Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Funny

A Dalek collecting for charity inadvertently scares a baby...and apologises. :)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Found this today

"Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man's eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons."--attributed to Franklin D. Roosevelt in a World War II-era poster by Steve Broder. Office of War Information Poster No. 7, US Government Printing Office: 1942-O-487131.

The American Library Association shared a post on vintage posters on their Facebook page, and one of the posters had this quote.

I went to the YMCA again and worked out for awhile

So go me! I know I've gone very rarely so far this year, but that's twice within five days. The idea is to go regularly in the coming year. I know, resolutions don't often work, but it's worth a try.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Was up late watching movies with YKWIA

Cloud Atlas is easily the best movie I've watched in a long time, even better than Silver Linings Playbook, which was very, very good. A lot of people, I'm sure, had trouble with the shifting timelines and characters, but I really enjoyed it and would recommend it. It was so detailed, was written and directed well, and let me just say kudos to the actors, each of whom brought several characters to life. I would like to read the book by David Mitchell. Here's the trailer:



We also watched the film The Bad Seed, which is from 1956 and chronicles a woman's discovery that her child is a sociopathic murderess. Now it's almost 2:30 am, I've taken him back home and I'm ready for bed. But both were thoroughly enjoyable, although each was a bit disturbing in its own way, especially the latter.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Listening to

'Les Deux John' by Barachois on the Celtic digital music cable channel. They were a Canadian band from Prince Edward Island that has sadly retired. Here's another of their songs:

I've been straightening up the house a bit and listening to

the Celtic music channel on the cable system. A friend is going to come over later to watch some movies with me. I'm eating a bit of brunch now (two tortillas and cheese with orange juice). Then I'll take my medicine and call over there to see what they're up to and whether they're ready for me to come over, for we also have to do the grocery run today, and we need to do it before 'the Game', namely the University of Kentucky vs. the University of Louisville in men's basketball, for A will be glued to the set then. By then YKWIA and I should be watching some movies. :) Okay, I've eaten. Time to go to the next thing. Have a good day.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Maybe I am finally learning to be assertive

I, who have absolutely no skill at haggling, nevertheless managed to approach my cable company with a strong case for cancelling my TV and Internet service and managed to talk them down to $50 off per month, saving $600 over the next year. Go me! Plus, they threw in a year of HBO for free. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I woke up this morning

with a horrible dream in which I went totally mad, waking up at 8:12 am (I have to be at work by 8:30.) I was a bit late, but I was a little ahead on my time so I think it will work out. Despite thinking it would be dreadfully dull on a light clinic day right after Christmas, it actually went fairly smoothly and I got a lot done. I was the only one in the library for the most part, as my office mates were gone. It was so quiet I could hear the copier in sleep mode from across the room. So I travelled around the hospital occasionally and played some music from my phone using a little speaker (it's called a Music Bullet) as I worked.

I chose a primary care dentist for my new DMO plan (it's like an HMO, only for dentists). Essentially, there are 34 dentists in our town who take the plan, many of them part of one practice. So I made that practice my PCD after calling and making an appointment. You see, on Christmas day I was eating a spring roll (yes, Chinese food, the one thing you can count to be open on Christmas, and Jin Jin is excellent). Anyway, a crown with the tooth inside came out of my mouth. Essentially it broke off at the gum line, meaning I'll probably have to have oral surgery, which is unfortunate to say the least. So I'm going to have them check out things and see what all needs to be done. The drawback to the DMO is the lack of participating providers/small pool of them. But there are two very good things, one being that it costs a mere $3 and some change per pay period, half of the PPO plan, and second, it doesn't have the limits that the PPO has, so if I need intensive stuff it will pay for it. It even partly covers adult orthodontia (which I don't really need at this point). The other doesn't. So I'm hoping I made the right choice in going with this plan. The appointment is safely after the new year, when my flexible spending account will be refilled, etc.
    After work today I:
  1. Went to the pharmacy, picked up a friend's medicine and paid for the medication they had put on hold for me when I couldn't pay before Christmas.
  2. Actually went to the YMCA and discovered a recumbent bike that I used for a short but good introductory workout. I hope to start going regularly and extending the amount of time, variety of activities, and level of speed, etc.
  3. Spent time with YKWIA and A, especially watching YouTube videos with YKWIA. I now know much more about apartments and customs of Japan, and unfortunately have watched an entire video devoted to bestiality in Colombia with donkeys. Yeah. I know. I think he takes a certain amount of pleasure in making my brain hurt.
  4. Stopped by Taco Bell on the way home and ate.
Now I'm home and I'm online enjoying what may be the last night of regular cable Internet. Tomorrow the plan is to take in the cable box and modem and cancel my service. Then I need to call and cancel my Vonage account because it piggybacks on the cable. That will save me nearly $180 a month right there. Instead, I'll use my phone as a hotspot with the laptop and if need be the TV and Roku box. The tablet has a data plan of its own, and the Kindle is 3G. If using the laptop or streaming videos exceeds the 2.5 GB limit I have on the hotspot, I think I can go up to 4 GB for just $10 more, still saving a lot compared to cable. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime. I have an antenna for the TV and get several network channels plus some nostalgia TV. I usually just watch the news at home, or maybe something like 'The Big Bang Theory', which is on CBS. I have a DVD/VCR recorder if I want to record something for later. I should be good to go.

Okay, getting sleepy. Hope you have a good night!

Some food for thought

Love these!

Thanks to YKWIA for sharing them with me!



and

Sunday, December 22, 2013

What a busy few days

much of which has been a blur, and I've come home too tired to do much. Let's see if I remember:
    Today:
  • No game; Brenda was off to an SCA event
  • Took all the trash and recyclables out
  • Straightened up the house
  • Did laundry
  • Cleaned a friend's house
  • Fixed him some dinner
  • Watched episode 5 of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' from Australia
  • Wrapped presents, with the help of a cat with a fondness for curling ribbon
  • Helped cut a friend's hair with clippers
  • Cleaned up the hair
  • Spoke to the cable company regarding some issues a friend was having with the Internet
  • Came home, put on the lights and enjoyed the ambiance
    Saturday:
  • Credit Union
  • Pharmacy
  • Grocery run
  • Watched episode 3 of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' [I'd missed that one]
  • Watched an excellent murder mystery with Diana Rigg as the sleuth ('The Mrs Bradley Mysteries')
  • Celebrated my holiday, Yule
  • Came home, listened so some music, talked on the phone with a friend, listened to the storm and wind, and fell asleep
    Friday:
  • Worked 8 1/2 hours, but left a half hour than planned after my boss told me I could go
  • Helped a friend with a project
  • Watched episode 4 of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries' with friends
  • Came home, did a little housework, and fell asleep
    Thursday:
  • Worked just a little over in my attempt to make up hours at work
  • Got a few things for a friend at the grocery
  • Came home in pain and tired
  • I honestly can't remember much more
So, I've spent a lot of time with friends lately. I'm not off from work at all except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It looks to be a slow week for me at work. Here's the upcoming agenda:
    Monday:
  • Work
  • Help a friend with a project
  • Take another friend for some last-minute shopping
    Tuesday (Christmas Eve):
  • Visit my family
  • If it's going to be clear and cold, do a bit of stargazing
    Wednesday (Christmas):
  • Visit family
  • Spend some time with friends
  • Watch the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special
That's it for now. But at least the house is in decent shape and I have a couple of days off. Hope your holiday season is going well. Good night!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I worked from 7:15 am-5:15 pm today, trying to make up some time

for leaving early yesterday, since I have minimal PTO and three holidays coming up on which it must be spent. If I go in early tomorrow and maybe Friday, I can make up the time without tapping that. But boy, what a long day. I'm doing better with the pain and am more productive, but the last couple of days have been very busy in clinic and I've had a lot of data entry to do. I know that's not a really physical job, but just staring at the computer monitor and clicking I find draining after awhile. Because I was kind of glued to my desk for awhile, I got my back messed up (I really try to watch my posture, but I have a tendency to slump), and so by the time I left work my arm, shoulders, and back were hurting terribly. I came home, ate something, and then decided I had to get away from the computer for awhile. I went back into the bedroom and turned on the heating pad and listened to Ed Sheeran for awhile. I woke up and at first thought my phone said 1:40 in the morning and sort of panicked (keep in mind I'm blind as a bat without my glasses), then looked again and it was 8:40. I'd still slept for two and a half hours, though, I was so tired.

