Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, May 25, 2019

There are perks to being a pagan living in a Jewish household

Sure, you have to know the kosher laws and my libations must technically be off the property, but last night's Sabbath dinner was wonderful: tilapia in wine, onions, and herbs, salad, challah, kugel, and asparagus with mint sauce, all very healthy and not very expensive at all, much less than you would pay in a restaurant, and much tastier. I think the cook outdid himself this week. It means he has to go out on the bus to the bakery to get the challah, which is downtown and has odd hours, as I can't because I'm at work and they're closed by the time I get off work, but it is well worth it. But he cooked most of the afternoon, I think and was very tired afterwards, and I cleaned up, and I was in bed by 10 pm.

This makes me so angry

I read about this the other day and was so mad I could not express myself coherently at all.

School Made Six-Year-Old Girl Do 'Cafeteria Walk of Shame,' Return Lunch, Because She Didn't Have Enough Money


Wow, the power one person can make

How One Man Singlehandedly Repopulated a Rare Butterfly Species in His Backyard">How One Man Singlehandedly Repopulated a Rare Butterfly Species in His Backyard

I've always had a fondness for swallowtail butterflies in particular. When the pipevine swallowtail lost habitat in San Francisco, they disappeared from the city. This man created the conditions needed to bring them back. For all that we hear about the destruction of our planet and denizens, this proves that one person's actions can make a difference in terms of fighting extinction.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Really looking forward to

the three-day weekend.  Here's hoping things go well at work (yesterday there were several fires to put out, metaphorically).

After the fiasco last October

when I lost all my documents doing a Windows update, I was somewhat trepidatious about doing the May 2019 update.  But, one thing I changed in the intervening months was that I had put all my documents on an SD card in my laptop, with Dropbox as a backup (the latter had been the case for the documents I lost, and with the exception of a couple of weeks' worth, I saved most of the rest.  Backups are important, people.)  Anyway, I had heard that the update wouldn't install with a USB drive or SD drive because of an issue with remapping the drives, but that if you disconnected the USB or ejected the SD, it should work fine.  Since ejecting the card had been the plan all along, I did so, downloaded the update in about two minutes, and had the whole thing updated within five.  It was the easiest Windows update that I've ever done, and it seems to be working correctly.

I did it this morning because I'd woken up at five and was just awake, and couldn't go back to sleep.  So  I got up, took a shower, got ready, and did the update.  I left the house at about 6:20 am, stopped by Kroger for caffeine, and went into work, getting there about 7 am.  So I  have until 8:30 am to just chill and do what I'd like.  I've gotten my personal e-mail squared away.  I'll check social media and the news.  I'm on my hotspot on my phone rather than the hospital's WiFi because I promised a long time ago not to use the hospital's equipment to blog at all after someone had a conniption over something I'd written during a break at work.  So, it's my equipment, my connexion.

Okay, let's go see what's going on in the world.  I did see on my phone that Teresa May, the prime minister of Britain, has resigned.  I don't care for her policies, or for the idea of Brexit.  Not that it matters, I suppose, given that I'm not British and they don't care about my opinion.  But she certainly was very polarising.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Catta malevolua mortua est

Grumpy Cat, Internet Celebrity With a Piercing Look of Contempt, is Dead at 7

Her real name was Tardar Sauce. Requiescat in pace.

I loved it

'The Big Bang Theory' finale closes with a big dose of heart [contains spoilers] I have only watched 'Big Bang Theory' fairly hit-or-miss throughout its tenure, although I do have several seasons on DVD, and hope to complete my collection. I just don't watch much live television and don't have cable.TV. But...I do love the show. So it was a great delight and a little sadness last night to be over at one of our friend's housing eating Chinese food from Jin Jin and it came on. :)

Monday, May 06, 2019

I've been a little busy lately

Last week was mostly preparation for a colonoscopy on Friday. I won't say it was fun, but it was necessary, and not too bad.

