Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Reason #1,329 why I love Google

All this watching TV from my youth had me half-remembering a show from Nickleodeon in the 1980s where there was a Mr Wilberforce, aliens, and kids with paranormal powers. I Googled 'Wilberforce TV Nicklelodeon' and behold, came up with The Third Eye (and here's the Wikipedia entry). It was a collection of different mini-series from around the world with unusual happenings in them. The specific feature I remembered was a New Zealand show called 'Under the Mountain'. I am now happy, mystery solved.

Here are scenes from that feature:

and a longer scene, where they find out Mr Wilberforce is not what he appeared to be.

The (bad) aliens' subterranean base looks ripe for Shoggoths, let me tell you. By the way, remember 'Shoggoth on the Roof'? Well, apparently it was a condensation of an actual musical published by the HP Lovecraft Historical Society. For more, check out the article on Wikipedia. Songs include: 'Tentacles', 'Byakhee, Byakhee', 'Shoggoth Prayer', 'If I were a Deep One', and 'Do You Fear Me?'

I'd love to get a copy of the original cast recording. It can be obtained here. For more on 'Shoggoth', check out the HPLHS' website on the subject, including the trials and tribulations of staging it with music (it was threatened legally by the creators of the music for 'Fiddler on the Roof' and even though a parody and therefore legally they'd most likely win, they don't have the money for legal fees.)

I really screwed myself over

I tried to cancel my gym membership today at Gold's Gym. I don't go and it's money I could be using more efficiently. I don't normally have time (ironically I do now because I have a broken foot and haven't been working at the gas station, but of course I can't work out much either since I have a broken foot, not to mention it's hard to pay for since I'm not working both jobs.)

Anyway, I couldn't cancel. I thought I'd signed a contract for a year ending in July. I in fact signed a contract for three years (36 months in small print). The only way out is if I move 25 miles or more from a gym. Argh! But I have only myself to blame; I didn't look at the contract closely enough and was just really stupid. And the dues are going up $5 a month in October, according to a sign at the front desk. Bummer.

So I thought, well, maybe I can get the one-time allowable three-month medical stay due to my foot (you have to have a doctor sign it). But you still get charged; they just tack the extra months on at the end.

Needless to say, it was a fruitless endeavour. I was already annoyed that 1) you couldn't just cancel over the phone, but had to come down, sign paperwork, and then it would go through in about 30 days. I was also annoyed that the medical leave form was not on the website (and I checked both the corporate and the one for this particular franchise) like I was told. Again, I had to come down in person.

Moral of the story: read everything you sign. In the meantime, I guess I will be heading back to the gym once I'm able. I do need to lose weight, work on toning up, and I'm paying for it already.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Lake amoeba can kill swimmers

It sounds like science fiction, but it's true: Killer amoebas living in lakes can enter the body through the nose and attack the brain, where they feed until you die.

Though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it is known to have killed six boys and young men in the United States this year; over the decade ending in 2004, the yearly average was 2.3.

The jump in cases has health officials concerned.

Someone once brought me a clay masque from New Zealand and said that she'd gone to the hot springs it came from but you coudn't put your head underwater because of this same amoeba (yeah, that makes you want to use a product from there, doesn't it?) I had no idea they lived in the US--mostly the South--as well. I've swum in one lake in my life. I don't think I'll be returning to the water any time soon--just give me a pool. I don't want my brain eaten by amoebas, even if it is really, really rare.

That's up there with the faceless man who was infected by a fungus, who in order to save him they had to remove his eyes and most of his nasal area. (Don't watch this if you're squeamish. Just imagine living without a face. And although it's extremely rare, you never know when that statistic will be you.) YKWIA showed me this on months ago.

You can't hide everything

An Eye in the Sky on Burma

In light of the protests led by thousands of monks in recent days, Burma's military junta is shutting the country off from the rest of the world--bringing down communication lines, websites, blocking access to reporters, all while moving into the streets and shooting any civilians who do not comply.

So scientists are scrutinising satellite images to show things such as fires from orbit. Using data from the past, they have been able to confirm many reports of forced relocations and similar tactics. They hope keeping an eye in the sky will help convince China and Russia from blocking the United Nations Security Council from taking action against the junta.

It's a technique that has worked well in Darfur, but Burma has dense vegetation which hampers the efforts. Still, I hope it will help.

I didn't get much sleep last night

so I'll go on to bed soon. I've been watching 'Sapphire and Steel' (which terribly misunderstood the concept of 'element', but is rather interesting, despite a very tiny special effects budget) and 'The Tomorrow People' (original series) with a friend today. I loved British TV as a child, things like 'The Prisoner', 'The Omega Factor', 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' (although I didn't get all the humour back then), 'All Creatures Great and Small', and 'Doctor Who' (the latter two shared a principal actor--Peter Davison). So I decided to give you a couple of bits of British fun from Doctor Who, this time outakes/bloopers, first from the Tom Baker years, second from the current Doctor's.

My favourite? 'How long, K-9?' 'Insufficient data.' 'Yeah, you never f***ing know the answer when it's important.'

My favourite? Cybermen playing football with K-9.

Today's radioplay: 'The Tankerville Club'

Friday, September 28, 2007

I'm going to bed


(Well, I was getting a bite to eat.)

But if you want to watch nearly 10 minutes of all the Doctor Who intros chained together like I just did (yes, I'm such a geek), here you go:

It must be the hats, then

From Friends of the Earth's green video competition; two polar bears debate the true causes of global warming. You can vote for this or one of the many other entries on their website.

Damn I'm good

I heard a new song on the radio tonight on my way home. It sounded like the lead singer from Nickelback, and lo, it was Chad Kroeger himself, along with Carlos Santana. I should have recognised the latter--it has Santana's signature guitar work. It made me want to dance. Here it is, 'Into the Night':

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No radioplay for a couple of days, unfortunately

Today I had someone watching a video for the first hour or so that I was at work, plus a repairman taking the copier apart and putting it back together for yearly preventative maintenance for about four hours (he was about halfway through when I came in). It included vacuuming toner. I did start one but there was just too much going on in the library and at that point I was up and about helping people (I normally listen when I first get in and I'm going through my e-mail). So I just put the CD back in its case and will hope for a quieter day tomorrow.

Today has been get-everything-on-Lisa day. We had tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. Needless to say, I got soup on my nice pink top. Then I found dirt from who knows where on my cuff--maybe from the outside of the car? Then there was the steady rain when I left work. I will not complain about the rain--we need it desperately and I was the one who left my umbrella in the car, but let me tell you, the boot is a pain to deal with since I can't drive in it but I need to have it on when I walk back and forth to work. It's worse trying to get the thing off in the rain, especially as I'm not supposed to get it muddy or wet (it can't be washed due to the air bladder). Now I'm eating a PBJ with natural peanut butter and spreadable fruit and of course the peanut butter is runnier than normal, where I had to mix the oil back in. It's a good thing I was planning on changing clothes anyway--and doing laundry tonight, for that matter. :)

I'm making my way

through the Kübler-Ross model for grief. This morning's refusal to get out of bed and feeling emptiness were married with this idea that she wasn't really gone. I refused to look at the things emphaised the loss--her water dish, her food, her leash. Tonight I'm feeling anger. Terrible rage, even though I don't really have a good focus for that rage. The Goddess? She gave me 16 wonderful years with Cerys. Fate? For a dog, 16 is a ripe old age, better than can be expected for many breeds. Myself? The only real regret I have is that I would have liked her ashes back, but couldn't afford the $120 to that like I did with Spock (as a cat, his was much cheaper). But otherwise despite all the tribulations in my life I gave her a good home. So no, I shouldn't be angry with myself, either. I haven't gone into bargaining--at this point there's nothing to bargain for. I have felt terribly depressed all day-sleeping most of it, although a friend enticed me out long enough to watch a series we liked from fifteen years ago, which I enjoyed immensely.