I got up and took some medicine and did some straightening up around the house. I have a lot of trash and recyclables to take out, but I think I'll wait until the morning. There's still quite a bit to do, but it does look better. But I just don't think I can carry everything out right now. My arm is experiencing a mixture of pain and numbness. So I think I'm going to go back to the bedroom, get comfortable, and read until it eases up a bit, and then see if I can put the laundry away, etc. (The laundry I did two weeks ago, mind you. And there's dirty laundry collecting on the floor of my bedroom that really needs to go into its hampers.)

A happy outcome to a news story, for a change

Blind man struck by subway says dog 'saved my life'

and even better...

Donations allow blind man to keep the dog that saved him
Williams fainted at the 125th Street platform in Manhattan on Tuesday, and as he tumbled forward, Orlando landed in the tracks alongside him. Orlando tried to rouse Williams, who was unconscious. They lay there as the train passed above them.

Both survived. But because Orlando is slated to retire in January, and Williams' insurance won't pay for a non-working dog, they would have had to part ways. Now, thanks to several anonymous donations to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, all of Orlando's expenses will be covered.

"Orlando is my best buddy, he’s my pal," said Williams at an emotional press conference at St. Luke's Hospital where he was being treated for minor injuries. "He’s taken me on the trains, the buses – everywhere I need to go ... He’s a very gentle gentleman."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I've been considering this for some time, and resisting

due to having a wired desktop and phone that piggybacks onto my cable, but I think the time to turn off the TV/Internet plan I have is coming soon. I am really getting annoyed with Time Warner Cable, which has a monopoly on cable service in our area. Since they took over, I have found that most days during a simple session online, I've either had to reset the router or reboot the computer multiple times. Our infrastructure in our apartments was recently upgraded, supposedly for the better, but apparently the problem has persisted. I pay extra for faster Internet. I am seriously considering just chucking cable altogether, as 1) it is expensive ($160 for TV and Internet alone) and 2) I have an unlimited mobile phone data plan with 2.5 GB of data for using as a mobile hotspot to use with my laptop or TV, so I could still go online or stream videos, although I'm not sure how fast that 2.5 GB would go by. Most of my Internet browsing, which is usually blogging, Facebook, banking, etc., I can do over the phone on the regular data plan anyway. It would mean giving up my landline with Vonage, which has been very good to me (they once comp'ed a month when I couldn't pay my bill), but I am just about done with the whole cable thing. And I can't have satellite or anything like that where I live. I know, First World problems, right?

A random act of kindness

I am apparently being very blessed this holiday season. A very sweet thing happened to me today. I went to the post office and enquired if they sold single stamps. The man who was handling the line said yes, and said, 'so you just need one?' I said, 'Well, I really need 10, but I don't have enough money to get a whole book.' He said he thought they had books of 10 now and so I stayed in line. When I was almost there, a woman who had just mailed some packages brought me a book of 10 stamps and told me 'Merry Christmas'. So now I can mail holiday cards. :) Yay. I'll do what I can to 'pay it forward'.

Leaving you with a nice song or two...





(I think the latter needs to be added to my funeral songs)

There was no game yesterday

as I was in a lot of pain and wasn't feeling well in general, and pretty much stayed in bed except for a brief foray or two for food and water and then finally the season finale of 'Witches of East End'. The only good thing about yesterday is that I got to read for a bit and actually finished a book I'd borrowed from a co-worker, a light mystery.

Today I managed to go to work and also did a bit of errand-running afterwards. I won't say I was incredibly productive, but I got things accomplished that needed to be done, even though I was a bit out of it and just not doing well. I don't really have the money to go to the doctor, and the last time I had this problem, they weren't particularly helpful anyway, either the specialist or physical therapy I was sent to. It just had to resolve on its own. I had a friend suggest and Ace wrap, which wasn't a bad idea but in reality I couldn't stand to have anything on my elbow for more than a few minutes. I did put some heat on it, and that helped. But I got to thinking, and it occurred to me that even though it had been diagnosed as tendonitis before, and that there was certainly some of that, it really felt like nerve pain, like when I had sciatica, just in my shoulder and elbow area. So I looked at my pharmacoepia of various prescriptions and found just a few gabapentin (Neurontin) left, which had be prescribed for neuropathy, but I'd felt my feet weren't really giving me problems and never went back to refill them. But it had gotten me through the sciatica. Gabapentin helps with nerve pain. So I took some ibuprofen to help with the anti-inflammatory aspect, took a gabapentin, and propped my arm up so it was in a position that was mostly comfortable, and went to sleep. That was about 9 pm. I woke up just a little while ago, and while my shoulder and elbow hurt somewhat, it's not nearly as sharp a pain as it was before. I think I found the answer. It seems like my nerves in that area were irritated somehow. I have enough to get me through a few days as prescribed. So we'll try that.

Speaking of medicine, I went to get a couple of crucial meds today (one if I go off of it, I have to ease back up to therapeutic levels slowly, or risk having my skin slough off; I try not to go off it), both for my bipolar disorder. I didn't have the money for anything else. I'm good on my insulin, but I was out of nearly everything else, including the two diabetes meds that are helping so much. People ask me why I use an independent pharmacy that is literally on the other side of town from where I live. They wonder why I don't just use a big chain, which would be more convenient. Well, there are two women in that pharmacy that I see regularly, I know by name, and they provide a personal level of service that chains can't. We were talking about the tendonitis and not going to the doctor because of the expense. I don't get paid until after Christmas, and I was about to give them most of the money I did have for those two meds, leaving me about $7 to last till the 26th for gas, etc. I signed for my meds and then the tech gave me my prescriptions and my cash, and told me she could put them on hold so that I could pay after Christmas. At that point the pharmacist asked if I were out of anything else. I told her, and the tech said she had them ready, and the pharmacist told her just to give me the rest and have me pay later. I felt very blessed. Now I have a little money for food and gas and might actually make it down to Danville around Christmas.

One other bit of good news. I weighed myself and I've dropped from 306 to 289 lbs since I changed CPAP machines. That's been in about a month and a half. Yay! Also, I finished breaking in the shoes and orthoses I got at the doctor's office the other day and they are definitely more comfortable than the ones I had. I think I could actually enjoy walking in these. Maybe I'll try to go to the Y sometime this week. They're doing some remodelling, so I'll have to work around that. But that could help me lose some more weight. I'd probably just walk on the treadmill and maybe go into the water--nothing to really do with my arms at the moment. I don't want to make the whole arm thing worse, especially as it is my dominant arm.

Okay, I should probably go back to bed. Good night.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Highlights of today

  • Work wsa a bit slow. Tomorrow should be a good day for things I don't normally have time for; a lecture is going on at the hospital, so no clinic or surgeries, hence not much in the way of data entry to do. Perhaps I'll finally get some of those boxes out of the library. I normally take off on this occasion, but simply don't have the personal time to do so this time.
  • Picked up my shoes and orthoses from the foot surgeon's office. I am now officially considered healed, being followed up on a yearly basis due to my diabetes, but the ankle/foot injury is officially in the past. Yay! And the new orthoses are soft and cushioned, and I think once I break them in they'll be much better for my feet, especially to start exercising by walking.
  • Took a friend and his dog to the vet and got her situated so hopefully she'll be feeling better.
  • Watched the second episode of 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries'.
  • Watched the holiday episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'
  • Watched most of The Princess and the Frog. It was actually better than I expected.
Now I'm home. I'd planned to clean house tonight but spent the evening with my friends instead. Oh, well. Tomorrow is another day. But I didn't take the Icy Hot with me today and I've been in a lot of pain all day, so I think I'm going to go into the bedroom, get comfy with the heating pad (good thing it turns off on its own after awhile), and maybe read for a bit. I've got to get up early and take a friend to work. :) Good night.

Love this combination

Reading List:

Tomorrow

  1. Work.
  2. Go to the ankle surgeon's office to pick up my new shoes and orthoses
  3. Take a friend and his dog to the vet
  4. Watch a holiday 'Big Bang Theory'
  5. Clean house

Tonight

  1. Bought a heating pad and Icy Hot for the whole arm-in-pain thing. It was amusing being butted by a cat who was getting a bit high on the Icy Hot.
  2. Watched 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries', episode one, on Netflix with YKWIA. It's delightful.
  3. Watched 'The Tomorrow People' and 'American Horror Story: Coven' with YKWIA. The latter is especially riveting, although I predicted several things in this episode, as did he.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Listening to:





Not to be a total and utter wuss

But I'm in quite a bit of pain, due to tendonitis in the elbow and shoulder, so I'm going to keep this short. Today I:
  • Voted in a special election for state senator. My candidate came in second of three, but hey, at least I voted.
  • Got caught up on all the work I was behind on at, well, work.
  • Lent an ear to someone who had to talk out their feelings regarding a family situation.
  • Stopped by the library and got a couple of books and some CDs.
  • Installed a new aquarium filter. The fish are SO much happier. Thanks Amazon!
  • Watched several episodes of 'The Big Bang Theory' with YKWIA because 'The Originals' and 'Supernatural' were preempted by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.
  • Heated up a microwavable bandage for my elbow numerous times tonight. It does help. If only I could take care of the shoulder as well. First thing to get when I get paid Thursday--a heating pad. I had one that was my grandmother's, and probably it was about 40 years old. I think I gave it to Goodwill, damn the bad luck. But for now I'll keep with the microwavable things. They're like the rice-in-the-sock sort of thing, except there's a velcro strap for affixing it around the affected joint.
  • Came home running on my gas light the whole way. I have $7 for gas tomorrow, before I get paid. Here's hoping I don't get vapour lock or something similar tonight--it's in the low 20s right now (Fahrenheit) and it's supposed to go down pretty far. I usually try to keep at least a half a tank of gas in the car for cold weather. Wish me luck.
Okay, enough typing already. Have a good night.