We as a society are much more open about speaking up about colon cancer and screening than we used to be. I have to admit, I never thought about it (I was still fairly young) until  Katie Couric spoke about her husband's cancer and the need for screening colonoscopies.  It's not the most pleasant test in the world, after all--who really wants to be scoped up the butt after a day of clear liquids or more and prep that make you live in the bathroom for hours?  But I have to say a couple of things here, having gone through my second one last week.  One, the scope itself is painless and quick, and if you've done a careful prep, they produce good results for seeing the colon and any polyps or cancerous growths that may be there.  Two, the preps are getting much better.  Five years ago, when I had my first colonoscopy, it wasn't as bad as many had said (it seems preps vary on doctor and patient needs).  This one, while I can't say it was a complete cakewalk, did its job quickly, was easier to get down, and it allowed me to sleep despite having to start at 6 pm the night before for the first part and 3 am for the second.  It is called Suprep, tastes like cherry with just a little saltiness thrown in.  There are two small bottles.  You put one's contents in a cup, add enough cold water for it to be 16 oz., drink it, and then follow with four 8 oz cups of water over the next hour.  Then your system turns to liquid, and after about an hour and a half, you may just want to go on to the bed.  Then you get up five hours before your test and do the same thing again.  I drank a little Diet Sprite in addition, and some more water, to stay hydrated.

By the time I was getting ready to go to my scope, everything was nice and clear, although I was eyeing the bananas on the table like they were ambrosia because I'd only had orange jello, veggie broth, and orange popsicles all day yesterday.  But all the hard work in terms of diet and prep paid off.  My scope went off without a hitch.  Dr Belin and the folks at Colorectal Surgical & Gastroenterology Associates made it an easy experience.  Literally, the only pain I felt was the putting in of my IV [I think I thwarted the nurse, as I'd given blood about a week before so she had to go through my wrist.]  I wasn't sore or anything afterwards.

They found one polyp, which was removed, and that was basically the same as the test I had five years ago.  I assume they'll send that away.  They always give you pictures and everything looked clear.  So I feel good about it.  I was originally told that I should have them every 5-7 years because of the polyp they found on the first one and was all set to put it off to about 7.  It's been 5, but after finding out my dad died of colon cancer, I thought I should have another one.  They're recommending I have one every 5 years now.  After my test, I was communicating with my stepmother on Facebook, and I learned that my paternal grandfather also died of colon cancer, and I came this mouthing to see if the frequency of the test should be changed but it is still five years.

Now if you're still with me, here's the thing.  I have a good friend battling stage IV colon cancer right now  He is in his early 60s.  He never had a colonoscopy screening, despite a family history of a genetic form of colon cancer,  so it wasn't caught early.   My friend's brother, having lost a father and now with his brother.s diagnosis, has to have the scopes every year.  He takes it in stride.  I know people who have good access to healthcare (and one with a personal history of another type of cancer), who are old enough for the test, maybe even a decade or more in, and they won't go because of either the prep, the scope, or the fear of cancer.  Others, like the friend who drove me today, are due for the screening but their health insurance is so high deductible that they can't afford the test.  In a civilised society, that shouldn't be the case.  I'm going to check with her because my understanding was that screening ones have to be done for free as part of the still-hanging-on Affordable Health Care Act.

Please keep the conversation open.  Don't treat colorectal screening and testing like some taboo.  Some still do.  Encourage your loved ones to get tested.  Get the test if you are 50 or over, or make a case with your insurance if you have any family history if you are younger.  Prevention really is the key.  Take care of yourself and your loved ones.  Read up on colorectal cancer and how to prevent it. You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

As someone with a love of history

I cannot express the feeling of loss  produced in me while I watched the images of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burning and collapsing. 800 years of history, beauty, art, and architecture were burnt away in mere hours. My condolences to the people of France, but it is a great loss for the world.


