ever threw anything out. Someday he might be able to use it. Unlike most hoarders, though, Jay had a mental inventory of everything, and knew exactly where it was. The only problem was that he never needed to use it.

The following day I pack whatever needs packing for this load and fill Fred. This past trip Fred's load is almost entirely paper to go to the recycle center down here. (Yeah, I could just toss the paper in the trailer, but I'll pay by the pound to dump it, and I don't want to pay for a ton of wet paper.) And a few things to go to Good Will.

There's a recycle center upriver, but they are open only one afternoon during the week and on Saturday morning, and you have to buy a sticker to get through the gate, and everything has to be strictly sorted. I didn't get the $25 sticker for this year. The recycle center down here is open every day except Sunday, it's free, and paper is paper, no sorting necessary. Free! Easy! And they take electronic thingys too, so there's also a few external drives and old monitors in Fred.

Then after loading the van I return downriver. Yesterday's trip took over three hours because I left too early and hit the Saturday shore traffic on the Garden State. Note to self - leave mid or late afternoon. Once home, I immediately unload anything that can't take heat, and then the next day, I rest. Tomorrow I get to fully unload. Usually that involves finding new homes for everything I brought down. With no chests, tables, bookcases, or anything else, that's not easy. Mostly stuff is just getting stored in boxes in a bedroom until I can get furniture down.

On the previous trip I worked on the kitchen, clearing out drawers and cabinets (that house has a huge kitchen, nine or ten large deep drawers, seventeen or more cabinet doors (all the shelves glide out), four rotating corner cabinets, a butcher block island, a huge double pantry - I loved that kitchen! This trip I had taken a container of stew. I wanted to heat half of it for dinner Thursday evening, and discovered I had nothing to spoon it out with.


I probably threw out a lot of valuable stuff. Jay was all science. He loved Edmund Scientific catalogs. I found all kinds of kits, some that had never been opened. One was labeled "photographic special effects" and the box was full of camera lenses (without the plastic screw-on parts). I threw them out. There were three microscopes. I kept the one that looked least jury-rigged and still had the instruction book and threw the other two out.

Yeah, maybe someone would appreciate that stuff, and at one time I considered listing stuff on Freecycle or eBay (most of it is too esoteric for Good Will), but when I consider the amount of research and coordination that would involve, I realize I just plain don't have the time or energy, and all that crap would just end up stored here, just like it was there. It has to go, now. And once the decision is made, it must be executed immediately. No second thoughts.

I can hear Jay screaming.