Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I wish I had someone in my life who felt this way about me



Ex-Montana Teacher to Be Re-Sentenced in Rape Case
former high school teacher who raped a 14-year-old student could be headed back to prison after the Montana Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that his original one-month sentence was too short under state sentencing laws.

The court ordered a new judge to re-sentence defendant Stacey Dean Rambold.

Rambold was released after fulfilling the original sentence last fall, and is expected to remain free pending his reappearance in state District Court.

Wednesday's unanimous decision means Rambold must serve a minimum of two years in prison under state law, Yellowstone County Attorney Scott Twito said.

The high court cited in part the actions of District Judge G. Todd Baugh, of Billings, who caused outrage by suggesting that the victim shared responsibility for her rape and had some control over the situation.

The defendant was a 47-year-old business teacher at Billings Senior High School at the time of the 2007 rape. The victim, one of his students, killed herself in 2010 while Rambold was awaiting trial.

This morning I got up early

and took my car to the auto repair shop, dropping it off at 8:10 am. It took me 20 minutes to get there from my apartment. Then I walked over to Eastland Shopping Centre (the shop is on Industry Road), caught the bus, and came home. I'm already at 4,703 steps for the day, slightly under what I usually get in a day, and that was just the first couple of hours of my day. I got home at 10:20 or so. I forget sometimes just how long it takes to do anything by bus. But I got home for $1, as opposed to taking a cab. I did get some cash out of the bank on my way in case it gets late in the day and I have to take a cab over there to pick it up.

So now I'm home and I've finally eaten something. Now to figure out my plan for attack when it comes to cleaning the house. I think I'll start in the bathroom, which is the smallest and most contained room in the house. :)

RIP Bob Hoskins

Bob Hoskins dies of pneumonia aged 71


Abducted Girls Forced To Marry Nigerian Extremists
Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamic extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday.

Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira ($12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts.
This breaks my heart. To be sold into marriage (which happens far too quickly to girls and young women in our world, and mostly we turn a blind eye to it), especially to thugs who seem to despise women and any kind of education, is terrible. It is a form of slavery. It is unpardonable that this still happens in this day and age, and I hope that the government acts quickly to save these girls, including asking for international help, because so far it seems groups like this can act with impunity there.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

There was a lovely rainbow earlier, but unfortunately

I didn't manage to get a snapshot of it, given that I was driving at the time. Today I took a friend to an appointment and after a torturous commute home through construction, stuck semis, horrible traffic, etc. (it took about an hour and a half total), we brought home some Long John Silver's and I ate with my friends. Then I helped with something that needed to be done there while the rain came down, and then I headed home as it was clearing and a very wide rainbow popped up in the east.

Tomorrow I'm off work. I took off because our clinic census was low due to a conference that several of the doctors are going to, and I decided to clean house and get my car worked on. The car's check engine light has come on again, even after putting in some fuel injector cleaner into the gas for a half of a tank (it had gone out but then popped back on). Also, the air conditioner/heater/defrost fan isn't doing anything when I turn it on, and given the noise it made for awhile, I'd say the motor is kaput. We'll see. I hope they're both easy fixes. The plan is to go over to Mitch's Auto Repair tomorrow by 8 am, drop off the car, and then head home by bus. I need to look up bus times tonight. Then there will be much cleaning, straightening, and organising of the house. My hope is to get it in good shape tomorrow, unlike the five weeks of spring cleaning I did last year, which involved organising and getting books up on shelves and the like. This time the house is basically okay, it just needs some things put away in their places, a good once over with broom, mop, and vacuum, that sort of thing. Then hopefully I can get back and get the car by the time they close tomorrow, get a book of stamps for YKWIA, and then head over there for 'The 100' at 9 pm. We'll see. The car is the most important, since they're only open on weekdays and it'll be easier to take care of on a day off, which I take very rarely.

It's raining again, a gentle, happy rain, the type that's good for the window boxes. :) I'm reading a book on readers' advisory services today, so I think I'm going to go get my Kindle and curl up with it. Good night.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Not that I'm often up late at night watching TV

but when I do, it's the 'Late Late Show' with Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-born host with a very eclectic and funny sense of humour and which often featured folks from 'Dcotor Who'. :) Sadly, there was this in the news tonight:

Craig Ferguson Announces Late-Night Retirement
"CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are 'consciously uncoupling,'" Ferguson said. "But we will still spend holidays together and share custody of the fake horse and robot skeleton, both of whom we love very much."

