'I'm showing my son mercy'
No matter how you feel about abortion, I think most compassionate people would feel for this couple's situation. It is so wrong that they had to go through so much just to do, what in my opinion, in this case, was absolutely the right thing to do. I am so sorry that they had to go through such a difficult decision made more difficult thanks to badly-considered legislation.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
'I'm showing my son mercy'
Here's a little appropriate music from Loreena McKinnitt to chase the wind away:
Sorry I didn't write last night. I was out celebrating a friend's birthday. We were born the same year, so he caught up to me in age. We went to Alfalfa restaurant downtown. I had falafel, salad, and red beans and rice. Afterwards we went back to their house for birthday cake. Then I went home and went straight to bed, since my appointment was so early this morning (8 am). As it was, I was about 10 minutes late, because I live about as far away from them as you can in Lexington, and I'm not used to cross-town traffic that early in the day. But it all worked out.
Tonight the plan is to spend the evening inside at home. Lexington, along with several other central Kentucky towns, moved their trick-or-treating (which is almost unheard of here) because we're supposed to get some pretty ugly weather this evening.
Okay, I think I'm going to snuggle up with my copy of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Paranormal for a bit, maybe play some Plants vs. Zombies, and watch 'Big Bang Theory' later tonight. Oh, that reminds me:
- Why I do not plan to download the new Plants vs. Zombies 2, even though I love the original:
- It is huge. Over 160 MB of space. I have 16 GB on my phone, but that's a lot for one game.
- Instead of being a game you just buy outright, it a 'freemium' product with 'in-app purchasing'. Basically, you can play to a point but if you really want to play it seriously, you have to pay for items that will help you win, so you pay more in the long run.
- I can't. On the first day it was available for Android OS, I actually had a moment where I hit the button to download and it simply couldn't do it, even over wi-fi.
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
You will conquer obstacles to achieve success.and
Good things are coming to you in due course of time.Typically ambiguous, but promising.
It's almost 1 am and I'm just getting home from visiting with my friends and watching a couple of shows with YKWIA ('The Originals' and 'Supernatural', plus some YouTube videos, including these:
'Spell Block Tango'
which is a Disney-inspired version of 'Cell Block Tango' from the musical Chicago:
Now I'm sleepy and it's time for bed. My doctor put in an order for a new CPAP machine for me; we'll see if they'll be able to run it through using the sleep study from six years ago or if the insurance company will want another study done. I originally went because I was afraid my 15-year-old machine would give up the ghost, leaving me unable to sleep properly, but the doctor said that with the advances they've had since then, they now have machines that can automatically adjust pressure, which would help my residual daytime sleepiness. My current machine is set at about the lower threshold of the pressure I should be getting. A new one would start there and automatically adjust up as needed. Also, they keep data stored in them for up to three years that help the sleep centre determine best options. He also wants to change my the headgear to a smaller assembly which will be more comfortable and won't require a chin strap. My machine is so old, they had to test it using mechanical means and seemed quite surprised that it was still running. So wish me luck. I did tell them I hoped I didn't need a new sleep study--I hate trying to get the goop out of my hair. I don't mind much else about them, but the goop they use to put the electrodes on your head with takes days to get out; I had a friend shave his head before having one once, but that's not a viable option for me, as I'd look silly (I have a rather flat head). The doctor seemed genuinely surprised that the goop was the stuff I found most annoying about the test. I wonder if he's every had to deal with it--he has a very full head of hair. :)
Anyway, it's time to hook the CPAP back up in the bedroom and go to bed. Good night.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I also noticed that my remote for my television has Braille on the power and a couple of other buttons.
I just put together the package for sending a Robert Jordan book that was requested from me via PaperbackSwap.com. Yes, I know, swapping books defeats the purpose of getting rid of them. But I only have thirteen books posted for swapping, whereas when I weed, I'll have to really cull them. As to the Robert Jordan books, I only have one left. They were okay, but I never finished the series because, well, frankly, they were starting to get repetitive. So it's nice to get them to someone else who might like them better.
I did actually remember to pay a bill that was due tonight. It's good that I'll be paid soon. The only trouble with being more mobile, etc., with the car is that it costs a great deal more than the bus did. But I can go where I want, when I want, and take others with me, and that, as the MasterCard ads put it, is priceless.
I have an appointment with my sleep doctor tomorrow and must remember to bring the CPAP machine with me. I suspect they'll laugh at it. There's no removable card; you're supposed to plug in the machine to something that reads it, and I don't know if they'll still have that ability or not. :) By my reckoning it's about fifteen years old and looks like a grey version of my mom's old avocado-coloured hair dryer.
I believe I am going to check in with a friend via e-mail (it's a bit late to call) and then head on to bed. Good night.
The Time I Was Questioned by Police for Knitting in a Starbucks
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Mine is 11/25/13 (Samsung Galaxy S III on T-Mobile). I'm interested to see what the new update to Android 4.3 means for my phone. I'm running 4.1.2, I think--they skipped 4.2 entirely. And Android 4.4 will be out soon (aka as 'Kit Kat'), so in the coming months it might make it to the S III, too, I'm hoping. My phone is not the newest model, but it's a pretty decent piece of technology, and still has a lot of life left in it. :)
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Perennial zombies enrich Lexington's downtown 'Thriller'
2013 Thriller & Halloween Parade
They've been doing it for thirteen years. I've never actually been, but it's become a great Lexington tradition. I think Brandon and family went down for the Halloween parade and Thriller performance tonight. Hope they all had fun! Okay...shelves are in place. Now to put those books up.
