Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Sunday, March 31, 2013

A disturbing bit of news to go to sleep by

'Monsanto Protection Act': 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision
The "Monsanto Protection Act" is the name opponents of the Farmer Assurance Provision have given to this terrifying piece of policy, and it's a fitting moniker given its shocking content.

President Barack Obama signed a spending bill, HR 933, into law on Tuesday that includes language that has food and consumer advocates and organic farmers up in arms over their contention that the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" is a giveaway to corporations that was passed under the cover of darkness.

Tired, but it was a really fun day

We've had downtime for awhile in the Call of Cthulhu game, so it's nice to have an adventure to run through. This one is set in Rome during the time of Claudius. I'm playing a character I haven't been playing lately, so that's nice. She tends to be one of my meekest, so I'm trying to be a little more vivacious and decisive. It was a little better than usual. I like the adventure, although there seems to be a problem with the book in terms of handouts, etc. (It's The Cthulhu Invictus Companion.) I don't know if anyone else has had issues, but apparently there was a group of letters that were important clues that were missing in our copy, or at least the game master couldn't find them, and there wasn't much of a description of the information contained in them. They also refer to them as numbered handouts, but say in the text that they shouldn't be given in any particular order, which is a bit odd. All in all it was surprising, as this is by Chaosium and they are normally okay in that area.

I started my day lending my laptop to a friend so she could type up a paper for school, as the library was closed today for Easter and she wouldn't have had time to do so before class (she's in an accelerated nursing programme, and it's a crazy schedule). Then I went over for the game and did the normal prep work along with A, who helped. Then I went and got snacks and gas (I was really running on fumes). I got back and we watched some clips from the musicals Addams Family and Wicked, and then Brenda arrived and we started the game. We finished up about 9:45, I hung around just a bit, and I got home about 10:30. While I was getting things together my chain around my neck broke; I'll have to have Brenda look at it next week, as the links are tiny and she has the tools with her to fix them during most games, as she makes headdresses and necklaces for ball-jointed dolls as a way to keep her hands busy as we play.

Tomorrow and Tuesday I'm off, and the weather forecast has improved somewhat. Now they're saying 49 degrees and mixed sunshine and clouds for Monday, 48 with plenty of sunshine on my birthday, Tuesday--which is much better than the 35 and snow they were forecasting earlier. Tomorrow Brandon, the kids, and I are going to have lunch at O'Charley's to celebrate our birthdays--his was today. I need to pick up a package from Amazon being shipped to my work address, which includes the complete run of 'Waiting for God'. YKWIA and I have been enjoying them, but Netflix only has the fourth and fifth season, not the earlier ones, so I ordered the set. After that I'm going to take a friend to an appointment. Tuesday there may be another appointment, but we may also go see The Host, which looks pretty interesting. We'll see.

I enjoyed the return of 'Doctor Who' last night; the episode's premiss was very interesting, and paralleled something that could happen in our game. Afterwards a new show came one, 'Orphan Black', which I found pretty intriguing. After I got home last night I blogged a bit, and then I went to bed by 11, got up at 3:30 to work on the notes, finished by 5:30, and then went back to bed till nearly 8. So although I did actually get sleep last night, it was a bit fragmented, and it was my fault for shopping Saturday morning instead of doing the notes, or even better, doing the notes earlier in the week. It just never seems to work out well, and Friday nights I'm usually pretty wiped from the workweek. I'm going to try to get a jump on next week's notes, though, as there's a lot of investigation, and that takes longer to transcribe than action. There was a good bit of that, too, though, so maybe they'll balance out.

Anyway, the upshot of that is I'm tired and I'm going to head on to bed. Hope you had a good weekend. I can't believe it's almost April already. It seems like just yesterday I was bored at home waiting for my ankle to heal, or just going back to work. Wow. Take care, and I'll try to do a little more blogging than normal since I'll be off from work. Good night.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Today I:

  1. Slept till 10 am
  2. Spent four hours at Fayette Mall (a new record; I usually step foot in it maybe twice a year)
  3. Got a soft pretzel
  4. Bought clothes:
      (I'm now covered for undergarments, funerals, dressy occasions, and everyday wear)
    • Three bras (one was free, which is good, as it was Lane Bryant, so they were nearly $40 a pair--but they fit well)
    • A sleep shirt
    • Two dresses
    • A bolero jacket (one of the dresses is sleeveless and I need something on my arms; not the best choice, I realise, for a short-waisted fat girl, and I'll keep looking, but it does seem the style for this year)
    • A blouse
    • A skirt
    • Two jeggings (pants that are a cross between jeans and leggings, but these are black)
  5. Stopped by the grocery for a quick run
  6. Went out to eat with friends at Masala, which was very yummy (had perfectly spiced vegetable korma, peshwari naan, and vegetable pakora, and was so stuffed I couldn't order gulab jamun, although I do love it)
  7. Watched:
    • Doctor Who (yay!)
    • Orphan Black (it was very interesting, and I'll probably continue to watch)
Now I need to do the game notes. So, it's been a busy day. But it was beautiful weather-wise, and although I'm tired, it was nice to get some of the shopping I needed to do out of the way and spend time with friends.

This brought back some great memories

Tom Baker, who played the Fourth Doctor, was the one I grew up with. And of course, there was his co-star--the scarf.

Looking forward to a new Doctor Who tomorrow evening. But now it's after midnight, I've talked with Brandon (actually talked, rather than just texting) for quite some time, blogged, fiddled around on the computer, eaten, and now I'm quite ready for bed. Good night.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Last night

my friends celebrated their 15th anniversary (congratulations!) with a nice dinner date. I was the ride, but didn't stay for dinner, as it was supposed to be couple time. So I went to Qdoba, which was nearby, and then hung out at Half-Price Books till they were ready (it's in the same shopping centre), where I escaped without getting any books, but bought a couple of CDs and DVDs. They were advertising a special on their DVDs for today, Saturday, and Sunday that you could get 20% off if you could fit them into their very roomy reusable bag. So I went back this evening and got some movies I really like and complete runs of 'Heroes' and 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. In essence, I tripled my paltry DVD collection in one fell swoop. I went there especially because they had all of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies up through New Nightmare as a collection, and I knew YKWIA was interested in those. He is the one who introduced them to me. They'll make a nice gift. I also found High Spirits, which we both love. I even picked up Australia, which I have not seen, simply because it has stunning costumes and I wanted to watch it. Hey, it was $3.99 before the discount; that's cheaper than renting. :) All in all, I got 13 movies and 4 complete series (the Nightmare collection also includes the TV series) for a total of 81 discs. I think I did pretty well, considering the price of new DVDs these days.

I've been in a good mood pretty much all day. I rode into work today and played one of the Kansas CDs I got the night before. I drove into the parking lot with 'Carry on My Wayward Son' turned up, it was sunny, and relatively warm. That sustained me most of the day. Then I spent some time with friends after work, went shopping, and now I'm home texting with Brandon. So it's been a good day. I'm off for the weekend, of course, and then on Monday and Tuesday (the latter of which is my birthday). The weather tomorrow is supposed to be great. Sunday (Easter) is supposed to be soggy. Then it goes downhill from there. We may actually get snow on my birthday. I really wonder if spring is ever coming.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I like this op-ed piece

Courting Cowardice
As the arguments unfurled in Tuesday’s case on same-sex marriage, the Supreme Court justices sounded more and more cranky.

Things were moving too fast for them.

