Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, November 30, 2007

Interesting--and bad for my mother, who works overnight

Overnight shift to be classified as 'probable' cancer cause

My mom is a nurse who works sixteen-hour night shifts. According to several studies, higher incidences of breast and prostate cancer are found in night workers. This may be due to the disruption of the circadian rhythm, as well as the production of melatonin, a chemical produced overnight while we sleep that helps keep cancer at bay. Light impedes melatonin synthesis; on the other hand, while melatonin is available as a supplement, it's not recommended to take it for long periods because doing so may interfere with the body's natural production of it. Those who do swing shift may be at even higher risk, since the body doesn't really get to adjust to a schedule one way or the other. Insomniacs and others who do not work but may not get enough sleep may also be at risk.

Speaking of not enough sleep, I'm operating on five hours from last night and I'll have four tonight. Argh.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I stayed up late watching

the 'Mindgame' pilot mentioned in the last post and 'Ben 10: Race Against Time'. It was interesting to see a cartoon (I like very much) translated into live action. They did an excellent job with casting.

Okay, let's all sing along--

Rather well done

Mindgame (part 1 of 5), a TV pilot from Verge Entertainment.
Crystal Carter, agent of The Psychic Surveillance Initiative (PSI), is assigned to hunt down and capture rogue agent John Cortez, PSI's first tracker. However, Section Ten (S10), a counter-psychic group, wants Cortez dead, and the old psychic won't be taken without a fight.

And yes, this was another of YKWIA's finds.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What would Aristotle do?

The lines are blurring between animal, vegetable, and mineral with transgenic creations. Witness the latest, poplars with rabbit genes to help pull poisons for the environment. It's a good cause of course, and years from field testing, but what happens when these products make it out into the world? How will they affect wild and cultivated varieties? Do you really want to eat food that's been tinkered with?

Mutants or saviors? Rabbit genes create trees that eat poisons

And let's not forget spider goats and glowing bunnies (the latter of which died young and never really glowed with the colour or intensity of published photographs, which were enhanced by an artist--and only the body would have glowed, not the hair, which is dead tissue).

Thanks to YKWIA, who over the years has regaled me with stories of spider goats, glowing bunnies, and now bunny trees.

Mary as you've never seen her before

Listening to: Daughtry, 'Over You' (sorry, can't embed, but he's got a shaved head, YKWIA)

THE ORIGINAL Scary 'Mary Poppins' Recut Trailer

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Words fail me to comment fully on this story and what should happen to those involved.

Mom Describes Killing Girl, 2

I cannot understand how anyone could beat a two year old severely, plunge her in water repeatedly, throw her across the room to impact tile, cause three skull fractures, and then put her body in a plastic container for a couple of months before finally disposing of it in Galveston Bay. Texas authorities had been looking for the identity of the child since her body washed ashore last month. The mother and her companion, who have been arrested (the father lives in Ohio and was not involved), met online through World of Warcraft. Seems to me they could't tell the difference between an innocent child and a monster to be hacked apart. Their mug shots are a little chilling in terms of expression--it's like there's no soul there.

Riley Ann Sawyers' life and potential were taken away from her by sick acts of violence. I can only hope she is at peace and that when she is reborn, it will be to loving parents who will cherish the precious life of a child.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Surgeons Remove Ten-Pound Hairball From Teen Girl's Stomach

A teen with trichophagia, compulsive eating of hair, lost forty pounds in five months and had stomach pain that sent her to the doctor. Since the removal of the hair, she has since received psychiatric help and has returned to good health.

For the morbidly curious, pictures of human trichobezoars (hairballs) can be seen at Hairballs: Myths and Realities behind some Medical Curiosities from the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Then there's a picture of this particular trichobezoar. The article detailing it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Okay, you know you're meant to be a medical librarian when you find this sort of stuff interesting, right?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Something to keep in mind as we go on this Antarctic adventure in the game

The seas around Antarctic can be uncertain, even for veterans.

Icy rescue as seas claim a cruise ship

The Explorer spent 40 years in the Antarctic. Another article described it as the first passenger ship to offer cruises to the region. But, like other ships before her, she quietly struck ice and was left stranded in the water, sinking. All the passengers and crew were evacuated, but even in the Antarctic spring water and air temperatures were very cool and hypothermia a real danger. So these tourists got a little more adventure than they probably bargained on.