I took a few minutes to eat a salad and some cheese. I really needed some water, too. I think I'm going to stretch out for a few minutes, though, before I take a shower and head over to the store for those bookshelves.
I had a moment looking out the window just now, looking out at the leaves blowing in the wind, and I had a flashback to being stuck in the house last year, where my window was truly my main connexion to what was going on outside. I'm so glad that time is over, and that I'm able to move around and even though I'm probably overdoing it a bit today, at least I am up and able to move things around. I really appreciate how far I've come since I was hurt.
Friday, October 25, 2013
I just got back from watching 'Grimm' with YKWIA and spending some time over there visiting. We had a good night. Tommorow we have a couple of projects, the grocery run, and maybe, if I can get everything back together, we can watch The Blues Brothers over here. That would be really great. It means that my morning is definitely going to be busy. If I can't get everything back tomorrow, there's Sunday, as Brenda has a doll meet, I believe, so there's no game.
It has been a productive, yet tiring, week, and I'm glad to finally be home where I can snuggle up in bed and get some rest. I went by Kroger earlier for snacks and got a power strip for the bedroom (I'd used one in there for the living room when I moved the computer and lamp over), so I can plug in the TV, RF modulator, and Roku box. I'm also going to put a little DVD player I won as a door prize years ago back there, so I can watch DVDs. But I think what I'm going to do soon is put on Pandora back there, kick up my feet, and enjoy some music for awhile, although I might do a little work in the living room first. At any rate, hope you have a good night. Once I get things back in order, I'll post a picture. :)
Thursday, October 24, 2013
So now I'm home, eating black bean soup and a Parmesan bagel, and considering taking a nap because I worked very hard today and I'm a bit pooped. I'm finally making some progress about catching up on things there. I got The Blues Brothers in the mail today; maybe we can watch it at my friends' house instead. I also got the latest Victoria magazine and an entertaining catalogue called Alberene Royal Mail (http://www.albarene.com), which has all sorts of great gifts from Britain and Ireland inside, whether it be green men, illuminated manuscript ties, train station clocks, clan tartans, tea cakes, jewelry, and glass reproductions of famous window panels. They even have my phone booth toffee tin bank that I got years ago, along with others, including one of Big Ben and another of a thatched cottage. You can even get a replica of the Magna Carta should you wish. :) I should show this to YWKWIA and Brenda.
Okay, about that nap....
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
So now I'm home, and with all that work, they obviously did not come today. Oh, well. Anyway, I'm going to take a little nap and try to keep it to an hour or less, so I can call my friend and see if he wants to watch 'The Tomorrow People' and 'American Horror Story: Coven' over at his place tonight. I should be getting The Blues Brothers from Netflix tomorrow--but we're obviously not going to be watching it at my house this weekend. :(
Young-adult fiction, commonly called "YA fiction," has exploded over the past decade or so: The number of YA titles published grew more than 120 percent between 2002 and 2012, and other estimates say that between 1997 and 2009, that figure was closer to 900 percent. Ask a handful of young-adult fiction writers what exactly makes a YA novel, though, and you’ll get a handful of conflicting answers.
At their core, YA books are for and about teenagers and pre-teens, usually between 12 and 18 years old, but sometimes as young as 10. Yet more than half of all YA novels sold are bought by older adults 18 or older, and certain titles published in the U.S. as YA are considered mainstream fiction for adults in other countries. Some authors believe the intent to write for young readers is a prerequisite of YA fiction; others don’t even realize their books will be labeled as YA until after they finish writing.
There's one state highway running through Myrtle, Mo. It's a sleepy town in the Ozarks, population about 300. There's no bank or restaurant here, but enormous oak and persimmon trees loom over a small stone building right next to the road. Half of it is a post office; the other half, a one-room public library.I spent a couple of years in a small town in Kansas, population 1706, according to the census at the time, and the things that kept me sane were my friend Deana and our town library, which was one room. It was there I discovered Susan Cooper and many fantasy books. I appreciate having had that at a difficult time in my life (late junior high, early high school). I am glad that refuge was there, and I'm sure others in small towns are happy that people like Rachel Reynolds Luster care about them.
Rachel Reynolds Luster took over this branch four months ago with the goal of creating a learning hub. She calls herself a curator, not just a librarian.
Her first task? Filtering out some of the favorites of the previous librarian.
"It's been interesting working this transition with her," Luster says. "She was quite upset that the cooking magazines were gone. But we recycled them all, and we kept some holiday cookie editions."
Luster scanned her shelves for the one book she felt every library must have: the Greek epic The Odyssey. "I looked, and we didn't have one — no library in our system had one," she says.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
This is not so much a problem for most of my neighbours, many of whom have fairly minimalistic decor (or at least the ones who leave their blinds open seem to). But I have books. Many books. In fact, along the wall in the living room that must be cleared, I have an entertainment centre with a bookshelf above, with a bookshelf next to it that holds up two wooden bedrails with books on them that spans to the computer desk. Yes, I was thinking of rearranging my living room, but I wasn't expecting to have to do it, especially with that little notice! They gave me two days' notice that the exterminator was coming, but one day (which really translated to fourteen hours, since I was at work and out until 7 pm) for this???
YKWIA said I should just call them in the morning and tell them this is unacceptable. Unfortunately, I'm too much of a 'good girl' to do that. But still, it does irk me. Anyway, I should start that process. Wish me luck!!!