Monday, December 09, 2013

So, I totally failed to blog this weekend

Sorry about that. It was a very busy one, filled with ice, Christmas trees, and the Cthulhu game. I stayed home on Friday due to the impending ice and snow, which turned out to not be too bad at all. On Saturday I went and got my insulin from the pharmacy, picked up a book at the library, put another on hold, and then went over to a friend's to help him put up his tree. I wasn't particularly enthused, as I'd already decorated both at home and at work, and his tree takes awhile to put up, because it's one of those that you put each branch into a slot, whereas at home my tree is a small potted one, and the one at work just comes out of the box, you put it in its stand, and fluff. I'd been in a great mood and holiday spirit about a week or so ago, but PMS robbed me of it and some issues I'm trying to resolve, and so I've been grumpy anyway. Plus I've been in pain--my tendonitis is back in my elbow and shoulder, and it's my dominant arm, so it really hurts pretty much when I move it. His tree always seems to wind up being an all day thing, and this was no exception, but in the end I wound up enjoying myself. But I knew it was important for him to get it up, so I went over there. It turns out that two of the light strings had burned out. So we went in search of replacements, going to Meijer and Target looking for a purple strand and an amber strand. We were able to find purple ones at Target, but had no luck with the amber ones. Going online, we determined that the nearest Lowe's that had them in-stock, for example, was in Georgetown, a town in another county. I tried several others and finally determined that K-Mart did have them--in strands of 35 lights. So we went out again, and got three strands. Then it was time to do the tree. It's absolutely beautiful in purple and gold, especially with the lights down. Anyway, I got home a little after ten, I think, tried to work on the game notes, and didn't have much luck because I was on the laptop and it kept trying to update various things and scan. I finally went to bed, got up in the middle of the night, did the notes, and went back to bed for a bit. When I got up, I didn't have much time before I was supposed to be back over there, so I forewent a shower, dressed in comfy clothes, and went out to tackle the ice on my car, which was nearly a quarter of an inch, I estimate. Then I very carefully drove over there in the ice. Normally I would have just stayed home, but the freezing rain and sleet was supposed to last till about noon and then turn to rain, melting a bit of what had accumulated, so I figured Brenda would be in for the game, and I needed to prep the house first and figured, why wait until more ice had accumulated and there'd be no preparation time at all. Plus I was taking one of my friends to Joseph-Beth for holiday cards, too. So I braved it. There was the prep, a brief interlude where I was tortured with 'Barbie: Life in the Dream House', Joseph-Beth (whose holiday card selection has sadly deteriorated), the game, and then home about 10 pm (there was no 'Witches of East End' last night, and to bed.

Even going pretty much straight to bed, I was hurting all over and didn't sleep well, and overslept a bit as I was just so loathe to leave the bed this morning. I set five alarms every night, including a gentle one that plays happy sounds before turning into an alarm and one with a rooster sound that then talks to me, and usually one will get me going. Not so much today. I've hurt all day, especially my arm, even with ibuprofen, and I just haven't felt well. I finished an audit today that I needed to, took care of some referral things, and designed a department holiday card, but that was about it. Since I was about fifteen minutes late this morning, I stayed late to make up the difference. Now I'm home. I've eaten. I think I'm going to take some more pain reliever and find my heating pad. Then if I can get to feeling better, there's some things to do around the house. That's the plan, anyway. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Took a test on which British city I should move to....

Yay, I got Cardiff, in Wales!
Everything about Cardiff is a little bit magical. They won't thank you for saying it, of course, but you can't fail to be charmed by a city in which all of the signs are written in two languages, and one of them closely resembles elvish.

Also, if you hang about in Cardiff long enough, Doctor Who will start filming around you. And there's the Doctor Who Experience nearby, and sometimes you see Daleks on the streets.

Plus they have a Millennium Stadium. Do you have a Millennium Stadium? You will when you move there.
Take the quiz: http://share.snacktools.com/5F6A8F86AED/q7n5wcpz

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Feeling a bit better

Right before I went to bed, I saw the news on Facebook that Nelson Mandela has died. What an amazing life, and an amazing man. By the time I woke up a couple of hours later, my phone was telling me through two different applications and reaction to the news was all over the Internet.

My arm is still hurting but in general my aches are better, as is the headache. It is still raining pretty hard outside. I am already tired of it, and of course tomorrow there is supposed to be ice and snow. I should do some things around the house, but frankly I don't really want to. I don't want to go to bed again, just yet, either, so I'm in a quandry. I might do some game notes tonight, at least for awhile, and then read. But I feel restless, like I need to go for a drive or something. I don't know. Just not sure of what I want at the moment. Ever have that happen?

Hmmm...didn't think today would be worse than last night

I feel like crap. For one, I'm premenstrual. My mood, which has been pleasant for days, took a nosedive. Then there is a winter storm coming and the day has been very gloomy in all sorts of ways. I didn't sleep well last night because my elbow kept waking me up (I think I have tendonitis in it again). Ibuprofen is barely touching it. I have a cold sore. As the day has progressed, I have had a headache develop and lots of aches in my joints, especially my ankles, neck, and shoulders. I actually left work a little early because quite frankly I wasn't accomplishing much, although the morning was quite productive. I think I'm going to curl up in a ball and take a nap. Granted, that's hiding from some of the problems I'm wrestling with, but I'll be able to handle them better later in the evening with a little more rest.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Ever have one of those days

where you certainly don't want to start over again, because that would be bad, but curling up in a ball in the dark sounds really good? Yeah, I'm there. Not sure if I'll write anything of import tonight. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I was so sorry to hear about this



A few years ago this young man started filming his grandmother, Clara, as she shared recipes from the Great Depression. The YouTube channel is called Great Depression Cooking. Watch the videos there, and you will fall in love with Clara. YKWIA had discovered the channel several years ago, and shared it with me. Eventually Clara retired from the videos, but her down-to-earth humour and manner really touched a lot of people. She passed away the day after Thanksgiving in her sleep. You can see her obituary online. Rest in peace, Clara Bonfanti Cannucciari.

Latke goodness

Tonight I made latkes for a Jewish friend to celebrate Chanukah. There were three types: traditional potato, ricotta cheese, and a spinach/feta/potato variety. The ricotta recipe sounded good, but was a different recipe for cheese latkes than what I usually do (I usually use cottage cheese and fry in oil; this made a thin batter that you cooked on a non-stick surface with butter). I'm not happy with this recipe, but they did taste alright--they just weren't as fluffy and wonderful as in years past. I really must find my old recipe. However, the others came out very well, especially the spinach-feta ones, which had a sauce that went with it made from shredded cucumber, dill, and sour cream. The latkes in general were a success, and we all enjoyed them. After cleaning up a bit and giving my present, I was gifted with leftovers from Thanksgiving to take home. Now it's midnight and I'm home, I was thanked profusely for making Chanukah a happy time, and am bone tired. My shoulders, arms, and hands particularly seem all cramped up. But I enjoyed the evening and I'm glad everything worked out. But now I'm going to bed.

If you celebrate Chanukah, I hope your holiday is full of love, light, and laughter. Have a good night.

Monday, December 02, 2013

Got a good report today on how the new CPAP is doing

They were very pleased with the amount of time I'm using it (averaging about 9 hours a night, and using it every night). My sleep is so much better. I have more energy during the day and only start to fade at a reasonable time, not mid-afternoon. The new masque is doing remarkably better, as well, with a negligent amount of leaking. So, yay! I'm supposed to go back in a year.