How could the nine, cloistered behind velvety rose curtains, marble pillars and archaic customs, possibly assess the potential effects of gay marriage? They’re not psychics, after all.

“Same-sex marriage is very new,” Justice Samuel Alito whinged, noting that “it may turn out to be a good thing; it may turn out not to be a good thing.” If the standard is that marriage always has to be “a good thing,” would heterosexuals pass?

“But you want us to step in and render a decision,” Alito continued, “based on an assessment of the effects of this institution, which is newer than cellphones or the Internet? I mean, we do not have the ability to see the future.”
With all due respect to the justices, please get your act together. With the cases before you yesterday and today, you have the opportunity to both make history and bring the US legal system into the 21st century regarding marriage equality. The arguments against it are ludicrous. The arguments for waiting sound very similar to those who weren't ready for biracial marriage, or desegregation, etc., etc. We rely on the federal government to protect and advocate for our civil rights. Please do so, with courage.

I found this article interesting

UNFIT FOR WORK: The startling rise of disability in America
In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government.

The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined. Yet people relying on disability payments are often overlooked in discussions of the social safety net. People on federal disability do not work. Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.

In other words, people on disability don't show up in any of the places we usually look to see how the economy is doing. But the story of these programs -- who goes on them, and why, and what happens after that -- is, to a large extent, the story of the U.S. economy. It's the story not only of an aging workforce, but also of a hidden, increasingly expensive safety net.

For the past six months, I've been reporting on the growth of federal disability programs. I've been trying to understand what disability means for American workers, and, more broadly, what it means for poor people in America nearly 20 years after we ended welfare as we knew it. Here's what I found.
I know several people on disability, all legitimately so, and who had to work very hard to get certified as disabled by the government. It's a long and frustrating process, and then often you're stuck without access to Medicare for a long time after you finally start getting those other benefits, and it's crazy. I sometimes think they make it so hard that you're just likely to give up and die. But for other people, it's relatively easy to get on disability, even if they could work in other areas--and this is the kicker--if they had other job skills. That's what this article looks at, the use of disability as a safety net for workers no longer relevant in the workforce, who do not have the education or opportunity to get jobs that would allow them to work with whatever physical or mental ailments they might have, and a system that is designed to perpetuate the problems inherent in the system. It's an interesting read.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Had a bit of a scare today

as someone bumped into my car from behind while I was stopped waiting for the car in front of me to parallel park. But there was no damage to either people or cars, so that was good. I am beginning to wonder if there is a large neon sign above my head that says 'hit me', considering I was hit by a car in October as a paedestrian (breaking my foot and ankle), sideswiped (thankfully without injury to car or people) right after I got the car, and now this. I really try to be very cognizant of what is happening around me when I'm driving, but every day I find myself driving defensively because the people around me are either distracted or don't really care that they're running red lights, disobeying all sorts of traffic laws, failing to yield or use signals, or generally just driving like madmen. I also think I'm one of the few persons on the planet not to engage their cell phone whilst driving, so maybe that's part of it. *Shakes head* Anyway, I'm alright, and thankful that the bump didn't do any damage.


Doctor Who: BBC responds to Matt Smith quitting rumours
The BBC was quick to respond to the story, and had this to say:

“Sorry folks but even we don’t know what’s going to happen at Christmas. It’s not been written yet! But Matt loves the show and is to start filming the unmissable 50th anniversary, and the new series starting on Easter Saturday.”

It's not exactly a denial, and neither was Smith's answer to the question posed by Jonathan Ross last week, "I am very happy doing it. I do the anniversary special, then the Christmas special. At the moment it’s 2013 and we will see what 2014 holds.”
Sounds like things either haven't been negtotiated quite yet, or they're being quite mum about post-2013. I won't despair quite yet. Only two more regenerations per 'Doctor Who' canon, although I'm sure they can find some way to extend it without stooping to the Master's evil. But it's a pretty firm rule in the minds of the fans, as pointed out in the Wikipedia article, so I'm not sure what they'll do. Any way, at least two left, although I'm rather fond of Matt Smith. I think he brings a great amount of energy to the part.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I have got to sit down, as my back is bothering me

I called a friend and checked on him, then I filled the fish tank completely up (and that took three full 5-gallon buckets, as it was down pretty low), treated the water, cleaned off the algae from the glass, took out some of the Java moss (the stuff grows amazingly fast), fed the fish, and they're quite happier. I watered the houseplants. I also gathered up recyclables and went through papers, excavated the couch, got together the trash, and figured out how to use my nifty new kitchen scale. I discovered that the two pieces of pineapple I ate had 43 calories but 11 grams of carbohydrates. It should help with carb counting. I did get the first disc to the first season of 'Grimm' today, and I'm tempted to watch an episode, but I think I'll read a book that I have a review of due on Wednesday. I corrected a proof to one of my book reviews today as well, so it should be published soon. Yay. It will be in The Journal of Hospital Librarianship.

Listening to Bruno Mars, 'When I Was Your Man'. I do rather like it. Sometimes people just don't get the romantic stuff right. A little romance goes a long way. :)


On November 23rd, silence will fall as the First Question is asked... and things for the 1000+ year old Time Lord will never be the same again!
And I am so stoked about the return of 'Doctor Who' to BBCAmerica on Saturday, March 30th, at 8 pm ET (and the new show 'Orphan Black that follows it looks a bit intriguing as well). Yay!

Who controls the information about your genes?

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the Sequel by Rebecca Skloot
Last week, scientists sequenced the genome of cells taken without consent from a woman named Henrietta Lacks. She was a black tobacco farmer and mother of five, and though she died in 1951, her cells, code-named HeLa, live on. They were used to help develop our most important vaccines and cancer medications, in vitro fertilization, gene mapping, cloning. Now they may finally help create laws to protect her family’s privacy — and yours.

The family has been through a lot with HeLa: they didn’t learn of the cells until 20 years after Lacks’s death, when scientists began using her children in research without their knowledge. Later their medical records were released to the press and published without consent. Because I wrote a book about Henrietta Lacks and her family, my in-box exploded when news of the genome broke. People wanted to know: did scientists get the family’s permission to publish her genetic information? The answer is no.
Skloot's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, details the various ways science, in its press to go forward, did so with certain degree of ignorance and disregard for the people who were genetically connected to the most successful cell line in history. The HeLa line saved millions (among so many other things, it was used to develop the polio vaccine), but science never seems to be able to get it right when dealing with the family Henrietta Lacks left behind. Now they've stumbled yet again. At least the team did apologise when they heard of the family's reaction, and took down the data they'd made public, but of course that's like shutting the barn door after the horses have escaped, as it was downloaded and most likely deseminated.

In the United States there are laws that protect seemingly every bit of medical privacy, laws that weren't extant when Lacks lived and died. But laws related to research are still a bit murky. Can someone take tissue or samples from you, remove direct connexion to your name and then publish your genome or use your cells in research without your consent, patenting the result, reaping billions? Science is moving fast, and our legal and ethics system isn't necessarily moving fast enough. Even with consent, most people don't realise what they're signing; they don't understand the legalese or the medicalese, not because of stupidity, but because it's complex and they're untrained in it. So ethics would suggest that we protect those who don't have the knowledge to truly make informed consent by at the very least requiring it be said in simple terms, and, respecting the wishes of those who would rather not participate. Personally I think it's rather wrong to profit from a person's material without compensation or knowledge, unless expressly donated. I recognise the cells are doing nothing sitting in a tube without the scientific manipulation and development, but at the same time, the person or heirs should at least share in the ownership of the cells, which came from his or her body. Would that cripple scientific research? Probably not.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oh, thank goodness

I got the notes done, managed to make it over to the game master's house on time, played the Call of Cthulhu game, and then got home with two hours left in the day and a project that had to be finished by today, and I managed to complete it with all of 45 minutes to spare. So today's been a pretty decent day.