I can't really report anything really stupendous happening today. I did forget my phone at home (I had it in my pants pocket, then took it back out to put in my jacket, but then got distracted; it sat all day next to where my purse had been). This caused me a bit of uneasiness; I mean, I had my tablet, I could do anything normally, including listening to music, that I'd wanted short of getting calls or texting. Still, I swung by the house and grabbed it on the way to that appointment. Years ago, before I had a cell phone but after they had become fairly widespread, a friend wound up in the emergency room while I was uncharacteristically out at the mall. I came back to find a message from several hours before, and he was still there. I felt like I'd let him down, at the time, although he had called someone else so it wasn't like he was alone. But I like to be better prepared in cases of emergency.
I'm still sleepy. I suppose I should take my insulin and go back to sleep. Good night.
Monday, October 21, 2013
To finally be able to lie down and prop up my feet. There was no game today (Brenda had something out of town), but I cleaned house at my friends', visited for most of the day, watched part of the Bengals-Lions football game with one friend, and then watched Vampire Diaries, H2O: Just Add Water, and Witches of East End with the other. I was there for over twelve hours and although it was fun, I'm glad to be home.
I really do prefer to watch TV and movies with others. Last night both of them came over to my house and we watched the movie Vibes. We had it out as a DVD from Netflix. Next up is The Blues Brothers, which, believe it or not, I've never seen.
Okay, I have to get up in a few hours. I should go to bed. Hope you had a nice weekend.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Never let someone keep the light inside you suppressed and chained. Trust me, I've been there. YKWIA, I think you'll like this. Thank you for helping me reclaim my world.
She is a pyramid
But with him she's just a grain of sand
This love's too strong like Mice and Men
Squeezing out the life that should be let in
She was a hurricane
But now she's just a gust of wind
She used to set the sails of a thousand ships
Was a force to be reckoned with
She could be a Statue of Liberty
She could be Joan of Arc
But he’s scared of the light that’s inside of her
So he keeps her in the dark
Oh she used to be a pearl
Oh yeah she used to rule the world
Oh can't believe she’s become a shell of herself
Cause she used to be a pearl
She was unstoppable
Moved fast as like an avalanche
But now she’s stuck deep in cement
Wishing that they never ever met
She could be a Statue of Liberty
She could be a Joan of Arc
But he’s scared of the light that’s inside of her
So he keeps her in the dark
Oh She used to be a pearl
Oh yeah she used to rule the world
Oh can’t believe she’s become a shell of herself
Cause she used to be a--
Do you know that there’s a way out
There’s a way out
There’s a way out
There’s a way out
You don’t have to be held down
Be held down
Be held down
Be held down
Cause I used to be a shell...
Yeah I let him rule my world
My world Oh yeah
But I woke up and grew strong and I can still go on
And no one can take my pearl
You don’t have to be a shell, no
You’re the one that rules your world, oh
You are strong and you’ll learn
That you can still go on
And you’ll always be a pearl
She is unstoppable
Friday, October 18, 2013
So now I'm home and I have the windows cracked a bit. In just a little while, I may go outside and see if I can see the moon rising, as the partial lunar eclipse is supposed to hit its peak at about 7:50 pm.
Today was busy yet productive. I'm still behind on my referrals (there are just so many, and I only really am supposed to work on them for about an hour, maybe two, a day), but I finally got some things finished and got some books out of the way that were on the library tables in boxes. I did what I could to get everything ready for Monday, and then closed up shop and went to visit with people at the bar. I won't say I managed to totally relax (social situations make me a little anxious, although this wasn't too bad as I knew almost everyone and have for years).
I was originally going to try to do two doctor's appointments on Monday and take off the whole day from work, but that really wasn't feasible. There are several high-volume clinic days next week, and I'll have lots to do. So I moved my sleep centre appointment to Tuesday of the next week so they wouldn't be too close together. I did fill out my paperwork for that appointment, though, including my tendency to fall asleep early and then wake up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. That can't be good for you. There was a thing in the news today (Sleep 'Detoxes' The Brain, New Research Suggests) about how sleep is when our brains clear out the beta-amyloid materials that cause the plaques seen in Alzheimer's, as well as other waste products. I really fear getting dementia as I get older (I have a family history, and the diabetes can contribute to it), so I probably need better, uninterrupted sleep. I'm tired now, but I'm going to try to stay up for awhile more. Of course, one reason I'm tired is being the geek that I am, I stayed up working on two computers updating to the new operating system. So that's totally my fault. But I've held up pretty well as the day has progressed.
I do think I'm going to go listen to some music and see if I can get my muscles to relax. I'm not usually in to supplements, but I did some research on glucosamine sulfate, which is supposed to help joints that have osteoarthritis, and I decided to try some. Clinical studies have been a mixed bag, but it sure is helping a friend's dog, and I'm willing to give it a bit of time to see if I can benefit. One of my co-workers takes it and chondroitin and says it really has helped. Most of what I read indicated that for some people, glucosamine sulfate helps, but that adding other things doesn't necessarily boost the efficacy overall. So I'll try just that for now. I lucked out, too--a bottle at Rite Aid with 60 pills was labelled $24.99, and they were buy one get one free with a wellness card. I used my card, and in fact, it rang up at $10.99, so I essentially got them for about $5.50 a bottle. Not bad. The name-brand stuff was terribly expensive. I just hope this has a decent amount in it. Some of the studies pointed out that being a dietary supplement that is essentially unregulated, the amounts on the label and in actuality vary widely from brand to brand. Anyway, we'll see if it will help my knees and other joints noticeably.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Some 30 million people are enslaved worldwide, trafficked into brothels, forced into manual labour, victims of debt bondage or even born into servitude, a global index on modern slavery showed on Thursday.Here is a link to the actual Walk Free Foundation -- Global Slavery Index. The United States, by the way, linked 134 on the list, with a calculated number of enslaved at 59,644, with a minimum estimated at 57,000 and a maximum of 63,000.
