Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, March 31, 2006

Today was a nice, quiet day

to myself, with the exception of my mom and John coming up for a visit. They gave me a DVD burner for my birthday and are going to help with my car as part of that, too. We went over and had a look at the car, and it was decided that the timing chain very well could have broken (which will cost about $350, much better than having the whole engine replaced), and that it would be better to pay a little more to have it towed back home to a mechanic they know they can trust who will probably be cheaper than the ones we've dealt with here. So my little car will be going away for awhile, and I hope it will be drivable the next time I see it.

After our visit, I had them drop me off at the bank to cash my paycheque and went up to Kroger's to get a few necessities, like dog and cat food, and a little for me, too, as well as some laundry detergent. I debated on going to the library as I walked back home, seeing as I had the day free, but I decided I didn't want to walk into the library laden with all that stuff, so I came on home. Besides, I have several mysteries out from the library already, and I decided my time might be better spent reading rather than watching the DVDs I'd considered renting for a dollar a day. But I might very well go in soon and get some of the discs that go to Battlestar Galactica, for example, since I loved the old show and I'm interested in what they've done with it, and it would probably be useless for me to watch the show until I get the backstory.

Then I came home right before the rain started, and promptly fell to sleep with the gentle breeze and patter of the rain. I slept from noon until around five and felt very refreshed afterwards. I had done some cleaning before Momma and John had come, and I didn't feel like tackling the laundry just yet, so instead I curled up with the cat (who amazingly stayed out whilst they were here and let them pet him--Darius, the once invisible cat who was too skittish for anyone) and a good book--I'm reading Charlene Harris' A Bone to Pick--watched a little TV at some point, then headed back to bed for awhile when a new bit of rain came in. I do that a lot when I have a free day...get up and work for a few hours, sleep a few hours, do more work, etc. I usually wind up getting a lot accomplished but get some rest as well. But today I just focussed on getting some rest.

Now I'm enjoying the quiet of the night with thunder rumbling in the distance. Tomorrow I'll work eight hours and do some laundry besides. But for today, it's nice to just relax.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Trying to get a handle on intelligence

Researchers have discovered that the brains of children mature differently with distinct changes in the cerebellum based on intelligence. Apparently a thinner cerebellum early on is linked with superior intelligence, which you normally wouldn't expect. Meanwhile, there is a thicker cerebellum by age 12, where growth peaks among the those with superior intelligence (as opposed to those of average intelligence, who peak at 8). Then in adolescence the cerebellum thins until by age 19 they're roughly the same regardless of intelligence. What they don't know is if children are smarter because of these changes, or if these changes take place because the child is smarter, how much of this in genetic, and how much may be associated with environmental factors. Still, it's an interesting study.

See the Washington Post article for details.

Something to play with

during National Library Week (April 2-8)

Quotations about Libraries and Librarians

A nifty Google trick

I learnt from that last blog.

Need to know what a word means? Go to Google, type
and then the word you want to know about. Hence, vortal's definition, for instance.

Plus, you can link to these definitions by typing:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=define%3Aword&meta= into the anchor tag.



UBC Google Scholar Blog: Google Health or Medicine - Has the Portal Craze Begun?

Electronic publishing at its effects on scholarship

Our medical library list has been discussing this and T. Scott Plutchak, editor of the Journal of the Medical Library Association has posted some musings on his blog. Check it out at:
T. Scott: The Versioning Problem

Disappointing, but a correct reading of the law

AP Wire | 03/30/2006 | Court: gays can't come to Mass. to marry

Now, there's nothing to prevent gay couples from moving to Massachusetts to marry. Frankly, for many, it would be worth it in order to finalise their committment to one another. Besides, the only way to reap the benefits of marriage is to stay in the commonwealth, right?

A little more on that story yesterday about Lexington police officers

who are being investigated for inappropriate and derogotory remarks made in a public web forum. It's important to note that 1) this seems to involve a very small number of men, 2) a fellow police officer turned them in, and 3) the majority of police officers would not abuse their power (as in one case where an officer bragged about ticketing a neighbour whose car alarm annoyed him). Two of the officers, including the one whose web postings may affect the county's case against John Michael Montgomery (the country star was recently arrested on DUI charges here in Lexington), have been relieved of the ability to make arrests, but are being paid.

There is no specific policy in the division related to web postings (but there will be now), but there is a policy that officers are to follow when making public comments, as to the media, and also they are expected to conduct their personal lives in such a way that it does not reflect badly on the division. I have a similar clause in my employee handbook at the hospital. That's one of the reasons I'm very careful about what I say about my various jobs. This is a public arena, after all. No matter how frustrated I get (and I generally don't--my job doesn't have the stresses that, say, the police have), I don't vent here. That's what friends are for. :) At the same time, being a librarian is very much a part of my identity, as I'm sure it is for police officers. I can see blogging about the stresses of the job, but not giving specifics or using derogotory language. And yes, we are all free to make remarks due to our first amendment rights, but that doesn't mean we're guaranteed to go without consequences for our actions. It just means the government can't jail us for things we say without due cause. Private employers (or even public ones, such as a city/county) do not have to employ those who violate policies or otherwise cause trouble. There are certain things that can't affect your hiring or firing, namely things like religion, sex, race, etc. But what you say can definitely lead to consequences...just look at things like sexual harrassment or using foul language on the job. That area is often grey, but it's an area that can be used against an employee, especially if there are already other problems such as tardiness, poor work performance, etc. But I have to admit, I can't fault the city on their handling of this one. More than likely there will be administrative penalties, like loss of seniority or a mar on the employee's record. But even if the officers are fired over this, I think they're going to have to chalk this up to a learning experience and go forth, because the city will be within its rights to terminate.

Lexington Herald-Leader | 03/30/2006 | Six face disciplinary action

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Do people not get that the web is public?

Lexington Herald-Leader | 03/29/2006 | Officers' Web site content stirs furor

Lifelong learning and teaching resources


This is MLA's database of member-generated educational content and made available. Those marked with an "MO" are in the members-only area of the website, but much of the content is publically available.

Credibility Commons

Credibility Commons
The Credibility Commons is an experimental environment enabling individuals the opportunity to try out different approaches to improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web. Tools will be provided to researchers as well as the public, allowing them to try out search strategies, collections and other approaches to improving access to credible information. The Commons can be viewed as a collaborative space in which to share ideas, data sets, results and innovations. This project is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation who is deeply invested in improving access to credible information on the World Wide Web.

It's a shame we couldn't see it

Total Solar Eclipse Sweeps Across Globe

For more info, try NASA's site (but you may want to wait until traffic is down).

Teaching patients how to navigate the health information system

Following the Clues: A Visit to the Doctor and the Library

This is a free resource available in English, Spanish, and Sudanese-Nuer from the University of Nebraska. It follows a young girl and her grandmother through the system as they make an appointment, visit the doctor, and then visit the library for more information. It is especially good for children and adults who are not familiar with the United States healthcare system.