CBS Entertainment Chairwoman NIna Tassler said Ferguson "infused the broadcast with tremendous energy, unique comedy, insightful interviews and some of the most heartfelt monologues seen on television."
This is my favourite monologue of his:


Coldplay Announces Lyrics Scavenger Hunt in Libraries Worldwide
The band announced today (April 28) they will hide handwritten lyric sheets of Ghost Stories from frontman Chris Martin in nine libraries across the world, creating a scavenger hunt for fans to discover.

Clues to each sheet’s location will be dispensed on Coldplay’s Twitter account. Once a page is found, a photo of it will be uploaded for others to see.
One of the Coldplay lyrics sheets have already been found (in Mexico City, in a volume of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol).

Per the band's website:
One of the hidden envelopes also contains a special Golden Ticket, giving the finder (and a guest) a free trip to London to see Coldplay perform at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 July.

I don't understand why anyone would have done this....

Former Ga. technician falsified mammogram reports
Sharon Holmes found a lump in her left breast quite by accident. At work one day as a high school custodian, her hand brushed up against her chest and she felt a knot sticking out. She was perplexed. After all, just three months earlier, she had been given an all-clear sign from her doctor after a mammogram.

A new mammogram in February 2010 showed she in fact had an aggressive stage 2 breast cancer. The horror of the discovery was compounded by the reason: The earlier test results she had gotten weren't just read incorrectly. They were falsified.

She wasn't alone in facing this news. The lead radiological technologist at Perry Hospital in Perry, a small community about 100 miles south of Atlanta, had for about 18 months been signing off on mammograms and spitting out reports showing nearly 1,300 women were clear of any signs of breast cancer or abnormalities.
The tech was signing various radiologists' names to the documents in order to avoid the paperwork she found onerous. So basically, due to her laziness and lack of work ethic, several women had delayed treatment, and they've had more radical treatment than they might otherwise have had. For this, thanks to a plea deal, she'll serve up to six months plus spend 10 years on probation, unable to work in health care in that time, and pay a fee of $12,500. That seems awfully light considering any of these women might have died thanks to her.

We tend to trust our health providers, sometimes too much, perhaps. While it's one thing for a patient to suffer in some way because of a simple or complex series of mistakes, it's another thing entirely when someone is doing something deliberate without regard for the consequences. FOrtunately those folks are in the minority, hopefully.

I am assuming that these were done through paper charts, and that an electronic health record (EHR) was not in place, because if it had been, then only those with access to the radiologists' credentials (smart card, password, etc.) could have signed for them, making it harder to forge a signature. I suppose it's possible to mess with the system, but it's much less likely than what you can do with paper. Every click I do in the patient's record is recorded, I'm sure, and even if I can't see all the trail, the clinical analysts can. So this is one more argument for implementing an EHR on top of the governmental assistance given.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


This deaf pit bull welcomes home his 'daddy' after a weekend of training with the National Guard. Even though it's a quiet welcome, it's definitely an excited 'hello'. What a happy dog. :)

Well, that was gross

I opened a container of Philadelphia garden vegetable 1/2-fat cream cheese and it was positively soupy. It could have been used in place of ranch dip. I'd just bought it at the store; it wasn't out of the refrigerator long. It didn't smell bad; it just never set up, apparently. But it's scary, so no eating it. So I am now eating Havarti cheese on my everything bagel instead.

It's been a couple of busy days. Yesterday I went into work early to make up some time from an appointment. Afterwards, I looked up something without success for a friend (but not for lack of trying--it had to do with chemistry and Jewish religious literature). After admitting defeat, I laid down for a bit and listened to some music. Then I went over there for 'Grimm', and went to bed once I got home about 10:45.

Today I tried to get up early to do some things around here, but to no avail. I started my morning trying to chase two Yorkshire terriers (no, I don't have any dogs, these were just running loose down Pimlico Parkway towards of Man O'War, but I couldn't catch them). I do hope they found their way home. The smallest one was really hard to see from a car. Then I visited my friends, took one to pay a bill, get some things from the pharmacy, and go to the grocery store. We all ate, and then YKWIA showed me a video on YouTube and we discussed it. Then we went hunting for an item or two at Macy's at the mall.