Mind you, the one thing I didn't get done at all was getting the house at least halfway in order. That will have to be done tomorrow, as I have trash and recyclables to go out, can barely walk or sit anywhere, and generally have proven that Oscar Madison and not Felix Unger lives in my apartment. I have no appointments this week as of now, no set schedule beyond my normal work schedule. I really don't need to prepare for Easter, as I don't celebrate it. We're playing next week anyway, as the one person in the game who is at least nominally Christian is not really impacted by Easter since her son's a teenager now. So I will have to transcribe the game notes, and this time I'm hoping to do so without waiting till the last minute. (Obviously there are times I do procrastinate. Not always, but more often than I'd like to admit.)

A few things I would like to get done this week if at all possible:
  • Take trash and recyclables out
  • Straighten up living room
  • Clean kitchen
  • Watch episodes of 'Grimm' (I have a DVD coming from Netflix tomorrow) and 'Downton Abbey'
  • Do some reading
  • Do the game notes
  • Give my monthly libation
  • Begin the second phase of the project I worked on tonight
Surely that's not asking the impossible. I just need to make time for things. Plus spend time with friends and do my work. Those are very important as well. Okay, having finished what I sat down to do, I'm going to call it a night and head to bed; it's almost 11:30 pm, and I'm still having issues waking up in time after the time change. Hope you had a great weekend; have a good night.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I know they meant this to be educational

but how come the ones bibbling in the corner or hesitating to take action in these things are always women? In this film by the Department of Homeland Security on how to survive an active shooting episode, a man leads his fellow co-workers to safety, a woman hides herself, and a group of people prepare to fight back, but one of the women is crying and useless and another is having to expend her efforts to keep her quiet. My point is, we all have moments of indecision or fear. Granted, men don't tend to fall apart emotionally because of gender expectations, but women don't necessarily do so, either. I would have liked to see a woman leading an indecisive man out from under his desk to safety, at least. But I'll let you decide:

That said, I do think they did a decent job with the video in terms of their tips and the information conveyed.

One quick note

Anne Frank: Saplings from Anne Frank's tree take root in D.C., US
Eleven saplings grown from seeds taken from the chestnut tree that stood outside the Amsterdam home in which Frank and her family hid are being distributed to museums, schools, parks and Holocaust remembrance centers through a project led by The Anne Frank Center USA.

The first sapling will be planted in April at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis. Other saplings are being sent to a New York City park honoring 9-11 victims, a Little Rock, Ark., school that was the center of a desegregation battle and sites in Massachusetts, California, Idaho, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
The chestnut tree itself, which has suffered greatly from a fungal disease, was due to be chopped down, but has been granted a reprieve for now. But even if it is lost, its legacy may live on in these various places where the saplings are planted, I think Anne would have approved.

That actually worked out better than I'd hoped

I went over to Office Depot and looked at the Microsoft mouse selection, and found one that was $30 off, so only $9.95. It is called the Explorer Touch, is wireless, and instead of a scroll wheel, it has a touch strip that you go up or down on vertically or go side to side to scroll. I suppose it's been discontinued, as I didn't find it online at their site, but it works for me because it is one of the models recognised by the evil software. So now I have a left-handed mouse again. I will have to remember to turn it off, and it's interesting getting used to just touching the strip (but then I'm also getting used to the new keyboard, and it's going pretty well, just a bit of backspacing here and there).

Today I went on a grocery run for my friends, watched Despicable Me with both of them (I do love that movie; it always makes me laugh: 'It's so fluffy!') One of us is like a blend of Gru and Margo, one is like Edith, and I'm somewhat like Agnes. And I do adore the minions. I'm looking forward to the sequel later this year. I also watched 'Green Lantern' and 'Young Justice' over there, as well as more 'Waiting for God'. In other words, it was a relaxing day with friends, primarily. But now it's reached evening and I have three or four projects that must be completed before tomorrow, if at all possible. I got the mouse installed (and it's working like a charm) but I also need to straighten up the living room and kitchen, take out the garbage, do the game notes for tomorrow's Call of Cthulhu game, and work on a professional project, which is due tomorrow. So, time to get busy.

I happen to have

a Microsoft laptop mouse, so I thought I might try to put that on the desktop, change the button to left, and then see if the mouse settings stayed for my normal, non-Microsoft mouse, but no, they didn't. I have two mice for the laptop, the Microsoft one, which is corded, and a Logitech wireless mouse. I will not be putting the cusotmisation center onto the laptop, as I don't want to invalidate the settings on my wireless mouse. Which by the way, was set up with left-handedness from the get-go, so maybe that was a function of being signed into my Microsoft account. If that's the case, it may have actually reverted to the right hand due to all this. I'm going to go check. Grrr....

Well, the good news is that the Logitech mouse works fine. Perhaps it's a function of which side I put the transmitter on. But I'm going to keep things as is on the laptop. The keyboard for the desktop really does require the program to be used correctly, so I may have to get another mouse if I want it left-handed. That is annoying. Well played, Microsoft. I didn't realise I was going down a dark road when I bought this keyboard. I will say it does take some getting used to as far as typing on a slanted and decompressed keyboard, but my wrists do feel better, so maybe it will be worth it. Maybe. My keyboard tray also will not slip back in because the keyboard is too high. I am not going to go get another computer desk due to that. Sigh.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I hope this case is moving forward

Each day, there is usually one news story, often involving a child, that just chills me to the bone. Today's was the callous murder of a toddler during a robbery attempt Thursday in Georgia. So I was somewhat heartened to hear that the police there have two suspects in custody, one 17, one 14. Still, it's a horrible thing, for all involved.

Two youths arrested in shooting death of Georgia baby
"A boy approached me and told me he wanted my money, and I told him I didn't have any money. And he said, 'Give me your money or I'm going to kill you and I'm going to shoot your baby and kill your baby,' and I said, 'I don't have any money,' and 'Don't kill my baby.'" The boy tried to grab her purse and opened fire when she said tried to tell him she had no money, West said, with the shot grazing her head. She said the boy then shot her in the leg.

West continued, "And then, all of a sudden, he walked over and he shot my baby in the face."
The boy who was shot was in his stroller, and was just a little over a year old. My thoughts are with the family of this toddler, and for the two boys involved in his death. Something, somewhere went totally wrong somewhere there. I do agree with charging the 17 year old as an adult, and the 14 year old as a juvenile. The whole thing is just so sad.

A very poignant video of what could be

Very nicely done. It was created by the Anti-Defamation League.

I know the idea of open letters is rather laughable

As it's not like the big companies ever read little blogs like mine, so what's the point of writing such a letter? So I won't. I'll just make a complaint.