So that leaves acceptance. I'm not there yet, but it will come, I know. Tomorrow it's back to work and I'll have other things to occupy my mind. But it will be awhile before everything feels 'good' again.

I still haven't taken care of her things. That is for tomorrow, I think. I just can't bear to do it today. Every now and then I get a whiff of her scent, too, and of course for now the bedsheets have it. It's a comforting scent, one that will eventually fade and become one more loss.

But I'm hanging in there, at least. Thanks for reading this. Good night.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm home today

taking some time in light of Cerys' death. I haven't had any real crying fits since we put her to sleep, just tearing up a lot and a feeling of emptiness. I'm glad I took some time. I just woke up a little while ago, after sleeping about 12 hours. I was so tired last night--I just wanted to crawl into a ball and sleep. I guess it was all the emotions her death brought.

Today I need to wash her water bowl and leash (and put the latter and her collar away, I'm keeping them as mementos), pick up the food she wouldn't eat (she had gotten to the point where she'd just overturn a bowl of food, so I fed her on the floor), and give the bathroom a final cleaning where she had so much trouble the other night. My mop head fell apart the other night and I had to finish with paper towels. Now I have a new mophead. I feel like I'm eradicating her presence from the house, but it needs to be done.

I know it will get better with time, but for now I feel a little lost. It's pretty outside and I feel like taking a walk, but my foot prevents that. I might sit outside for awhile. I don't know. I feel like I have all this energy and should be doing something, but on the other hand I just want to sit in bed and pull the covers over my head.

I would like to put in a word for Gainesway Small Animal Clinic and Dr Clark Vice. They were wonderful to me, first with Darius' death, then with Cerys' appointments and eventual death. They kept her very comfortable as opposed to my last vet, who took advantage of my grief to run up a huge bill with one cat and charged me for another's euthanasia even though I had been a client for years. I would highly recommend them. And if I ever have another pet, I'll go back to them.

Scary when in a free society, on a college campus

a student reporter is tackled and TASERed by police for asking too many questions.

Tasering of Student Heard around the World

Only one person in the audience even cried 'stop!', according to reports. There have been protests on campus since then. Sen. Kerry's people (he was the speaker) have not condemned the attack, citing an unfounded report of an officer injured during Andrew Meyer's resistance, and a desire to get all the facts while responding. Sen. Kerry did attempt to answer the young man's questions as he was taken away. Crazy world. I hope the charges against him are dropped.

Here's what happened:

Monday, September 24, 2007

The house is kind of lonely tonight and I'm sad, but

relieved as well. Cerys was put to sleep a little after 5 this afternoon. She had to be carried to the car and into the vet's because she couldn't stand on her own. She would never let me carry her before she went downhill. The friend who went with me was shocked by how fragile she had become, I think, and of course she didn't really seem conscious of either of us, although I think on some level she recognised she was loved and was being petted.

They gave us some time to comfort and love on her and then Dr Vice came in and we discussed how she'd been the last couple of days. He confirmed our suspicion that she may have had a stroke. He said I was absolutely doing the right thing; in dogs of her age, even if they can get some improvement they usually see the same thing happen a week or month later. He gave her the injection. She went very quickly, making little 'grr'ing noises. Cerys always had such cute noises. Dr Vice left us alone for a little while. It was disconcerting that after she was gone, as the muscles relax, she seemed to gasp several times, but I knew it was just a reflex the body goes through after death. Her bladder relaxed as well. We left her there. I think that was the hardest thing; but she was only a shell--the dog I loved was gone.

I can only hope that somewhere her spirit, loosed from her elderly body, is frolicking with her 'big sister' and at peace.

We went out to eat and talked, and I came home for a little while and that wasn't so bad. Then I went to watch the Heroes premiere--I needed some distraction. But now I'm home again, sitting in an empty house, and it seems so strange to not have her here. I think she's her in spirit, though, because I don't truly feel alone.

I just want to say you were my first dog of my own, my 'beloved one'. You were a reliable companion who was there for me when most people weren't. For all the years of joy you gave me, my Care Bear, I will always love you. Rest in peace.

Here are two pictures I've used of Cerys on this blog before. I'll see if I can find a better one, with her face showing better, of when she was young and scan it in.

First, with Darius:
Cerys and Darius

Then in snow:

PS Today's radioplay was 'Double Zero'.

I have the appointment

It's for 5 pm today. There's no charge for euthanasia of clients. She'll be surrounded by her family and I got Dr Vice, who's been so good with her. But, man, this is going to be so hard to let her go. But it's best for her, I know.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I think I did pretty well

considering I've played Call of Cthulhu, Vampire the Masquerade, Hârn, Trinity, Shadowrun, and Brave New World, only one of which is mentioned in this quiz. Most of my knowledge came from shelving the gamemaster's books, because he has almost all of the ones mentioned. Note that I did not include Dungeons & Dragons. I've never actually played that one, believe it or not.

Your Score: d10 Solid Gamer

You have a 67%RPG Geek Factor!

You are a solid gamer. You play or know at least one system fairly well. However, gaming is not and most likely never will be your life as you keep your habit under control. You rate a d10.

Link: The RPG Geek Factor Test written by Rerednaweht on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

A diversion from sad things

Our gamemaster played this for us today. I give you, 'Shoggoth on the Roof'.


Cerys isn't faring any better

I took her to the game today so I could keep an eye on her. She paced for two solid hours before finally laying down and she just looked so squashed. I let her stay outside for much of the day to get some fresh air and plenty of space. The other dogs didn't know what to make of her. One considers Cerys her 'special little friend' because they're both basically the same size. But even she was slow to approach her today. I think they sensed death is close. Once they did go near her, they were very gentle with her and didn't try to play or bowl her over. It took a long time to get her back to the car, and of course I had to lift her in and out. I have to lift her so she stands up, too, once she is down. She hasn't eaten since Friday, and she's only defecated once, and that showed she was pretty constipated. I think things are shutting down. I'm going to check with the vet tomorrow and see how much it is to have her put down. I hope to get an appointment tomorrow afternoon, after our store meeting. And then I'll probably be good for nothing for awhile. She's been such a good companion for sixteen years. It's hard to imagine life without her. The house will be so empty, especially as she is the last of my pets.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I think it's time

to put Cerys down. Last night I came in and she was in the bathroom on the floor and couldn't get up. She'd knocked water out of her water dish and urinated and defecated on the floor, and was lying in it shivering. I picked her up and put her on a blanket and cleaned her and everything else up as best as I could (she is very sensitive to touch these days, and she didn't seem to recognise me). I put some more water and some food next to her and decided to leave her there for awhile and see if she could get up on her own. She'd stopped shivering and didn't seem to be in any pain.

A couple of hours later she did stand up, although she yelped and needed help standing. Once she was up, she was a little shaky, but was able to go outside slowly on the leash. A couple of hours later I took her out again. Again, she was shaky but able to go. She didn't seem to recognise her surroundings at all. She'd sniff and just keep her nose down to the ground like she'd forgot what she was doing. She doesn't seem to have anything broken from a fall. I think she may have had a ministroke. She is drinking but hasn't really eaten anything. She also had some discharge when she urinated outside. Tonight she seems sleepy but comfortable, still not recognising anything. She did perk up when I said 'outside' but I couldn't get her up on the leash. So I'm waiting again to see if she'll get up on her own. At least she didn't go on the bedroom floor.