I'm glad everyone is alright, at least. It's sad to think of such a veteran ship as meeting its end. I'm sure those who have worked and sailed on her will remember her tonight.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A pleasant holiday

I went to Danville for the day and enjoyed a feast over at my stepfather's mom's house. My mom cooked most of it (my grandmother cooked fish and green beans/potatoes without meat in it for me), but my mom and John have been renovating their kitchen and had sold their table and chairs, so needed a place to host it.

John's mother is a wonderful old lady who pulls no punches when talking about anything, including family. Her home is beautiful, and she has a lovely large tortoise-shell tabby who she's adopted to keep her company. He was very friendly and snuggled right up with me. I'm getting to enjoy cats vicariously a lot lately, as a friend has recently acquired a kitten. I also got much loving from my grandmother's dog.

The main thing on everyone's mind was apparently my stepbrother, who is in jail for his second DUI, running a red light, hit and run, and marijuana and alcohol in the car. I don't know if that's the end of it. Apparently visitation is very complicated, requiring much red tape a day in advance, so John hasn't really gotten to see him but once and doesn't even know if he was injured in the accident. I also don't know if he injured anyone else.

Robert is 23 years old and I would hope that he can turn his life around but I'm really not sure if he will. I know John doesn't want to cut him off (he's living with them and they help him with money), but I think he's enabling him, too. A few years ago he had a spinal accident and it's limited the work he can do; he's not really got the education or propensity for a clerical position, and little experience in anything other than dead-end, low-paying jobs, so he doesn't have a lot of prospects. But instead of playing up his to his strengths he seems to be hanging with the wrong people and using far too much alcohol and pot. I just don't know what will become of him. I know 23 is still in the young-and-stupid age range. I just hope he grows up without hurting himself or anyone else any more than he already has in the process.

On a brighter note, I came home while it was still light (deer are pretty bad on US 27, so I avoid it at night if at all possible, especially this time of year) and there was this dichotomy of dark storm clouds and sun, which set up the most beautiful double rainbows I have ever seen. The main one was particularly bright, not diffused at all. People were pulling off the road to take pictures. I really wish I knew where my camera was. It was just gorgeous and made my day.

Well, that's all for now. Hope you had a good day as well.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A town responds to a sad event

MySpace suicide town outlaws online bullying

Town Will Punish Cyberbullies: Officials Respond to Young Girl's Suicide

My understanding from one of the comments by 'LiquidBlue2' on the ABC News article is that there is already federal legislation in place that deals with online harassment. It is section 113 of the latest Violence Against Women Act, signed in 2006. For a discussion of the act and controversies regarding this provision and its free speech issues, see: Does New Cyberstalking Law Criminalize Free Expression?

Anyway, after Megan Meier's suicide the town, not finding a law under which to prosecute the adult (identified in police records and on the Internet as Lori Drew, according to the Wikipedia article and a police report you can find at The Smoking Gun)--who apparently pretended to be a 16-year-old boy to gain Megan's trust, flirting with her and then abruptly turning on her with vicious comments that led to the suicide--created their own against cyberbullying, although it wouldn't be used in this case, of course. The woman is the mother of a former friend of Megan's and has stated that she was just trying to see what things Megan might be saying about her daughter and that it was a joke and the Meiers should 'give it a rest'. The Meiers commented in one of the articles that the friends and parents of friends who knew Megan knew she was suffering from suicidal depression and that it was 'no different than somebody handing her a loaded gun'.