Now it's almost 8:30 pm and I am home and am listening to Of Monsters and Men's My Head is an Animal. I don't have to do notes tonight (I finished those last week). I have watered all the plants inside and out. I should work on the house, but frankly, I'm not sure I'm up to it right now. I'm afraid it's a little overwhelming at the moment. I have things strewn everywhere. Funny, I can be so organised at work, but at home it's chaos if I don't really work on it. But I'd like to get it straightened up so I can have company over to watch a movie. Maybe I could try to wake up early (assuming I go to bed earlier than normal). But tomorrow's already going to be pretty busy, between game prep, game, 'Salem', dog washies, and helping a friend do a project. Oh, and I have to finish a class by Monday. I have some videos to watch and a small project to do if I want to finish. Whew. So Monday might be better for housework. Or, several of our doctors are going to POSNA next week (Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America), so it will be pretty slow at work, especially on Wednesday. I don't have much personal time off, but I may try to get off then. That would give me most of the day to work on the house, until it's time to go over for 'The 100'. [Which, incidentally, YKWIA had a very good point the other night--the name should be changing each week to reflect the people in the group who have died on the show.]

Okay, I think I will go try to do something relaxing and fun. I feel I've earned it.

Friday, April 25, 2014


That's what the blue flower is. I should have known that, as I've grown it before and it's very common in containers. You can make a tea out of some varieties.

Window boxes!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A 'Throwback Thursday' picture

I think I'm about four. In the original picture, I'm holding a baby, a cousin, I think, who is about half my size.

I have made an absolute mess in my dining area...but

I now have three windowboxes of geraniums, petunias, and a delicate blue flower that I'm not sure of the name (it looks a bit like flax), one per window. I also repotted a Norfolk Virginia pine, a prayer plant, a spider plant, a Christmas cactus and two Croton plants. I went through three medium bags of Miracle-Gro potting soil that regulates moisture and is good for containers.

Even though I live in an apartment, I garden. Here is what I grow:
  1. Geraniums, pinkish-lavender (2)
  2. Geraniums, white a pink bicolour (2)
  3. Geraniums, salmon pink (2)
  4. A pink petunia
  5. A purple petunia
  6. The flax-like blue flower, which I will check tomorrow and see what the tag says
    At the apartment:
  1. A spider plant
  2. A Norfolk Virgina pine
  3. A trailing hoya
  4. A purple African violet
  5. A lavender and white bicolour African violet
  6. Crotons (2)
  7. A Christmas cactus
  8. CAn umbrella plant
  9. A prayer plant
  10. A flamingo plant
  11. An aloe vera
  12. An amaryllis
    At work:
  1. A cyclamen
  2. A jade plant
  3. A purple passion plant
  4. A Christmas cactus
  5. A purple African violet (huge)
  6. Its baby
  7. Another purple African violet
  8. A pink variegated African violet
  9. A dark pink, almost maroon African violet
  10. A purple oxalis (commonly and mistakenly called shamrocks)
  11. A green oxalis
If I counted correctly, that's 33 plants. Not bad for someone without space for an actual garden.

I'm glad I did this tonight. I was feeling a bit put out and annoyed. As a T-shirt once said 'I love gardening. It's cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.' :) This year I decided to focus on flowers, not edibles or herbs. Hopefully, they'll do fine. Okay, I really should go clean up this stuff on my dining table. Really.

Just got home from the dentist a little while ago

They prepared my tooth that had the recalictrant canals for a crown, took impressions, and put a temporary on it. They also were able to fix my lower partials, which broke when I dropped my purse (they had been inside a plastic container). It was suggested to me that if I transport them like that at all, I should have a washcloth in the bottom of the container. I hadn't thought of that (although it's a rather small container, so it would have to be a small, thin one, or one cut down). Anyway, I have now eaten and although I'm tired, I'm going to go back out. I was about to plant some flowers and then watch 'The Big Bang Theory', but alas, I need to take a friend to the store for a few things to tide them over till Saturday. That really is more important. Oh, well. I'll set 'Big Bang' to record and plant the flowers when I get home, if there's any light. Otherwise there's tomorrow, I guess, although that's a 'Grimm' night. But I'll get them taken care of, even if I have to do it inside where there's some light.