One thing I've learnt from Spock's death (my 17-year-old cat, who died a couple of years ago) is that you can spend hundreds of dollars on trying to find out what's wrong with a beloved companion and treat it, and once they reach a certain age, it's not going to stop the inevitable. Dr Vice and I have concentrated on keeping Cerys as comfortable and healthy as possible. He knows I neither have the money nor the desire to prolong any less-than-ideal quality of life. But if this spell continues, I think it does her no service to keep her alive for my benefit, when the question really is, what is best for her.

We've had sixteen wonderful years together. I remember the day I found her. I was driving to a store and suddenly felt an urge to drive across town to the local pound, just out of the blue. I'd been wanting a dog, a Labrador, either black or choclate. There she was, in one of the cage rooms--an 8-month old Lab cross, and black, like a friend of mine's dog whom I 'trained' on, having never had a dog to care for before. She did something she's only done once--she bowed and made the same noise his dog would make when she wanted in my apartment. I fell in love with her immediately, but one person was on the list ahead of me. That person dropped out. I had to badger my landlord to approve the dog. But finally she was mine, and I called her Cerys, 'beloved' in Welsh. She was truly a gift from my Patroness, Hekate, with whom black dogs are associated.

I have to find out Monday how much it will cost to put her down--my cat last year was $25, but it might be more with her weighing more. On the other hand, putting Darius down was the first time I'd used this vet, so maybe having her as an established patient helps. I don't know. Money's tight right now, but I'm sure I'll find a way to give her some peace.

I will so miss my Care Bear. It's going to be a hard week, I can tell already.

PS As I finished this post, she came out of the bedroom, so I put her on a leash and we went outside. She seemed a little more robust, and even a little more alert, although she hasn't defecated since last night sometime and she's not interested in either her food or mine (I gave her a bit of bread and she tasted it, but didn't eat it.) This is the hardest part of having a pet. My heart keeps saying 'well, maybe she'll get better'. My head is grounded more in reality. It's time.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Reason #432 why I like Robot Chicken and Adult Swim

Today's radioplay: 'The Case of the Vanishing White Elephant'

Okay, so I don't have cable and have to rely on others for any real TV because I also have no reception for the local channels for the most part. But fortunately there is YouTube. This is Calvin and Hobbes like you've never seen them.

Well--I got the results of my MRI

I have two stress fractures, which would explain why it hurts on the entire outer side of my foot, I suppose. I'm to wear the boot and come back in four weeks, remaining partially weight-bearing. If it gets too painful walking with the boot alone, they'll put in a prescription for crutches. I'll try to avoid that, although sometimes it hurts even while I'm in the boot, but nothing like when I'm out of it (it actually hurts this morning all the way up my lower leg, and burns, and that's after being on it just long enough to use the bathroom myself and take Cerys out. I haven't been wearing it at home unless I'm standing a lot. mainly because I tend to read with my feet up and that leads to napping, and I'm not supposed to sleep in the thing. But I may have to start putting the thing on as soon as I get home and take it off if I have a chance of napping. I've done really well at work and running errands, though--anytime I'm walking, being caught only twice somewhere I needed it without it. Ugh. Well, it's time to get ready for work. Just thought I'd share my troubles. At least everything else is going alright. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I had my MRI this morning

It wasn't too bad, although it's harder to hold your foot in place when you're knee's up then you would think. I kept feeling my knee falling ever so slightly. I hope the pictures were clear. Actually, I would know the results already, but they called earlier when I didn't have enough minutes on my phone (it's prepaid, and I didn't realise it had gotten low), so I couldn't check my messages. I'll have to call back tomorrow and get the scoop.

The office furniture won't be in for a couple of weeks after all, so I've unpacked a little bit of my desk and brought it back for the duration. The other day I had it to the point where the only things on it were my computer, phone, and wrist rests plus a sticky pad and a single pen. Can you believe someone went off with the pad and pen? Fortunately I found more today.

I didn't get a chance to listen to a radioplay today. Yesterday's was 'The Problem at Thor Bridge'. I checked and this collection doesn't include 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'. I bet that was a great production.

I didn't go home to Danville today but I did call and talk to everyone. I would have liked to have seen them but it was probably just as well that I didn't go--my foot's not doing so well with lots of driving.

Well, I guess that's all for now. Good night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A quiz and goodnight

I am:
Isaac Asimov
One of the most prolific writers in history, on any imaginable subject. Cared little for art but created lasting and memorable tales.

Which science fiction writer are you?

I've always admired Asimov on the sheer breadth of his writing. Thank goodness I don't have his facial hair, though.

I am trying to decide

whether I should ask off and go to Danville on Thursday.


  1. I get to see my aunts and uncles, after a little over a year. One couple lives in Texas, the other in Georgia, so they're not up that often.
  2. My mother should actually be awake this time.

  1. The Time of No Money is quickly approaching, and so I should save my gas.
  2. I have an MRI early that morning and I don't know how long it will take.
  3. Things are coming to a head regarding the library restructuring and I'm not sure I should take time off.
  4. I have errands to do that afternoon.
  5. I just went home a couple of weeks ago.
  6. I'm not sure how late everyone will be there that day--I get the impression it's a sort of overlap as they're each going other places after visiting my grandmother and mother.

Obviously the Cons outnumber the Pros--but I would like to see everyone. I'll think about it. I've written my mom to ask when they'll be there. I think that will be the deciding factor--if the MRI runs late there's no sense in going if I'll miss them.

I did check with the MRI place to make sure there was no radioactive contrast such as iodine. I didn't think so (the last one I had used gadolinium). I asked this because metformin, which is part of the drug I take, Janumet, for my diabetes, is recommended to be halted when performing radiologic studies with iodinated contrast media because both can impair kidney function and there is an even increased chance of the rare complication to metformin therapy, lactic acidosis. I overheard a group of nurses talking about this one time; it's the only reason I know about it. But I did think I should ask.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A decent day

Today's radioplay: 'Girl with Gazelle'

I finished cleaning my desk out today. There's just taking my extra stuff home and that's it. The furniture is being moved tomorrow. My desk has one pen and a sticky pad on it. Even my bulletin board is bare. Sometime next week they'll put the cubicles together. The overhead bins will come a little later, though, so for now my plants are in the windows by the computers.

Interesting factoid I learnt today: Vanilla bean is from an orchid. They are naturally pollinated only by a specific bee native to Mexico which has not been successfully raised in other vanilla-producing countries. For those plantations, workers must inspect the plantation for open flowers (they only last a day) and peel back a membrane separating the male and female parts of this hermaphroditic plant. I'm brushing up on orchid basics (I bought a book on them the other day) so I can get mine to rebloom. I have a Dendrobium and a Phalaenopsis. I've never seen the Dendrobium flower--I bought it for $5 after the blooms were spent--but I think I found the same type of plant later and the blooms are pink. So are the Phalaenopsis', but lighter ranging to a mild pink. They are both epiphytic (growing on trees), so they're in a special potting medium. The Dendrobium has pseudobulbs, the Phalaenopsis does not, but rather has three thick leaves that spread out from the centre. I am having some trouble with brown on the Dendrobium's newest growth, but I don't think it's a fungus. I'm still getting the whole watering schedule down, so it may be too much water or perhaps the artificial light of the library is too strong for the new growth. I'm digging to find a cure, and in the meantime snipping off the areas affected in case they are fungal and being careful with it around other plants.