We curled up on the couch

and enjoyed the new cable last night. This is what the animals looked like. Aren't they cute? I watched X-Files and a thing on the History channel on dragons, then recorded another History channel programme on cannibalism to watch later. Yeah, I know, there's no accounting for taste. (No pun intended). But I also got some much-needed rest and did some work on the house. Now I'm ready for work and am just waiting for time to go catch the bus. I think I'll do a little work for job #2 whilst I wait. Hope your day is nice.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

He's right

A friend admonished me last night when we went out to Graeter's (a long-running [since 1870] local ice cream shop for getting two scoops of chocolate almond coconut in a waffle dish instead of one scoop in a dish, given my diabetes. And he's right. I am piggy about food, especially sweets, and I need to learn more moderation especially with my blood sugar issues. I was thinking of it as a special treat, but really, if you treat yourself regularly, it becomes habit. And although I have cut out desserts at lunch, I've been eating my regular Pop-tart for breakfast. Again, not a good choice. Today I had a bagel and cream cheese, which probably isn't that much better, but was the best choice of what was available. I need to invest in some form of decent breakfast food, or start coming to work when they're still serving breakfast in the cafeteria. Any suggestions for a good rounded meal that's got protein, little sugar, and isn't meat or eggs? [I eat eggs, but I am allergic to them, so I probably shouldn't eat them every day.]

Monday, March 27, 2006

I'm interested in what my friend

Brenda thinks of the new musical version of Lord of the Rings. They've cut Denethor and Faramir out completely, although they've restored the destruction of the Shire that is absent in the Peter Jackson vision of Tolkien's mythos. Much of her fan fiction writings follow Faramir, because she has an original character in his company. For more on the musical, check out the March 27 issue of Newsweek. (I couldn't find the blurb online yet, they haven't updated, but it should be there eventually.)

Good, good

I don't have diabetic neuropathy in my feet. That's a very good thing, as my mom and my grandmother are both on meds for it. I do, however, have plantar fasciitis, which isn't surprising given the amount of standing and walking I've been doing. The podiatrist approved the New Balance shoes and suggested inserts that support my arch and cushion my foot, so I bought those. They feel wonderful so far. It's funny, until I was sitting in the chair with my feet propped up, I never really realised how exposed you can feel with your shoes off. I go barefoot at nearly every opportunity, although that is now verboten, since it makes the PF worse. But I felt every much as naked as when you have one of those silly gowns that don't cover everything and you have a Pap smear. Weird, hmm? Fortunately the office staff were nice, although I could have done without going back downstairs to register with the clinic as a whole before I could be seen. I'm so glad Dr Nesbitt (his office is right next door) doesn't do that.

As a bonus, a nice older lady offered to give me a ride to work, so I didn't have to wait for a bus and got to the hospital a full half-hour earlier than I thought I would. Some friends are picking me up after work to go run some errands, so there's another busride I can miss. Yay.

Actually, the bus isn't too bad, although it takes me an hour to go somewhere it would normally take me 15 minutes. Let's just say it's good to have a book handy, because you have a lot of down time waiting for them and then riding them. The new buses are really low to the ground, and then step up a couple of steps in the very back, putting you on par with the bus driver's height and far above the cars. It's interesting. But I still want my car back. :)

A few pet peeves

Listening to 'Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree' by KT Tunstall

1) People who honk at pedestrians who dare to cross with the light, in the crosswalk
2) People who break hundred dollar bills by buying gum and then complain when you only have fives to give them.
3) People under twenty-five who leave their IDs in the car
4) People who throw money at you rather than put it in your hand
5) Children who play with the noise-making candy
6) Adults who play with the noise-making candy
7) People who throw cigarettes and other trash on the ground
8) People who can't fill out the f^%$ing lottery slips and want you to key in their numbers instead
9) People who throw up in your restroom and don't tell you. This goes for those who throw up anywhere you're expected to clean up, like trash cans and parking lot
10) Parents who send their kids in with a dollar where the kids hold up the line by asking you twenty times whether they can get this or that (see kids who play with the noise-making candy)

The last one I actually got to see karma in action. Two kids come in with a dollar and ask what candy they can get. I tell them most of the candy is more. (In retrospect, their best bet were tootsie pops, one for each, since those are 50 cents, but with tax, it'd still be over a dollar. The candy bars are 85 cents, but I wasn't thinking of those at the time). This starts to take awhile and the line forms, and the man behind them says he'll pay for whatever they pick out. So of course they pick up the $4 airplane candies, then change their minds to the somewhat cheaper boxing glove candy. He experiences sticker shock but goes ahead and puts two on his credit card. I explain to them that they should give the nice man the dollar and tell their mother that someone bought candy for them. Then I send the little darlings back out to their parental unit and continue waiting on customers. The guy sheepishly looks at me and says, 'I can't resist kids.' I smile, not because of his good deed, but because these candies have a switch that sends the boxing glove out on an expanding spring with an annoying 'broooooiiiiinnnngggg' sound. Mind you, it's annoying the first time. The hundredth would send most adults over the edge completely. Hee hee. That'll be the last time they're sent in to choose something without parental supervision. Ha ha.

Okay, that may be my evil, wicked side showing. But you have to admit, it's funny...and as a comic store employee and a librarian I've experienced children being dropped off as if to be babysat, so I'm sure many of you can relate. I'm sure theatre and mall workers have war stories to tell as well. Feel free to share yours here. :)

Oh, and I forgot, one more...

11) People who drive off without paying for their gas. May there be a special circle of hell for them, where they're chained to a pump for eternity and have their eyes and organs plucked out by buzzards, only to have them regenerate over and over.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Okay, I was so uncool in high school

that I didn't even have a niche in the marching band or a boyfriend at all...but somehow this song resonates with me.

Listening to:

"Girl Next Door" - Saving Jane

Small town homecoming queen
She's the star in this scene
There's no way to deny she's lovely
Perfect skin perfect hair
Perfumed hearts everywhere
Tell myself that inside she's ugly
Maybe I'm just jealous
I can't help but hate her
Secretly I wonder if my boyfriend wants to date her

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sittin' in the stands
She gets the top bunk I'm sleepin' on the floor
She's Miss America and I'm just the girl next door

Senior class president
She must be heaven sent
She was never the last one standing
A backseat debutaunt
Everything that you want
Never too harsh or too demanding
Maybe I'll admit it
I'm a little bitter
Everybody loves her but I just wanna hit her

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sittin' in the stands
She gets the top bunk I'm sleepin' on the floor
She's Miss America and I'm just the girl next door
Oh I'm just the girl next door

I don't know why I'm feelin' sorry for myself
I spend all my time wishin' that I was someone else

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sittin' in the stands
I get a little bit she gets a little more
She's Miss America ... she's Miss America
I'm just the girl next door...

Saturday, March 25, 2006

My feet hurt

five days standing at work + walking to work and home + walking to bustops = aching feet, even with New Balance shoes and gel insoles

I'm glad to be home. Can I stay here awhile? Please?

Friday, March 24, 2006

Another day's end

Listening to: 'Almost Honest' by Josh Kelly, 'Somewhere Only We Know' by Keane
Reading: 'Shakespeare's Trollop' by Charlaine Harris
Eating: Reese's Pieces and Tostitos tortilla chips
Sitting: On my massage cushion
Loving: My dog, Cerys, and cat, Darius
Contemplating: Going to sleep and the happiness of having a roof over my head and warmth on a wet, cold spring night
Blogging: this post, for no discernable reason


Listening to: 'The Confrontation' (Javert vs. Valjean in counterpoint), from Les Misérables

I get to leave work at 12:15 today! Of course, I have to work at the gas station from 4-9, but that gives me some time to read or otherwise have some free time.

Plus, I'm getting cable Tuesday. :) I'm going to try it. It's another $40 a month, but that's not too bad, and I think I can make it with my other bills. If not, I'll cancel it.

Dear Natasha

I like your song, 'Unwritten' very much. I couldn't figure out why I didn't care for 'These Words'. I finally figured it out.

I'm getting off my stage
The curtains pull away
No hyperbole to hide behind
My naked soul exposes

Hyperbole is pronounced Hy-per'-bol-ee', not 'hyper-bowl'.
Granted, I know you were trying to rhyme with 'soul', but it just grates, you see. Hey, I'm just saying....