It's very sad that a vivacious 13-year-old would hang herself because of some petty comments put on a MySpace page. But as those of us who have been both 13 and depressed know, things that might inspire resiliency in some can seem very large indeed when you're in that mindset. What boggles my mind is that any adult in their right mind would act this way over a falling out amongst children. It's possible she has had remorse over her actions, but I couldn't find any evidence of it online. Of course, many of the news sources refuse to identify her supposedly to protect her child. I wouldn't want to live down that sort of thing if I were her daughter, but I don't think it should be hushed up, either. Drew was 'outed' by bloggers--here's one's description as to why, which I agree with--and there have been several unpleasant 'hoaxes' played on her that I suspect she does not find a joke at all (and in some cases, she's blamed the girl's father for them in the police reports). (Read the Wikipedia article for more information). Certainly I'm sure everyone in town knows who did what. I would not in any way condone actions against her (other than prosecution under the VAWA Act), but this story bothered me enough to do a little research and find out more. It's sad that it's so petty, and that a young girl with her whole life ahead of her died because of such pettiness. At least in this Missouri town, maybe they can make cyberbullying a little less likely.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I didn't post on Sunday

because I spent all day helping someone prepare for a major renovation project, mostly involving moving things like furniture, a refrigerator, and lots of other stuff. I also saw my mom briefly when she came to crash at my place after working all night so she could drive the 45-minute to an hour drive fresh. Because of the moving stuff, there was no game that day.

I think I have solved the problem of how to play adequately in the game and still get things down for the notes, namely via the Olympus WS-300M 256 MB Digital Voice Recorder and Music Player.

A quick view of the specs:

Compact, high-quality digital voice recorder with 256 MB internal flash memory; records up to 68 hours of WMA audio; built-in music player stores up to 66 WMA or MP3 files; USB Direct design plugs directly into PC USB port; 4 recording modes (HQ, LP, SP, and HQ Stereo); 5 separate file folders with 199 files each; voice activation mode enables hands-free recording; runs for roughly 15 hours on 1 AAA battery; 1.5 x 3.73 x 0.43 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty

I do not have an .mp3 player, so that is a nice bonus feature. But I'm more interested in capturing the audio and then transcribing from that. It's very small and also doubles as a memory stick for storing files. Current price from Amazon.com is $79.99, down from a suggested retail price of $129.99. I think I can swing it next month, so it'll be my holiday present to myself. I wish I would be able to go ahead and get that $100 gift card through the points rewards programme with my bank; I'm about $400 and 8,000 points short. But I'll eventually get it. Although today I got to drive a teller nuts by depositing $3.41, all but a dollar in change. He made me roll the change, but 41 cents wouldn't roll, and apparently they don't have a nifty change counting machine and he had to count the rest of the pennies by hand. Which, given his attitude about the change, the sighing, and general put-upon reaction, I was happy to have him do. Hey, it's legal tender. It was at the Euclid branch of National City, not my normal Richmond Road one.

Tomorrow I have a teleconference on public access of scholarly research over at UK that runs from 2-4, later than I'm regularly at work, so I'm going in from 11 to 1, which is good, considering it is almost 4 in the morning. I've been doing lots of work at the two jobs, notes, and 'swampa' (indentured servitude--it's a long story) activities and really not getting much sleep. I also need to call around to see if there's a snowball's chance in hell that I can get an appointment for an oil appointment on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. :) I'm at about 5,000 miles since the last one and will be going to Danville on Thursday, so that would be really, really good.

Tonight I had to work, so I wasn't able to watch Heroes. I'm hoping someone or perhaps several someones update the Wikipedia guide for the episode. I've garnered a few other bits from other Heroes' entries. Last week's episode is already up on the official site, so maybe this week's will be up in a few days.

Well, that's what I've been up to. Goodnight.

For D:

Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday!

Okay, so I could say it as many times as you have years, but that would go on for awhile (although, yes, you're much younger than I). But I hope your birthday is wonderful. You deserve a good time.

Let's hope it's not just a change in how the numbers are handled

I don't generally trust statistics, because they can easily change depending on how they're run. But, I truly hope that these estimates are correct:

HIV Cases Fall by 6.3 Million; Epidemic Peaked in Late 1990s

Strides were particularly seen in sub-Saharan Africa, the worst hit by the epidemic, and in India.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Know someone who video games too much?

So does Tripod, an Australian comedy musical act.

'Gonna Make You Happy'

and having worked in a comic shop, I really love this one...

'Hot Girl in the Comic Shop'

and they're not just about comedy--they can sing beautifully....

'Meet Me in the Middle of the Air'

Thanks to YKWIA for finding these!