I've been in a really great mood all day. I'm in the holiday mood; I went ahead and took some decorations into work and put up the tree there. I can't find some special ornaments that I had for it, but I stopped by and got some tonight to add tomorrow. I brought in my stuffed 'Chris-moose' family, finally finding that this morning. I had a couple of special light strands of my own that I brought in, putting the 'flame'-shaped multicolour lights on the tree, and some globe LEDs that are bright and cheerful at the cubicle. I also had a small resin snowman to put on my desk. The Santa my mom made from ceramics when I was young and the ornaments either made by me or made for me stayed home. The little tree at home has silver bells and red and white stars and snowflakes on it, with white lights. I have a bell decoration on the door that is red and white as well. I have to admit, though, if I had a regular-sized artificial tree at home, I would be tempted to decorate with some beautiful peacock-themed ornaments I saw the other day. But money is tight, I prefer a live tree, and I'd already gotten the little tabletop one, and I like it.

My Christmas cactus, or zygocactus, is blooming. I'm including a picture of it. The buds seem pink but then when the flower opens, they're more of a red. I have a new one at home that is a deep pink as well. I do love them. Last year, after a couple of years of not blooming, or just maybe having a bud or two on it, the plant welcomed me back from my three-month absence by blooming profusely. It's a very cheery little plant.

Okay, I should probably tear myself away from the computer and work on some things here, since I have a night to myself. Just in case I don't write further tonight, have a good night, hope you had a nice Thanksgiving, happy Chanukah (latkes tomorrow night! :) ), and I hope the upcoming holidays and new year bring you light, joy, and fellowship.

Oooohhh,,,,

Rare Biblical Texts From Bodleian and Vatican Libraries Digitized

What do you think of this?

The first person in the world to become a government-recognized cyborg

Thanks to Alexandra Bond, who shared this on Facebook.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Agenda for the week (when not at work)

  • Monday: Appointment with the sleep doctor evaluating the new CPAP machine; run by pharmacy
  • Tuesday: Take a friend to a medical appointment, celebrate Chanukah with him and fix him latkes, both the potato and cheese varieties; watch 'The Originals' and 'Supernatural' there
  • Wednesday: 'The Tomorrow People' and 'American Horror Story: Coven' over at YKWIA's house
  • Thursday: Downtime at home; watch 'Big Bang Theory'; do game notes
  • Friday: Watch 'Grimm' with YKWIA
  • Saturday: See Catching Fire; grocery run
  • Sunday: Prepare for game; play Chthulhu game; 'Witches of East End'

Nearly time for Yule

It's only a little over a foot tall, but this live Norfolk Virginia pine has personality, don't you think?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tomorrow will mark 25 years of remembrance and red ribbons

Educate yourself and others--learn about World AIDS Day. For more information, go to:

Last night

The Knox-Whitley County Animal Shelter was destroyed in a fire. They were able to save at least 10 dogs and 8 cats. The rest of the of the animals were killed. According to the story, donations can be made at any Forcht Bank location to help them rebuild. In the comments section of the story, there is one from Teresa J. Martin that says:
The Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter experienced a devastating fire at about 10 p.m. on Friday night. The fire completely destroyed the shelter. Fortunately many of the dogs were saved, but sadly most of the cats perished. We believe we have homes for all the dogs. What we really need right now is money to help rebuild the shelter. Please make donations (which are tax deductible) to our official PayPal account at http://tinyurl.com/KWAS-Fire-Fund

You may also donate at the Forcht Bank in Corbin and London. The Corbin branch can be reached at 606-528-3660. The London branch can be reached at 606-864-9500.

Drop-off donations may be made at two locations:

Knox County Veterinary Services 314 High Street Barbourville, KY 40906

Whitley County EMS 1002 Aviation Blvd Williamsburg, KY 40769
I haven't been able to verify the PayPal link is actually that of the fund for the shelter, so proceed with caution should you wish to go that route, but I'm including the various contact info in case it can help. I hope they are able to rebuild and continue to find loving homes for abandoned or unwanted pets.

UPDATE: Dogs Saved From Shelter Fire Have Found Homes
  • 21 dogs made it out; only 3 cats did.
  • The dogs were kept in pens along the outer part of the building; the cats were on the interior, and the firefighters only managed to rescue the three cats before the roof collapsed.
  • The dogs have found homes, but the shelter is seeking donations to rebuild. Donations can be made through the group's official Facebook page, according to volunteer Theresa Martin. That page is at: https://www.facebook.com/knoxwhitleyanimalshelter. The PayPal address above is correct according to that page.
  • The one dog that died was the shelter office dog, Miss Sassy, whose picture is posted on the Facebook page.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of the people who worked with and tried to rescue these animals. It's a terrible loss.

Went to visit family today

travelling both to Danville and Stanford, and had a good time with my mom and grandmother. Then I drove back to Lexington and took A on the grocery run and helped YKWIA prepare some mushroom soup for tomorrow. Now I'm home, returning to a messy house and realising that I need to straighten up and do game notes, but I'm almost too tired for either. Sigh.

So, apparently

I am allergic to sunchokes, which is interesting because someone I lived with grew them years and years ago, and I was always intrigued by them, but I didn't actually try them, as far as I remember. Sunchokes are the roots of a plant in the sunflower family; they always made a tall, cheerful plant in the garden we raised together, with their smaller flowers. But both times I had the salad we made for Thanksgiving, both last night and tonight's dinner of leftovers, I started having trouble breathing only after eating them. I know I can eat fennel and apples fine. They're is nothing in the dressing that has ever given me trouble. The only other thing in the meal I had not had before was the Quorn roast, and I ate that early and had no trouble then. So, it seems sunchokes will have to be avoided by me in the future, which is somewhat sad, as they were good both in taste and texture, and I once read their starch is good for diabetics. Oh, well. Good to know, I suppose.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Our thanksgiving meal, the first I've actually really helped prepare

Menu
Pissaladieres [anchovies, olives, and carmelised onions on puff pastry]
Gougers [puffs made from Gruyère cheese]
Pumpkin Soup
Tilapia in Wine Sauce
Herbed Haricots Vert [green beans]
Roasted Radishes [we chose some from Good Foods that have a lot of different colours; roasted radishes taste nothing like raw ones]
Gallete de Pome de Terre [a potato dish with parsley and garlic]
Roasted Kabocha Squash [good, but I'm so thankful I didn't have to peel these]
Quorn 'Turk'y' Roast [surprisingly delicious; in all the time I haven't eaten meat, I had never tried it. It is mostly made from protein derived from mushrooms]
Cranberries with Port [excellent; normal cranberry sauce pales in comparison]
Fennel, Sunchoke, and Apple Salad
Yeast rolls
French Pumpkin Pie [done with puff pastry, kabocha squash (I did have to peel and cube those--it was an adventure], topped with vanilla ice cream; it's not as sweet as an American pie, but was very flavourful].
We spread purchasing over four weeks, spent three hours on Wednesday getting last minute stuff together, worked and cooked thirteen hours over two days, ate for almost two hours, took an hour and a half to clean up, and the cook was asleep before that was finished, and I barely managed to drive home, put my purse down, and went straight to bed, after turning off all five alarms on my cell phone, but my, it was worth it. I'd never had a Thanksgiving dinner with others away from my family before, unless it was when I was married, but even then, I think I went home, but then my friends are also my family, and they had asked me to come back in August when it became clear that their normal Thanksgiving plans weren't going to work. Everything but the Quorn and rolls were done from scratch, and the food processor was only used for a couple of things.

My cell phone went off this morning and I thought I'd missed turning off an alarm. I was so asleep I didn't realise it was a call. My mom called back again a little later and I was a bit more with it, and we made plans for me to visit tomorrow. That was about 8:30 this morning. I finally woke up about 11 and got up aouut 11:30. I guess I went to bed around 10 last night.

I need to do a few things here, get properly ready. But it was nice to have some recoup time. I didn't realise just what went into Thanksgiving preparations. I have a great deal more respect for the women in my family who have done so for years. I think the most I'd ever really done before was peel potatoes a couple of time. This was very hands-on; for most of yesterday my hands were green from peeling the squash, for example. :)

And it was a far cry from last year, where Thanksgiving was just another day, alone in my apartment recuperating from a broken ankle and foot, although one of my co-workers brought me food from her dinner, which was sweet. Anyway, I'm thankful I have a few days to spend with friends and family, that I'm able to get around and visit, and that things went so well yesterday.

I don't get the Black Friday craze



--and I'm glad: Black Friday frenzy leads to reports of violence.

Watch. Listen. Think. Change.



Thanks to Deana Full, who shared this on Facebook.

Monday, November 25, 2013

'It's always the quite places where the mad shit happens'

I want to see this!



Ireland. Cthulhoid monsters. Drinking for protection. What's not to love? And yes, I checked--it's on Netflix! Thanks to YKWIA for finding this gem.