Today I decided to get a new keyboard, one that is more ergonomically designed. I chose the Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000, which includes a lot of programmable buttons that can be used for things like zooming, spell-check, calculator, opening mail, favourites, printing, various things. To use these features, you install a program called Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center. I've used the same program when installing a friend's mouse, and didn't think twice about it. Turns out that in doing so, it reset my mouse buttons, on a non-Microsoft mouse (it's my original one that came with my computer to the default, so that it became a right-hand mouse. Now, although I am, indeed, right-handed, I use the mouse with left-handed settings both at work and at home in an effort to reduce strain on my wrists (hello, the main reason I bought an ergonomic keyboard, and since my right wrist is worse and the number pad is on the right, I balance with the mouse on the left). I thought, fine, I'll go back into the mouse settings and change them back. That is no longer possible, as any attempt to use the mouse settings through regular Windows 8 brings up a box that says 'change mouse settings' and it goes straight to the Mouse and Keyboard Center, which, since it is not a Microsoft mouse, is useless as the hardware does not appear as an option. So, it overrode the button settings I had, then took away my way to make things better. This leaves me with the choice of getting a Microsoft mouse, or reverting to right-handed use. The latter would not be particularly bad, except every other computer I use is set to left-handed use. On the other hand, at the moment, inconvenienced as I am, I'm not feeling the urge to go out and buy a Microsoft mouse. Now, I doubt Microsoft did this on purpose to irritate left-handers and righties who happen to be somewhat ambidextrous, but it still stinks. I've left a comment on one of their forums. Maybe if enough of us do, they'll update the software in some fashion to alleviate the issue. Unfortunately, I don't really believe that.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Look what I got today

What do you get someone who loves fantasy and dead languages?

HOBBITVS ILLE (The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien, translated into Latin by Mark Walker) and HARRIUS POTTER ET PHILOSOPHI LAPIS (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by JK Rowling, translated into Latin by Peter Needham). The faceplate of the train engine on the cover of the later says: 'Hamaxostichus rapidus Hogvartensis'. :) The Chamber of Secrets (CAMERA SECRETORUM) has also been translated. I haven't found it for any of the others in the series, although an ancient Greek translation of the first book is available from various booksellers for a much bigger price. :)

I got them because they're fun, because I do read Latin, both Classical and Mediaeval, and because my Latin is getting a bit rusty from disuse. So, hopefully these will help. I already had WINNIE ILLE PU (Winnie the Pooh and QUOMODO INVIDIOSULUS NOMINE GRINCHUS CHRISTI NATALEM ABROGAVERIT (How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the latter translated by a couple of my professors at the University of Kentucky).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A long but rather pleasant day

Listening to: 'Fire on the Mountain' by Rob Thomas (from Cradlesong)

Things were somewhat slow at work today, so it was a catch-up day for a few things. I texted with a friend later in the day for awhile, and then went to another friend's house and watched a couple of episodes of 'Castle' with him (including a really good Halloween one). Then we ate some food from Subway (this time I actually got a 6 inch, rather than a footlong, and felt much better). We watched a couple of episodes of 'Waiting for God' while we ate, then we did some projects around the house. I got home about 11 pm. Tomorrow I have to stop by my doctor's office for a blood draw, rather than a full appointment, so I shouldn't be too late for work. I have some things coming tomorrow from Amazon that I'm excited about. I'm going to go over to a friend's house for a little bit. I still haven't decided whether to ask off for Friday. I'll see how I feel about it tomorrow. It would be nice to have a day to catch up on things at home.

I'm afraid I'm fading, so I'll sign off of here and say good night. Oh, and happy spring/vernal equinox/Ostara. (Or autumnal equinox if you're in the southern hemisphere). :)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Today I:

  • Started working on a project involving selecting and rating various resources.
  • Started working up a list of books to buy for the library come April 1st, when our vendor runs a special in which the discount is significantly higher than normal.
  • Caught up on my data entry.
  • Looked up some good books on reference. I mainly deal with medical issues, especially pediatric orthopaedics, so my general reference is a bit rusty, as my classes were in 1992-93, before the Web really got going to today's standards in terms of resources. So I'd like a refresher. I'm considering getting one from Amazon. Another, which is fairly expensive, can be checked out from the University of Kentucky's Education Library.
  • Discovered that my phone, which of course signs into my account through Google, is ever so helpful as to tell me how many minutes it will take to any place I search for on the web, even if I'm searching at home or work. In this case, it was the Education Library. But it's also told me how long it would take to get to various doctors' offices that I call because part of my non-librarian duties is to get referrals from primary care physicians when required.
  • Talked to my mother, checked on everyone, and caught up with what's going on with them.
  • Went over to my friends' house. Had wonderful Chinese food. Jin Jin may be as good or even better than one I've loved for years, Great Wall. I had kung pao tofu. Yummy.
  • Did some grocery shopping at both Good Foods Co-op and Kroger. [Good Foods had both celeriac and vegetable bouillon cubes (well, more like rectangular solids), both of which have been hard to find at Kroger of late.]
  • Watched an episode of 'Waiting for God'. It was great. I do like the show immensely. Tom and Diana are wonderful characters.
  • Came on home about 11 pm, and I should probably go to bed soon. Last night I was up till 1 am on the Internet ordering some gifts for a friend for no particular special occasion.
So it's been a full day. I decided not to take tomorrow off after all, but I think I may take Friday off instead; the weather's supposed to be better and it'll make for a three-day weekend. There were a few advantages to doing a midweek break, but I still think Friday will be better overall. And barring any emergencies, I should have the day to myself.

Okay, on that note, I think I'll go on to sleep. I'm already in bed, typing on the laptop. :) So I'll put it away and hopefully wake up a little earlier than I did this morning (it was about 7:45, and while I made it to work on time, I wasn't sure that was going to be the case). Tomorrow I must remember to pick a book on hold up from the public library called Doktor Glass. Good night.

So I'm listening to some tapes from my youth

(there was a reason why I bought a boom box with a radio/CD player that also played tapes and had an auxiliary connection for my phone). My old player was trying to eat the tapes, and the CDs were sometimes an issue, too. I'm listening to Kate Bush's The Whole Story. My favourite song is 'Experiment IV', although there are several other great songs on the album.

We were working secretly
For the military.
Our experiment in sound,
Was nearly ready to begin.
We only know in theory
What we are doing:
Music made for pleasure,
Music made to thrill.
It was music we were making here until

They told us
All they wanted
Was a sound that could kill someone
From a distance.
So we go ahead,
And the meters are over in the red.
It's a mistake in the making.

From the painful cry of mothers,
To the terrifying scream,
We recorded it and put it into our machine.

But they told us
All they wanted
Was a sound that could kill someone
From a distance.
So we go ahead,
And the meters are over in the red.
It's a mistake in the making.

It could feel like falling in love.
It could feel so bad.
But it could feel so good.
It could sing you to sleep.

But that dream is your enemy.

We won't be there to be blamed.
We won't be there to snitch.
I just pray that someone there
Can hit the switch.

But they told us
All they wanted
Was a sound that could kill someone
From a distance.
So we go ahead,
And the meters are over in the red.
It's a mistake we've made.

Hmm hmm hmm, hmm hmm hmm.
And the public are warned to stay off.
The video is very good, and the whole thing reminds me of something out of our Call of Cthulhu game.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A night for tech issues

I had gone to my public library book and had gotten a few books, come home, taken a short (30 minute) nap, and then woke up to find that my friends' phone was acting up. One had called me a little after 5 pm, but I didn't get the voicemail until after 7, which is weird. By that time, I'd gotten an e-mail to answer my phone, and had tried calling them. The voicemail asked me to come over, so I headed over there. I did some basic troubleshooting, called the cable company, and they tried to fix it on their end. We decided the phone itself might have shorted out, as there was a storm this morning (it was actually what woke me up today), so I went home and got a phone that we could try out. No luck. I called the cable company back to arrange for a service call and they had me try plugging the phone directly into the modem, and that worked. Apparently some things were unplugged during the storm, and there was an extra cable for no good reason, and the wrong cable got plugged back in.