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Potentially good news

According to my stepfather, it doesn't sound like I burnt up my car engine. If that's the case, then there may be some way to salvage it. I just have to wait until April 13, when I'll have a non-rent paycheque from the hospital. It could be the oil pump, for instance. Hopefully, he's right, because I love my little car, and I'd hate for it to die just yet. :)


My allergies have been worse since I've been spending more time outdoors walking and waiting for buses. It's kicking in my asthma, which is usually so mild I'll go 3 months without having to use my inhaler. Now I feel like I'm wheezing constantly. Oh, well. This, too, shall pass (and I'll go from tree pollen problems to grass pollen, at least).

I'm working at the gas station 20 hours again this week, so I worked Tuesday and Wednesday and I'll be working today, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The money's a good thing, and I've gotten my first raise, but it means I'll be pretty busy. The last couple of days I've worked 6-hour shifts; today and tomorrow will be 5, and I'll get out relatively early, at 9, which is good for the walk home.

One thing I've forgotten about being a pedestrian is how much more you notice of the world around you. That's actually been a plus. I do a lot of people watching on the bus and at the station; it's interesting to see such a cross-section of people.

Another thing I'm glad about is that all the buses have cameras now. I guess this was in response to an incident last year or the year before when a guy tried to take over a bus. I have to admit, I feel a little safer, and the buses seem to be newer models and in better shape than last time I was riding, too.

That's all for now; my break's over. At least it's sunny if not warm. Hope you're corner of the world is alright.

PCOS in teenage girls

Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome represent about 5%-10% of the population, and it cause various problems including high insulin, high testosterone, facial hair, obesity, abnormal cholesterol and lip levels, and as a result, infertility, diabetes and heart issues. My diabetes is, in fact, an outgrowth of this disorder. Although PCOS has been studied in adult women, it usually begins with puberty, and so this study looked at it in adolescent girls, using metformin (Glucophage) to see how the classic symptoms were changed. Studies in adult women show, for example, that a woman's chances of getting pregnant and having regular menses is much higher on metformin. This study looked at things like lipid and insulin profiles, testosterone levels, and body mass index. In the study, high-density lipoprotein ('good cholesterol') dramatically rose testosterone decreased, and it also affected the menses. Other changes were not stastistically significant, but that may be a factor of how early the disease is in this cases.

Anyway, if you're looking for PCOS info, especially if you're young (I was orginally diagnosed at 19, although they didn't treat it the same then), check it out. If you can't get full-text through your local library, their interlibrary loan programme should be able to get a copy for you.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med -- Abstract: Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial of Metformin for Adolescents With Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, March 2006, Bridger et al. 160 (3): 241

What a time to be carless!!!

One of my favourite bands, the Scottish group Battlefield Band, is playing in Georgetown (about half an hour away by car) tonight. For once I have money for such an excursion, but no transportation.

Oh, well...I have to work tonight anyway. :( But if I had my car, I'd be calling around to switch shifts, you better believe it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Oh, nifty

not that I'll be able to afford it any time soon, but Elder Scrolls IV, Oblivion, came out yesterday. I was a big fan of Daggerfall (number 2 in the series) but never got very far into Morrowind, although I do still play it occasionally (a co-worker gave me his old copy at one point). I wish I could still play Daggerfall, but I can't get it to run under Windows XP. I'm interested in how this new one pans out.

The person who told me this was a co-worker at the gas station. He works at Best Buy, too, so they had a lot of people waiting in line for this game. It's an extremeley popular computer roleplaying game series. Anyway, I definitely 'click' with Scott...he has Invader Zim as a ringtone, as an example and is very much a fan of science fiction. (And no, before you ask, he's married with a baby on the way.) :)

I'm somewhat fascinated by autism, its various shades, and how it can work for someone

as much as against him. I don't think those with autism are so much 'broken' as 'different' in how they think and view the world and society. So I read Autism First-Hand: An Expert Interview With Temple Grandin, PhD (free with registration) for a look into what it's like to be autistic. I really need to read her book, Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism.

This sounds interesting

Too bad I'm nowhere near Bethesda, Maryland. But for those who are:

NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE - History of Medicine Division


TUESDAY, MARCH 28, 2006, 2:00-3:15 pm, Lister Hill Auditorium Bldg 38A, NLM; Bethesda, MD

When Abortion Was A Crime: The Case Of German Measles

Speaker: Leslie Reagan, Ph.D.

German measles (rubella) had long been understood as a "nuisance" disease, but the 1941 discovery that German measles during pregnancy affected the fetus and could cause cataracts, blindness, deafness, heart defects, and mental retardation changed medical attitudes. As an epidemic hit the United States in 1963-1966, the CDC and the media warned the public of the dangers. Physicians around the world agreed that maternal rubella was an indication for a (legal) therapeutic abortion. This paper analyzes the eruption of an internal and religious conflict within medicine into state politics when state officials in California investigated the practices of highly reputable doctors.

Leslie J. Reagan is Associate Professor of History and Medicine at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

All are Welcome

Note: The next history of medicine seminar will be on Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 2pm in the Lister Hill Auditorium. Prof. Matthew Warner Osborn will speak on "The Theater of Addiction: Delirium Tremens in Antebellum Philadelphia."

Sponsored by the History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine. Sign language interpretation will be provided. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation to participate in this event should contact Stephen Greenberg (301-435-4995), greenbes@mail.nih.gov or the Federal Relay (1-800-877-8339)

Due to current security measures at NIH, off-campus visitors are advised to consult the NIH Visitors and Security website at:

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

So cold, so tired

The walk home from the gas station wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was much colder; our temps dipped down into the 20s, this on the first day of spring! There were a lot of grumpy-butts no doubt brought out by the gloomy, cold weather; one man swore he wouldn't come back just because I broke his $100 with all I had, $5s. Just a factoid for you: gas stations really aren't the best place to break a $100 or $50 bill...we drop all large bills immediately (meaning we feed it into the safe, which we can't open) and most of our $20s throughout the course of the shift. We're not supposed to have more than $100 in our drawer at any time. So bringing those big bills in will wipe out the drawer. It's mildly annoying the first time it happens. But usually, as in this case, it's the third time in a row that really bites, because then you're down to giving out $1s. In this case, too, the man had other money (because he went through it in his moneyclip where I could see), and we're right next to both a bank (which was open) and a major grocery store (which can afford to keep registers better stocked because they're less likely to be robbed) He was blaming the company for, and I quote, 'not stocking enough money on hand'. We're a gas station, not a money store. If you hate banks, we're also right across the street from Wal-Mart, which cashes cheques, and next to Kroger's, which does as well. They're used to dealing with large bills. The most we do is sell money orders. Plopping down those big bills (and it's primarily the 100s that are annoying) is also annoying late at night, when our drawers are bled down to bare minimum. All this is done to prevent robberies and in case of them, to prevent loss to the company. Which means if someone does come in with a gun, they just might shoot you out of frustration, I suppose.

Well, I've called a friend and let him know I'm home safely, returned another friend's call about some medical info she needed, taken care of the animals, and given my monthly libation, so it's time to head to bed. Pleasant dreams.