The sky is so clear tonight

I'm tempted to take my telescope out for viewing. For one thing, I can actually see the North Star from my apartment, which is not so common, and which the telescope uses to go to all other positions in its database. For another, Mars is extremely clear just to the naked eye. But, alas, it is late. I'm very tempted to join a local astronomy club (Bluegrass Amateur Astronomy Club) that meets monthly out at the Raven Run Nature Sanctuary to view the sky through telescopes. I think I would learn a lot, and it's just $10 a year. The next viewing date is Saturday. :)

Years ago

I signed a petition asking the state of Kentucky to issue a licence plate to benefit our libraries. Today I followed that up by getting one. :) So now I have a plate that has 'READ' on a book with the shape of Kentucky mixed in. Here are details for getting one: Kentucky Motor Vehicle Licensing System: Kentucky Library Association Plate. $10 of the fee goes to the Kentucky Library Association, and according to the Lexington Public Library, this funds library science scholarships. :)

Interesting bit of history

SS City of Chester, Sunken 1888 Shipwreck, Found Near Golden Gate Bridge
The find is significant, Delgado said, because its revelation allows the public to learn more about ordinary people put in extraordinary circumstances. And re-examining the story of the ship, he said, allows for a bit of Gold Rush-era Chinese bigotry to be erased.

The shipwreck, which occurred following a collision with a boat carrying Chinese immigrants, was initially blamed on the passengers and crew of the other ship involved. While it was later revealed that the Chester was at fault -- and Chinese crew worked to save the lives of those on board -- the wreck "was then largely forgotten," according to the NOAA.

Cats and coffee in one place

Behold America's One and Only Cat Café
Ladies and Gentlemen, have a look around America's very first cat café, which pet food brand Purina ONE is hosting as a pop-up on the Bowery tomorrow through Sunday. Just like its Asian and European counterparts, this Cat Café provides the opportunity to drink a latte while completely surrounded by cats.
The cats come from a local shelter and are offered up for adoption. So if you're in New York and love cats, be sure to catch this pop-up café while you can. :)

In honour of the 450th anniversary of the Bard's birth

45 Everyday Phrases Coined By Shakespeare

I am such a language geek. It still irks me that I had but one class left to complete a linguistics major, one which never fit into my schedule. Damn you, phonological analysis!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Taking a night to myself

I've got the window open and the late evening sun is coming through the sheers, which are being lifted by a nice breeze. Tonight it's going to get down to about 36 degrees, and I have geraniums over at my friends' house out on the back sidewalk in pots, so they're going to bring them in for me just to be sure everything is fine. Tomorrow I'll go over there, help make a store run, watch 'The 100', and get the geraniums.

Tonight I need to do some things around the house, but I also want to relax and have a little fun. I may watch an episode of 'Sherlock' from the DVR, as I still haven't seen the third season but have it recorded. But first I'm going to do a little reading. I'll write later, most likely. Sorry, I didn't see anything in the news I felt like commenting on today yet, except maybe the stupidity of stowing away in a jet's wheel well from San Jose to Hawaii. But for now, I'll just leave it at that. My computer is doing this really slow-typing thing for some reason and I just want to get away from it for awhile.

The other day

I posted this on Facebook:

I thought maybe I was being unfair. See, the story was of a baboon father that rushed to his infant's aid after the mother was killed by a lioness and it was being held in her clutches. I remember thinking, hey, the baboon gets it, why don't some men? And then I thought, gee, Lisa, that's awfully cynical. And then I saw this the very next day:

Deputies: Man Smothered Crying Son Over Video Game
Wygant said he was frustrated because the boy was crying uncontrollably, preventing him from playing his Xbox games, according to investigators. He covered the boy's nose and mouth for three to four minutes until he became lethargic, then placed him in a playpen and covered him with bedding, which was tucked around the boy's body and head, officials said.

Wygant didn't check on Daymeon for five hours, investigators said, while he played Xbox and watched three episodes of the television show "Fringe." By the time he checked on the child, Daymeon had turned blue and was unresponsive, they said.
The 24-year-old seemed to have no value for his son's life; it was all about what he wanted to do. I told YKWIA about this story, and he was of the opinion that this guy should 'have a testical-ectomy, and his penis too, and pee through a straw' rather than have any other children again. I can see his point. I definitely hope justice is served in this case. And no offence to the good people of Florida (and there must be some) but my goodness, what is it with Florida and these news stories? Any desire I ever had to visit the state dried up a long time ago. I've read so many stories, from shooting unarmed teens and people in theatres to extreme bullying by throwing accelerant on a kid and lighting them on fire. I know every place has its issues, but still. Maybe that's a little unfair, but that's how I feel.