The thing that struck me the most this week (other than the footage today of Notre Dame burning, which left me crying and sick to my stomach at work today) was that on Saturday I went to the grocery and the man in line ahead of me, who was older, was getting items that obviously indicated he lived alone-single meals and canned goods, mostly, things that could be heated up easily without actually cooking. He was using an EBT card (Food Stamps) and was having trouble because he didn't have enough on it. The cashier checked his balance and he thought she'd run his card, so he started to use his debit card for the balance, which wasn't going through because he didn't know his PIN and the chip was confusing him. I realised what was going on and asked if he was trying to run the EBT first, because he was using the wrong card, and the cashier had him swipe his EBT card, leaving a five dollar balance, but he couldn't get that debit card to work to save his life. It had been about ten minutes. At first I was a little annoyed at the inconvenience, but as it went on I really felt bad for him. The technology was thoroughly confusing and thwarting him. I told the cashier that if it didn't go through in the next attempt to put it on my order, which surprised her. Things have been tight for me as of late, but it was only $5, after all. Finally, with two cashiers and a bagger helping, they got it to go through. He went on his way, never realising that I'd tried to help, and that was fine. But it was like looking at my potential future. He was alone, a little doddering, at the end of his monthly benefit, trying to make ends meet, and if he'd used the wrong card, that might have been the money for his electric bill or something. I'm sure for him the simple act of shopping for groceries was both frustrating and embarrassing, given the all the hoops he needed to negotiate, for which he was woefully unprepared. I thought of how I would have felt. It was very sobering. I'm 52 now and much more conscious of getting old than I used to be. I could see myself like that in 20 years.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

By the way, I was able to get the car fixed

It took $163.00, $65 of which was the tow, so that wasn't that bad.  It left me with very little until payday, but still, it's wonderful to have a working car again.  I used it to do errands this weekend, getting medicine for a friend from the pharmacy and getting a few things at the store. On Saturday I also cleaned and organised it, vacuuming and detailing it. I need to wash it, as it's very grimy.

I loaded up my car with my winter clothes and library books yesterday and then took the tubs to the storage unit and the books to the library. There were only two tubs (I don't have a huge number of clothes). I have only four pairs of shoes, including house shoes, to put things on perspective.

Friday, April 12, 2019

So yesterday went better than I thought it would

After work one of my friends and co-workers, Feliz, took me to the credit union, which was half a block from where she parks her car, and then out to PetSmart at Brannon Crossing to get some food for the kitten.  While we were there, I got some Gumbo Ya Ya for dinner to bring home and grabbed a few things from Kroger, and then she took me home. I'm very grateful.  I used to take her home often when she didn't have a car, so that worked out well.

Today I'm going to try to get the car fixed.  They've just opened.  I'm going to call Kenny at Mitch's Auto, get a tow truck over to the house, where the car is unlocked and the key is with YKWIA, and then see how bad it is quoted.  If it's just a hose, it may be very cheap.  If it's more, well, we'll see.  I had a PTO request in for today for a now-rescheduled appointment where I was leaving at 3 pm anyway, so I can leave here and get over there to get the car (assuming I can get it fixed),

Okay, I just called YKWIA to make sure he's awake, and Kenny to get the ball running with the car. Wish me luck!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I hadn't realised how long it's been since I posted

It's been a little busy.   The 30th of March YKWIA, Brenda, and I all went out to Masala for a birthday buffet.   I had my actual birthday on Tuesday, April 2nd, and while it was just another day at work, it all went well.  Last weekend Brenda and I went to the Central Kentucky Home and Garden Show, which was all well and good, but we were disappointed in the sheer lack of garden stuff (there was a plant sale of mostly generic geraniums and a few plants at a few booths, out of three major arenas).  But hey, it was free, as we got coupons out of one of those coupon envelopes you get in your junk mail that turned out to actually be useful.

My car has a vacuum leak and has been getting steadily worse.  Yesterday I went to pick up my contact lenses from the optometrist, and the car died as I pulled into my parking spot--not just idling at a light or something.  So today I'm on the bus.  Not sure how to get all I need to get done today, but I'll try.  But even though I came a little early I'd better get off of here and clock in, as it's just a few minutes away.  I'll try to write later.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Got my office (finally) just like I want it

So I had the parking in the back of the building on Monday and brought in another little bookshelf and the prints I won at auction, and the latter have been put on the wall.  Those, along with what I had, the plants, and the little radio/CD player, mean I have a bit of a jungle to de-stress my environment, can play music quietly, and overall counteract the more hectic parts of my job.

I'm very fortunate to have an office of my own (it's due to the reams of patient information I deal with and the phone calls I make to insurance), and it's a purple office, which is a plus, with lovely afternoon light.  I'm getting better at taking pictures without any patient information at all, I must say.  My desk itself has lots of cubbies to separate things, a computer, a scanner, and a calendar--very productive and not full of knick-knacks.

Here's what it looks like now:

Oops, got to go clock in.  I've been on my phone hotspot and I need to shut down and get going with my day.  Have a great day!