Amazing the things that turn up in the literature

A colleague passed this along from PubMed:

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2001 Dec;81(6):1160-75.
Blirtatiousness: cognitive, behavioral, and physiological consequences of rapid responding. Swann WB Jr, Rentfrow PJ. Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, 78712, USA. swann@psy.utexas.edu

The Brief Loquaciousness and Interpersonal Responsiveness Test (BLIRT) measures the extent to which people respond to others quickly and effusively. The BLIRT displays desirable psychometric properties and distinguishes people who should theoretically score high (e.g., car salespersons) from those who should score low (e.g., librarians). Scores on the scale predict (a) the amount and rapidity of people's verbal responses in an unstructured interaction, (b) how likable and competent people's classmates perceive them to be early in the semester, (c) how quickly people respond to an obnoxious cell-phone user and how physiologically aroused they become, and (d) how quickly and emphatically people respond to a series of personal insults as well as their degree of physiological arousal. Converging evidence indicates that blirtatiousness is unique in its ability to amplify people's qualities, making these qualities more readily observable to perceivers.

PMID: 11761315 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

I'm not sure why librarians are given as the example of a low score, given that most librarians I know respond quickly and courteously to sometimes the rudest and weirdest requests, and they are quite effusive in their helpfulness, but there you have it.

By night she fought for FAIR USE!

Duke University's Center for the Study of the Public Domain has produced a comic book, Bound by Law, which teaches copyright issues with a bit of fun. Follow our heroine as she tackles all sorts of copyright problems.

Happy Spring!

Conversation I had the other day at the gas station with a customer:

Her: Brrr...it's cold.
Me: Well, at least it will be spring in just a few days.
Her: Really?
Me: Yes, it's usually the 21st.
Her: Oh. I'm not from around here.

I guess she figures Kentucky has clockwork seasons. Granted, it would be nice if the weather reflected the season...it has been cold lately, after all the unseasonable warmth during winter.

I got in last night from tackling brush and riding the bus and went straight to bed...didn't take my eve meds, or anything. I just barely got into my sleep clothes. I forgot how draining the bus is, and having done some lawn work on top of it was too much. I feel better now, although a little wonky. I went ahead and took my meds with my morning dose, and I'm already a little more awake and functioning as a result. I also took a nice bath to ease some of the soreness.

Well, it's time to walk to the bus stop. Hope you have nice spring weather today.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Mafia mama?

Only in our Cthulhu game. One of my characters, "widowed" with a small child (well, her husband switched souls with a woman, and then his body was killed, leaving him trapped in a woman's body...so he isn't really dead, but it's easiest to treat the marriage as if he had) has been courted by a very amiable, sensual man who seemed too good to be true, and who came back squeaky clean in a background check. Turns out, there is one small problem...he's the local mob boss, and everything he's presenting to Tessa is a lie...he's actually brutal and viscious, the type of man who orders hits on people but keeps his own hands clean. She went to break up with him in a way that would't turn the mob's enmity against us (the story was going to be that she'd had a difficult time with the child's birth that had left her barren...he's obviously looking for a nice Catholic girl to bear babies for him). But he was so charming, and there was so much electric chemistry, that she went to bed with him instead. Turns out he's wearing a charm bag that cast a love spell on her, snaring her quite well. It also turns out that the charm contains a virility component, and now she's pregnant. I messed up on my rolling to prevent pregnancy, having a moment of stupidity where I didn't do the game mechanics right, and so, there you go. Now she's pregnant by a mobster in the small town of Arkham, Massachusetts (a creation of HP Lovecraft), where it's going to be very difficult to hide 1) a pregnancy and 2) a second child who happens to be born about 9 months later. I can always say I'm away on assignment, but at some point he's going to see the child. And being Catholic, and having vows against taking human life, abortion isn't an option in this case. The good news is even though she's just begun her pregnancy, divination showed that the child will be a girl with a sweet disposition who has more than likely been a Guardian (what we are) in a past life and will be so again.

Well life is never boring in the game, at least. Mind you, her first child was exposed to a mad doctor's serum and as a result has multiple personalities, one of which is sociopathic and will want to kill her mother someday, not that my character knows that yet.


PS Virtually every time one of my characters has sex in the game, she gets pregnant. Usually it's a matter of really stupendous rolls, too, rather than my own stupidity. I already have one character that's given birth to the potential anti-Christ, another that's given birth to a child that will grow up to be a sort of lifeforce vampire, etc. So far I have one seemingly normal child, and even she was conceived under strange circumstances. :)

Taurus mortus est?

Last night, we were coming back from our great adventure, and my oil light came on and the car started making a racket. I stopped immediately, then took advantage of my AAA Plus membership and had us towed back to Lexington. I checked the oil, and it wasn't reading on the dipstick, so I put in oil until it was nearly full. Someone suggested running the car so the oil could circulate and I tried that, and the knocking got better, then got far worse, so I turned off the car and let it sit overnight. I tried again this morning, and the worse sound went off immediately, then the car died. So the question now is whether my engine is now a giant paperweight. I need to check with my stepfather to be sure, but my past experience (I've had several cars in the last few years die sad deaths for one reason or the other, had one engine rebuilt and another that died when the mechanics who "fixed" it didn't put oil back into the car.) This sounds just like that last one...so, I'm back to being a pedestrian and bus rider again until I can save up enough money to fix or replace the car. :( Poor little car, and the sad thing is, I usually check the oil before going out of town and didn't this time; if I had, it could have been avoided. Apparently I had a leak somewhere. Sigh and grrrr.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Today we went to Harrodsburg to check out a store and meet up with someone. The store is Angel's Touch, 224 North College Street, Harrodsburg, KY 40330, (859) 733-0003, and it was well worth the drive, as they had quite a nice herb collection, incense, books, curios, and jewelry. I bought some lavender oil, a piece of jet (it's very hard to find these days), and a small amethyst crystal point wrapped in silver wire. The prices were very reasonable, much less than I've seen at other places, and of course, it was all in one place. In Lexington, you have to hunt at various stores for the same sort of things, especially places like Sqecial Media (pronounced 'skeshl'--note there's no 'u'), Joseph-Beth (which sadly seems to be deteriorating in terms of quality and breadth of collection) or Barnes and Noble, and Good Foods Co-op. I don't know of a metaphysical store in town that has it all like Angel's Touch. (If anyone does, let me know!)

There was a piece of quartz on sale for $40 that I really wish I could have gotten. It had rainbows of light within it, was double pointed, and fit very nicely in my palm.

We met several of the locals and went out to eat with them at Nancy's an Italian restaurant with excellent vegetarian lasagna. After saying goodbye, we travelled through Danville and over to Stanford, where my mom lives, for a little while. Then we came on home. That was an adventure in itself, of which I'll blog later. Let's just say it may be awhile before we take any more field trips.

It was a beautiful day for a drive, and it was nice to get out of the city for awhile. It was nice to be off work on a Saturday, too. That's rare these days. Well, that's pretty much it. Hope you are having a good weekend.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy Irish Heritage Day

Listening to: 'Javert's Suicide', Les Miserables

I should have brought some Celtic music today, but Les Mis is working well anyway. I don't say St. Patrick's Day because, well, St. Patrick was the one who drove the snakes (read: Pagans) out of Ireland. But for those of us with Irish roots, it's a time to reconnect with our heritage, saint or not.

I'm actually wearing green, despite all the people in blue for the Kentucky Wildcat game tonight. It's a white shirt with purple and orange flowers and greenry, so it has all the colours of the Irish flag on it, both the green of the South and the orange of Ulster and Northern Ireland. I have family from both sides of the border, so I try to honour both.

This is a test post, as the filer my blog's on has been down most of the morning. Now the blog is up, but my recent posts aren't showing up. I'm hoping that this republishing will help.

Hope you have a good weekend. I work tonight, and tomorrow I'm heading to Harrodsburg (our trip was put off from Wednesday) and possibly Danville/Stanford as well. I'm off work and so there's the whole day to go have fun.