Friday, November 16, 2007

I had a biopsy today

which was a little scary, but shouldn't be anything to worry about. I had this place along my collar bone that came up the last six months on my skin and it's like a shiny mole with different colours in it. Dr Terhune, the dermatologist, said that sometimes basal cell carcinoma looks like that, so she numbed the area with an injection and used a scalpel to take the biospy. It was remarkably quick. I probably won't find out the results until after Thanksgiving, but even if it is that form of carcinoma (the most common, apparently) they usually only get bigger and spread locally, rather than throughout the body like the deadlier cancers do. If it were the case they'd cut and burn it out. I have to keep this dry for 24 hours (so no shower tomorrow morning, just bathing around it) and change the dressings and apply an antibiotic cream to it for a few days, as it is technically a surgical site. Not too bad.

Other highlights: Today's radioplay was 'The Amateur Mendicant Society'. I have been listening to several since I last posted one, but got behind in writing. I'll come up with a list at some point.

I went to Taco Bell yesterday and got two $.99 1/2 pound cheesy bean and rice burritos and a $.99 caramel apple empanada. I didn't get the latter and was on my way to pick up someone, so I went after I'd gone through truck night at work. The clerk was trying to tell me that I had to have called the phone number on the receipt (which was for an online survey) within a 1/2 hour to get anything like my money or a replacement. Then the manager came up and offered me not one, but two empanada. So, they are still in my goog graces. :)

That's pretty much it. I have a non-leaky faucet in the kitchen. It had been leaking and I've called it in a couple of times but it's been overlapped, so now it's nice that it's working 100%. Washers are wonderful things, keeping water from just oozing down the faucet.

Our girl gets into trouble for worthy causes

The cheerleader of the line from 'Heroes'--'Save the Cheerleader, Save the World'. Hayden Panettiere, was attempting to do the latter last month when she and an animal activist group paddled to a cove to try to warn off dolphins and whales before they could be massacred by Japanese fishermen. They were forced back to shore when the fishermen used their boat propellers and giant hooks to turn them away, at which point the killings continued.

So the 18-year-old now has a warrant in Japan for her arrest for 'interfering with international commerce'.

Arrest The Cheerleader?

Panettiere was quoted as being surprised by the publicity surrounding the incident. 'In this town [Hollywood], you tend to be able to get publicity when you're not wearing underwear or [you're] in rehab. I was very excited that people were interested in what we did.'

Well, her heart's in the right place, although I'm sure the fishing industry in Japan would beg to differ. All I can say is, you go girl. And yes, she said she'd probably do it again.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Busy day

I put the $100 in my mom's bank account today and paid off Lindsay the $10 I owe him. Once my phone bill goes through, that leaves $30 for gas and food. Not great, but not destitute, at least. Next week's cheque should be about $125 and then I'll get paid my regular at the hospital minus AAA fees that come out of the November paycheques, but plus the nearly three hours in vacation that got missed on the last cheque. So I figure that one will be about $410 (it's normally $450). So it looks like I can pay the rest of my bills for the month. Yay!

Not unexpected

FDA Strengthens Warning On GlaxoSmithKline's Avandia

I'm out of Avandia and I'm considering staying off of it. If my blood sugar continues to run high, I'll ask Dr Nesbitt to put me on Actos instead.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It's really, really unlikely, but if it happens to you, it's devastating

Four Transplant Recipients Contract H.I.V.

They also contracted Hepatitis C, the first reported cases of simulateous transmission of two viruses through organ donation. The problem seems to have been that the blood was tested, but it was too soon in the infection to find the response to the viruses through the most common form of tests. There is a more expensive and time-consuming test available that can actually measure viral load, giving results days ahead of the others, but it is not normally done. All of the transplants were done in the Chicago area at three different hospitals.

Four cases out of 300,000 since 1994 doesn't sound so bad, but it must be horrible if you're one of the ones brought back from the brink of one illness only to be told you now have two more, both of them deadly and difficult to treat.

Still, I hope this doesn't affect organ donation itself. (It's not like you can get HIV from giving a donation, for one. But look what happened to the blood supply when it was first ) There is a critical need for organs--so much so that sometimes high-risk donors such as this one are allowed to donate. (No one's saying what the high-risk behaviours were--HIPAA, I'm supposing). The article mentions some statistics that illustrate the need: 98,000 people in the United States are on the transplant list, but only about 19,000 transplants have been done this year. Last year, 7,200 died waiting for a transplant that never happened.

