Saturday, July 30, 2011

3324 Collecting

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Anything that says "healthy" I stay away from.
Giving up butter, for instance, means that in about two years
you will be covered in dandruff.
-- Julia Child --


It's been a hair over six weeks since I had the stent removed, and it's time to do the 24-hour urine collection. (Why wait six weeks? I have no idea. Perhaps because my bladder was so torn up the urologist wanted to give it time to heal? That still doesn't explain six weeks. Maybe that was the longest he figured he could put off having to see me again.)

I picked up the collection bottles at the lab earlier in the week. Yeah, bottleS. Turns out the doctor wants a bunch of things (chemicals in the urine) tested for, some of which require acid in the urine in the bottle, and others which require pure urine, so I have to do TWO 24-hour collections. So I needed two days that I wasn't going to be going out much.

I had intended to head upriver on Wednesday evening and return yesterday, but I blew it. I got involved in something Wednesday, and time had gotten away from me and it was late and I was very tired. So I decided to leave very early Thursday morning. I've been waking automatically at 6:30 lately, so I figured I could be on the road by 7.

Wednesday night I had great difficulty sleeping. Thousands of thoughts. Tossing and turning. I even got up and came downstairs for a few minutes at 2 am. By 5 am I was still not sleeping. Then I fell asleep and didn't wake until 9:30. That would put me at the old house at the hottest time of the afternoon, I'd have lost control of the heat in the house, wouldn't be able to get it cooled down, and then I'd just have to leave again the next morning. So I didn't go. I'll go Monday.

So I've been collecting urine yesterday and today.

When the woman at the lab gave me the containers, I said, "3000 ml? I'll need an additional container for each day, these aren't large enough."

I am so sick and tired of medical folks patting me on the head and assuring me I don't know what I'm talking about.

"Oh, no, these will be plenty large enough. If you fill it this far (pointing about two inches from the top) you'll be doing really good." I told her I regularly drink a minimum of three liters a day, not including whatever fluid is in my food. She said, "Oh, not everything that goes in comes out. This will be ok."

I didn't argue further.

So yesterday, when the container was more than half full by 2 pm, I curtailed my usual intake for the rest of the day, because I knew the next morning's piddle would be especially important because that's where all the vitamins and minerals I take would show up, and that would be about 12-16 ounces, so I'd have to leave at least that much room. Which royally pissed me off, because I figure if we want to find out what's causing the stones, it's important to eat and drink as close to my usual as possible.

I took that container to the lab this morning, and it was full to within a half inch of the top.

It's NOT thirst that makes me drink so much. It's habit. I don't usually carry bottles of water with me, for example. I can be out running around all day with nothing to drink, and I'll feel no thirst. One odd thing I've noticed is that when I don't get the usual three quarts of water a day, my stomach sticks out. It's like my body pulls a reserve of fluid into the fat pad on my tummy. Camel mode. The better regularly hydrated I am, the flatter the tummy. (And the better my face looks. Wrinkles and grooves get filled in.)

"They" say that when you are adequately hydrated, your urine should be very pale, almost clear.

I never see clear, even at 3+ quarts a day. It's rarely even pale. It's usually bright yellow crayon yellow. When I've gone a day with little to drink, it's a bright intense flashing neon yellow. (When it gets dark yellow, that's infection.)

My liver's fine, by the way. And the whites of my eyes are white.

Maybe it's the vitamins and minerals? Excess getting piddled away? I don't think so, because a.) although I'm taking a large variety, it's not large quantities, nowhere near megadoses on any of them, they're just to "fill in" the holes, so to speak, and b.) I have often skipped the supplements when traveling or "just because", and there's no difference.

I'm hoping this test might answer that question.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

3323 Maybe this will work?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A man who goes to the bottom of things usually winds up on top.
-- Salada Tea tag line --


Yesterday I went to the NY DMV website, opened an account, and changed my address for my driver's license and registrations. I think, well, hope, that's what they consider my "address of record". (Note that they never do define what they mean by "address of record".) That procedure doesn't change the address on the title, because they say that "the title is valid no matter what address is on it". (So, um, which "record" are we using the address of?)

Today I filled out the forms for replacement of the titles, using the NJ address as the "current address", and mailed them.

Now I wait six to eight weeks to find out whether it worked or not.

3322 Getting weird

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Alimony: Bounty on the mutiny.
-- Salada Tea tag line --


I'm beginning to think someone is playing games with me. The "cars" folder, which is supposed to contain titles and service records (and I know I have put service records in there!) is empty.

Now I can't find the registration cards or insurance cards. They are supposed to be in the clove compartments. I always put them in the glove compartments within a day or two of their arrival. Always! In fact, Hal and Fred have plastic cases for them. If I hadn't put the new ones in the cases, then the old ones should still be there.