DOCLINE is 21!

DOCLINE, the system medical librarians use for interlibrary loan, is celebrating its 21st birthday. They've dressed up the opening screen a little, puttting a birthday hat on their mascot, Tugger the dog. They have desktop wallpapers available to celebrate.

DOCLINE is active behind the scenes when doctors have a difficult case and need an article right away to treat a patient. It allows researchers to get articles that will more fully inform their research and help them design and conduct experiments. Thousands of medical librarians are behind the scenes ticking away at keys, and DOCLINE provides an easy interface for finding other libraries that own the needed reference, ordering it, and receiving it in hand. It is linked to PubMed, allowing for a search to be conducted and orders made from that platform. According to their website, DOCLINE includes 3,260 libraries, 1.4 million holdings, and 2.3 million requests. Think about that. Ever since it went onto the web it has been especially nice, with updates making it only better. It's easy to use, for something that has so much information available, and allows librarians to make requests in seconds that used to take days by hand. Okay, I'll finish singing its praises for now, but yes, happy birthday DOCLINE. :)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

My therapist

and I discussed the porous boundaries I have between others and myself. Essentially, I've become enmeshed with three people in my life to the point where I begin and end was lost completely...my mother, my ex-husband, and a friend. At least the friend has resisted the enmeshment, but it's still there. There is a reason people used to treat me like one of his appendages rather than a person in my own right. One of the things I'm supposed to work on is building up a better boundary between myself and others. She said that usually she has to work with people to tear down the walls that separate them from others, but in my case, a little bit of a wall would go a long way. I think that may be why I've put on my weight and lived in unlivable situations...because some part of me was desperately trying to create a boundary and have a space all to myself. At the same time, I give of myself so completely that I often feel there's nothing else to give, and that I have no free time to myself, no real place to call my own. I have to stop doing this for sanity's sake, and because frankly, most people don't want to be enmeshed to the degree that I bond (like some sort of sucker fish). :)

So why do I do this? Partly because I'm terrified of taking responsibility for my own thoughts, actions, opinions, etc. Life is so much simpler when you have someone else at the wheel. But it leaves me in a rather pathetic role, and irritates the other, who usually winds up feeling responsible for me. That was certainly how Liz felt before she huffed off out of my life.

It's past new year's, but maybe there's still time for a resolution. I want to take responsibity for my own life and stop leaving it in a heap in someone else's room. It's time to grow up and be myself, with boundaries in place. I am a good person inside, and I have a lot of good qualities. I have a lot of bad ones, too, ones that I need to work on, that aren't anyone else's problems to fix. I think if I do that my self-esteem will also rise and with it, my quality of life, and my friendships will actually be much more healthy.


I've renegotiated my indentured servitude. For now, I'm free. Yay! Now I have to figure out to do with that much more free time. First on the list is spring cleaning. :)

Amazing what you can do if you get up

two hours early. By the time I got to work (a few minutes early), I had:

  1. Picked up my paycheque, complete with 3% raise (yipee!)
  2. Cashed said cheque
  3. Paid my electric bill
  4. Eaten a (nourishing?) breakfast of egg and cheese biscuits with yoghurt parfait--hey, it's better than my normal pop-tart
  5. Read through the second murder in my current mystery (Cardington Crescent, by Anne Perry)
  6. Picked up the following books they were holding from the library:
    • Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic, by catherine yronwode
    • Bud, Blossom, & Leaf: the Magical Herb Gardener's Handbook, by Dororthy Morrisson
    • Witchcraft Medicine: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices, and Forbidden Plants, by Claudia Mueller-Ebeling, Christian Raetsch, and Wolf-Dieter Storl.

Can you tell I'm doing some garden planning? Plus, today is beautiful, it will be warm, it's sunny, the birds are singing, and the fence is almost finished. And then the planting shall commence. :)

This has consumer groups in an uproar

Government scaling back mad cow testing

I'm glad I haven't (at least intentionally) eaten beef since 1991 and don't plan to do so, as I don't believe I could kill a cow myself, and that's the requirement I eat by. True, it is very rare to transmit this prion disease to humans, but it could happen.

Granted, I see part of the problem. The only way to test for mad cow disease is to kill the animal and check it's brain tissue, so at present that's about 1,000 a day. But it seems to me that higher testing means higher consumer confidence and also confidence for those to whom we export beef, like the Japanese. So, it's sort of a catch-22 in terms of oeconomics.

Well, good

Jackson to pay workers but Neverland still closed

Apparently he let his workman's comp insurance lapse (big no-no when you're employing folks) and owes over $300 thousand in back wages to his employees. This and other legal problems continue to plague Michael Jackson in the wake of his child molestation trial, which yes, he was acquitted of, but frankly the court of public opinion is not so forgiving. Jackson himself is spending much time in Bahrain; some have suggested it is to avoid any further charges against the performer.

In the Cthulhu game, there are opponents that you just can't take out directly, because they have too much power and wealth. I've always found the best way to deal with this situation is to bankrupt them. Looks like the state of California has a similar philosophy. I suspect that Jackson's business dealings will come under heavy scrutiny for some time.

Without a Trace? Good grief

TV Stations Fined Over CBS Show Deemed to Be Indecent - New York Times

Networks are increasingly in a tough spot between competition with cable stations that do not have such stringent requirements and the FCC's ability to fine for things it considers indecent, even when a show is reflecting something that does happen in real life. Apparently the episode of 'Without a Trace' (an excellent show by the way) suggested teens were participating in an orgy.

Like that never happens in real life, right? And I suppose the mere implication is such that it'll cause all those teen viewers to go out and have lots of sex in groups. Go figure. Come on, the show's at 10 pm and draws many of its story lines from real life. Cut it a break.

The article points out that special interest groups, not individuals, lodge the most complaints. I'm sure that's true. And of course, the FCC is now run by a Republican who seems bent on taking a hard line on indecency.

The FCC should be more concerned with violence on television than indecency, in my opinion. Flagrant offences, like the famed Janet Jackson fiasco--especially if it were contrived rather than accidental--are one thing. Just mentioning sex is a totally different thing altogether, at least in my opinion.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If I were willing to move

this is an interesting position/initiative. I'm posting here in case any of you might be interested.

Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS Service Organization in Philadelphia, is seeking a Director for the AIDS Library and Critical Path Internet Project. The AIDS Library is a regional collection of books, video's, consumer and scientific publications, and other materials. Critical Path is an Internet Service Provider offering free dial-up access in four local area codes, free email, free web page and listserv hosting, and web based information for HIV+ persons. The Library's computer lab offers free access to the public affected by the HIV epidemic, and classes to help low income, low literacy people bridge the digital divide.

We are seeking an energetic person with a MLS, M.Ed or equivalent degree, who is excited at managing this incredible community resource. You must have knowlege and understanding of the Internet and World Wide Web but we are not looking for a person to carry out the highly technical aspects of maintaining our ISP. Rather, we are seeking someone with a background in adult education who will help us develop and manage education and outreach projects in communities and schools throughout the metropolitan area. We also seek a person highly committed to helping low income people bridge the digital divide.

Responsibilities will include supervising the Library staff, overseeing the maintenance of the Library's collections, overseeing the management of Critical Path, and developing new initiatives for health education with adults and high school students in our community.

Check out the library at www.aidslibrary.org and www.fight.org.

Equal opportunity employer. People of color, LGBTQ, people living with HIV/AIDS are encouraged to apply.

Compensation: Competitive; salary will be negotiated; we offer excellent benefits including health and life insurance, dental, disability and access to a 403b retirement plan.