Almost 100 questions and answers (I deleted a few that were repeated)

Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, and find line 4. 'She pounded on the door and cried for help.'--The Peculiar Case of the Electric Constable: A True Tale of Passion, Poison, & Pursuit, by Carol Baxter
Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, What can you touch? A lamp
Before you started this survey, what were you doing? Watching a video of my dead cat.
What is the last thing you watched on TV? 'Witches of East End'
Without looking, guess what time it is 6:20 pm
Now look at the clock. What is the actual time? 6:07 pm
With the exception of the computer, what can you hear? The aquarium bubbling
When did you last step outside? What were you doing? Coming home from work about an hour ago
Did you dream last night? Yes
Do you remember your dreams? Not last night's, but sometimes
When did you last laugh? Yesterday at the game
Do you remember why / at what? 'Harry Potter and the Ten Years Later', a parody video on YouTube
What is on the walls of the room you are in? A triptych of the Goddess, God, and Child
Seen anything weird lately? A trailer for a movie from Ireland with Cthulhoid monsters that will kill you unless you're drunk
What do you think of this quiz? It's okay.
What is the last film you saw? In the theatre? Hunger Games (the first one), otherwise The Last Keepers
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Great Britain
If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy? A house.
Tell me something about you that most people don't know. I sleep with a teddy bear. It's comfy, and I don't have cuddly pets anymore.
If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do? End inequality between genders.
Do you like to dance? Not really. Or rather, it would be nice, but I can't.
Would you ever consider living abroad? Yes.
Does your name make any interesting anagrams? Not that I've noticed. But the numerology matches my birthday's.
Who made the last incoming call on your phone? YKWIA
What is the last thing you downloaded onto your computer? A score sheet from the Human Rights Campaign on my city's GLBT-equality
Last time you swam in a pool? This summer
Type of music you like most? Celtic
Type of music you dislike most? Rap
Are you listening to music right now? No
What color is your bedroom carpet? Tan
If you could change something about your home, without worry about expense or mess, what would you do? Get a house with room for a garden, rather than an apartment
What was the last thing you bought? Cream of broccoli soup
Have you ever ridden on a motorbike? No--and won't
Would you go bungee jumping or sky diving? No
Do you have a garden? No, but I have lots of houseplants and office plants
Do you really know all the words to your national anthem? Yes
What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning? I have to pee.
If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? The Dalai Lama
Who sent the last text message you received? Brandon
Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Amazon
What time is bed time? Anytime between 9 pm and 1 am
Have you ever been in a beauty pageant? No
How many tattoos do you have? None
If you don't have any, have you ever thought of getting one? Yes, but I wouldn't
What did you do for your last birthday? I think I went to an Indian restaurant with friends
Do you carry a donor card? Yes
Who was the last person you ate dinner with? My co-workers
Is the glass half empty or half full? Half full
What's the farthest-away place you've been? California
When's the last time you ate a homegrown tomato? This fall
Have you ever won a trophy? Once. The movers broke it later.
Are you a good cook? Not at all. But I can bake. And I'm learning to cook and assist in prep work quite often.
Do you know how to pump your own gas? Of course. I don't live in New Jersey. I can also check my oil and change my tyres.
If you could meet any one person (from history or currently alive), who would it be? Socrates
Have you ever had to wear a uniform to school? No
Do you touch-type? Yes
What's under your bed? An empty under-the-bed container
Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes
Think fast, what do you like right now? Spinach
Where were you on Valentine's day? At work
What time do you get up? 7:30ish
What was the name of your first pet? Freckles. He was a rabbit.
Who is the second to last person to call you? Time Warner Cable
Is there anything going on this weekend? Thanksgivingkkah
How are you feeling right now? Just okay, have a bit of a headache and I'm tired
What do you think about the most? My best friend
If you had A Big Win in the Lottery, how long would you wait to tell people? Most a couple of weeks, one person immediately
Who would you tell first? My best friend
What is the last movie that you saw at the cinema? Hunger Games (first movie)
Do you sing in the shower? Sometimes
What do you do most when you are bored? Listen to music
What do you do for a living? I'm a librarian
Do you love your job? Yes
What did you want to be when you grew up? An optometrist
If you could have any job, what would you want to do/be? Archaeologist
Which came first the chicken or the egg? Egg
How many keys on your key ring? Six, counting the padlock and luggage keys
Where would you retire to? Great Britain
What kind of car do you drive? Ford Taurus SES
What are your best physical features? Eyes
What are your best characteristics? Loyal
If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go? Great Britain
What kind of books do you like to read? Mystery and fantasy, mostly
What is your favorite time of the day? Evening
Where did you grow up? All over the US--I was a military brat
How far away from your birthplace do you live now? 35 miles
What are you reading now? Confessions of a Prairie Bitch by Allison Arngrim
Are you a morning person or a night owl? Night owl
Can you touch your nose with your tongue? No, sadly
Can you close your eyes and raise your eyebrows? Yes
Do you have pets? Just goldfish these days, and a betta fish
How many rings before you answer the phone? Two
What is your best childhood memory? Getting an A in gym for running cross country even though I was last. I finished despite an asthma attack at high altitude. But my teacher believed in me.
What are some of the different jobs that you have had in your life? Interfiler, Gas Station Attendant, Stocker, Food Service Worker, Cashier, Office Clerk
Any new and exciting things that you would like to share? I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and the meal we're going to work on
What is most important in life? Love
What inspires you? People who risk everything to make the world a better place

YKWIA hurt my brain at first by showing me this

But it turned out to be a wicked parody (in eight parts, the last two episodes 7 parts 1 and 2) :), and it had a plot and everything, so the story turned out to be interesting. It hurt my brain because I was emotionally invested in the characters as they were in the books, but even boy wizards have to grow up sometime....

If you haven't watched 'The Day of the Doctor' and plan to, don't go to this link

but if you'd like a recap of some of the best tributes to the series seen in the special, feel free to click: ‘Doctor Who’: The 13 Best Callbacks and References in ‘The Day of the Doctor’

I won't discuss the episode here yet beyond saying that there were parts, from the very first moment, when the geek inside me bubbled out, and the love for the show I had as a kid just totally took over. It was a lovely romp. There were a few times it was, well, a bit over the top, but I enjoyed it anyway. I hope you get to see it, as it was great fun.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

It made me happy

to see the 'Doctor Who' Google 'Doodle' not only on the UK Google page yesterday, but up on the general page today. :) Go play: http://www.google.com.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The system is broken; let's fix it

Creigh Deeds’s son, my daughter and my fears about Virginia’s mental health system
I was coming home from visiting my 11-year-old daughter at a Virginia psychiatric hospital Tuesday when I heard about the stabbing of state Sen. Creigh Deeds and the suicide of his son, Austin. According to some reports, the younger Deeds had been denied admittance to a psychiatric hospital the day before. I was heartbroken. This family was let down by the same broken mental health system my family depends on.

My daughter was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 8. When I checked her into Dominion Hospital on Nov. 15, I was grateful there was a bed available. She’d been having violent rages — punching and kicking me and her younger brother and trying to jump out her window. Although no mother ever wants to leave her child in a psychiatric hospital, I knew it was the safest place for her.
Deeds attack shows that our system is a mess
First some facts. Since the 1970s, we have been closing down state hospitals without providing adequate services in our communities to help people who are in the midst of a mental crisis. A 2010 report found that 200 individuals in Virginia who were psychotic and either dangerous or incapable of caring for themselves were "streeted" -- slang coined by emergency room doctors for when hospitals knowingly put a psychotic patient on the sidewalk.

This is a national problem. In Iowa recently, I was told that officials sometimes had to drive patients across state lines to find beds. In Seattle, which has excellent services, individuals can spend 24 hours languishing in emergency rooms until beds in a treatment center open up. Experts recommend that 50 psychiatric beds should be available per 100,000 residents. The national average today is only 17 beds per 100,000.

HMOs are partly to blame. Psychiatric beds traditionally lose money so HMOs have been closing local psychiatric wards in favor of more profitable surgical beds. In northern Virginia where I live, 24% of public psychiatric beds were shut down in 2005.

Our legal system hampers our mental health system, too. We demand a person become "dangerous to self or others" before parents and others can intervene. This forces families to wait until it's too late to get help. It's a reason why our jails and prisons have become our new asylums. Great Britain and France have a "need for treatment" standard that allows for earlier intervention but has safeguards built in to prevent abuses.
A Son's Death Reveals Chasms In Emergency Mental Health Care
Early reports said the family had received an emergency custody order from a judge on Monday, the first step in getting a person involuntarily committed to a hospital in Virginia. But then local health officials had to find a hospital bed.