Almost half are in India, where slavery ranges from bonded labour in quarries and kilns to commercial sex exploitation, although the scourge exists in all 162 countries surveyed by Walk Free, an Australian-based rights group.
Its estimate of 29.8 million slaves worldwide is higher than other attempts to quantify modern slavery. The International Labour Organisation estimates that almost 21 million people are victims of forced labour. "Today some people are still being born into hereditary slavery, a staggering but harsh reality, particularly in parts of West Africa and South Asia," the report said.
"Other victims are captured or kidnapped before being sold or kept for exploitation, whether through 'marriage', unpaid labour on fishing boats, or as domestic workers. Others are tricked and lured into situations they cannot escape, with false promises of a good job or an education." The Global Slavery Index 2013 defines slavery as the possession or control of people to deny freedom and exploit them for profit or sex, usually through violence, coercion or deception.
Specifically, they stopped carrying Novo Nordisk's NovoLog FlexPen, which I inject before each meal. I did check, and there is a version of Humalog (which is on the accepted formulary for 2014) that has a pen version, called Humalog KwikPen. I'll ask my endocrinologist about it when I see her on Halloween.
So it's time to sign up for benefits for 2014 and I've been to my seminar on changes for the coming year. My insurance is changing to a co-insurance model, something that I've never had before with United Healthcare. There is a deductible of $150, a maximum of $1500 out-of-pocket expenses (for the individual plan), and medicines are 20% of their total value. I checked with my pharmacy and it looks like I will pay over $500 a month for my meds for the first three months of the year, after which I'll hit my max and they will be covered at 100%. I don't have an extra $500 a month for that, but I do have a flexible spending account, which takes pre-tax money out of each pay cheque but the elected funds are available to draw via a card on January 1st--so that will save me. Actually, I think I'll pay less out-of-pocket with this model than with my co-pays as they are now, which is a relief. Also, the pricing per pay cheque for the health insurance went down a bit for those of us who don't smoke and who agree to fill out an online health assessment (which I've already done). So that's good. There were lots of rumours and fears, I think, and of course smokers are not happy. But it took a couple of days to really sink in and understand the new plans. I think I'll be okay. And for those who grumble about the Affordable Care Act (also known as 'Obamacare') spurring the changes (and I know there are several doing that), granted, there were liable to be repercussions, but since I probably won't have any health insurance in 2015 through my job, unless I find a new position (as the library and I are not going to the new building once it's built and they move), I for one am happy there are alternatives out there for people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes to buy health insurance and get help paying for it. (Although the best of all possible outcomes would be finding a job before that comes to pass that includes health insurance benefits.)
A sheep apparently bound for slaughter darted around noon through an open bay door at Nortown Collision & Glass Co. Workers corralled the animal and fed it before turning it over to the city's animal control department.My best wishes to the sheep. May it live a long life far away from the slaughterhouse. :)
"All of a sudden I'm looking out, and a big sheep is running through the door," said Nortown Collision owner Eugene Oleszko. "He's running in between the cars and knocking things over."
Detroit Police Sgt. Michael Woody said the roughly 4-foot long, 3-foot tall sheep with a numbered tag in its ear and a purple paint stripe down its back, was seen running on Eight Mile Road before it entered the shop.
"It did have the tagging and branding that would suggest that the animal is properly licensed and sold to a butcher or slaughterhouse," he said.
Authorities have not determined who owned the sheep, Woody said.
The animal will not be slaughtered. It is to be adopted by SASHA Farm Animal Sanctuary in Manchester, Mich., according to the Michigan Humane Society, which took the animal after it was captured at the collision shop.
You are Deanna Troi
|You are a caring and loving individual.
You understand people's emotions and
you are able to comfort and counsel them.
Thanks to Angela Allen for sharing on Facebook.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
As he made his way across the country, Joe Bell walked through rain squalls, slept in ditches and talked to anyone who would listen about how his gay son had killed himself after being taunted and bullied at school.
Mr. Bell’s artificial knees ached and his feet were mapped with blisters, but he told friends and strangers that he was determined to make it on foot from his home in eastern Oregon to New York City, where his son, Jadin, 15, had dreamed of one day working in fashion or photography. “I miss my son Jadin with all my heart and soul,” he wrote on Facebook in late May. “I know you’re with me on this walk.”
But last Wednesday, Mr. Bell’s American journey — one that drew attention from local newspapers and attracted thousands of followers on social media — ended in an instant on a two-lane road in rural eastern Colorado. He was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer whose driver had apparently fallen asleep, the state police said.
For nearly six months, Mr. Bell, 48, had been on the road, sharing his son’s story and trying to salve his own grief. He spoke at motorcycle rallies and college bars, schools, diners and gay-outreach centers, telling people about his sensitive, artistic son who hanged himself from a piece of playground equipment on Jan. 19.
Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.
Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a child's love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian "improving" literature. You'll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
No word on the news about what was happening. Oh, well. I guess it didn't make the cut. Maybe it will be on the Herald-Leader website tomorrow. Time to move the fan and CPAP back into the other room and close the windows. I did finally figure out the settings on the TV to make it widescreen. Good night.