So that was resolved without a service call. Then I came home and found that my internet wasn't working. I reset my wireless router and everything was fine again. So I've gotten my share of troubleshooting tech issues tonight.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I didn't realise that it had been so long

Since I updated here. It's been a very long and busy weekend, and I am very tired. I just want to go on to bed now. I will try to post tomorrow after I get some rest. Hope your weekend was great. Lastly, happy birthday to my cousin Jan. I don't know if she reads this blog, but just in case, happy 50th.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

So they had the big unveiling tonight

This has a nice breakdown of the new features:
Samsung Galaxy S 4: Bigger, thinner, smarter

Then there's Samsung's official Galaxy S4 webpage.

I do love my S3. But it's interesting to see what features they're developing, where we're going now and in the future. But having just gotten my S3, I'm not making a change just yet. Still, it should be interesting to see where they are when I'm eligible for best upgrade pricing (at T-Mobile you can upgrade at any time, you just get to a point in your contract where the pricing is more otpimal). I think I'll stick with Samsung if they continue to do this well.

This was quite possibly my favourite song growing up

We had it on a 45 record. Someone pieced together a wonderful and powerful video to go along with it.

I got my Christmas present from YKWIA today

Okay, he gives excellent gifts, but they're on a bit of a strange time frame, as he has no sense of time beyond seasons and day and night. But hey, we ARE still in winter. :)

I love it. It's a plush cat that plays 'Soft Kitty' from The Big Bang Theory. It makes me happy to listen to it. Here's a video with the same style of product, playing the song:

Thank you, YKWIA. It was a very thoughtful gift.

So today

I got a couple of low-carb vegetarian cookbooks and Kitrics nutrition label scale from Amazon, and I'm looking on the scale's box and it says:
    Ideal for:
  • Portion control
  • Medical requirements
  • Type A personalities
So I tell YKWIA about it, and I ask if I'm a type A personality. His response? No, you're just OCD. Which is true, of course. :) I'm hoping it will give me a better idea of portions, since I tend to eat more at home in the evening than I do all day. The scale weighs food in grams or ounces, but also if you put a code in, it will give you the same types of nutritional information as you find on the label of prepared foods. Wish me luck. Also, one of the cookbooks is British and gives a lot of its measurements in grams. It also has recipes for courgettes, which in America we call zucchini, that sort of thing. Fortunately I watch enough of BBCAmerica that I know that. :)

I just came home at 11 pm and I'm pretty tired, so I'll turn in for the night. Take care, and have a lovely tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This moving story was used during today's webcast to illustrate the terrible toll of medical errors

and how we, as librarians, can help lower diagnostic errors through our expertise. I highly recommend watching. And remember, as a patient, you must advocate for yourself. You know your body better than anyone else, and you are part of the health care team.

See more at www.projectjessica.ca.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I don't quite get

why I was so tired tonight. I suppose it's still related to the time change, as I did nothing particularly strenuous today. But by the time I got home, my ankle was swollen and hurting, and I felt just absolutely exhausted. I'd worked all day, and then eaten dinner with friends (Subway, no cooking involved), and worked just a bit on an e-mail conundrum (he can get other e-mails, but not mine, I can send other e-mails, but not to him, and they're on the safe list and not being put in spam or anything like that). I didn't have much luck with that. They were both tired, too, and not up to a real visit, so I went on home, at which time I laid down for 'just an hour'. Next thing I knew four had gone by. Wow. So I'm up now, briefly, to take some medicine.

Tomorrow I have a library committee meeting followed by a Medical Library Association webcast at the University of Kentucky on librarians' roles in preventing diagnostic error. Then I'll head back to work and finish up before going back to my friends' house to work on the project we were going to do tonight. Busy, busy.

One thing I brought my friend tonight was some black walnuts I found at Good Foods Co-op. I knew he liked them, but didn't realise how much he loved them, so it was nice to find something he enjoyed. I had a sudden desire to go yesterday evening and I re-activated my ownership/membership and got some produce, dairy products, and frozen foods, along with a beautiful set of ceramic mixing bowls that have pour-spouts and handles and nest together. Tonight, as I lay in bed thinking, I had the sudden urge to get up and cook, although I promised I wouldn't eat anything else tonight because the Subway sandwich put me way over my calorie counting for the day. (A footlong tuna is over 1400 calories!) What I am going to do is make a salad tonight to take tomorrow. I have some orange Greek Gods yoghurt at work already, and I'll add in an orange and one of the Indian entrees or maybe some eggplant parmigiana that I have in the freezer. I find that the keeping track of what I eat is pretty easy with My Fitness Pal, which so far has had any food I've put in, including prepared food that I've scanned with the barcode reader.

Okay, I'm off to making that salad. Good night. :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

While I was dressing this morning

I was trying to decide on my outfit for the day (quickly, as I'd overslept). I was down to two, either purple or black. Suddenly I had a very strong feeling that one of the people I knew at my workplace who has been very ill had died over the weekend, and just in case I put on the black, but added a butterfly necklace that is very colourful because I thought she would have liked that. I didn't know her well, but she was very easy to talk to, a nurse and educator who had a very positive outlook on life. When I went in to work this morning, I found that she had, indeed, died Sunday morning. I'm glad that her pain is over, and I will say she did things very well--after she was given a grim prognosis she went to the beach and had one last trip with the family, and she managed to make people who were special in her life at ease with her passing. They're not so much having a funeral, but rather a celebration of her life. I was as impressed with her approach to death as I was with her personality, and I can only hope to face it as well. So even though I didn't know her well, she touched my life, and I am glad to have known her a little, and wish that I had gotten to know her better.

I am having some trouble with the time change

It doesn't help that it's been raining heavily nearly all day today. Yesterday I ran late to my friends' house for the game preparations. Today I managed to get to work on time but didn't get up till 7:50 (I have to be there at 8:30).

Almost immediately, Monday happened. The copier ran out of toner five minutes after I put my stuff down, but before I'd grabbed anything from the cafeteria or put my stuff away. I went to put some toner in, and it turns out someone had done so in the past, and instead of leaving me a note or putting the empty bottle on my desk, he or she put the empty bottle back where it the supplies are kept so it looked like a full bottle was still there. I check the supplies about twice a week to make sure there's enough, and as soon as I put the last toner in, I order another couple. But unfortunately, there was no toner, but rather an empty bottle masquerading as toner. So I put a sign on the copier, sent out an e-mail, and ordered toner, which will take 3-5 business days to get here. Did I mention that it was the day the board met, when there are all these directors giving reports? Fortunately, most people seemed to have done their copying and printing on Friday. As it is, the machine will scan to PDF but not produce any pages from the document server, printer, or copier. :(

But I wasn't irritated too long; I was able to get breakfast even though technically they normally take things off the heat table by the time I got there. Then there was the fact that I'd brought an orchid and a sun star plant (Ornithogalum dubium, a plant from South Africa that is very showy and orange--I've included a picture to the left.) to work to cheer things up, potted up my big African violet, used the old pot to hold a baby plant that had grown from a broken leaf and gave it to one of my co-workers, and put another couple of leaves into a tiny pot of soil to root. So I kept calm and carried on, and breathed and looked at pretty flowers. :) Life got better.