Please contact TERRY TRUDEAU, Terry@fight.org. Include a cover letter and
resume. No calls please.

Beware the Ides of March

which has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that it is, indeed, the Ides of March today. Personally, I think the day to beware is April 19th--the Romans had two of their most stunning defeats on that day (they lost one emperor in a bog, another was killed, stuffed, and put up in a temple, at least according to my Classical History professor). That's also the day of Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing...well, you get the picture.

Anyway, have I mentioned lately how much I love my doctor, Dr Nesbitt? He's always so nice (perhaps because he's Canadian?) and really treats me as a person, plus he has a great sense of humour, and he knows what it's like to deal with weight problems. He was quite excited that I'd lost four pounds in a couple of weeks since my last visit; the metformin should help me lose some weight. I got the lab work back and I'm definitely diabetic, with a hemoglobin A1C of 7.1 (the norm is about 5.0), so he upped my metformin but kept it in the little pills I take twice a day, rather than giving the once-a-day kind that are more expensive and the size of a nickel around and about as thick as five nickels stacked upon each other. I hate the big pills; they gag me. Dealing with big pills was part of the reason I went off the stuff in the first place. If that doesn't work by itself there are some other drugs that can be paired with the metformin to try. He's not planning on putting me on insulin unless absolutely neccessary. Almost everything else came back normal; my cholesterol and triglycerides are fine, good hematocrit, etc. My liver enzymes were a little elevated but meds can do that, and I'm certainly on enough. I've been referred to an ophthalmologist and a podiatrist to get checked out for diabetes-related problems. So, now I'm getting that under control, plus dealing with my dental and mental health issues, so I'm finally taking care of myself and thereby increasing my quality of life (and possibly length of life as well). Thank the Gods for good healthcare and a flexible spending account. Now if I can just get a professional level job with enough hours to allow me to work just one job. :)

After a lot of rain, yesterday and today have been quite sunny and although a little cool, very nice. Spring really is just around the corner.

Today I should get paid at one or two of my jobs, depending on when the Speedway cheques come in the mail, which is good, because I'm taking a trip to Harrodsburg this evening and really need gas. I'm running on fumes and thought I was totally broke but when I dug around for change so I could eat breakfast (I brought my lunch, but wanted a little something), I found three dollar bills in one of the compartments, which should give me enough gas to actually pick up the cheques and cash them. Yay! Tomorrow I get the big paycheque from the hospital and so far only $100 of that is spoken for (electricity). Hopefully that will last me a little better. The only reason why I'm strapped at the moment is that I had some small paycheques for job #2 and #3 and paid my rent with money from those and job #1 in the last pay cycle. There was a little extra for gas and groceries but not enough for two weeks of gas. I'm going to put some extra money on my gas card and get a debit card for the cafeteria (it's a new programme where you buy a card for a dollar and then charge it up as you like, and it saves time when going through the line. I figure it will help with budgeting, too) so I don't have to rely on having cash on hand.

Well, that's it for now. Hope you have a glorious day.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Who knew? I thought I'd be Eponine.

Les Miserables Fan Fiction: Character Quiz: Cosette: "

I'm Cosette!
Sweet and sheltered, but not just another pretty face, I've overcome some tough times, and have nowhere to go but up. Only the most hardened sociopaths -- and, well, fanatical Eppie/Marius 'shippers -- have anything bad to say about me.

Which Les Miserables Character Are You?

Too cool (geek out)

Google Maps goes to Mars

It doesn't have complete coverage yet, but you can search the various landing sites and get quite a bit of information using this mapping tool. You can play with it yourself at mars.google.com.

I wonder what Tracita would think of this. After all, she's worked on getting some of those very images through the Mars Orbiter programme at NASA.

Monday, March 13, 2006

I stumbled across this

whilst doing some research on cognitive effects and mental health comorbidity with diabetes. The Brits take a totally different approach to personality disorders than the American psychological community does. Makes me glad I'm an American. (Also, it was disturbing to read about proposed legislation to incarcerate those with personality disorders even if no crime had been committed. This was from 2002...hopefully that legislative push fell through). I think I understand John's frustration with the National Health System a little better now.

The distinction between personality disorder and mental illness -- KENDELL 180 (2): 110 -- The British Journal of Psychiatry

Stuck in my head

Matisyahu King Without A Crown Lyrics
"King Without a Crown"

Yes folks, it really is Hasidic Reggae. Check out the web site at: Matisyahu.org.

By the way, the reference to Hashem is a reference to the name of G-d without pronouncing the tetragrammaton YHWH, which is forbidden in Judaism. Most Jews will substitute the word 'Adonai' (My Lord). Hasidic Jews use Ha Shem (the Name). There are also references to the Torah and other Biblical images. "King Without a Crown" is a very dense song, packed with a lot of imagery, and it has a catchy reggae beat that will not go out of my head. :)

A glorious spring-like day

outside, cloudy, granted, and it may rain, but the breeze is very warm and occasionally I'll catch whiffs of spring flowers. The other day I saw egrets on their way back north, beautiful white birds soaring over water. The other night I heard an owl whooing in the dark. Today, birds seem to be bursting out all over as the rain has loosened the soil and the warmth sets their juices flowing.

It's almost time to start gardening in earnest, and this year I have a landscaping job to work on to actually put some of my talents to work. I love digging in the dirt, planting and nuturing growth, the heady perfume of flowers in bloom, the opportunity to create a sort of bower of delight. The agenda includes creating a water feature with the appropriate plantings. Now, my nose doesn't like it; I'm back on Claritin and Flonase due to my allergies, but oh, well, a little suffering is worth it. I've been sniffling and sneezing even with the drugs.

Well, that's all for now. Time to go wrestle with copiers and patrons.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

I won't be mourning his passing

Slobodan Milosevic, the alleged 'Butcher of the Balkans'.

Granted, I hope he wasn't poisoned or given medicines to counteract his blood pressure and heart medication...among other things that would have deprived thousands seeking justice for acts of genocide. But I'm not sorry to see him go off to his Maker. Justice will prevail, I suspect.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oh, sleep

I worked ten hours yesterday between two jobs, and eight at the gas station today. I am so ready for bed, so I'm afraid there won't be any pithy sayings tonight. :)

Friday, March 10, 2006

An opportunity to highlight medical info and librarians

Medical Library Association: 4-11 is Medical Information Day!

Very nice

Whilst looking for the words of the song that was stuck in my head, I came across Cantaria, a collection of traditional music on the web with the distinction of having versions of the songs contributed by a variety of singers so that you can actually hear the tune and style as well as learn the lyrics.

I love traditional Celtic and English music, so this was a great find.

An Internet Classic

In my head: Wild Mountain Thyme (Will You Go, Lassie, Go?), probably because it is a fine spring-like day with sun and a heavy breeze.

The day as seen in a dog's diary:

7 am - Oh boy! A walk! My favorite!
8 am - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 am - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
Noon - Oh boy! The yard! My favorite!
2 pm - Oh boy! A car ride! My favorite!
3 pm - Oh boy! The kids! My favorite!
4 pm - Oh boy! Playing ball! My favorite!
6 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Mum! My favorite!
7 pm - Oh boy! Welcome home Dad! My favorite!
8 pm - Oh boy! Dog food! My favorite!
9 pm - Oh boy! Tummy rubs on the couch! My favorite!
11pm - Oh boy! Sleeping in my people's bed! My favorite!

As seen in a cat's diary :

Day 183 of my captivity... My captors continued to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while I am forced to eat dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of escape, and the mild satisfaction that I get from clawing their furniture.