Monday, October 14, 2013
Detroiturbex.com: MARK TWAIN BRANCH LIBRARY
INFORMATIONThanks to Åke Nygren of the group on Facebook called Library related people for the first link, and Kelly Hall of the same group for the second one. I pray this is not the future of libraries.
The Mark Twain Branch of the Detroit Public Libraries closed in 1996 for renovations and never reopened. What originally started as minor roof repair project grew into a total rehabilitation that went unfinished. Various efforts to revive the building never got past the drawing board, with the main concern being the "discovery" of asbestos. Some of the books left behind when the library closed were taken out and made available at the Mark Twain Annex, which is now facing permanent closure in 2011.
A final community meeting in July of 2011 sealed the fate of the Twain library. Over the objections of community leaders and residents, the DPL board confirmed that despite passing a tax levy that explicitly included funds to renovate the Twain library, it intended to demolish the building instead. Asbestos abatement started in September with demolition completed by October.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Saturday, October 12, 2013
I'd like to thank some special people who really helped me out when I was down. First, my surgeon, Dr Bradford Fine of the Lexington Foot & Ankle Center, who did an excellent job of the open reduction and internal fixation surgery, where he put two screws in to fix my ankle. Secondly, I'd like to thank my lawyer, Julie Butcher, who brought me vegetarian chili, came to my house for consults and signing paperwork, etc. Without her help, I'd have so many medical bills that were still unpaid.
Brandon and Brenda took me to my appointments, on those rare times I went out, laboriously helping me climb the stairs outside my apartment on my hands and knees because I couldn't get up any other way, and they manhandled wheelchairs and kept me from falling. YKWIA and Brenda lifted me over the one step I couldn't get up into the apartment building on the day I was released after surgery. Brenda also bought me the best-tasting baked potato from Wendy's after 36 hours of nothing but ice chips. Bob McCray was my home health physical therapist, and he was excellent, although I still have his cane--we've never quite been able to meet up for me to return it. YKWIA called and played videos on YouTube that I would 'watch' along with him on my own computer. The folks at work were fabulous, showering me with food and cards and really making me feel cared about. My aunt Sharon sent me a care package of books, popcorn, nuts, and tea. There were so many people who helped me, and I'm sure I'm missing someone, but if I have, I'm sorry. When I was about to come back to work, I sat down and wrote out a ton of thank you cards, but let me just say, I still appreciate everything people did for me. And I'm glad that some of you kept up with my very boring life those three months. Granted, I don't live an exciting life at any time, but at times the time I was off would drag and become mind-boggingly tedious. I spent a lot of time with myself, thinking, and listening to music. I didn't manage to read much or watch videos on Netflix, etc. For those who made it through that period with me, thank you. May I never have to deal with anything like that again. :)
Thursday, October 10, 2013
- Took a short nap after work? Check.
- Broke down the window boxes and repotted the remaining plants and brought them in? Check.
- Swept the porch and window ledges? Check.
- Discovered maintenance had indeed put up a ceiling in my walk-in closet and that my air conditioning thermostat now works properly again? Check.
- Watched a hilarious episode of 'The Big Bang Theory' where Amy ruins Raiders of the Lost Ark for Sheldon by pointing out that Indiana Jones was totally irrelevant to the outcome, and he tries to ruin something of hers, finally trying to undercut her through 'Little House on the Prairie' critiques? Check. YKWIA successfully did that for me years ago.
- Read some earlier? Check.
I am so glad tomorrow is Friday. It has been a busy week. I feel like I'm not really getting anywhere at work, like I'm spinning my wheels, even though I should be progressing.
In light of the fact that we will probably have some changes to our insurance this coming year, and I probably won't have any insurance the year after that due to the move and my library position not going, I think it's time for a new CPAP machine. Mine is quite old, so old I'm not sure how long I've had it. It may be nearly 15 years old. It is still working now, but doesn't have a built-in humidifier or the newer features that help with comfort and managing the sleep apnea. It could go out at any time. To give you some idea, when I called the sleep centre, they said it had been seven years since I was last there. At that time my machine was easily 5-8 years old. It looks like one of those 70s hair dryers like my mom had, with a hose and it's big and clunky. It just needs the bonnet and a warming unit and I swear it would work just like her dryer. I was told they normally last 3-5 years and that mine was already pretty old then. Since I literally can't sleep without it (I am the rare individual who uses her CPAP religiously, even for naps), and could die from not having it, and with it being so long since I've been seen they may require another sleep study before writing a script for it, which takes time to schedule, etc., I can't take the chance on it dying suddenly. If it dies and I have no insurance, then I won't be able to afford one. Sleeping without it could damage my heart or worse. So I made an appointment and we'll see. I've been very lucky. Here's a link to a suggested CPAP/supply replacement schedule. Granted, it's from a supply company, but I think I've been very lucky to get the life out of mine that I had. I just don't want to be caught without one.
- Sunday: 'Witches of East End'--Interesting, kept me watching. Mystery mixed with witchcraft and curses. I really like Ingrid, but maybe part of that is because she is a librarian. :) The only downside to watching is that my Sundays are already very full with game prep and game, and it is on at 10 pm, so that's a late night before returning to work on Monday.
- Tuesday: 'The Originals'--I haven't watched 'The Vampire Diaries' beyond a few episodes (and that was recent), but I found this an intriguing series. I love how Claire Holt and Phoebe Tonkin--whom I watched as teenagers on 'H2O: Just Add Water'--are all grown up. Holt is the vampire, one of the Originals, Rebekah. Tonkin is a werewolf ensnared in a war between witches and the vampires of the French Quarter. They're both doing a good job.