I got my work done, came home, and now I'm contemplating a short nap (maybe a half-hour or 45 minutes; anything else and I tend to go into a deeper sleep and not wake up till morning. :) Then I have a few things to do around the house. I'll try to write later.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

I'm not sure I'm ready for Daylight Savings Time

So we spring the clocks forward tonight for Daylight Savings Time. It seems to get earlier each year (when I was a kid, for example, it was in April, a week or two after my birthday. Now it's three weeks before. Don't get me wrong, I like having the afternoon sun, but at least for awhile, it's much harder to get up in the morning because it's light later then. I always feel hungover for a couple of weeks. Want to know more about Daylight Savings? Try:

and there's Wikipedia's article Daylight saving time, which includes the following interesting map:

Blue=DST observed
Orange=DST formerly observed
Red=DST never observed


12-year-old boy who was victim of bullying attack dies after weeks in hospital
A young boy who was the victim of bullying has died, according to his family. Bailey O'Neill, who turned 12 on Saturday, was in a coma after suffering several seizures. His family told NBC10's Katy Zachry that he died at the hospital on Sunday.

Bailey's family says he was jumped by two classmates during recess at Darby Township School last January and suffered a concussion as well as a broken nose as a result. He then began to suffer seizures the next day, forcing doctors to put him into a medically induced coma. Joy Fecanin, the boy's grandmother, told NBC10's Katy Zachry that he had to have a blood transfusion after getting pneumonia.
When I was the same age, I was jumped by four girls while walking home from school. They broke my glasses, and tore my coat, but fortunately I wasn't injured. Another time one of the girls in school threatened to kill me. I avoided the walk home for weeks, getting my mom to come pick me up. It saddens me to see that kids are still being bullied. It is not some rite of passage, or just kids being kids. The bullies often have serious issues themselves, and the bullied obviously suffer. Something must be done to create a zero tolerance for bullying in our schools. I'm not sure if the problem is getting worse, or if we just are more connected by the media today. But horrible things are happening, much worse than being threatened for lunch money or having fish guts put in your biology book in your locker (that happened to me, too). Kids have died, have been set on fire, shot. This is terrible. I don't have any solutions myself, but this is one reason I'm glad I'm not a parent--this kind of thing would worry me to death. My thoughts are with this family--and the others that struggle to deal with bullying. It's a challenge to deal with and could have grave consequences in how it's handled.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Trying to do better, and it was working--at least today

Last night before I went to bed I downloaded a book on diabetes from the Kindle Lending Library, purchased three others for the Kindle (one on exchanges, one on carbohydrate counting, and one general text I'd checked out at the library that's really good), and then today checked out yet another to the Kindle from the Lexington Public Library. I really want to get a handle on my diabetes.

I was looking for a food diary that would let me put in specific foods (I had a more generalised one), and the Spark People one is now a paid-for application without good reviews, and besides, doing anything on SparkPeople.com means ads, ads, and more ads. Fit Day works well online, but I didn't see a mobile application. Then I found (from the comments comparing and reviewing it with Spark People) an application called My Fitness Pal, which has both an online and mobile presence, allows for social stuff, but doesn't inundate you like Spark People does. It has a large database of foods and you can scan pre-packaged foods with UPCs easily. The only thing I ate today that was like that was some Oikos Greek yoghurt, but it worked like a charm. I wound up under my goal caloric intake but not terribly so, got most of my nutrients (was a little short on Vitamin A, but I do take a multivitamin as well). I did have a fairly high cholesterol because I ate two eggs today. On the other hand, it's not like I'm eating fatty meat, either. The application has a fitness log as well. I have a separate application for my blood sugar, insulin, hA1c, etc., called On Track.

The result, along with taking my insulin faithfully, was that my blood sugars were much better than yesterday. Much better. So, I just have to keep it up, right? I was also able to get the replacement insulin from the pharmacy. Yay!

Thursday, March 07, 2013

A mix of good and bad today

On the bad side:
  • My really heavy-duty electric stapler died at work. Not happy with this model. I've been through two now. Will be going with one that is a lower page-count for stapling but a different brand and a better warranty.
  • I found out that the pharmacy made a mistake last time I got my Novolog Flexpen. The pen I had with me today was actually Novolog 70/30. Since I also take Lantus for long-acting insulin, they advised me against taking it (the 30 part of it is also a long-acting insulin). They had more on order and will have the right stuff tomorrow.
  • I was really tired when I got home. I'd had a 3:45 appointment and it took till six to see the doctor. I got out of there at 6:30. I really needed to go to the restroom, but the workers were cleaning them. Good thing I live five minutes away.
  • Not surprisingly, my blood sugar has been wonky today. I think it's time to give up carbs as much as possible. They've had free bagels at work the last few days and that's made it worse. I also really have to find a better way to remember all of my shots, to keep on schedule.
On the good side:
  • The doctor's office had a sample pen of normal Novolog in a Flexpen, so I do have my quick-acting insulin for the next day or so.
  • The doctor realised he had to up the number of pens he'd written the prescription for to cover me for a month.
  • I probably don't have a UTI. It could just be a factor of the diabetes. We're treating it, though, because I was drinking lots of cranberry juice, which can skew the test results, and have some pain in my back and lower abdomen.
  • I found out that the mistaken $10,000 hospital bill has been corrected. I now owe nothing. Yay!
  • It was payday, and our raise went into effect. It pretty much brings my pay back to where it was before those tax cuts were rescinded.
So, it was a mixed bag. But overall it was okay. Tomorrow is Friday and I'm very glad. I'll get my work done (and it's jeans day), go to the pharmacy, and beyond that I don't have plans. The weekend should be busy, but I don't have to do game notes, as they're already finished. Yay! Have a great night and a great end of the week. I'm going to take my nightly dose of Lantus and then head to bed, I think. Good night.

Just got in

after an enjoyable evening with friends and working on some computer issues, most of which seemed to have resolved due to my mere presence (isn't that the way of tech issues, you're having trouble until the tech person comes to fix it, and then the computer/printer/other piece of hardware smiles and just works beautifully). But I must admit, I'm tired and ready for bed. Today was good. I did get my CDs and DVDs. I'm so psyched to have them. It's obviously too late tonight to watch any of 'Downton Abbey', but maybe tomorrow I can watch episode 5 of series 1 and then try an episode each day for awhile. I have been listening to the music, since I had that through AutoRip immediately, and the Adele CD played beautifully in the car.

Tomorrow I have to catch up on interlibrary loans (I've had as many requests in two days as I usually do in a busy two weeks), and I also have a doctor's appointment late in the afternoon. Then I'm going to try to go the pharmacy if they're still open, and hopefully have some time at home tomorrow evening.

Okay, I'm just too tired to really write much more. Good night. Hey, we're at least over the hump and heading toward the weekend.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013


My 'Downton Abbey' DVDs and the CDs I ordered the other day have made it to Lexington and should be delivered tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. The snow is coming down; it's very pretty. I hope it's not too bad for the commute tomorrow but I'm glad I came on home before it started. It was just turning over from rain to a sort of blobby stuff when I drove home. Tomorrow evening it should be fine and I can do some things for YKWIA on the computer after work.