For reasons that remain unclear, that didn't happen. The custody order expired, and Gus Deeds was allowed to leave a local mental health facility. The commonwealth of Virginia has launched an investigation into the circumstances, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

When space can't be found in a psychiatric hospital, Honberg says, "families are basically left to fend for themselves."

Nationwide, states have cut spending for treating mental illness in the past decade, resulting in longer waits for outpatient care and fewer inpatient beds.

A study by the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors found that state investments in mental health dropped by $4.35 billion between 2009 and 2012. At the same time, demand for both outpatient and inpatient services increased.

By 2010, the number of state psychiatric beds per capita was down to levels not seen since 1850, according to the Treatment Advocacy Center, a group that lobbies for more access to care. That was when the movement toward humane care of the mentally ill was in its infancy, and disturbed people were locked in prison.

Starting in the 1960s, many psychiatric hospitals were closed because treatment in the community was considered a more humane and less costly alternative. But outpatient treatment can be difficult to find, especially in rural areas. And inpatient care is still needed, especially for people considered at risk of harming themselves or others.

Last year, the Virginia Office of the State Inspector General found that over a three-month period, 72 of 5,000 people who met the criteria for receiving a temporary detention order didn't get one because no facility could accommodate them. The report also says that while the state's population has increased over the past decade, the bed capacity for psychiatric patients has steadily decreased.
For more on mental illness and its effects on individuals and their families, be sure to check out NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), an advocacy group.

Until we start treating mental illness on par with physical illness, without stigma, without decreased funding due to the perceived lack of profit, we can get nowhere in trying to help people. Although the mentally ill are actually much more likely to be victims of violence rather than instigators, we see every day on the news acts of mental illness. Mental illness fuels gun violence, substance abuse, homelessness, and suicide. If affects millions of people, from all walks of life, and many more when you factor in those whose lives are touched by a loved one's mental illness. Behind the statistics are real people, real families. We need to make sure people don't suffer because of system weaknesses. No one should live with the fear that a loved one will harm himself or another person. No one shoudl suffer from their inner daemons to the point where they can no longer function in society or become a danger. They need our help. An overhaul is needed. The Affordable Care Act actually took some strides in the right direction. But there is more to be done, and policy makers need to provide support for those at risk so that events like this become a rarity. At present the system is flawed and convoluted--we need progress and simplification. And there should be no shame attached to mental illness. We are way past the days of locking a relative in the attic. My interest is personal. I am myself bipolar, yet I function, keep down a job, etc., with the proper treatment. I've seen the crippling effects of mental illness in others I've been close to. Mental illness robs people's lives in insidious ways. We as a society must do everything to make sure that there is a safety net in place for those who otherwise slip through the cracks, and bolster what works, making good therapy and medical treatments available widely--including places where a person can safely stay during particularly rough episodes. And we need to bring the idea of family-centred care to mental illness treatment. So often, families find that mental illness either runs in the family, or their are familial issues which exacerbate any organic issues, such as past abuse or neglect. It's important for those around the mentally ill to understand the illness and be aware of warning signs. We would educate a family member or friend as to what to do if someone's blood sugar drops low, or if they have a seizure. Why do we not educate those caring for or who care for mentally ill persons about things like signs of mania or psychosis? That should be done, too. We have a long way to go, but I hope we get there.

Hmm...that's a little different

Adopt a Skull to Save Cranium Collection
Looking for the perfect holiday gift for a slightly morbid loved one? Adopt a skull for them.

The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia's Save Our Skulls fundraiser is inviting fans of medical history and the macabre to step up and donate to help restore a collection of skulls dating back more than 150 years. For $200, a person can adopt the skull of their choice. Besides bragging rights, the donation gets the adopter's name on a plaque next to the repaired and remounted skull.

The skulls (there are 139) belonged to Josef Hyrtl, a 19th-century Austrian anatomist. Hyrtl collected the skulls to disprove the science of phrenology, which held that a person's personality and character were reflected in the size and shape of their skull. Phrenology was nothing but pseudoscience, but it was held in high esteem in the 1800s.

Then there was this

Very Well Aged: Archaeologists Say Ancient Wine Cellar Found Archaeologists say they have discovered a 3,700-year-old wine cellar in Israel, a finding that offers insights into the early roots of winemaking.

The large wine cellar was unearthed in the ruined palace of a Canaanite city in northern Israel, called Tel Kabri, not far from the country's modern wineries. The excavations revealed 40 one-meter-tall (about 3 feet) jars kept in what appeared to be a storage room.

No liquid contents could have survived the millennia. But an analysis of organic residue trapped in the pores of the jars suggested that they had contained wine made from grapes. The ancient tipple was likely sweet, strong and medicinal—certainly not your average Beaujolais.

I found this very interesting

24,000-Year-Old Body Shows Kinship to Europeans and American Indians
The genome of a young boy buried at Mal’ta near Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia some 24,000 years ago has turned out to hold two surprises for anthropologists.

The first is that the boy’s DNA matches that of Western Europeans, showing that during the last Ice Age people from Europe had reached farther east across Eurasia than previously supposed. Though none of the Mal’ta boy’s skin or hair survives, his genes suggest he would have had brown hair, brown eyes and freckled skin.

The second surprise is that his DNA also matches a large proportion — about 25 percent — of the DNA of living Native Americans. The first people to arrive in the Americas have long been assumed to have descended from Siberian populations related to East Asians. It now seems that they may be a mixture between the Western Europeans who had reached Siberia and an East Asian population.
Granted, it's one skeleton's DNA, but it is definitely worth more research, I think.

That was fun

There's a Google 'Doodle' at the Google UK page today that celebrates 50 years of 'Doctor Who' with an interactive game where you face Daleks, Cybermen, and yes, a Weeping Angel. Be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Troubling

Subway Owners Arrested After Human Trafficking Investigation

Court record: Lexington couple forced undocumented Indian nationals to work in Subway restaurants

This is very disturbing. I'd hate to think that unconsciously I was supporting this by eating there, although none of the ones I frequent were named as belonging to this couple--I've eaten once at the East Main store. Still, it underscores that human trafficking is a huge problem that can be found in unexpected places, and it should be stamped out as thoroughly as possible. No one should ever have to call another person 'my owner'.

Yes! We need more of this!

Dedicated to my friend Tracy, a mechanical engineer at NASA. :)

Last night

I forewent watching 'The Originals' and 'Supernatural' over at YKWIA's and came home because I was tired. I got home about 8 pm and was in bed just a few minutes later. With the exception of being up about fifteen minutes at 2:30 am, I slept twelve hours. I'm not sleepy during the day the way I was before the new CPAP, but when I crash, I crash. I don't think I'd been quite getting eight hours of sleep lately, and some of it was broken, so that may account for crashing.

Tonight the plan is to go over a little early and watch last week's 'American Horror Story: Coven', which I missed, then watch 'The Tomorrow People' and tonight's episode of the former. Right now I'm eating a Boca burger and getting some water in me. I think I'll check the news and then head over there in a little while.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Okay, that was motivation

I washed the dishes (which were the most egregious), both the ones I loaded in the dishwasher and the hand wash ones, changed out the air fresheners, straightened up the kitchen and living room, put away the groceries, cleared some algae out of the aquarium filter's intake, and changed out the bath towels. That pretty much leaves getting control of the bedroom's laundry, which I can do in a little while. Woo-hoo!

Well, I'm up, but I'm strangely unwilling to do much of anything

I slept for nearly three hours. I'm not exhausted, I'm not particularly tired. But I'm also not particularly motivated. I should do dishes, straighten up, and get my laundry out of the bedroom floor, but really, I just feel like maybe reading for awhile. Is that awful? I want to do something relaxing. I'll try the reading, maybe listen to some music, and then if I don't manage to finish things today, there's always tomorrow morning. Yeah, right.

Actually, I can think of one motivator. Tomorrow night we usually watch 'The Originals' and 'Supernatural' at YKWIA's house, but I think A is going to be watching a UK basketball game on the main screen, which means we could come over and watch on my TV rather than watch on a small TV in the bedroom. That would mean getting the place straightened up. Hmmm....

Chrome is still acting up, and I'm losing my connexion

I was going to try to update the firmware in my router, but I can't easily determine which version of the model it is--according to a description, it should be version 1, but it's running a higher version of firmware than that. There are two 'version 2s', with different downloads depending on which it is. :(

Saturday was all about cleaning out closets with friends, doing notes, doing the grocery run, etc. Sunday was game prep, game (we finished an adventure, and one of my characters got engaged to her necromancer boyfriend, the father of her unborn child), and then 'Witches of East End'. I was up late, getting home a little after 11 pm and going straight to bed. I got a little off on my insulin yesterday and it affected my mood. Towards the end of the evening I was worn to a frazzle and about ready to blow. So I went on to bed.