I'm an organ donor. I have the back of my driver's licence signed and I've registered at DonateLifeKy.org. I've also made it clear in my living will that I intend to be cremated and they can harvest wherever they want. Now, with my being diabetic I don't know if they'd take my organs. But I'm O+ so I'm almost a universal donor. I'd rather do some good in my death. I'm also on a bone marrow registry. You can learn more about that at Marrow.org. Most of the other states have similar 'Donate Life' websites, too, by the way.

Good night.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't try this at home

Man hurt as he uses shotgun to remove lug nut

Okay, so I was the one who stabbed myself with a letter opener trying to open up a stapler cartridge. But even I wouldn't try to use a shotgun as a lug wrench. Just so you know. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

The eviction crisis is over

My mom came through. I can pay her $100 tomorrow or later this week (depending on when my cheque comes in) and the other $100 the next week--which is pretty decent turnaround. I'll also pay a co-worker who loaned me $10 towards the cause. It'll be tight for about a week, but I did a cash flow analysis and I should be fine through December, so long as I keep my hours up at the store, although I don't know how much I'll have for Chanukah and Christmas presents. Chanukah is early this year, so that may be a factor. Also, we usually get gift cards at work for about $75-100, so some of my shopping can be made up that way.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Put that stress level back to 'panic'

I called today to move an automatic debit that was (I thought) supposed to come out the 12th of the month to the 23rd of this one. Unfortunately, this debt, whose payment plan I set up the day after Cerys was put to sleep and during a time where I was apparently not able to make rational decisions, comes out every 4 weeks--not at a set day. So today's the day. Great. I looked up at the bank and checked with them and it is saying my available balance is $96 and some change less than it was, but the transaction is pending and isn't actually due to come through until midnight the 14th. So I've gone from being a $60 short to $160. And I did break down and spent $10.78 today on bread, peanut butter, shredded cheese, tortillas, and a ten-pound bag of potatoes. Not bad. I also am putting a few dollars in for gas. So, all told, I'm $180 short. On Wednesday, I'll be $135 short with the extra $100 that will be charged. In other words, I'm probably screwed. I did try to get overdraft protection at about $250, but since it's a loan, my credit shot it down.

So, I'm weighing my various options. My mom might be able to help. I've priced storage areas and found one that gives a 10 x 15 feet space (not climate controlled) for $105 a month, including rental of one of their trucks to haul it there. I'm looking for apartments that might accept me. And in the meantime, I'll call my mom tomorrow. But for right now, life pretty much sucks, but I'm sure it will enjoy an upturn soon. Good night.

Friday, November 09, 2007

I've been kind of terse lately, sorry about that

The Time of No Money has stretched further than I thought. I've started getting cheques from the gas station now, but it's been very tight. Unfortunately, I'd forgotten that my AAA fees come out of this and the next paycheque at the hospital. That coupled with the fact that some of my vacation time didn't get put in means that although I have my actual rent, I don't have the late fees ($50 for the 6th, plus $5 a day thereafter). My rent was due on the 5th. The good news is that my gas station cheque was about twice what I thought it would be, so I'm only $60 short for my rent as of tomorrow.

Yesterday it seemed worse. I was afraid I would lose the apartment and be living out of my car. I broke down last night and was absolutely miserable.

My mother, apparently sensing a disturbance in the Force, called this morning (I didn't hear the phone, as I am usually still asleep when she gets off work) and left a message asking how I was, how my foot was coming, and how my baby was doing (meaning Cerys). I haven't talked to her since mid-September, so she doesn't know I put Cerys down yet. I called her back tonight but we're playing phone tag. I really don't want to borrow money from my mother (I know all their kids tend to show up at payday with their hands out), but it may be the best solution, and it's not a lot of money. (Okay, it's a lot to me, but not for most people). On the other hand, last time I was home, John and Momma mostly complained about the kids wantng money every paycheque. I just plan to tell her how things are going and ask if she can help. If she can't, I talked to the rental office today and here's the thing: They'll file for eviction seven days after the notice that I received Tuesday. I get paid Wednesday or Thursday at the store, and it will be a pretty big cheque, at 25 hours (most are about 15 hours) and I get about 88% of my gross pay as net (which may explain why I still had a tax liability this year). As long as I pay the rent, late fees, and $100 in court costs before the actual court date, I can stay. I did some calculations and worse case scenario I would still be short by about $15, but I should be able to borrow that from someone. Of course, none of this includes gas or food. In the meantime, I'm working 18 hours on top of my other 20 this week so hopefully that will help the week after.