I was out running errands today and was sitting in the car when I heard the most exquisite, clear birdsong. I think it may have been a mockingbird. Last night I sat in the quiet with just the hum of the computer and the chirping of a cricket outside. It's those little things you appreciate, or at least I do.

My foot's still giving me trouble, but nothing I can't live with. I did try the hand-towel-in-the-boot thing and am happy to report that there was no new acerbation of the abrasions that had been forming on my legs.

Well, I need to go, Cerys needs to go out and I need to get ready for the carpet cleaners who are coming tomorrow.

Cerys is devouring

veggie sausage patties. She's enjoying them immensely.

Things I enjoyed today:

  1. 'Murder by Moonlight', a Sherlock Homes radioplay from the 40s, I think.
  2. Having some time to do errands. I got my glasses adjusted and went to Target and got a hand towel and washcloth because I need something to line the boot; it's rubbing my skin raw--and these are black so they match my bathroom and my pants.
  3. Taking a nap.
  4. Being with Cerys, even when she circled and circled without going.
  5. Doing notes, oddly enough.
  6. Spending a little time with friends.

Things I forgot to do:

  1. Go to the grocery store.
  2. Get my prescriptions refilled on a couple. I'll have to do that tomorrow.

What I'm not sure where to start:

My homework for my therapy sessions is to write letters back and forth (from both perspectives) between myself and the father I would have liked to have had--the supportive, there-for-you-through-anything dad. I did come up with some ideas; I have to write them down and bring them in Friday.

Other things I did:

  1. Compacted lots of trash.
  2. Changed out carts so I have the one that is flat on the top rather than divided.
  3. Loaded up boxes to go into storage.
  4. Cleaned out one desk and part of another.
  5. Found the lateral file key.
  6. Cleaned my toilet.
  7. Stopped by the gas station to check my schedule.

What I have to do tomorrow:

  1. Finish cleaning out the desk.
  2. Take the boxes to storage.
  3. Put books into upstairs cabinets.
  4. Take my stuff home.
  5. Label my carts and take them upstairs.
  6. Take my recyclables to someone I know with a Rosie recycling container (yes, we name our garbage cans (Herbie), our recycling can (Rosie), and our lawn waste bin (Lenny) here in Lexington.
  7. Do dishes.
  8. Take out the trash.
  9. Get as much stuff off the floor at home as possible so they can clean the carpet Wednesday.
  10. Ask my mom when the best time would be to go to my grandmother's and see my aunts and uncles. I think it will be Thursday morning; they're coming in on Wednesday, I think. I have an MRI that morning at 8:15, but I should be out in time to catch them and I don't have to be at the store that evening, so it would just mean getting off from the hospital. One set is in from Georgia, the other from Texas. I haven't seen them in a year.

D was celebrating her 6th anniversary in Bardstown with her husband, sans child, so she wasn't at work today, and I missed the other girls. I had an orchid book with me; I wish I'd brought that down to lunch, so I thought of the game and how things might go instead. I also had some friends out of town, so I pretty much had some time to myself. That was pretty nice.

I'm looking forward to next game. Brenda will be back, and of course Margaret will be there. Dee's on hiatus whilst she studies to be a radiologic technician. That means four characters (one is an NPC--non-player character) will be going down to Antarctica, and for big bad things, we usually try to get five, because in our game five can combine to do a kind of Power Ranger thing that gets rid of the big alien oogly googlies. But alas, we have four, so it'll be more challenging.

I'm also excited because a week from now 'Heroes' is back.

That's all for now about how my life's going. Good night.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I checked the store's schedule

and with the exception of a mandatory meeting on Monday, I'm not on it. I'm glad my boss is giving me some time--I'm enjoying it--but I worry about a time with no money, as that's two small cheques in a row. This week's should be for 15 hours at least. Next week's will be 4, the one after that, 1. If I'm still low next week I'll have a talk with her. I'm kind of surprised she took my hours down because she got rid of someone they thought was stealing and who kept calling in. But fortunately we're pretty well-staffed right now, so I guess she's got it covered.

Time to talk to Dr Nesbitt again

Actos Bests Avandia in New Study

I'm still on Avandia, since I have no history of heart problems. But it seems the evidence is swinging towards Actos as being protective, and Avandia not--which isn't good for GlaxoSmithKline, already dealt a terrible blow to prescriptions from original reports of heart attack increases shown with Avandia. Actos is made by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.

Kind of disturbing

I'd like to think it's coincidence. Actually, three of the seven have died--one contributed to the New York Times piece criticising the war, but died before it was published. That's 43% of the group, though.

2 Soldiers Who Wrote Op-Ed Died in Iraq

The president of MLA blogs

about hospital IT departments and their tendency to block useful social networking sites (like Blogger, Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube).

It includes a chart from a survey listing what percentage of MLA members' institutions block each site. It doesn't break it down between hospitals, academic medical centres, etc., yet. Heartening is that 66% of reporting members said their institution did not block any site. But it's frustring for the rest of us.

I'm not sure what ours blocks. I think the only one I've come across is YouTube, when I was looking for a presentation video I'd seen at a conference that I wanted to view again. We at least have the option of appealing if we have a legitimate reason for accessing the site, though, and that's great.

Maybe a little hope for a cure

Chronic fatigue syndrome linked to common stomach virus

I've never been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, but I have fibromyalgia, which some people think may be different presentations of the same disease. I'm glad researchers are taking it seriously. Early in the era of diagnosis (and sometimes even today), some doctors thought it was all in the patient's head (an entire episode (2-parts, if I remember) of 'Golden Girls' was written around Dorothy's CFS, where she went to dozens of doctors who kept saying she needed a psychiatrist, and a psychiatrist who said there was nothing wrong with her mind.) Anyway, I thought I'd include this bit of medical news here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


What Fantasy Archetype are you?
Your Result: The Damsel in Distress

You find yourself in predicaments beyond your control, yes somehow emerge relatively unscathed each time, usually due to the work of the hero. Eventually, however, you prove yourself resourceful and generally end up in a wonderful relationship before the story ends.

The Hapless Extra
The Hero
The Mentor
The Prime Evil
What Fantasy Archetype are you?
Take More Quizzes

The Most Amazing Qu--Hey, Look, Candy!
Your Result: Purple Sofa

You're nice and squishy, and people like you a lot. In fact, I think everyone likes you. Plus you're purple. Everyone likes purple, and everyone likes sofas. Except guys don't like purple as much. Samuel L. Jackson likes purple. That's why he has a purple lightsaber. Only I don't know if that's his actual name. So it goes.

Polka Dotted Sasquatch
Swirling Vortex
Flaming Feather
Emerald Rain
Pickled Jellyfish
The Most Amazing Qu--Hey, Look, Candy!
Make Your Own Quiz

I was going to type 'Yay, barefoot at last'

after spending the day in my boot, which was somewhat hot and I felt like Frankenstein a bit. Then I lost my balance changing clothes and twisted my foot as I caught myself, and I sort of wish I'd had it on after that. Ow. Now it hurts up my leg, too. Advil is definitely in order.

All day I've felt off--a little nauseous, achy, and cramping like I'm going to have my period when I had it about a week and a half ago. Maybe I'm ovulating instead. Or the evils of premenopause may be starting. I don't know. But I've just felt under the weather.

Still, I managed to play in the game. We're in New York City preparing to go to Antarctica. Yay! Well, I don't know if it's really 'yay'. Whatever it is down there that lies in wait for us is big and bad and outside linear time. That's never good.

[I wonder if any gamers down in the Antarctic have run this particular campaign--Beyond the Mountains of Madness. That would be so cool.]