The cases are empty.

It would make more sense if the cases were missing.

I don't understand.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

3321 Kill me now!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Honest men are slaves to their conscience, and there's no predicting 'em.
But you can always trust a dishonest man to stay that way.
-- Pirate "Jack Sparrow" --


I need to get my cars registered here. The local gendarme has been slowing down at the end of the driveway and peering at Fred's NY plates. One of these days he's going to ask.

In order to register them here, I need the titles. I can't find the titles. They MUST be in the old house somewhere, but I've sorted through every stack of paper, and they are nowhere. Naturally, the folder in the file cabinet marked "cars" has nothing in it.

So, "all I have to do" is apply to the NYS DMV for new copies. I have the forms. I have the $20 each. What I don't have is a way to receive them.

NYS will send the new titles only to the address of record. Period. The address of record is the old address. Even if I change the address of record (and I'd have to change it to a NY address, not a NJ address) they will send the new titles with the new address on them only to the old address.

No, you cannot pick them up in person. Impossible. Mail to address of record only.

Duh? This has to happen a lot. Why don't they have a better process?

I'm having the USPS forward mail going to the old house to the new address (there's very little by now that doesn't have the new address). The old house is no longer getting mail. HOWEVER, the USPS will not forward ANY official government mail, state or federal. It will be returned to sender, the DMV.

The two women at the information desk at the DMV office in Kingston, NY, told me that there will be a USPS sticker on the envelope telling them the new address, but they don't know if that will result in them being resent to the new address. (They, employees of the DMV, actually looked at each other ruefully and said, "After all, it's the DMV we're talking about.") So they gave me a phone number in Albany to call and ask what to do.

I have called that number - early morning, late afternoon, lunchtime, over and over - and all I'm getting is a recorded message saying that the call volume is too high and they are not taking calls, that I should go to the website. The website just says they'll mail new titles to the address of record. Sigh.

They have divided the state into area code blocks, and ask that you call different numbers for different area codes. I've tried the number for the old area code, and for out of state, and I get the same "high volume, go to website" message. Click. Crickets.

Hey folks! It's not high call volume causing the problem! It's low phone answerer volume! Put more people on the damn phones!

I don't know what to do.

The only thing I can think of is to stop the USPS forwarding, and instead have the mail held at the post office, and then pick it up on trips upriver until the titles arrive, then reinstate forwarding. BUT, it was a permanent (one year) forward, and I don't know if they'll let me do that.

Kill me now.


AHAH! I'll write them a letter asking what I should do! I'll even include a SASE.

(What are the chances that IF there's a response, it will be coherent?)


I checked the DMV website. I can change my address online for the driver's license and registrations, but not for the titles. "Your title is still valid with the old address on it."


3320 A cure for poverty?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.
-- Archilochus --


Low income families eat high fat, high sugar foods because they're cheaper than fresh, more healthy foods. A lot cheaper.

So some lawmakers have come up with a solution - a way to wean people off the bad stuff and force people to eat healthier foods. They want to tax the hell out of fast foods, sodas, junk food. Make them so expensive that poor people can't afford to eat bad stuff, can't take that choice as the easy way to save money. Save the state lots of money in health care costs. One guy on the news this morning was actually comparing it to the war on tobacco - that ridiculous taxes got people to quit when they couldn't afford it any more.

Uh, I don't understand.

Isn't the theory that they can't afford the healthy stuff, so that's why they eat the bad stuff? No to mention that when you have two jobs, there isn't a lot of time for shopping, chopping, and cooking. So the solution is to ensure that they can't afford any food? If it works like the tobacco thing, will they quit eating?

Actually, I suspect the lawmakers don't understand.

(Although if all the low income families starve to death, yeah, I guess that would save on medical costs.... Maybe this is the new "War on Poverty".)

3319 I give up

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Garrison Keillor says he speaks Danish well enough to get into trouble,
but not well enough to get out of it.


This is longish, but do read it.
It may be important to you or someone you know.

I saw this notice when I went to Blogger today:
Do more with your photos
Your blog's photos have their
own album in Picasa Web Albums.
Take a look.
So I went to Picasa to look.

I was faced with the usual "gotta check the box that you read the Terms and Conditions". I've worked with lawyers long enough to know that you DO read the legal stuff or suffer the consequences, but Picasa didn't make it easy. The terms and conditions were in a small unexpandable box, and each paragraph was one very long line, so you had to scroll right and left forever, as well as down.

Most people would shrug, skip it, and check the box. I copied the damn thing to the notepad, and read it, because with that extreme format, I figure they're hiding something.

I found this little gem:
11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services. [Emphasis mine.]