Tomorrow I will eat another houseplant.

Today my attempt to kill my captors by weaving around their feet while they were walking almost succeeded ; must try this at the top of the stairs.

In an attempt to disgust and repulse these vile oppressors, I once again induced myself to vomit on their favorite chair. I must remember to try this on their bed.

Decapitated a mouse and brought them the headless body in an attempt to make them aware of what I am capable of, and to try to strikefear in their hearts. They only cooed and condescended about what a good little cat I was.

Hmmm, that did not work according to plan...

There was some sort of gathering of their accomplices. I was placed in solitary confinement throughout the event. However, I could hear the noise and smell the food. More important, I overheard that my confinement was due to my powers of inducing "allergies."

I must learn what this is and how I may use it to my advantage.

I am convinced the other captives are flunkies and maybe snitches. The dog is routinely released and seems more than happy to return. He is obviously a half-wit.

The bird, on the other hand, has got to be an informant and speaks with them regularly. I am certain he reports my every move. Due to his current placement in the metal room, his safety is assured.

But I have patience, I can wait; it is only a matter of time...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today I feel blah

and not particularly social. I'm not sure why. I woke up this morning early feeling rested, but over the course of the day I've just felt, well, disconnected. It's raining and it's not as warm as I thought it would be, so I'm in short sleeves and am a little cold. I'm a little sore from hauling brush for about three hours yesterday afternoon. I have a dental appointment later. I'm rambling, I know. It's like I'm watching all these things happen, and people talking, and I don't seem to really be a part of it. I just feel like going somewhere where it's intensely quiet, without the hum of machinery, etc. I guess I feel like I'm getting too much stimulation...the lunchroom wasn't particularly crowded but it was almost too much, so maybe it's an anxiety or ADD issue. I don't know. I just hope this mood doesn't last too long.

Cage Match!

It's the Nuns vs. the Librarians in this Northern Kentucky corporate spelling bee.

What a nifty idea

PLoS Medicine: Where There Is No Internet: Delivering Health Information via the Blue Trunk Libraries

A small, portable medical library in a box. :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A third of medical research wrong?

Healthy Skepticism presents a study that looked at 49 highly-cited research studies and found that 14 studies were either contradicted or downplayed by later research. It also highlights problems with duplicating research, overgeneralising results, and the ethical issues surrounding such studies.


First American skulls more closely resemble early Australians and Sub-Saharan Africans than to Siberian-derived Native Americans

Libraries and hospitals partnering for health

New Guide Facilitates Partnerships between Hospitals, Public Libraries to Inform Consumers About Patient Safety

A new tool is now available to help organizations develop and provide consumer awareness programming for patient safety. Partnering for Patient Empowerment Through Community Awareness (PPECA), a hospital-library collaborative program, is releasing new content this week. The PPECA Facilitator’s Guide and module presentations are now freely available for organizations to use in their own patient safety educational efforts.

CHICAGO (PRWEB) March 8, 2006 -- National Patient Safety Awareness Week is about promoting the importance of partnership with patients to reduce medical error.

To support other national efforts, Partnering for Patient Empowerment Through Community Awareness (PPECA), a hospital-library collaborative program, is releasing new content this week. The PPECA Facilitator’s Guide and module presentations are now freely available. The modules and guide will provide direction on presenting a patient safety program that hospitals and libraries can host together to increase awareness among consumers about patient safety.

"We felt it was important to participate in a program that shared information on how patients could become proactive partners in their own safe care," stated Carolyn Anthony, Director of Skokie Public Library, one of the PPECA library participants. Roxanne Goeltz, co-founder of Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS) and consumer speaker on patient safety agreed: “Patients must prepare themselves to be more involved in their healthcare. The atmosphere and resources available at the public libraries partnered with the knowledge and dedication of the hospitals will strengthen the safety net for all patients.”

To develop the PPECA model, five northern Illinois hospitals and public libraries worked together to refine content and the program development process. The free Facilitator’s Guide shares that expertise so others can initiate similar adult education sessions that feature health care practitioners, librarians and consumers as speakers. Program planners who need additional content for their sessions can access streaming video of the presentations from the project Web site at http://www.galter.northwestern.edu/PPECA/index.htm.

PPECA is the first model for building patient safety awareness through participatory community partnerships involving a public library and a healthcare institution. “Public libraries have a history of providing educational programs on topics of interest to their communities,” says Linda Walton, associate director, Galter Health Sciences Library and PPECA principal investigator. “Many people feel more comfortable in a public library environment than in a hospital setting for learning.”

The educational sessions include three short presentations designed to raise consumer awareness of:
• The consumer’s role in working with healthcare providers to manage
risk of avoidable patient injury;
• Patient-centered clinical and systems-based approaches to patient
safety; and
• Effective medical information gathering to support safe care.

PPECA was developed in collaboration with Consumers Advancing Patient Safety, the Health Learning Center of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Zipperer Project Management and the Metropolitan Library System. The program has been funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, under Contract. No. NO1-LM-1-3513.


Press Contact: Lorri Zipperer
Email: email protected from spam bots
Phone: 847-328-5075
Website: http://www.galter.northwestern.edu/PPECA/index.htm

More Information: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2006/3/prweb355102.htm

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

A health resource for Kentuckians

Nationwide, Kentucky ranks number one in deaths per capita from lung cancer and fifth in cardiovascular deaths. We are also the sixth most obese state in the nation. Inactivity and poor diet are contributing to costly and destructive chronic illnesses such as diabetes, cancer and depression.
--KET Press Release

Be Well Kentucky, from KET

Holistically, speaking, maybe it's all related

Insulin defects may figure in mental illness - Health & Science - International Herald Tribune

Insulin issues, such as those seen in diabetes, are especially being studied in older adults, where cognition impairment appears to differ based on insulin's and blood sugar levels' stability. The same metabolic syndrome that puts people at risk for obesity, diabetes, lipid issues, and heart and vascular disease may also increase the chances of Alzheimer's, for example. Also, there may be an insulin component to differences found in schizophrenic brains. Anti-psychotic drugs seem to help protect schizophrenics and those with bipolar disorder from developing diabetes.

In my case, it looks like metabolic syndrome --> obesity --> sleep apnea and diabetes --> depression, anxiety, and cognitive issues. So...now I'm being treated at all levels of that chain, so hopefully it should help. My depression, sleep apnea, and anxiety issues are all under control. I'm being treated for cognitive issues including ADHD and those related to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Maybe the insulin resistance is the last brick I need to feel better and wholly myself again.

Oh, Gods, I feel so much better

My doctor's office called yesterday and said they'd call in a prescription for metformin based on the labwork and my own glucometre readings. This morning's reading, after one dose? 53--a little on the low side, actually, but nowhere near as bad.

I should say that I know it was stupid to go off the meds in the first place, but I was on it because of low blood sugar, without a tendency to run high, because I produced too much insulin, and it was messing up my other hormones, including the androgens, as a result of polycystic ovarian disease/insulin resistance syndrome. Now I'm assuming I'm officially diabetic, and obviously have been running towards high. I've been told that I obviously didn't feel well the last couple of weeks but look better today. I feel like a fog's been lifted.

With that in mind, it's off to work I go.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Food for thought

Why Doctors So Often Get It Wrong - New York Times (free with registration)

Autopsies show that in 20% of the time doctors misdiagnose the disease that causes death, a level that hasn't really changed much from the 1930s. There are tools out there to help prevent these kinds of misdiagnoses, but no oeconomic incentives to really pursue such costly tools.