I'd rather not pay that much more; however, I'm glad I'm less likely to be out on the street. I don't know how hard it would be to get an apartment with my credit and with the evictions on my record. But I feel a little better today about being able to stay here. So I'm a little, a smidge, less stressed today. In the meantime, I have my phone ringer set to 'high' in case my mom calls. And it's also temporary, as are most things.

Sometimes science fails

AIDS trial subjects react to news

Those involved in a study with a potential AIDS vaccine made by Merck were told that the study was being halted because of indications that the vaccine did not protect against HIV infection--in fact, it seems to have increased the likelihood. In South Africa's testing, which had just gotten underway, the decision was made to unblind the study so participants would know whether they received the vaccine or a placebo. That decision hasn't been made yet here in the US (most of the participants were in the Seattle area), as scientists weigh the greater good of the participants against the loss of data and the fact that any damage to the data would make what happened be for naught.

It's a terrible step backward in the fight against AIDS, and it underscores the perils of medical research as well as the potential it has.

It must be Diwali

All of my Indian neighbours (and there are quite a few families in the complex) have lights in their windows. The couple across the hall also have a beautiful combination of flower garland and orange tinsel with fall leaves in it. They have a doormat with 'joy' on it, too. As always, wonderful scents of Indian food waft from their apartment, and usually they have friends over at this time. Diwali is the Indian and Nepalese festival of lights/harvest festival/conquering of the dark by the light (and evil by good), a time of goodwill and happiness. It is celebrated around the world by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains with candles, lights, and fireworks. It is also known as Deepawali or Divali.

For those who celebrate Diwali, may it be full of fortune and happiness. The world needs as much Light in it as possible.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where I stand

on this eve of election day and looking towards next year's presidential race, I took the Select Smart test to find out who I'm closest in ideology to. My plan for the primary has been to vote for Kucinich, but let's face it, he will not be the nominee, so I wondered which of the Big Three (Clinton, Obama, Edwards) I came closest to. Here are the results:

2008 President Selector Rankings:

1. Theoretical Ideal Candidate (100 %)
2. Dennis Kucinich (71 %)
3. Barack Obama (67 %)
4. Wesley Clark (not running, endorsed Clinton) (63 %)
5. Hillary Clinton (61 %)
6. Joseph Biden (61 %)
7. John Edwards (61 %)
8. Al Gore (not announced) (61 %)
9. Christopher Dodd (60 %)
10. Alan Augustson (campaign suspended) (55 %)
11. Bill Richardson (52 %)
12. Michael Bloomberg (says he will not run) (52 %)
13. Mike Gravel (47 %)
14. Ron Paul (40 %)
15. Elaine Brown (37 %)
16. Kent McManigal (campaign suspended) (30 %)
17. Rudolph Giuliani (29 %)
18. Mike Huckabee (28 %)
19. Mitt Romney (26 %)
20. John McCain (25 %)
21. Alan Keyes (23 %)
22. Tommy Thompson (withdrawn, endorsed Giuliani) (21 %)
23. Chuck Hagel (not running) (20 %)
24. Tom Tancredo (20 %)
25. Duncan Hunter (15 %)
26. Sam Brownback (withdrawn) (14 %)
27. Fred Thompson (13 %)
28. Newt Gingrich (says he will not run) (11 %)
29. Jim Gilmore (withdrawn) (10 %)
30. Stephen Colbert (campaign ended) (6 %)

I'm amazed at how close I came to both Kucinich and Obama, yet they really aren't all that alike. Hmmmm...