'Supernatural'--I like this show a lot, but I've pretty much watched hit or miss over the last eight years. I need to catch up via Netflix. I was a little disappointed in the season 9 opener, but it wasn't terrible, or anything, and set up what could be an interesting story arc.
- Wednesday: 'The Tomorrow People'--Let me preface this by saying that unlike the majority of the audience, I have actually seen both British series upon which this is based, and dearly loved the original from the 70s, especially. I see the CW is continuing to raid Australia and specifically 'H2O: Just Add Water' for actors and actresses, as Luke Mitchell, who played Will on that series, plays John in this one. The jury is out on this one--I am willing to give it a few episodes before making up my mind. But they kept the inability to kill in Homo Superior, and there's Tim, the artificial intelligence. They've added some intriguing aspects to the story as well. We'll see.
- 'American Horror Story: Coven'--I haven't see the first two seasons of AHS, although maybe I should watch, as much of the cast recurs even though the story and setting change, and there's some good acting here. It seems off to a good start. Kathy Bates and Jessica Lange were superb in their roles. The girls seem to very under-developed moral compasses, and with the exception of the Headmistress, it seems most of the witches portrayed so far do things primarily for self-interest or in response to strong emotions, and several seem, well, capricious. I didn't instantly form an attachment to any of the characters like I did with Ingrid of 'Witches of East End'. So we'll see.
The problem with late-night TV, too, is that I'm home, yes, but I got home at midnight and it takes me awhile to settle down, so it's almost 2 am now and I have to get up at 7 or so. But they were fun (although the AHS was a bit disturbing, especially the slave scenes at the beginning.)
YKWIA also discovered that I've never seen the 'Blues Brothers'. We will have to put it in the queue from Netflix. I have 'Vibes' out right now, which I have seen but not for years, and we're going to watch that with A, who hasn't seen it, I don't think.
Okay, I think I should definitely go. Have a great night, a good week (hey, we're over the 'hump'), and at least the weekend's coming soon!
Monday, October 07, 2013
Sunday, October 06, 2013
There's no game tomorrow, so I'm going to wait to do the game notes. I'm still going over tomorrow to work on the house and bring a few things over.
Okay, I know that wasn't the most riveting post, but I'm sleepy and it's getting harder to compose. Hope your weekend is going well. Good night.
Saturday, October 05, 2013
So while this has been going on, I have stuff all over the apartments, like a vacuum cleaner, a tub of winter clothes (fortunately unscathed), canvas frames, boxes from items like the TV that are still returnable to Amazon, etc. It had been such a trying week (four appointments, lots of running around, and very busy at work, with not much time to myself) that I simply made sure I wouldn't trip over anything and then turned on the fan in the bedroom, propped my feet up on the bed, and promptly went to sleep. This was about eight. I didn't even try to pretend to listen to music or otherwise engage my brain. I just went to sleep, and I woke up a few minutes ago feeling much better.
My agenda for tomorrow:
- Attend the Friends of the Lexington Public Library annual book sale. Try to be judicious.
- Go to the Bluegrass Farmer's Market (maybe).
- Work on the house:
- Take out the recyclables (got the trash this afternoon)
- Put things away from the dining table
- Do a few dishes
- Clean the bathroom
- Get the stuff back into the closet if I can
- Work on some things in the living room, rearranging a bit
- Pot up the plants from the window boxes that are still alive individually, and retire the window boxes for the season
- Do the game notes (I really was just too tired tonight; but not a lot happened--mainly a character dealt with learning she was pregnant, so it shouldn't take long)
- Do the grocery run with a friend
- Have a friend over to finally watch Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which I have out from Netflix
Thursday, October 03, 2013
A spoof paper concocted by Science reveals little or no scrutiny at many open-access journals.Not that open access itself is necessarily the problem; you can still have academic rigour with this model:
On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.
In fact, it should have been promptly rejected. Any reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted the paper's short-comings immediately. Its experiments are so hopelessly flawed that the results are meaningless.
I know because I wrote the paper. Ocorrafoo Cobange does not exist, nor does the Wassee Institute of Medicine. Over the past 10 months, I have submitted 304 versions of the wonder drug paper to open-access journals. More than half of the journals accepted the paper, failing to notice its fatal flaws. Beyond that headline result, the data from this sting operation reveal the contours of an emerging Wild West in academic publishing.
The rejections tell a story of their own. Some open-access journals that have been criticized for poor quality control provided the most rigorous peer review of all. For example, the flagship journal of the Public Library of Science, PLOS ONE, was the only journal that called attention to the paper's potential ethical problems, such as its lack of documentation about the treatment of animals used to generate cells for the experiment. The journal meticulously checked with the fictional authors that this and other prerequisites of a proper scientific study were met before sending it out for review. PLOS ONE rejected the paper 2 weeks later on the basis of its scientific quality.But this does expose the flaws in a system where the OA has been milked as a lucrative pay-to-publish model that essentially acts as a vanity press charging often exorbitant author's fees in exchange for one's name in print, preying especially on academics under pressure to publish to attain tenure, etc.
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
Monday: Took a friend to a medical appointment
Tuesday: Had a colonoscopy
Wednesday: Had a flu shot
Thursday: Am signing my will, durable power of attorney, and living will
Friday: Go back to the gynaecologist
Then next week there's my regular doctor, the 15th there's a mammogramme, and on Halloween my endocrinologist. October is my 'get healthy' month, apparently. I also checked with the YMCA, and I can do a programme called Fit for You that is free with my membership with four training sessions to help get me started. I'm going to try to start next week after I run it by my doctor. Yay!