I watched the season finale of the 4400. It was great, although I cried.

Now I'm home and I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep. I only got about 4 hours last night because I was fiddling with the landscaping computer CD, which is pretty cool. The only drawback I see is they have house templates, and the only way to design a custom house is to use a related program I don't have. Sneaky people at Broderbund, aren't they?

A couple of quizzes

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The South
The West
The Inland North
The Northeast
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

What mental disorder do you have?
Your Result: ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

You have a very hard time focusing, and you find it difficult to stay on task without your mind wandering. You probably zone in and out of conversations and tend to miss out on directions because you cannot focus

Manic Depressive
GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
What mental disorder do you have?

Going on a short trip to the grocery without the boot was a mistake. It turned out to be a not-so-short trip, for one. The U-Scan was fakakta and kept asking me to wait for the attendant, who was running all over the store on various missions. So my foot hurt and I was considering some Advil but since I've been home and off it it's felt much better.

Must go to bed now, tomorrow I have to get ready for the game starting at 9 am, and it's already after 4!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A nice day so far

First of all, I slept until 2:30 this afternoon, giving me 12 hours' sleep. I apparently needed it. I dreamt of a bridge that went to a friend's family home. It was a nice size, about 8 feet wide and 14 feet tall to the timbered ceiling (yes, it had a ceiling, read on), and it was stone or light brick, with space on either side for displays. It was covered with a cedar shingle roof. The neighbours had tried to take it over, so we were arranging their plants artistically along the way. It was over a small ravine. It had all sorts of jars and a small lab or gardening bench where things could be mixed or pots planted. Okay, so it was a little weird, but very real, and I woke up several times and went right back into it.

After I finally did wake up and stayed up, I got ready, took Cerys out, and then headed to Hamburg. No, I don't normally do that, as it seems like the world's largest strip mall (okay, we're not a big city, there probably are others, but it's not laid out well at all and I'd almost prefer a super mall to what they did with the remains of a farm). I went to Backyard Burger for breakfast/lunch. Yes, you're wondering, a vegetarian (or pescatarian, actually) in a burger place? But they have a garden burger combo that has the burger cooked on its own George Foreman grill. Yay. I went ahead and transferred some addresses into the new planner while I was at it.

Then I went to Half-Price Books. It's a treasure trove of books, CDs, DVDs, computer programs, even vinyl records, all half the original price, plus a decent clearance section as well. They have a nice selection of various types of all of the above, including roleplaying books. I must mention that to our gamemaster--especially both old and new White Wolf titles. I got a couple of Julian May books (I did not have the Nonborn King or the Plicocene Companion, and I enjoyed that series quite well when I was young. I think I have the other two that begin it. There were a couple of paperback mysteries, one by Ellis Peters (not a Cadfael book, but from another series, but it sounded interesting) and one by Barbara Michaels (who is the same as Elizabeth Peters), a book on growing orchids, an astrology text, and a hoodoo one. Plus I got a 25-disc set of radioplays of Sherlock Holmes with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce (my favourite Holmes and Watson), and a landscape gardening CD that allows you to do both 2-D and 3-D planning, ages plants throughout the season so you can see how they'll look together, and you can do the platts and elevations. I'll need that this winter. All told I made it out of there pretty cheaply. There were many more I'd have love to have had. There was even a history of cannibalism--you don't see that every day. The books were in really good shape for the most part as well. They buy books, too, which I may keep in mind because I have a few duplicates (I think I bought one Anne Perry book three times). They have a really nice Judaism section. I considered getting an encyclopaedia of Jewish myth, mysticism, and magic as a gift (it is after all between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), but decided the person I would have given it to knew it all anyway.

Then I went to Kroger and stocked up on grocery staples. I went ahead and got three of those 99 cent canvas bags where they give you a rebate off for using them. I really don't need any more plastic bags--my cubby hole where I keep them is full, and since I don't have a cat box anymore, I should probably just take them in and recycle them or give them to Good Foods. I came home and cleaned out the refrigerator of some frightening things and then put the new stuff in. Now I'm blogging, of course. I'm going to put my foot up for a little while and then go do notes for the night and do some laundry. I didn't get much done on the house (I'd like to have it in good shape by Wednesday, when both the exterminator and carpet cleaner come.) It's not too bad, but the bathroom needs to be cleaned, dishes need doing, and a little picking up wouldn't be amiss.

That's all for now. I guess we could entitle this 'How I spent my Saturday off'. I didn't go into the store once, not even to get a drink. I'll probably write later tonight--I have a few things saved up to blog about that are library-related. In the meantime, I hope your weekend is going well.

One last thing

You scored as A Too Sweet Faerie, So sweet your totally sugared up! Has there ever been anyone so nice. Quick to forgive and quick to forget, everybody wants to know you! You've just got to make sure nobody takes advantage and tries to use you, don't be afraid to say no sometimes!

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A Too Sweet Faerie


A Too Astral Faerie


A Too Serious Faerie


A Too Sporty Faerie


A Too Depressed Faerie


A Too Evil Faerie


A Too Kinky Faerie


A Too Silly Faerie


A Too Lazy Faerie


Which Dysfunctional Faerie are You?
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On to other things

It looks like I do have a fracture in my foot. They're going to do an MRI for sure but the X-ray indicated there was something funky going on. (Stress fractures often don't show up on an X-ray until they're actually healing.) In the meantime, they're treating it as if it's broken. Of course that means I have to go into a regular MRI, which didn't work so well the last time I tried (I'm claustrophobic, so we wound up doing an open MRI). But I think I should be okay so long as my head is sticking out of the machine. I have an immobiliser boot that I have to wear except for driving and sleeping. It's kind of neat--lots of Velcro and an air bladder I can pump up or leech the air out of for greater comfort.)I have to take a children's aspirin (but the coated-for-your-stomach-for-adults kind rather than the flavoured chewable kind you give kids). That's to keep down the chance of blood clots from wearing the boot. I can still work normally but obviously resting it and being off it as much as possible is good. If it hurts while I'm still wearing it, they'll put me on crutches, something I'd prefer not to do, as I'm incapable of using them correctly and I always wind up with back pain once I've been on them for a few days.

What else? Oh, the world's worst library design. Via, Jessamyn West....

The Czech Republic is interested in building a new national library in Prague (you know, the place with all the dark, old Europe architecture?) and they set up a contest for architects to design it. The winner looks rather like a mushroom or a slime ball making its way across the scenery. And the inside looks very uncomfortable, even if it is purple.

See it here. There's more about it at Joe Alterio's blog, Good Work.

Well, I'm going to go on to bed. I get to sleep in, as I'm not working and we decided to put off Hairspray for now. I have some things to do around the house, need to go grocery shopping, make out bills, and I'd like to stop by Half Price Books and see what they're like.

Today I got 1) Children's Aspirin for Adults (yes, it says that), 2) Diabetic socks (I'm supposed to have white socks for my boot, and I mostly have black ones...these wick away moisture, cushion, and are non-binding), 3) an academic year day planner that will fit in my smallest purse, and 4) two pens that telescope up and down, again to fit in a small purse--I'm tired of carrying monstrosities--and, finally 5) P
pantyliners--not that any of you really needed to know that, but that made it complete.

Close encounters of the drunk driver kind

I was ferrying a friend home from work tonight when a black sports car without headlights on came flying down the road, went up on the median, struck something, then bounced off and continued down the road. The something turned out to be a respectably heavy sign that went across the median and landed right in front of my car. Thankfully it didn't go airborne into the windshield and I was able to stop before running into it. I took a chance, got out of the car, and moved the sign out of the road. A headlight from the other car lay there on my side of the median.