Today has been good, but I've been terribly sleepy all day, despite getting a little over seven hours' sleep. I have a lot to do at home tonight, but I have to lie down for just a bit, even if it means setting the same five alarms I do in the morning to get up within an hour or so. I'll try to write later.

I did get some good news today. My orthotics for my feet will be covered due to my diabetes, so I'm hoping that will help with some foot pain I've been having since I went back to wearing my normal non-sandal shoes. My doctor said the orthotics I had were well-built, but not really ideal for the diabetic foot. He suggested a softer one that is designed with that in mind. Considering the normal expense (my current pair, the ones that are now wearing out, were $380 out of pocket), this is very good news.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I may have fixed the issue

I went into AVG's firewall section and chose to restore defaults. Chrome seems to be loading faster, and hopefully will continue to load. I'll let you know if that was the fix. Another issue, which wasn't a factor with mine, is that sometimes the LAN settings ask for a proxy server rather than automatically detect, and unchecking the proxy and checking the automatic detection can help. But like I said, that wasn't my issue. I'm thinking it was the firewall. We'll see.

Is anyone else having issues with Google Chrome flaking out on them?

Several times a day mine will suddenly not be able to connect although the Internet connexion is up and I can connect through Firefox (usually). I'm talking about a desktop that is connected via wires. Resetting the router works, but should be unnecessary, as it is obviously connected already. Any ideas? I'm using AVG Internet Security as well. Could that be an issue? Thanks for any suggestions...I really do prefer Chrome as my default browser, although Firefox has definite good points. (I really don't care for Internet Explorer, however, and mainly use it to download other browsers.)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Interesting

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland
 
"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.
 
The West
 
The South
 
Boston
 
The Inland North
 
North Central
 
Philadelphia
 
The Northeast


I grew up in the deep South [Louisana/South Carolina], California, Kansas, and Kentucky, with parents and all other family back to about 1790 from Kentucky. I guess all that moving around made for a lack of accent, although people from Minnesota say I sound Southern. I blame the kids in California for beating the Louisianan accent out of me and forcing me to conform. [And no, I'm not actually kidding about that last part.] Thanks to CJ Applegate Stonehocker for sharing this on her page.

Cool

I'm a Doctor, but probably not the one you expected.
:) Once you've watched, head over to Anglophenia for an analysis of what you might have missed (with spoilers, of course, so watch it first!)

This was very poignant



The sound's been muted by Google/YouTube, unfortunately, because it contained a Beatles song ('Here Comes the Sun'), but there are subtitles, and you get the idea. These beagles had never been outside their cages and laboratory before, and at first are timid about coming out of the crates, but are obviously desperate for companionship. I am so glad they are out of those conditions. For more information, check out the Beagle Freedom Project. Here is a snippet from their 'About' page:
Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed. Research beagles are usually obtained directly from commercial breeders who specifically breed dogs to sell to scientific institutions.

Testing done on beagles in university and other research facilities includes medical/pharmaceutical, household products and cosmetics. When they are no longer wanted for research purposes, some labs attempt to find homes for adoptable, healthy beagles. Working directly with these labs, Beagle Freedom Project is able to remove and transport beagles to place them in loving homes. All rescues are done legally with the cooperation of the facility.

This is so terribly awful

I feel very sad for the family and for the driver, herself a staff member at the very school the girl attended before going on to middle school, who says she didn't see the girl, who was in the crosswalk, due to the sun hitting her eyes. Contributions for funeral costs can be made through Kerr Brothers Funeral Home on Main Street or can be donated to the "Payton Griffith Memorial Fund" set up at 5/3 Bank.

Students, Staff Mourn Classmate Hit By Car
It was a tough day for students and staff at a Lexington middle school as they mourned one of their classmates.

12-year-old Payton Griffith was hit by a car Wednesday afternoon while in a crosswalk on Auburn Drive at Eastland Parkway. She was pronounced dead at UK Hospital.

"We would all be lucky to have a child like Payton," described an emotional Lester Diaz, the principal at Bryan Station Middle School, where Payton was a sixth grader. "It's a devastating loss. We're all suffering and grieving."

Principal Diaz described Payton as a straight "A" student who loved math and dreamed of becoming a school teacher.

The flag at Bryan Station Middle flew at half-staff in honor of the 12-year-old. Children wrote cards to her family and grief counselors were there to help.

"Some kids came in with a heavy heart. Some kids didn't come in at all," Principal Diaz said. "When our teachers addressed the school, and that seat was empty in the classroom, and the kids looked around and it registered, then they were devastated and needed the support."

Oh, man

I must have been bone tired. My feet hurt and so I put them up and tried to get a little rest for about an hour, The only negative thing I can say about the new CPAP is that if I put it on, I'm going to sleep at least four hours. There is no napping to be had. Also, I often now go the whole night without waking up at all, meaning no 2 or so bathroom trips a night. That's probably good for my sleep, and I haven't been as tired or sleepy during the day at all, but it means the morning can be a little awkward and a little painful when I wake up and my bladder is so full. Needless to say, I didn't get anything I planned to accomplished. I didn't even get the non-perishable groceries put away. I will try to get up a little early tomorrow (say at 6 something rather than 7 something) and at least get the dishes done and water the plants.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Taking a break tonight

from the book moving and dusting. I moved a lot of books at work, ones in boxes, and I'm just a little sick of toting for the moment. I will resume tomorrow. But I'm not sick of books--I went to a book fair today and was very good, buying only one three-paperback set of books that deal with the origin of superstitions, expressions, and the like. I got a present for my grandmother as well.

After work I went over to Kroger and got some groceries, dropped a couple of things off at my friends' house, made dinner for YKWIA, and ate mine. Then I came on home. Things I need to do tonight, despite being a bit bushed:
  • Wash dishes
  • Do game notes
  • Straighten up a bit
  • Water the plants
Today I also had another book review published in The Journal of Hospital Librarianship. It is of the book Grassroots Library Advocacy: A Special Report by Lauren Comito, Aliqae Geraci, and Christian Zabriskie. Check out my résumé for details.

Lastly, I went to my ankle surgeon for my one-year followup to my surgery. He was quite pleased with how things are going, both with my ankle and with my diabetes. He checked out my ankle, which I turned the other day, and I seem to be fine. He wants to follow me yearly due to my diabetes, and suggested shoes and orthotics designed especially for diabetics. Turns out the orthotics I use are very stiff and hard, and that's bad for the diabetic foot, plus they're starting to break down, which could cause a sore on my heel. As far as I know, my insurance will not pay for orthotics, but he said sometimes they will for diabetics because its so important to prevent sores and loss of feet and legs. So, we're going to see. I'll get them regardless; I need to. We did some measuring and scanning today, and I go back in four weeks for them.

Okay, I've been listening to some Linkin Park (Living Things), but I think it's time to go do a few things. I'll try to write later.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Terribly tired

I forewent watching TV with YKWIA tonight because
  1. I'm tired after working on a project over at his house that is in its fourth day,
  2. I'm a little stuffy from the dust that said project (it involves moving and organising a bunch of books) has kicked up, and
  3. I have an appointment at 8:00 am and it always takes me awhile to settle into bedtime, especially if I watch 'American Horror Story: Coven', at which point I usually get to bed about 1:30 am.
Before I went over there, though, I went to Costco, which I joined a couple of weeks ago, to see what the hoopla was all about. I'm not exactly impressed, and I'm not sure I can justify buying in bulk enough to make the membership worthwhile. I did get $10 of gas at $2.97 by using the cash card they gave me when I signed up, and since it's right before payday, that was a blessing. I'll give it a couple more visits, especially when I have some real money to spend, but if it doesn't prove useful, I'll ask for a refund, which they will do.

Sorry to cut this short (and sorry I didn't blog last night--I was watching TV after working on the books and got home late), but I'm going to drink a cup of water and then head on to bed. Good night.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Taking a moment to remember

November 11th, Veteran's Day/Remembrance Day, and I am thankful for the men and women who have given so much for their country. My father spent several years in Southeast Asia during Vietnam, and spent 20 years in the Air Force. My maternal grandfather was at Iwo Jima in the Marines. Both my paternal grandfather and grandmother served during WWII as well, my grandmother as an Army nurse. I grew up with a clear sense of patriotism and respect for them and others like them. As much as I dislike war and wish we lived in a world without it, I respect the sacrifice of veterans (and of their families).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In the wake of a horrifying story, some hope...

High School Students Wear Skirts to Honor "Agender" Teen, Sasha Fleischman, Burned on Bus
Students at a high school in Berkeley showed up wearing skirts to campus on Friday to honor an "agender" 18-year-old whose own skirt was set on fire during an AC Transit bus ride earlier this week in an attack that's now been charged as a hate crime.