Monday, November 05, 2007


After 3,300 years, face of King Tut is unveiled

I miss Cerys

It's just not the same coming home to an empty house. This weekend I washed the bedclothes for the first time since she died, so they no longer have her scent on them. I have to admit I was overcome with emotion and cried a little. I'm still very much in mourning, I suppose. It's amazing how much grief you can have when a pet dies. Cerys was a wonderful companion for sixteen years. She shared many ups and downs with me and got me through a difficult time in my life. I wish we could do something to keep those we love--people and animals--young and vibrant for a long time, but of course life doesn't work that way, and I suppose that's good, as it forces you to greater appreciate the time you have left.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

I had to look this up

because neither my podiatry office nor the radiology office over at St Joseph East automatically use lead aprons.

Is gonadal shielding necessary?

The answer seems to be no, given improvements in x-ray machines these days and the very low doses received, especially when doing exposures on the extremities. I feel a little better.

(I know, I'm unlikely to reproduce, but still, what can I say, it's a concern fueled by years of lead aprons.)

Friday, November 02, 2007

I have been poked, prodded, and positioned

spending about five hours today seeing to my knee, which I hurt in that fall on Monday. It was complicated by being workman's compensation rather than my normal insurance, so there was a lot of paperwork (and I'm not even counting the calls I made ahead of time.) Dr Nesbitt noticed (I hadn't) that I was bruised along the whole front of my lower leg, too (it was a very light discolouration), so he ordered views of my knee, my tibia, and my fibula. He also gave me a prescription for Darvocet for night-time, since it's been bothering me then, but to be honest I may just be okay with ibuprofen. It's not that painful as long as I stay off it--although I have to admit, after going through the exam and testing the range of motion, it did hurt quite a lot, and then after being given assisted yoga in getting the x-rays and then walking a long trek back to the car around some construction, I was ready to go home and rest for a bit.

That's been my day so far. Now I'm getting ready to go do laundry, do notes, and work on character sheets, so I'll be off both foot and knee for that. Then there's the big grocery run I take a friend on when he's paid, and that's definitely time for the boot. I'd hoped to get some stuff at home taken care of, like the dishes and some of the paper that's lying around, or even watch a DVD that was given to me weeks ago, but I didn't expect the medical stuff to take quite so long (I was figuring maybe three hours. Silly me.) Oh, well.

Would you like to know what moon phase you were born under?

In the game, our gamemaster has adapted some of the ideas from White Wolf's Werewolf: the Apocalypse for the developing a system for witchcraft. In that game, a werewolf has one of five Auspices based on the moon he or she was born under. It determines some of the gifts a character has and some basic personality traits. The Auspices are:

New Moon--Ragabash--Trickster (my character Carol is this)
Crescent Moon--Theurge--Shaman/Seer
Gibbous Moon--Galliard--Bard
Half Moon--Philodox--Arbiter/Mediator/Judge/Counsellor
Full Moon--Ahroun--Warrior

We don't use the titles of Ragabash, Theurge, Galliard, Philodox, or Ahroun, but the characters who are witches in the game do have these Auspices.

So, seeing a perfect half moon tonight, I thought I'd check a moon phase utility from Sky and Telescope that gives the moon for an historical date to see what I would be under this system. Turns out I'm a day past the waning half, not quite crescent, so I'd be a Philodox.

Then I put the members of the game in and came up with a Galliard, three Philodoces, and a Ragabash.

That was a bit of fun. The utility also goes into the future. Also note that the box in the article is merely an illustration. To get to the actual utility you have to follow the link at the end of the article that says 'Click to open our Moon Box Utility'. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

How strange

I'm missing a post, one that included a radioplay of 'The Copper Beeches' which was mislabelled in my collection as 'The Missing Bloodstain' (actually they were switched, with 'The Missing Bloodstain' called 'The Copper Beeches' in error). I listened to 'The Missing Bloodstain' yesterday. 'The Copper Beeches' was a week or two ago, either right before or after the cubicles came in. I wonder what else I posted that day? I went back to correct the post and it's gone. It's not even cached somewhere in Google. Oh, well, c'est la vie. But still, it's annoying.

Sorry I didn't post last night

I'd thrown up rather awfully out of the side of my car whilst picking up some friends (who quickly moved to the back seat and called for Lysol) and went home and slept to let the dizziness to subside. I wasn't sick with a virus. It seems to have been either 1) emotional, 2) I ate something bad 3) my period or 4) some combination of the above. I also managed to blow a blood vessel in my eye, which is now quite red.