What I didn't see until a guy came running up to me with a flashlight asking me if I'd seen the other car was that the driver had ploughed into a car up at the light, sending them careening onto the kerb on our side of the road (I think they had been turning). Glass was everywhere, and their car was most certainly totalled (the wheel was no longer on the axle, really). The remarkable thing was they weren't hurt, beyond some bruising, 'cause he must have run into them full tilt. Another witness said the guy who hit them was bleeding when he went by them. They had to back up quickly about 100 yards to manage not to be hit by either car, apparently. I told the police what I knew. Last I heard they'd caught the car, had one person in custody and were looking for another who fled on foot.

On my way home, I saw the remains of another accident on Man O'War. It is apparently the scary drunken idiots' night. Maybe it's because the UK vs. Louisville game is tomorrow and people are drinking early--I saw plenty of tailgating going on when I drove by UK. I'm 99.9% he was raving drunk. I am so glad to be home. I poured out a libation of honey and wine to thank Her for our escape. A few seconds and it could have been so much worse for us. I was really calm through the whole thing. I'm pretty calm now, for that matter. 'Oh, someone tried to kill us and anyone else in his way.' But it's still a little disconcerting.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A fun test, although I suck at Slavic languages

but hey, I've never studied one, so I think I muddled along pretty well. And being able to read German and French does not mean you get Dutch or necessarily the Belgian spin on those.

62 Germanic, 66 Romance, 25 Slavic, 0 other

Look, it's your percentages! What do you think? Would you have survived Europe?

I think not, nobody survives Europe for very long. Unless you were born there, in which case you're going to live forever! No, sorry, that's wishful thinking I suppose.

Oh, here's a slight disclaimer: if you scored 100% on Other languages, you needn't be too proud of yourself: all you've done is know that Hungarian isn't anything like any of the other European languages. It's entirely my fault for including that nonsense category - I shouldn't have, I don't know a thing about non-European languages.

If you were expecting a serious test, by the way, I'm utterly sorry that you're such a downer. Get a life, and stop taking yourself so damned seriously! You're taking internet quizzes for Pete's sake.

Whoever Pete is. Probably a badger.

Link: The Foreign Language Comprehension Test written by frumpyqueen on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

And I should have gotten 100% in Other; I do know that Hungarian isn't like any of the other languages in Europe. Must have chosen the wrong gibberish. Sigh. Good night.

Things I learnt today

They say you should learn something new every day. Well, thanks to YKWIA, I now know what a kinkajou is. When he was young people kept them as pets. Apparently, they still are. Paris Hilton was bitten by hers last year.

I don't know, they're cute with prehensile tails but have big claws and can turn from affectionate to Satanic for no apparent reason after years of being docile. Hmmm...

I also found myself reading the Wikipedia entry for Marie Antoinette today. I got there somehow through her mother, Maria Theresa, whose ascension to the throne was contested in the Austrian War of Succession. I can't remember why I was there in the first place.

I've also learnt all such of strange facts about Antarctica that I will no doubt recount as we go along in the game. For example, Antarctic Icefish have an antifreeze glycoprotein in their system so they don't freeze in the cold waters of the Southern Ocean.

Speaking of cold, Kevin Everett's ability to move his extremities after a devastatng neck break during a tackle may partly be due to an experimental treatment I've mentioned before in dealing with cardiac arrest. A cooling saline solution is used to lower the body's temperature. In this case, it was thought that it might keep his spinal cord from swelling as much as would normally be seen. It's too soon to tell if Everett will be able to walk again, but I hope that's the case. For more on this technique, see the ALSIUS Intravascular Temperature Management System. It really could do remarkable things both in the future and now.

Listening to

(There's too many here to embed them all, but I've included links.)

Maroon 5 'Wake Up Call' Okay, it's about murder, but it's got a very catchy tune.

Alanis Morisette 'Crazy' Better than Seal's in my opinion; it's easier to distinguish the words (although Seal's video is more interesting--but he's nicer looking with short hair).

Phil Collins, 'In the Air' Eerie and a great song from the 80s.

Then with Phil Collins I started thinking of my favourite Genesis song, 'No Son of Mine'--I think anyone who knows me knows why this song is special to me...my own experiences with my father, my seeking to reconcile, and our final break are similar, with a gender difference.

Then there's Genesis' Peter Gabriel, whom I love as well. I was shocked to see him, well, old these days. But spry; he's aged well. :) Be sure to check out 'Solsbury Hill'.

Which made me think of Genesis' Mike Rutherford's Mike + the Mechanics and their 'Silent Running' (although 'Living Years' (which came out about the time my father's mother died, and I associate it with her) was probably by far more popular, I liked the futuristic quality of 'Silent Running, too)

Which brings me to the movie, Silent Running, which being made in the 70s means some cheesy effects with a dose of hippie values (Joan Baez sung the songs for it), but I love it. Bruce Dern does an excellent job of playing a man descending into madness. The highly environmental theme is just as relevant, if not more so, today--and what's not to love about three robots called Huey, Dewey, and Louie? Here's the trailer:

See how my mind works? Scary, isn't it?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I would personally like to thank the inventor of ibuprofen

aka Advil. My foot's bothering me whenever I stand or walk for any distance (and I'm not talking a mile or two, I mean to the cafeteria or mailroom and back...it's not that big a hospital). The ibuprofen's cutting it so that it doesn't hurt when I'm off it, at least, and it hurts less when I am on it. Friday's the day of podiatry, so I hope we can get to the bottom of it. I'm tired of hobbling around. Even driving is a pain at the moment, if I have to keep my foot on the brake very long. I think they're going to tell me I'm fat and the weight is messing up my foot, which makes sense. The question is, how to stay off of it when I work a job that can mean standing for 10 hours a day. Thank goodness the library is mostly sitting, but I'm cleaning out and under my desk in preparation for the move and generally moving things around, so I have to be on it for that.

But fortunately this week I'm just working tomorrow at the gas station and then I'm off the rest of the week. Maybe that will give my foot some time to heal.

Otherwise life is going well. The weather is cooling and is beautiful (although it's going to get in the 40s tonight, yikes!) I have an appointment with my counselor tomorrow. I'm making progress on the move--I have the lateral file cleared out and the books to add and withdraw have been gone through. I'm boxing up some of my stuff to take home (I had a little bit of everything in that desk.) I have to move some more books to my storage closet. Today I was also able to find a requested item on the Internet in about a minute and send it to the patron and print it, so it was really fast service. I love it when it's that easy, but of course I love the challenge of the harder-to-find things, too.

I got paid enough today from the store for gas and food so I had tofu goodness (otherwise known as Ko Po Tofu) from China Cafe. Tomorrow I get my deposit from the hospital so I can pay bills and maybe go see a movie this weekend. We're thinking of seeing Hairspray, so long as it doesn't interfere with the UK vs. Louisville game, which one of our group is going to. Sports, I just dont' get it. Give me musicals any day.

Well, it is late (although I did get a nap earlier, at least.) Have a good night.

I have to admit, I like this song

Nickelback, 'Rockstar'

It's a great dig at the lives of rock stars, by rock stars. Why on earth would anyone want to be one? The fame's just not worth the crash and burn that so many go through. (Although if you can avoid the crash and burn, I guess it's great.) I like the video's mix of celebrities and ordinary folks. This is the PG version (it's uncensored). Apparently the mention of drugs gets censored in other versions. There isn't profanity though, as far as I can hear.