Lake Natron is an insidious trap for the birds of northern Tanzania: The terrifying lake turns to stone all birds that are foolish enough to immerse themselves or unlucky enough to fall into its deceptive water.There's also a slideshow at: Deadly Lake Waters Turn Birds to Stone
Volcanic ash from the nearby Great Rift Valley contaminated Lake Natron with sodium carbonate and baking soda to the point that only extremophile fish like the alkaline tilapia can survive there, while other animals that take a dip will soon thereafter feel their bodies begin to calcify and harden until they look as if they've had a run-in with the White Witch or Medusa.
The photos of birds and bats are strange and eerie. They are by photographer Nick Brandt, who took dead, preserved animals and put them in life-like poses on natural perches.
Tom Clancy, whose high-tech, Cold War thrillers such as "The Hunt for Red October" and "Patriot Games" made him the most widely read and influential military novelist of his time, has died. He was 66.Clancy invented 'techno-thriller,' reflected Cold War fears
Penguin Group (USA) said Wednesday that Clancy had died Tuesday in Baltimore. The publisher did not disclose a cause of death.
Clancy arrived on best-seller lists in 1984 with "The Hunt for Red October." He sold the manuscript to the first publisher he tried, the Naval Institute Press, which had never bought original fiction.
A string of other best-sellers soon followed, including "Red Storm Rising," ''Patriot Games," ''The Cardinal of the Kremlin," ''Clear and Present Danger," ''The Sum of All Fears," and "Without Remorse."
Clancy had said his dream had been simply to publish a book, hopefully a good one, so that he would be in the Library of Congress catalog. Four of his books, "The Hunt for Red October," ''Patriot Games," ''Clear and Present Danger," and "the Sum of All Fears" were later made into movies, with a fifth based on his desk-jockey CIA hero, "Jack Ryan," set for release later this year.
His 17th novel, "Command Authority," is due out that same month from G.P. Putnam's Sons.
"Tom Clancy defined an era, not just of thrillers but of pop culture in general," said Jon Land, marketing chair for the International Thriller Writers group and himself an acclaimed author. "No one encapsulated the mindset and mentality of the Reagan era more, as the Cold War was heating up for the last time and we were entering a new age of modern warfare. Clancy's books tapped into our fears and helped define our psyches, even as he reinvigorated the thriller genre by bringing millions of new readers into the fold.Tom Clancy, Best-Selling Master of Military Thrillers, Dies at 66
"Very few writers can lay claim to creating a genre," Land added, "but the techno-thriller — that all falls at the feet of Tom Clancy. He was so ahead of the curve."
It was all a far cry from his days as a Maryland insurance salesman writing on the side in pursuit of literary aspirations and submitting his manuscript for “The Hunt for Red October” to the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, Md. An editor there, Deborah Grosvenor, became mesmerized by the book, a cold war tale set on a Soviet submarine.
But she had a hard time persuading her boss to read it; Mr. Clancy was an unknown, and the publisher had no experience with fiction. She was also concerned that the novel had too many technical descriptions, and asked Mr. Clancy to make cuts. He complied, trimming at least 100 pages while making revisions.
“I said, ‘I think we have a potential best seller here, and if we don’t grab this thing, somebody else would,’ ” Ms. Grosvenor, now a literary agent, said in an interview on Wednesday. “But he had this innate storytelling ability, and his characters had this very witty dialogue. The gift of the Irish, or whatever it was — the man could tell a story.”
The press paid $5,000 for the book, publishing it in 1984.
“The Hunt for Red October” became a runaway best seller when President Ronald Reagan, who had been handed a copy, called it “my kind of yarn” and said that he couldn’t put it down.
But its details about Soviet submarines, weaponry, satellites and fighter planes raised suspicions. Even high-ranking members of the military took notice of the book’s apparent inside knowledge. In a 1986 interview, Mr. Clancy said, “When I met Navy Secretary John Lehman last year, the first thing he asked me about the book was, ‘Who the hell cleared it?’ ”
No one did, Mr. Clancy insisted; all of his knowledge came from technical manuals, interviews with submarine experts and books on military matters, he said. While he spent time on military bases, visited the Pentagon and dined with military leaders, he said, he did not want to know any classified information.
“I hang my hat on getting as many things right as I can,” Mr. Clancy once said in an interview. “I’ve made up stuff that’s turned out to be real — that’s the spooky part.”
The Jewish festival of lights and the American festival of thanks and gluttony will overlap this year — and the next time it will happen will be in the year 79811.Here are some interesting suggestions for combining the two holidays food-wise: How To Celebrate Thanksgivukkah, The Best Holiday Of All Time
Jewish mothers across the country have been circulating a mass email lifted from this January blog post by Jonathan Mizrahi explaining "Thanksgivukkah," but here's the gist.
Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. This year Thanksgiving is on November 28th, which happens to be the first day of Hanukkah (the first "night" of Hanukkah is the night before).
As it happens, November 28th is the latest Thanksgiving can be and the earliest Hanukkah can be.
As it so happens, I have been invited to the home of a Jewish friend for Thanksgiving, so I'm excited to see how we'll celebrate. Each Chanukah I usually make latkes (both potato and cheese). In fact, I wasn't able to last year due to my ankle fracture, but did so when I was finally up and moving in January. :) We'll see how Thanksgivukkah plays out this year.
Friends of Lexington Public LibraryMemberships start at $10 for individuals, $20 for households.