"It's just remarkable that somebody would think it would be a good idea to light them (sic) on fire while they're sleeping on a bus," said classmate Ian Gonzer, referring to Sasha Fleischman as "they," the preferable term for many "agender" people. "Not just Sasha. Any person, no matter what they're wearing. It's just not cool."

Gonzer and the rest of Fleischman's friends at Maybeck High School wanted to show support for their peer, who identifies as agender, and does not like to go by either "he" or "she." Other terms for this identification can be "nonbinary" gender or non-conforming gender. The students planned to send the photo to St. Francis Hospital in San Francisco, where two classmates said Fleischman is in "remarkably good spirits" after one of several anticipated surgeries to repair the teen's burned thighs that were set on fire Monday evening on an AC Transit bus. In addition, people hung rainbow flags along the Oakland bus route where Fleischman was burned as a tribute they called "Rainbows for Sasha."

Friday, November 08, 2013

Very good news, indeed!

Experts praise 'historic' mental health, addiction parity rule
The rule guarantees that health plans’ co-payments, limits on visits to providers and deductibles for mental health benefits match those for medical and surgical benefits. It also ensures equal treatment for residential and outpatient care, a long-sought benefit in the mental health community.

The rule could affect 62 million Americans, including about 23 million Americans who meet the criteria for substance abuse disorder, administration officials said.

“For way too long, the health care system has openly discriminated against Americans with behavioral health problems,” Sebelius told reporters on a call after the announcement.
When I first got my job at age 30 and finally enjoyed having health insurance after years of not having it, I finally was able to get help for issues such as bipolar disorder II. But I discovered that my mental health care had co-pays at twice the rate of going to other medical providers. That eventually changed, and I am very glad I have decent behavioural health coverage that has good parity with other medical coverage now. But many people in our country are either not covered for mental health, or have substandard coverage or more costly coverage. It's important that this be more readily available, as you only have to turn on the news to see the consequences of untreated mental illness, such as mass shootings (although actually, mentally ill people are much more likely to be victims of crime than instigators). I'm so glad that this is being put into effect. And treating substance abuse is just as important. This will save lives, hopefully.

Thinking of those affected by this

Dawn in Philippines expected to reveal damage from powerful typhoon
As dawn broke Saturday in the Philippines, the devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan was expected to become better known a day after the storm -- perhaps the strongest ever -- rampaged across the central isles of the archipelago.

An early report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council indicated at least three people were killed, but there were widespread fears of a much higher death toll. At least seven people were hurt, according the council's report on Friday.

The destruction is expected to be catastrophic. Storm clouds covered the entire Philippines, stretching 1,120 miles -- equal to a distance between Florida and Canada. The deadly wind field, or tropical storm force winds, covered an area the size of Montana or Germany.


You may also hear this referred to as typhoon Yolanda, as the Philippines has its own naming system and that is the name there.

The official schedule is out for BBC America's celebration of 'Doctor Who', including the special 'The Day of the Doctor'

BBC America Hosts ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Celebration in November
BBC AMERICA is the #1 destination in the U.S. for a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of global phenomenon Doctor Who. On November 23, 1963, a Time Lord known as the Doctor landed on the BBC’s airwaves, forever changing storytelling on television and how the world viewed the inside of a British police box. In honoring the legacy of the longest-running and most successful sci-fi series in history, BBC AMERICA presents new programming dedicated to the iconic series, culminating in a groundbreaking television event – the global simulcast to more than 75 countries of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor on November 23. Written by lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat (Sherlock), the special stars the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith (How to Catch a Monster), the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant (Broadchurch), companion Jenna Coleman (Dancing on the Edge), with Billie Piper (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) and John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Alien). The global simulcast will air Saturday, November 23 at 2:50pm ET. BBC AMERICA will encore the special in primetime at 7:00pm ET with exclusive Inside Looks with Matt Smith and David Tennant.

Announced today, BBC AMERICA will present a week-long Doctor Who Takeover starting Monday, November 18, at 9:00am ET with marathons of favorite Doctors leading into new specials including a look into the science behind the iconic series with rock star-turned-physicist Professor Brian Cox (Wonders of the Universe, Wonders of the Solar System). The primetime specials will roll out throughout the week with Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS premiering Monday, November 18, 9:00pm ET followed by The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox at 10:00pm ET, Doctor Who Explained on Friday, November 22, 8:00pm ET, and a look back at Matt Smith’s time on the iconic series, Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited –The Eleventh Doctor on Sunday, November 24, 8:00pm ET.

In addition, BBC AMERICA will premiere the new film An Adventure in Space and Time on Friday, November 22, 9:00pm ET. From Sherlock co-creator Mark Gatiss and directed by Terry McDonough (Breaking Bad), the film starring David Bradley (Game of Thrones, Broadchurch), Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife), Sacha Dhawan (After Earth) and Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X2: X-Men United) tells the story of the genesis of Doctor Who and the unlikely production team behind the series.
I think it's time for me to figure out how to record on DVD using my DVD/VHS recorder. That's a lot for the cable's DVR to handle, probably.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

This was making the rounds on Facebook, not sure of the original source

but it is so true! Adopting a pet should be for life. :)



Thanks to Deana Full for sharing.

I wish I'd recorded 'The Big Bang Theory' tonight

Not only did it have Bob Newhart and Bill Nye the Science Guy, it had some utterly great lines that I'd like to hear again. Here's hoping they get posted to YouTube on the show's channel.

So, that's over now. I need to decide what to do now. It's only 9 pm. Here are my options:
  • Watch the DVD of Coraline, which I received from Netflix today
  • Listen to Pandora, specifically some Loreena McKennitt, which I'm doing now
  • Listen to the radio or some CDs
  • Watch an episode of 'Downton Abbey'--I'm on the second season, and the fourth is starting in a couple of months
  • Watch some 'Grimm' off the DVR--I have all but the pilot on there, and I should catch up
  • Work on the game notes in anticipation of playing Sunday
  • Read (I'm currently working on Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Argrim, which has been quite good)
  • Go to bed (but it's only 9 pm, although I'm a bit tired--I haven't been getting the normal amount of sleep of late (although it's been very good sleep with the new CPAP), and I didn't have enough insulin with me today so my blood sugar went up, which always makes me tired)
Which would you do, out of curiosity?

One of the reasons I didn't get enough sleep last night was because of watching 'American Horror Story: Coven'. I didn't get home till midnight, and it usually takes awhile to wind down after that show, which is both disturbing and excellent storytelling. Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates are particularly great. I've gone from watching the occasional run of 'Doctor Who' to several shows, mostly with YKWIA. There's:
  1. Sunday: 'Witches of East End' [I have really bonded with the character of Ingrid Beauchamp, who is a librarian, among other things]
  2. Tuesday: 'The Originals' and 'Supernatural' [of the latter, the Dog Dean Afternoon this week was much better than I thought it would be, I must admit]
  3. Wednesday: 'The Tomorrow People' and 'American Horror Story: Coven' [the first I'm trying to give a chance, having loved the British series of that name as a child; the second is hand's down the best drama I'm watching at the moment]
  4. Thursday: 'The Big Bang Theory' {I'm really not much into sitcoms, but this makes me laugh so much I'm surprised I don't pee myself] (that I usually watch on my own; I think YKWIA records 'The Vampire Diaries', which I've seen some of, but not a lot]
  5. Friday: 'Grimm' [which I like, but haven't seen many of, yet]

Owie

So I managed to turn my ankle right after I got out of the car in my parking lot at home. This is the same ankle I broke last year. I think I'm okay--it's just a bit sore, as is my knee and hip on that side. My klutziness still rules supreme. I need to be careful--several co-workers have fallen in various places of late, and I don't want to be the next one. I haven't had trouble since the ankle healed with rolling over (I have at tendency to supinate when I walk, which means my weight is borne by the outside edges of my feet.) This is especially true of my right foot, which was turned just a bit when I was born and which I don't pick up as well as my left, so when I do fall or turn my ankle, it's usually that side. But I think the screws in my ankle actually gave me a bit more stability. Still, there's always a chance I'll go over. Of course, my klutziness had nothing to do with the injury last year, as someone ran over my foot while I was crossing the street in the crosswalk, which pinned me briefly and then the car side hit me while my foot was trapped, breaking my ankle. It was very quick, very freaky. I was very lucky it wasn't worse, and that I healed well. I filled an interlibrary loan yesterday of an article about complications with ankle fractures in people with diabetes, and a lot of bad things could have happened that didn't. So I'll be more careful, and hopefully won't break anything else. :)