I'm still stuffy and I have a lot of sinus pressure, and I'm sneezing, but generally doing much better. I did take a nap when I got home, though, and I think I'll go to bed early. Yesterday I dropped some stuff off at a friend's and some guy was going up and down the street trying to get people to buy meat or seafood off his truck. He seemed quite annoyed with the fact no one was taking him up on it, and more annoyed when I explained that both the house and I were vegetarian (I did leave the pescetarian aspect out--but really, who buys fish off a truck that runs around the neighbourhood like an ice cream truck?) And this wasn't Schwann's or some place I'd ever hear of. It had 'butcher' in the title, I remember. And the guy's name was Brad, and he kind of hung out in the yard until I got out of my car and sort of pounced into his spiel. Very weird.

Okay, I think it's time to go to bed. Hope you're having a good week. Good night.

Saw this earlier

Okay, I am so NOT a 'Twilight' fan, and this is based on a Stephenie Meyer book that I first heard of through YKWIA, but the movie looks interesting and Saoirse Ronan's character seems a stronger female lead than Kristen Stewart's Bella. I might give this a chance.

Neat science stories

Ancestor of the camel was an Arctic giant
The ancestors of the modern camel included an Arctic giant that lived in chilly coniferous forests about 3.5 million years ago. The ancient ungulates were 30 percent bigger than living camels today, weighing about a ton.
UF scientists discover new crocodilian, hippo-like species from Panama
University of Florida paleontologists have discovered remarkably well-preserved fossils of two crocodilians and a mammal previously unknown to science during recent Panama Canal excavations that began in 2009.

The two new ancient extinct alligator-like animals and an extinct hippo-like species inhabited Central America during the Miocene about 20 million years ago. The research expands the range of ancient animals in the subtropics — some of the most diverse areas today about which little is known historically because lush vegetation prevents paleontological excavations — and may be used to better understand how climate change affects species dispersal today. The two studies appear online today in the same issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

The fossils shed new light on scientists’ understanding of species distribution because they represent a time before the formation of the Isthmus of Panama, when the continents of North and South America were separated by oceanic waters.

This woman took couponing a bit too seriously

Florida woman pulls gun after Walmart refuses coupon

Let's ignore the fact that Wal-Mart is the evil empire just now. Just because you have a gun, shouldn't mean that you wave it around at poor shop employees just because you're upset.

Monday, March 04, 2013

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised

Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S IV to Include Eye-Tracking Tech
The rumored Samsung Galaxy S IV may be a sight for sore eyes, literally. According to a New York Times report, the company's "next big thing," to be introduced later this month, will include eye-tracking technology that turns your eyeballs into page scrollers.

Citing an anonymous Samsung employee, the Times explained that when the software detects that someone has reached the end of visible text on a smartphone, it will automatically scroll to reveal the next graf.
Even my Samsung Galaxy S III has a nifty feature called Motion that allows for various gestures and movement of the device to do certain things, like placing a call to a contact just by putting it to your ear, or taking a screenshot by putting the hand perpendicular to the screen and passing it across. I haven't really used it much, but it is meant to save time. Apparently Samsung did apply for a patent that would cover the above technology. And on my phone, the front-facing camera is used to see if someone is looking at the phone to stay lit longer, according to the article. I didn't know that. A bit creepy, but it makes sense.

We'll know more March 14th, when Samsung is supposed to have a great unveiling of a new Galaxy in New York. Here's their teaser trailer:

On a totally unrelated note....some fun with YouTube.

I have managed so far to avoid the Harlem Shake thing, but if you go to YouTube and type in the search box: do the harlem shake and then hit enter, watch what happens. Make sure your sound is on (but maybe not really high.) It's kind of funny. Thank you, folks at Google, for making me laugh. And thanks to Vanessa Irvin Morris, who shared it on Facebook.

Okay, that's enough for tonight. I'm going to bed. Good night. :)

Who on earth ever thought those accordion-style closet doors were a good thing?

And why did they put them in just about every residential building built in the 1970s? It seems to me that I've been fighting to keep them on track my whole life. I just spent several minutes fighting to get my bathroom one back on track after a bunch of toilet tissue fell off the top shelf and on to it. (I'm short, and was having trouble getting the tissue back up without incident.) Usually they come off on one side or the other. This time it was both, and simply from admittedly several rolls of paper with hollow centres hitting it. It was much harder to put back than it was to get off track. But I suppose that's the way of life.

Part of the problem was that I only was half-awake. I went back to the bedroom to take a nap earlier, because I was tired after working and am still on the last stages of my cold, but couldn't really relax. My back and abdomen are both hurting, and suddenly I put that together with some other symptoms and realised I most likely have a urinary tract infection, so I need to see about getting in to the doctor this week. I feel like an idiot for not putting two and two together sooner. Granted, I may be wrong, but I'd say there's an 85% chance I'm right. I did finally manage to relax enough to sleep for awhile, but I thought I'd get up for awhile. Then the dreaded TP in the closet incident happened.

One good thing is that I weighed myself today and I am almost seven pounds under what I was a week ago, and twelve pounds under what I was at midweek (my period factors into that, but still I lost actual poundage, not just water weight). I'm now the lowest I've been in a good long while, even lower by a pound than I was right after the ankle injury. Yay! Now if I can just keep going down rather than up. I've been precariously within a few ounces of my highest weight this week as well.

Gamers, I hope you remembered that today, in honour of Gary Gygax (a co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, who died on this date five years ago), is National Game Master's Day. I did. My game master got an Amazon gift card with which he can get a book. I used to give him certificates to our local gaming store, the Rusty Scabbard, but they haven't been as great about ordering the material he follows as they used to be, and special orders have often gone by the wayside since Eric left. So I think he's given up and gone to Amazon. See, it's not always that they're bigger. A lot of it has to do with timeliness and customer service. But in general I would urge you to support your local independent gaming shop if you have one. And by that I mean a place that has roleplaying books and tabletop games, not a Game Stop or similar thing. :)

I found out from Twitter that several of the Schoolhouse Rock (which I have all of on VHS--I'm such a grammar/history/math/science geek) and Bill Nye the Science Guy clips, among other things, were up under Disney Education's channel. I found this gem, which is neither, but will have special significance to a couple of friends of mine. It explains the origin of blue oxen. :)

Thanks to Mignon Fogerty (@GrammarGirl on Twitter), whose re-tweet of a link to 'Conjunction Junction' got me there.

I cannot imagine calmly refusing to help someone to the point where they die

just because of a living centre's policy.

Refusal to Give CPR to Elderly Woman Probed by Police

This is definitely one for the ethicists, but in my mind, unless you know someone has a Do Not Resuscitate order, no matter what kind of facility you are in, if you are trained, you should help, and if you're not trained, you can follow a 911 dispatcher's directions, and policy be damned. Granted, the chances of the elderly lady living were very slim, but to stand by and refuse to help, calmly quoting policy? That's pretty cold. Also, this story says that it wasn't a nurse who was on the line, as was first reported, but in the 911 call I heard, the woman identified herself as a nurse. So I wonder where the confusion on that lies. Anyway, I think some policies are going to be reviewed, not only there but around the country, for these independent living centres. I'm sure these policies are some way to dodge liability, but I don't see how refusing to help does that. If anything, it makes a facility more culpable of death.

Chronicling the true scope of the Nazi machine

The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking
When the research began in 2000, Dr. Megargee said he expected to find perhaps 7,000 Nazi camps and ghettos, based on postwar estimates. But the numbers kept climbing — first to 11,500, then 20,000, then 30,000, and now 42,500.

The numbers astound: 30,000 slave labor camps; 1,150 Jewish ghettos; 980 concentration camps; 1,000 prisoner-of-war camps; 500 brothels filled with sex slaves; and thousands of other camps used for euthanizing the elderly and infirm, performing forced abortions, “Germanizing” prisoners or transporting victims to killing centers.