Resisting kitteness

A guy I know and his wife have taken in a mother cat and she's most likely expecting three kittens. He's offering to pay for shots and spaying/neutering; the mother has already been vetted out for Feline Leukemia, etc.

I really miss having a cat. But when Cerys goes, I want to go pet-free for awhile, and I'm not home that often, so it would be alone for hours on end.

Still...once they're born I'd like to see them. Must...resist.

This so harmed me

and of course, YKWIA found it.

Weird Al Yankovic's 'Saga Begins'

'The Saga Begins' (to the tune of 'American Pie'--hey, kids, sing along)

A long, long time ago
In a galaxy far away
Naboo was under an attack
And I thought me and Qui-Gon Jinn
Could talk the Federation into
Maybe cutting them a little slack
But their response, it didn't thrill us
They locked the doors and tried to kill us
We escaped from that gas
Then met Jar Jar and Boss Nass
We took a bongo from the scene
And we went to Theed to see the Queen
We all wound up on Tatooine
That's where we found this boy...

Oh my, my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later; now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'
'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'

Did you know this junkyard slave
Isn't even old enough to shave
But he can use the Force, they say
Ahh, do you see him hitting on the queen
Though he's just nine and she's fourteen
Yah, he's probably gonna marry her someday
Well, I know he built C-3PO
And I've heard how fast his pod can go
And we were broke, it's true
So we made a wager or two
He was a prepubescent flying ace
And the minute Jabba started off that race
Well, I knew who would win first place
Oh yes, it was our boy

We started singin'
My, my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later; now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'
'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'

Now we finally got to Coruscant
The Jedi Council we knew would want
To see how good the boy could be
So we took him there and we told the tale
How his mitichlorians were off the scale
And he might fulfill that prophecy
Oh, the Council was impressed, of course
Could he bring balance to the Force?
They interviewed the kid
Oh, training they forbid
Because Yoda sensed in him much fear
And Qui-Gon said 'Now listen here'
'Just stick it in your pointy ear'
'I still will teach this boy'

He was singin'
My, my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later; now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'
'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'

We caught a ride back to Naboo
'Cause Queen Amidala wanted to
I frankly would've liked to stay
We all fought in that epic war
And it wasn't long at all before
Little Hotshot flew his plane and saved the day
And in the end some Gunguns died
Some ships blew up and some pilots fried
A lot of folks were croakin'
The battle droids were broken
And the Jedi I admire most
Met up with Darth Maul and now he's toast
Well, I'm still here and he's a ghost
I guess I'll train this boy

And I was singin'
My, my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later; now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'
'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'

We were singin'
My, my this here Anakin guy
May be Vader someday later; now he's just a small fry
And he left his home and kissed his mommy goodbye
Sayin' 'Soon I'm gonna be a Jedi'

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Imagine Peace

'Imagine' by John Lennon

and a video for A Perfect Circle's somewhat darker cover

I'm glad that I don't live upstairs

Cerys is having trouble negotiating over a doorway in the back of the building that is raised a bit. She tends to get her foot caught on it. I hate to think how she would fare with stairs.

I have been gifted with enough frozen Margaret bread (Amish Friendship Bread to most people) to keep me well supplied through many weeks. I couldn't wait for one to thaw and warmed a piece in the microwave. Yummy.

It's a nice night for stargazing. There's no moon shining overhead. I'm still enough in the city limits that it makes it harder, but I could see more than normal tonight. It's turned cooler during the day and almost a tad chilly (although I'm sure it's in the 60s) at night. Autumn will be here soon.

Today was, of course, September 11th. I didn't really do anything special to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks, but they stayed in my thoughts.

The night of the 12th marks Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and the beginning of the High Holy Days, and then the 13th or so the beginning of Ramadan. I wish during this holy time for both religions there can be peace, for a little while at least.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Surprising, actually

Must have caught me on a good day.

Your Score: Pretty optimistic

You scored 65%

Well, everything's not quite roses and teddy bears for you, but you do tend to look on the bright side of life (we can hear those Monty Python boys whistling right now...). Sure, you sometimes bitch and moan about your problems (who doesn't?), but deep down you're pretty sure that everything will eventually turn out fine. When the weather man says it's going to be sunny, you leave your umbrella at home. In general, you like to be around people, and you try to make new friends when you can. You do your best to take things at face value, rather than making mountains out of molehills. Basically, the world is sort of like a big coconut to you: tough and hairy on the outside, but, when you get down into it, there's good stuff inside.

Link: The Optimism Test written by dawnblue on OkCupid, home of the The Dating Persona Test

I am so glad that I

stocked up on macaroni shells and cheese. Yum!

I see my podiatrist, Orla Rooney, on Friday. Hopefully we can get to the bottom of why my foot is giving me so much trouble.

The purging of things in the library to make room for the new people is going according to plan. Today and tomorrow is 'tackle the lateral file' time. Once that's finished it's just whatever is under and in my desk. Yay.

That's pretty much my excitement for the day. I did three hours' worth of game notes since I had one day with just an hour this past week. I may do a quiz and then go to bed. There's a scheduled outage for Blogger coming up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Home for a little while

I stayed at work a little late because I have an appointment at 1 pm Friday with a podiatrist, so I'll have to leave early. I want to make sure I get in all my time.

I'm cooking spinach artichoke bites for dinner, so I thought I'd blog a little.

Today was dreary, but we need the rain desperately, since we're in a drought. Did you know one part of Antarctica gets 4 inches of precipitation a year? Yes, I'm researching a little for the game, since my character's supposed to survive in the conditions there. They're going in the summer, but it's a long campaign; who knows how long it will take. Wikipedia was very helpful. There was:

Communication in Antarctica
McMurdo Station (the main American research area you go to before moving on somewhere in the interior). It's the logistics base for half the continent.

Did you know whole families live in Antarctica, and the children go to school at the stations? I think those are mostly the South American stations, but still, how cool is that? Can you imagine being transferred back home, going to school, and telling them you'd come from Antarctica? I wonder if they have libraries? Not that I'm volunteering for the cold, mind you. I don't even want to live in the northern US. Okay, maybe New England or even Seattle, but not the northern Midwest. I keep my options with Canada open just because I think they're saner than Americans sometimes, though I wouldn't really like the weather in the winter.

The spinach artichoke bites are really good--they smell and taste a little sweet. The only drawback is that you're not supposed to microwave them, so I had to bake them for 20 minutes. But yum! They're by Morningstar Farms (which uses GMO ingredients. I didn't know that. That's a little disturbing. I have mixed feelings on genetically modifying plants and animals for food.

Last thing

72 % responsible purchasing, 62 % responsible consumption, 66% social awareness, 54 % social action

If you're above 50% in any category, not bad. They were tough questions. We all have areas of growth and we're all in this together. Here's the thing: time is running out. Do something.

Recommended: New York Times (free email delivery!); National Public Radio; Lies My Teacher Told Me (Loewen); A Theory of Everything (Ken Wilber); The Ethics of What We Eat: Why our Food Choices Matter (Peter Singer)

Link: The Social Responsibility Test written by evolve72 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

I really enjoyed the game today

It was full of the aftermath of having an insane secretary who thought a llama dairy farm is a great investment. It was a light, fun-filled but brain-hurting game as we get ready for...dum, dum, dum Beyond the Mountains of Madness, a very thick campaign set in Antarctica. After the game I watched the 4400. The season finale is next week and it promises to be exciting. I'd like to go back and watch the early episodes, which I missed. It looks like Sean's brother has the exact opposite power to Jordan Collier--he can induce promicin in others, and just like the injection, it can kill half the people exposed, including his mother. Ack! There's no way I would take a drug that half the time would mean I'd bleed from all my orifices and die, even if it could mean I had a special ability. And it's not like you're guaranteed a good ability. One woman caused her whole town to die of plague. I have to admit though, I'd be awfully tempted if the rate of death was low. I've always wanted to be special, which has often led to my downfall.