Is it just me or am I becoming more of a danger to myself lately?

PS Burritos not as good coming up as they are down. Fortunately I had a couple tonight that seem to be sitting better on my stomach.

Today I didn't really dress up for Halloween beyond wearing black, but when trick-or-treating started at work (the kids come 'round the offices, which have candy for them, all coordinated by the rec therapy folks), someone let me borrow a Jason masque and I put the hood of my jacket up and apparently was suitably scary. Of course, I had to go without my glasses to wear the plastic masque, so I had to be a little careful when putting the candy into sacks and pumpkins. It was great fun. :)

Second work was uneventful except for some malfunctioning pumps that those affected handled with great aplomb, for which I'm grateful, as all I could really do is refer them to the manager and bag the pump so no one else could use it.

Tonight I finished up my notes for the month and then got some meds from the pharmacy, came home, and then I gave a pomegranate as offering to Hekate along with some mead, a departure from the regular honeyed burgundy, since tonight is a special night. Although She is considered a Graeco-Roman Goddess and She is my Patroness by mutual choice, my heritage is primarily Celtic. We've worked it out over the years. So even though the year dies and is reborn in Celtic tradition tonight, rather than at the various times found in the Greek or Roman world, I worship Her tonight on Samhain a little differently than I do all other nights. Besides, she's not really Greek, but older than that, some say Karian, or Thessalian, but She is associated with wild magic and death, both associated with Halloween. All I know is that She has made a wonderful difference in my life, and so tonight I thanked Her for the blessings of the last year and entreated fortune for the coming one.

In my office is a line drawing of Hekate, with the following Orphic hymn's translation:

I praise lovely
three-formed Hekate Enodia,
of Sky, Earth, and Sea,
who celebrates
Bacchanalia at the tomb
with the souls of the dead,
Daughter of Perses,
Lover of solitude,
honored with cakes,
Nocturnal One,
Protector of dogs,
Invincible Sovereign,
heralded by the roar of wild beasts...
Keybearing Queen of the whole Cosmos.

I can't say I oppose it, but

shouldn't the number one thing that is done is parents accompany and watch their own children, regardless of who they're trick-or-treating from? Because there's lots of people out there who haven't ever been convicted who can be a danger to a child. My kids (if I had any) wouldn't be going alone, that's for sure--and I wouldn't necessarily trust my kids with anyone I barely knew accompanying them, either. I'd rather go myself.

Sex offenders locked down, in the dark for Halloween

I hope, with enough lawsuits, they bankrupt them

Got problems with gays and want to be outspoken? Sure, that's your right under our Constitution. But picketing a dead soldier's funeral (especially a non-gay dead soldier's funeral) just because you're sure America needs to hear that its troops are falling in war because God is punishing it for the sins of homosexuals and the support of the homosexual agenda? That's ludicrous, wrong, illogical, tacky, disrespectful, unpatriotic, and it should be illegal in all jurisdictions. I don't think funerals are truly public in the sense of letting anyone with a placard and a lungful of hate speech in. Funerals are for the respect for the dead. Military funerals are for the respect of those who have fallen protecting our country--straight or gay. So, I was happy to see:

Fred Phelps' church ordered to pay $10.9 million for funeral protest

It's been my experience that those who hate gays the most tend to be those who secretly realise that they have homosexual urges. I'm not saying Fred Phelps is one of these people, of course. But I do wonder why such vehemence against gays? Why is he threatened by their existence? What have they really done for him? It's such a strange whacko turn for someone who started out of all things as a civil rights attorney for blacks. Now he hates gays, pickets military funerals, and runs websites saying God hates (insert country here--there's already Ireland, Sweden, and Canada). And with his church, most of whom are related to him by blood or marriage, he has others to carry on the hate speech when he dies. I guess he'll find out then if he really is part of the elect or not. I'm not Christian, of course, but I have actually read the Bible from cover to cover--something many Christians fail to do, including those who like to quote it--and it seems to me Jesus was primarily about loving others. It's not a particularly gay-friendly text, true, but at the same time, you have to wonder where someone full of that much hate really belongs in God's design, don't you?