In Berlin alone, researchers have documented some 3,000 camps and so-called Jew houses, while Hamburg held 1,300 sites.

Dr. Dean, a co-researcher, said the findings left no doubt in his mind that many German citizens, despite the frequent claims of ignorance after the war, must have known about the widespread existence of the Nazi camps at the time.

“You literally could not go anywhere in Germany without running into forced labor camps, P.O.W. camps, concentration camps,” he said. “They were everywhere.”

This story is so sad--I hope they find the driver who took three lives and injured another

Suspect named in hit-and-run crash that killed family
Police on Monday identified a suspect being sought in the Brooklyn hit-and-run deaths of a man, his pregnant wife and the baby she carried.

NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said police are looking for Julio Acevedo, 44, who he said had a DWI arrest last month. Acevedo was going at least 60 mph when the car slammed into the cab [emphasis is mine] carrying the couple to a hospital, police said. The baby, delivered after parents Nachman and Raizy Glauber were killed in the crash, died Monday, a spokesman for the religious community said. Isaac Abraham, spokesman for the family's Orthodox Jewish community, said the boy will be named and circumcised following religious traditions. He had initially been listed in serious condition hours after Saturday's accident, Abraham said. Neighbors and friends said the boy weighed only about 4 pounds.
YKWIA told me about the parents' deaths yesterday, and of the miracle that the child was born alive. I was so sad to hear this morning that the little boy died. My heart goes out to the family and to their community. I so hope the authorities find and prosecute the driver of the vehicle that killed them.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

I'm finally feeling up to maybe watching a little TV

Not that there was anything on cable, really, so I'm watching the fourth episode of 'Downton Abbey', series 1. The sun has come out a bit. I just discovered that only series 1 is available on Netflix streaming (all three are available via DVD). But, series 2 is available on Amazon Prime instant video, and I have access to that as a Prime member, including on my Roku box on the TV, so that's good. But I really do love these so much, I think I'll break down and get the UK original uncut versions on DVD.

It's a brand new day, and

I still feel under the weather. The game was cancelled for today sometime around noon yesterday, since I was sick, so that's just as well. I'm finally eating a bit and up, but eating is a challenge because it's hard to breathe through my nose, and I'm sneezing a lot. So I'm keeping it to a sandwich and leaving it at that. To be honest, I think I'll go back to bed, even though I just got up, now that I've got something in me. Sorry to be fairly boring this weekend. I really do't feel up to finding neat news stories or interesting tech tidbits. I'm just hoping I feel better before work tomorrow. It's kind of a good thing when you get sick on weekends, because you don't miss work, but it's kind of annoying too since it eats up precious free time. Oh, well. Back to bed for me.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Well, I made it through the notes

And they're uploaded and ready to go. I feel a little better, so maybe I will be up to playing tomorrow. I haven't heard anything on that front yet. For now, I think I'm going to go ahead and go listen to some music (I ordered three CDs today from Amazon--Train's California 37, Adele's 21, and Yes' 90125. Each comes with AutoRip, meaning I get the .mp3 version of the album to download immediately, plus the CDs. (It was actually cheaper to get the Train album that way than if I had just purchased the .mp3). Besides, I like CDs, and I can play them in my car, which doesn't have a connexion for a player or phone.) Okay, time to feed the fish and then head back to the bedroom for music time. Good night, in case I don't write any more tonight.


So essentially, except for my posts here when I've eaten, I pretty much have stayed in bed and slept all day. On the one hand, I feel slightly better in the throat area; on the other it's getting towards evening and I think I may have a fever. Not fun. I just called to see if the game is on or off, and got no answer. They're probably in bed, too. I must admit I don't have much appetite tonight, so I just ate a bit of string cheese (mozzarella). In case we play, I will work on the notes, but I really do feel like going back in to the bedroom and curling up in a ball again. I may work for awhile, then sleep, then work.

I'm finally eating lunch (at 3:30)

I really wanted this to come on the radio earlier, but it didn't, so I went to YouTube to see what the video is like. I do like it.

What's not to like about a video with a mariachi band, the Grim Reaper, David Hassellhoff, a rabbi, a lion, and a really ripped man with a jackhammer? :)

Train also does this, another song I've been turning up in the car:


I'm not feeling too well today. I had a nosebleed last night after blowing my nose so much, I woke up with a scratchy throat and very achy, as well as a headache, and I just feel blah. I had originally planned on getting A to help me take electronics recyclables to the recycling centre, but called him and it turns out he feels a little under the weather too. I had promised to take a couple things to YKWIA (who's also feeling awful), so I got ready [I thought the shower would perk me up, but no], got some breakfast and then drove over to Alexandria Drive because I remembered I was on my last Novolog pen and needed to get it since the pharmacy closes early on Saturday, and then ran into the Kroger's there for the items he needed and a few more I did. I dropped them off there, then came home, and now, although I am still needing to work some more on the game notes, I am going back to bed. Given that both the game master and I feel bad, we may not have a game anyway tomorrow. I will try to finish them today, but not right now. Right now I am going to take some pain reliever for my headache and the aches and then go to bed. Hopefully I'll feel better later.

Friday, March 01, 2013

I forgot to mention the milestone I passed today

This morning was the first time since the accident (I was hit by a car in October and it broke my ankle and two metatarsals) that I felt comfortable taking a shower without using a shower chair, and it went really well. I was really careful. But I am essentially healed, although I still wear the bone stimulator (obviously not in the shower). Anyway, I thought I'd mention it, especially for those of you who stuck with me during a relatively boring time as I recuperated. :) Yay!

On a brighter note

I went to the ophthalmologist today and my ocular pressure has actually gone down and there is no sign of diabetes-related changes to my eyes. This is wonderful news.

Of course, to find this out I had to have both numbing drops (for the test for pressure--unlike the optometrists' air-blowing machine, this actually has a part to it that touches the eye) and dilation drops to take pictures of my eye (so I had to use a little sunshade that fits on glasses to drive back to work, even though it was cloudy and snowing). My eyes are still a bit blurry and light-sensitive. I made an appointment for September and asked about the field of vision test. I can wear my contacts for that appointment, and it would be best to do so for that test, as with my glasses I see reflections and hit the button too much, sort of like when you're playing a video game, when in actuality there's only one spot of light at a time.

Definitely scary

Sinkhole opens under Florida house; man feared dead

The hole opened up in his bedroom and swallowed him up. Five people, including a two-year-old, made it out of the house, and surrounding houses were evacuated. I would say this is yet another reason not to live in Florida (I give you alligators, boas, and heat), but the same type of karst topography, where groundwater eats holes in the limestone below the surface, is found in Kentucky. (You might have heard of something called Mammoth Cave, for example, but Kentucky is riddled with caves.) And sinkholes happen here as a result. How horrible for the family. Police pulled his brother away from the sinkhole as he tried to find him because it was expanding and they feared he would be swallowed as well, and things remained too unstable to try to save the man.

There is nothing quite

like coming home and finding a past due hospital bill in your mailbox that is an error to the tune of nearly $10,000, a bill has been sent for review supposedly, and then to find that they close their customer service department down early on Fridays and you've just missed them. Grrrr.... I hope they haven't reported it to a credit bureau yet, as it really is a mistake. They took the part that is written off due to their insurance contract after my insurance paid them and then tried to bill me for it. My part is a co-pay that I already paid on the day of my surgery. They have officially annoyed me.