I enjoyed the game despite the fact that I had a horrible headache earlier, started my period with much cramping, generally felt under the weather, and am having a great deal of pain in my right foot. It feels like one of the top bones has been broken, even though I know that's probably not the case. I was stepped on by a very large person years ago and had trouble then. Maybe it's arthritis left over from that injury. I'm thinking of going to my podiatrist, though. On a good note, my shoulder, which was also causing pain seems much better. I've tried to protect it during lifting at work and generally give it a rest. I think I had tendonitis (or so my friend with some medical training diagnosed it as). I'm glad it cleared up.

Okay, enough with my litany of complaints.

Cerys and I scared a frog half to death when we went out tonight. Later, I gave my monthly libation to Hekate. All in all, it's been a pleasant day. Have a good night. It's almost time for me to turn in.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I heard Rob Thomas singing

'How Far We've Come' a couple of weeks ago, knew it had to be Thomas, yet couldn't find any evidence of him having a new album...and then searched on the lyrics and lo, it's new Matchbox Twenty. Yay!

Requiescat in pace

Madeleine L’Engle, Writer of Children’s Classics, Is Dead at 88

I was saddened to read of Madeleine L'Engle's death. I love the Wrinkle in Time series. I think I may re-read it, this time in her memory.

One thing about being an author is that after you're gone, your words still touch people's lives. I suspect L'Engle is firmly set in the canon of children's literature so that new generations of children will grow to know Meg and her family and follow their adventures.

Today's fortune

I opened up a fortune cookie, and it said this on the paper: 'The whole world is a narrow bridge; the important thing is not to be afraid.'

Something I need to keep in mind, as I'm naturally afraid to take risks or leave something comfortable. I'm afraid to do a lot of things, and I can't trust easily either, because of fear. So that's definitely something to work out with Craig, my counselor.

Today was long, working from 11-8 and doing a lot of lifting, etc. Plus notes. I'm glad to be home, and I'm heading off to bed after this post to cuddle with my dog.

I was wily today. I only have about $4 now in the bank and putting in $5 of gas each day for the last three days has barely put my gauge above empty and I've been afraid to drive very far not knowing how much I really had (I'm good for 26-32 miles once it comes on--but I fueled up with the gauge already on and not knowing how many miles were added by the new gas.) What I do have is a Speedy Rewards card and enough points to get a $10 cash card that can then be used for fuel. Yipee. Between that and some coupons I'd have plus a real dollar I got $12.50 worth of gas.

Okay, I'm falling asleep at the computer. Good night.

Glad to be a (for the most part) non-drinker

I'm still premenopausal, and I drink maybe one alcoholic drink every 3-5 years (and usually drink those silly fruity drinks because I don't like the taste of alcohol, although the only beer I can stomach is stout.) But if you do drink regularly, and you're a woman, take note:

Frequent Alcohol Consumption Increases Cancer Risk In Older Women

Postmenopausal women consuming two or more alcoholic beverages a day may double their risk of endometrial cancer, suggests a study led by researchers at the University of Southern California (USC).

Research: Drinking May Lead to Increased Risk of Endometrial Cancer

I've been following this, just not blogging on it

Black Hawk helicopters comb Nevada desert for missing billionaire

Steve Fossett demonstrates a true explorer's heart. I do hope he's okay. But it is like searching for a needle in a haystack, especially without a flight plan on file--and it's been five days since he disappeared.

No more polar bears in Alaska, and precious few anywhere by 2050

Warming Is Seen as Wiping Out Most Polar Bears

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bibliotherapy in Scotland

Patients sent to the library for help with mental health

Doctors in East Lothian are prescribing books for patients with depression both as monotherapy and in conjunction with antidepressants or talk therapy. Librarians in the participating libraries have been trained especially to help those with depression, including confidentiality issues. Books are prescribed from an approved list of over 600. This follows an earlier trial programme.

That sounds wonderful. The only disorder I've ever heard of anyone specifically asking patients not be given books for is for eating disorders--something about how information on eating disorders can become a 'how to' manual for those seeking to control their food intake(not an order for me personally, just an anecdote from a colleague, and also I've heard the same from someone with an eating disorder that even the mentions in the media can exacerbate the problem). I guess there you really have to balance education with 'do no harm'. But for most disorders--and certainly for depression--I think bibliotherapy is wonderful. I'd like to see more studies done on the efficacy and what methods work best.

I forgot to mention

I went to Dr Nesbitt the other day and got basically a clean bill of health; the diabetes is much better (okay, so I'm on three meds/two pills to do that). They checked cholesterol, thyroid, CBC, A1C, etc., too. I don't have to go back for six months. He did refer me to a dermatologist for an appointment in early October. I was concerned about a mole that's popped up over the last few months and is changing colours. It's on my upper chest, an area that got sunburnt a lot when I was a kid. Did we even have sunblock back then, or was it just tanning oil? I do not remember ever having sunblock on as a child. The mole's not really big, but I don't want to ignore possible skin cancer. I've known two people who have had skin cancers removed when they were much younger than I.

The truck came tonight at work (due to the holiday; I forgot about that yesterday) and there were a lot of issues that came up so I left pretty frazzled and a half-hour late. Tomorrow I work from 11 am-8 pm. At some point I have to remember to go by the pharmacy and pick up my Janumet. I'm really starting to like one of my co-workers. He's easy-going and competent, two plusses when working with someone.

I guess that's all for now. I need to go to bed; I need to be up by 9 am to run an errand for someone before work. I just thought I'd blog whilst drinking some delicious Highbridge Spring water. Good night.


Teen Suicides Up Sharply for First Time in Years

The suicide rates for these age groups had been trending downward, falling 28 percent from 1990 to 2003. However, between 2003 and 2004, there was a 75.9 percent increase in the suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-old girls, a 32.3 percent increase among 15- to 19-year-old girls, and a 9 percent increase among 15- to 19-year-old boys

For girls, especially, the rates have skyrocketed. There is much speculation on whether the black box warnings that were put into place in 2004 warning about SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors), a class of antidepressants that were thought to potentially increase suicidal thoughts in teens--which led to a drastic reduction of prescriptions for those drugs--might be related. After all, if fewer people get treatment that in most cases does work, then the rates would be expected to rise. This new information comes as the FDA considers expanding the black box warnings to the mid-twenties age group.

In a December 2006 study, The American Journal of Psychiatry said that a decrease in antidepressant prescriptions to minors of just a few percentage points coincided with a 14 percent increase in suicides in the United States; in the Netherlands, the suicide rate was 50% up, upon prescription drop.

Another disturbing statistic was that girls 10-14 had a 119% increase in the use of hanging/suffocation as a means of committing suicide. Guns remain the most popular form for boys (which is one reason why there are more boys who die of suicide even though more girls try it).

Sad. I have to admit, if my child were severely depressed, I'd opt for the antidepressant. Doubling a small chance of suicide compared to placebo seems scary till you see these rates. On the other hand, statistics fail to capture the true story--every child counts, every death matters. But when looking at the greater good vs a possibility, well, maybe it's best to err on the side of the greater good. More studies will no doubt tackle the question of causation and whether this is an aberration or the beginning of a trend. In the meantime, I find it troubling.