Annual Friends Book Sale
October 5-13, 2013
Family Circle Drive
Friends Day: Saturday, October 5, 10 AM - 6 PM (Members only. Memberships available at the door. No strollers, please.)
Sunday, October 6, Noon - 5 PM
Monday, October 7, to Friday, October 11, 10 AM - 7 PM
2 for 1 Day: Saturday, October 12, 10 AM - 6 PM
Bag Day: Sunday, October 13, Noon - 5 PM (Bags provided. No strollers, please.)
Guess who can actually go this year? :) And who just became a Friend of the Lexington Public Library? Of course, for a bibliophile who hoards books, that may be an issue. :)
There's a new source to stream movies and other digital content, and it's not a tech company with tens of thousands of titles. It's something more familiar, and might even be just down the street: the public library.I wonder when and if we'll get it here.
Often thought of as stodgy brick-and-mortar havens for bibliophiles, libraries are trying out a new service that allows patrons to check out streaming movies, music, TV shows and audiobooks from anywhere they want.
It works similarly to Netflix: Through an app on a tablet or a browser on a personal computer, users can peruse dozens of movies and click on a film to "borrow" it. The content starts streaming, for free.
While libraries are already loaning e-books, the move to streaming is part of a larger shift for them to remain relevant in a digital world where more people are using tablets and smartphones.
Libraries are "meeting patrons where they want to access content," said Kirk Blankenship, Electronic Resources Librarian for Seattle Public Libraries, which is using the service called Hoopla.
I have made a discovery that, while surely is not something original, is still exciting to me. When you wake up in the middle of the night thirsty and a little hungry, pull out a sugar-free Popsicle from the freezer and eat it. It shouldn't raise blood sugar (mine rises at night anyway, so I don't need to raise it any more). Plus, it relieves the thirst. I often wake up warm despite sleeping under a fan year-round, too, so it cools me off. Guess what is going to be a new staple in my household? :-)
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
I will say the team who actually took care of me before, during, and after the colonoscopoy, were excellent. I especially liked the humour of the anaesthesiologist, Dr Haas. I did well with the sedation, and was able to walk out a few minutes after the procedure was finished. The practice is Saint Joseph Gastroenterology Associates. The doctor who did my scope was K. Susie Jennings Conklin. Everything was over within a short time, and I woke up, and it wasn't too long after that I was discharged and sent home.
Also I'd like to thank Brenda's husband, Mike, who took me there and back. She would have, then remembered her master gardener class, which she's quite excited about, and made arrangements for him to be my ride so I wouldn't have to reschedule. It's not everyone who will take a near stranger to something like this for about three hours (we were a little early). Fortunately he brought plenty of reading material. :)
So since I've been home, I've been reintroducing some food to my system and getting some rest. The first thing I had was applesauce. :) I worked up to some high fibre-cereal just now. I still want pizza. :)
Just in case you, too, have to go through a colonoscopy, and you're looking for things to help you with the preparation, here are the links that helped me:
- I used diet tips from Todd’s Six-Day Colonoscopy Prep Guide [PDF] (but I used the MoviPrep as my doctor's directions said).
- I followed a clear liquid diet on the day before the colonoscopy.
- I felt better because of Dave Barry's column: Dave Barry: A journey into my colon -- and yours
- And this was really great; it even shows you how well your'e doing with the prep by colour of what's being excreted, and provided a good general overview: Getting Ready for Your Colonoscopy: Once and Done [PDF]
The way my prep worked was there was a 32-oz. container in which you mixed two powders together with water. Ideally, you then refrigerated that for several hours. But I didn't have that luxury with the first batch because I didn't get my prep and instructions till right before I had to start. The referigeration does help a bit, but I was able to get the stuff down even without that. I then drank four ounces every fifteen minutes for about an hour and a half. Nothing particularly happened for almost an hour, then about every 5-10 minutes I went to the bathroom. I had little cramping, and since I'd prepared by changing my diet several days ahead, never had to deal with much other than liquid, which eventually got to clear to a urine-like colour (which is good). About 10 pm I was actually able to go to bed, and only got up a couple of times that night with the urge to go. In the morning at six, I had to do the same thing again, not that there was much of anything inside by that time. Judging by the pictures they presented me of my colon, everything worked like a charm. I do remember lying in bed at 6:10 this morning going, oh, great, I have to start it all over again. But really, it wasn't that bad. I also discovered Popsicles can be an excellent reward. After the first bout was over, I had a couple of orange Popicles to celebrate and felt better for it.
Everything went well, but they did find a polyp, which they removed, and I should know in a week if there's any concern about that. The blood they found before was most likely from some internal haemorrhoids (I know, too much information, what can I say, it's the curse of being middle-aged and overweight), which I knew about, but there other than those two things, everything looked fine. I don't have any history of colon cancer in my family that I know of; I think they were surprised to find one, though, between that and the fact I'm not yet 50. So I may need to be screened more often. We'll see when I follow up on that.
So you now know about my colonoscopy experience, including more than you probably want to. I won't put pictures of my colon and rectum up online, at least. One of the nice things about this test is you know immediately how it went, whether they were good images, and what they found. They even give you a sheet with your happy colon pictures on them. I also got one of the polyp before that was removed, which I find a little odd, but it does support my love of stuff medical (hey, there are reasons I like being a medical librarian). :) But in all seriousness, please, if you've been putting it off, consider getting one. Even the prep for me went fairly smoothly. It is the worst part of the whole thing. You won't remember the procedure at all, quite likely. And it could save your life.