Not good

Fasting blood sugars
3/1/2006 164
3/2/2006 299
3/3/2006 179
3/4/2006 200
3/5/2006 216
3/6/2006 225

I called Dr Nesbitt's office this morning because the hospital employee nurse suggested it after I tested 307 a couple of hours after eating and felt icky on Friday.

It's not surprising, really. I mean, I knew more than likely that I was diabetic, even without an official diagnosis. But as long as I could, I chocked it up to insulin resistance syndrome, and told myself that when I tested, it was usually just under the range normally considered diabetic, and so it wasn't too bad. As a result, I didn't really take it seriously. I think I've reached a point where I really do have to shed denial and make some changes in how I approach this.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

My what a busy day

Listening to: 'The River' by Live

I was out of the house by 6:15 this morning and spent the afternoon lopping off tree branches and sawing through the bigger limbs in preparation for a fence. Yes, part of my Swampahood. I'm a little sore as a result but it was nice to do some yard work and get all butch with sharp implements. :)

But for now, I'm heading to bed. Goodnight.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

It's about time

Pentagon Releases Names of Gitmo Inmates

I think the secrecy surrounding the detainees is far worse than any supposed hint of retribution against them or their families. So long as they remain unknown, they will be faceless statistics rather than individual people who deserve basic human rights, especially as few have been actually charged yet some have been held as long as four years under a status specifically designated to avoid the principles of the Geneva convention.


so let me get this straight...India gets nuclear power sureties from the US and we get irradiated mangoes. Oh, joy. And no, I'm not just miffed because I'm allergic to them.

I know the agreement is far more complex than it appears in the media, but this story just makes Bush look more like an idiot. After all, this is the man who tends to say 'nucuhler'. Meanwhile, India's chief rival, Pakistan, is calling for the same agreement and is warning of an arms race. That's all we need.

Gulfnews: India and US seal nuclear deal

Friday, March 03, 2006


I was working at one of the other gas stations in town, on loan, when a brand new BMW pulled in with smoke pouring out of it. The other cashier, who was on his break and heading for a fast food place, went to investigate, cigarette in mouth, then ran for the fire extinguisher and started using it as flames and denser smoke started pouring forth. Meanwhile, I--not familiar with this store--hunted for the phone and called 911. The fire department was already on its way, although they apparently didn't come from the one on the other side of the shopping centre from the gas station. They put out the fire, filled out reports, etc. Meanwhile, I'm waiting on customers through all this. All ended well (except, I suppose, for the driver of the car, who hopefully had insurance). And all I could think of, and several customers said the same thing: if you think your car is on fire, DON'T pull up next to a pump holding an extremely flammable liquid like gasoline. I mean, I guess they did for the lighting, but who knows what could have happened if anything exploded.

And all the excitement scared away the ducks that visit the station consistently (the station even has a bin of duck food (corn) in the back). :)

Anyway, that was my adventure for the night. I've worked ten hours today and I'm pooped. 'Night.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Well, damnation

I've been in this limbo for a couple of years between insulin resistance and full-blown diabetes. I've never had a doctor officially say I'm diabetic; a diabetes nurse educator insisted I was when I was sent there regarding my insulin resistance syndrome.

So, after not being on the metformin for some time and having every doctor and physician's assistant I talked to for my oral surgery chide me, I sheepishly returned to my doctor and asked to be put on the medicine. He decided to take labs like my serum blood sugar, a urine test, and the hemoglobin A1C (that shows how well your blood sugar runs over a three-month period). I find out in a couple of weeks what the results of that are, and then we'll make the decision regarding medicine. In the meantime, I'm testing my blood sugar every morning before breakfast. Yesterday was 164, well in my normal range of 150-170...high for fasting but not over the 200 mark generally associated with diabetes.

Today was 299. And I felt fine, but that's way too high. I'd like to think it's a glitch, but the metre is new and appears to be working fine. I won't worry until I get more results, but it did sort of drive the nail home that I need to be taking care of myself better.

I just hope it's still in the stage of being treated with oral medicines and diet rather than injections of insulin. I'm going to have to make some changes, that's for sure. Most of my family--great-grandmother, grandmother, mother, aunt--all have diabetes. Even my stepfather does. What can I say, I definitely got the gene. But at least if I am diabetic, I'll have the diagnosis much earlier than any of them had, so maybe I can avoid things like neuropathy and other issues they're having.


Delightfully ghoulish

Krypt Kiddies parody Cabbage Patch Kids in a big way and are the perfect gift for those with an inner Goth streak. The thing I find scariest about them? Christians claiming that the dolls are possessed by Satan.

Thanks, YKWIA for the link.

Fighting Low Self-Esteem in Girls

Campaign for Real Beauty

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mental health resources from SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's
(SAMHSA's) National Mental Health Information Center Web site

and call center continue to provide reliable information and resources to support the mental health needs and objectives of all users of mental health services.

The publications described below are available to you at no cost. You can post these resources on your Web sites or listservs, or use them in any other way that is convenient. Please link back to SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center Web site as your source.

To order printed copies of these publications, go to http://store.mentalhealth.org/publications/ordering.aspx, or call 800-789-2647 for bilingual information services (TDD: 866-889-2647), weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., Eastern Standard Time.


March 2006: Featured Publications


* Participatory Dialogues: A Guide To Organizing Interactive Discussions on Mental Health Issues Among Consumers, Providers, and Family Members (SMA00-3472)
-Developed by mental health consumers, this manual is designed to stimulate and promote dialogue among States, local communities, providers, managed care organizations, advocates, family members, and consumers. (For downloading online only)
* National Consensus Statement on Mental Health Recovery (SMA05-4129)
-This document clearly defines recovery and sets forth the 10 fundamental components of recovery. It was developed through the deliberations of more than 110 expert panelists representing mental health consumers, famiy members, providers, advocates, researchers, managed care organizations, State and local public officials, and others.
* Fast Fact Cards-These 7 fact cards are available for ordering:
* Fast Fact 1: Your Child's Mental Health: 12 Questions Every Parent Should Ask
* Fast Fact 2: Finding Mental Health Services: Where to Go for Help
* Fast Fact 3: Suicide
* Fast Fact 4: Mental Health and HIV/AIDS
* Fast Fact 5: Children and Mental Health
* Women and Depression
* Fast Fact 7: Basic Facts about Mental Health


We hope these resources are useful to you in your mental health awareness efforts.

Please send us your feedback: info@mentalhealth.org.
SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center


SAMHSA's National Mental Health Information Center's Web site and call center (800-789-2647; 866-889-2647-TDD) offer users of mental health services-consumers, families, the general public, policymakers, providers, and the media-reliable information and resources to support mental health needs and objectives. These services are administered through SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services division.


Interesting since one is free and one costs libraries a lot of money

From UBC Google Scholar Blog:

Google Scholar Rivals Web of Science, UBC Prof Says

Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Open Letter to the US Congress

Preventing Childhood Obesity: An Open Letter to the US Congress (free with registration)

According to a this opinion piece, "American children may be the first generation to have shorter life spans than their parents". Dr Dansinger believes the best way to change this is to ban advertisement of food to children.

Personally I'd like to see a ban of advertisements period for children. It only encourages a desire for instant gratification and a 'buy it now' environment. But I'm not sure how you can word laws to cover, say, food advertising aimed at children as opposed to food advertising aimed at adults for foods children would like. It ought to be interesting to see how they go about doing it, if they do.

I think if I had kids, TV would be a very limited thing, with PBS shows and a few selected others, with more emphasis on DVDs and educational programmes. TV would be a treat rather than a way of life. But it's easy to say that until you have a five-year-old begging to watch the same shows her friends in kindergarten do, right?