11.2 You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.
That's the bit that got me banned from Facebook for life when I objected to Facebook's retaining my photos for their own use even after I had deleted them from my account. That word "irrevocable" means that once posting the photos, you can never regain control of them. Note, by the way, that paragraph 11.2 directly contradicts the last sentence of paragraph 11.1. That means that advertisers with relationships with Google can use your photos on ads offering, say, STD cures, and you have no say.


Oh, yeah, every photo that ever appeared on my blog is out there. I know that putting them on my blog I "gave" them to the internet, but I didn't give up my rights to control them if I so chose. I still retained the right to control --- until Google/Blogger/Picasa took it away.

I can't make the albums out there private. I did check the box to not give out the link, but I don't know what that means. Let me know if you suddenly can't see photos on entries. *I* can still see them, but I don't know if anyone else can. Please check out the immediately preceding post. Is the shirt dress still there?

3318 Shirt Dress

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I apologize for all my shortcomings.
-- Rhett Butler --


I used to do this with Jay's older shirts on those lazy at-home days. He loved it.
This doesn't show it, but you cross the sleeves in back before bringing them forward.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

3317 What happened to tuna?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Most men ... were competent in groups that mimicked the playground,
incompetent in groups that mimicked the family;
that was why all-male committees ran the most smoothly.
-- Jane Smiley, Moo --


I've always bought solid white tuna in water. I've noticed over the past twenty years that it has been gradually changing - getting darker and less solid. It used to be white and came out of the can solid, like a tuna steak. You practically had to slice it to break it up. Now it looks a lot more like chunk light used to.

If this is what solid white looks like now, I'd hate to see what the stuff labeled chunk light looks like - cat food?

Has the tuna changed?

Or are we consumers now getting second best, they just moved the labels down the line, and the good stuff is going somewhere else?

3316 I am my own person

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The essence of charity ... [is] not deciding what others needed and giving
it to them, but giving them what they wanted.
-- Jane Smiley, Moo --


The biggest disadvantage of having skimpy eyebrows is that sweat runs straight down into my eyes, carrying sunscreen with it. That means red burning eyes, blurred vision, and no makeup. Heat itself doesn't bother me much, I'm otherwise perfectly willing to go out when it's hitting 100 and above. But my eyes, my eyes! The only thing anything near a solution is no sunscreen above my cheeks, and a hat.


Got my hair trimmed last Friday. I may go back and get the back trimmed a bit closer in a week or two. They always leave the back too long and it wants to stick out.

The hairdresser was very jealous that I didn't want blowing out or mousse - "I'll just scrunch it with my hands until it dries." She said she envied my hair's body and wave. I said it was just a good cut. She raved about my color, "and it's entirely natural!" Hmmm. I'd been seriously contemplating a temporary light blonde coloring.

The main problem is that I don't know what color it is. When it was long I could pull it in front and look at it, and when I trimmed it I had some length to look at. But back then I was coloring it. Now it's natural, and the old dye is all grown out, but I can't see it.

No, mirrors don't reflect true color. And when I look at the bits of trimming on the salon floor, they look dull gray to me. When I ask people, they wrinkle their noses and say "No, not white. Not gray. Sorta blondish, I guess. But not really." Main trouble is that I think it's different colors in different light.

I think maybe in natural light, sunlight, it's a pale platinum blonde. In artificial light I suspect it's a yellowed gray, like an old linen tablecloth.

I think I'll color it.


I've been thinking about what I said in an earlier post about women changing their names when they marry, that it's like there's been a change of ownership, changing the title so to speak.

I have come down strongly and firmly on the side of NOT changing names. I see no reason whatsoever for a woman to change her last name. When I was married to Jay I didn't change my name because I owned so much in my own name and both he and I could see no reason to go to all that bother. If anyone got fussy about it, like in the hospitals when they wanted to be sure that I was really his wife before they'd let me stay past visiting hours, I'd just say "My name is [my name], and my social title is Mrs. [his name]. There's a difference." Oddly, they all simply accepted that.

Note that although it is perfectly legal for a man to change to his wife's name on marriage, almost none ever do. Ask a man why not sometime. The answer will be illuminating.

I also think that hyphenating is downright silly. Why bother? Does a woman really have to add his name? No.

As for children, most people don't know this, but you can give a child any surname you want. You don't have to use the parent's last name(s). Just agree on something you like, and that's it. No, it doesn't cause problems. Look at all the blended families, where stepparent and stepchildren don't have the same surname, or a natural mother who changed her name on remarriage and has children of a previous marriage, or step-siblings. No big deal.

I just strongly object to the assumption (or male insistence) that a woman has to take her husband's surname. It's too much like changing title on property. (It's also unique to western Europe. Most eastern countries don't have that custom.)

The custom makes it nearly impossible to locate old female friends from high school and college. I have to know who their new owners are.