Now this is real librarianship!

The Brave Saga of Timbuktu: Abdel Kader Haidara--The Librarian Revived Interest in Mali's Illustrious Past, Then Tried to Save It from Jihadists
Over nine traumatic months, Haidara and his team rescued 350,000 manuscripts from 45 different libraries in and around Timbuktu and hid them in Barnako, more 400 miles from the AQIM-controlled north.
This was done with great personal risk, and with risk that the precious texts could be destroyed at any checkpoint. I applaud their continued efforts to save their culture from those who would destroy it out of ignorance and hate. This is the type of 'guerilla librarianship' which inspires those of us devoted to preserving information for future generations.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I got my new glasses today

These are a little stronger, both in the regular prescription and the bifocal, so I'm having a bit of a fishbowl effect going on. But I'm getting used to them already. I can see much clearer. My other glasses were about three years old, at least (although I've been wearing bifocal contacts the majority of the time, so it hasn't been that bad). These are more rectangular than my old ones, which were circular. I'm hoping they will give the illusion that my face isn't quite so round. Oh, and of course, they are my favourite colour--purple, though a little thicker and darker than the ones I had. I also put my order in for new contacts, as I've been wearing a trial pair for a couple of weeks now, and they should arrive in about a week.

Yesterday we wound up cancelling the game, so I got those applications into the library. First thing this morning, I renewed my American Library Association and Kentucky Library Association memberships, which had lapsed, so my résumé would be entirely accurate. :) I'd meant to renew, anyway, but that added some extra incentive. I also belong to the Medical Library Association, but that was renewed in January. Tonight I took some library books back, both for myself and for a friend, and then got some books on job interviews. Please keep your fingers crossed that I get that far!

Last night YKWIA watched 'Salem' on WGN. It was well-done in terms of story and suspense. It's not the most historically accurate show there could be (as YKWIA pointed out, the most glaring bit of wrongness is that while the trials were in Salem, the events happened in nearby Danvers Village, which was never mentioned). But overall, I am intrigued and want to see where they go with it. So right now we're mainly watching that and 'The 100' on Wednesday's CW lineup.

I'm home now. I think I'll do a bit of reading and listen to some music. If for some reason I don't write again tonight, have a great evening.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

For YKWIA and others who have not seen this

particularly if you eschew Facebook. I shared it this morning there, so I'm doing so here as well. From Grammarly.com's Facebook page originally, I believe:


Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart
When Helen Felumlee passed away at the age of 92 Saturday morning, her family knew her husband Kenneth Felumlee, 91, wouldn't be slow to follow her. The couple couldn't bear to be apart very long, and Kenneth passed away only 15 1/2 hours after his wife of 70 years.

Things to do, things to do

I slept in a bit, and I have eaten breakfast and listened to some of the Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 show, but now I have to buckle down. This weekend I should:
  1. Take some items back to the library
  2. Work on my résumé and check on some things for a couple of job applications
  3. Work on the game notes
  4. Garden if there's time--get the windowboxes out and ready to plant
  5. Pick up some medicine for a friend's pet
  6. Re-arrange some books and electronics for a friend
  7. Watch "Midnight Offerings" with a friend
Tomorrow we're on for the game, so there will be house cleaning and game stuff to do. So a pretty full weekend is in the works. So I should go ahead and go shower and get ready. I'm going to try that green apple and ginger shampoo and conditioner. It smells lovely. And the weather is sunny for both today and tomorrow, and the temps should be in the 70s. Yay. Have a good day.

DVR is set, in case I'm not home yet tonight

The Real History of Science Fiction – Episode One Airs Tonight On BBC America at 10pm ET

Friday, April 18, 2014

In bed listening to Of Monsters and Men

'From Finner', in fact, from their album My Head is an Animal. I'm home after spending some time with YKWIA, although sadly, there was actually no 'Grimm' tonight. This afternoon I went by the pharmacy and then stopped by Good Foods Co-op and paid my owner's fee instalment and got some nummy things and some green apple and ginger shampoo and conditioner. Then I went over to YKWIA's, and over to Kroger for some things for them, and then back again. Now I'm home. The week seems like it's lasted a long time, although of course that's just my perception.

I did get some good news today. Two jobs opened up in the area, so I'm going to work on my applications and résumé so I can get them submitted in time. Wish me luck!

Okay, seems like my computer wants to do some automatic updating and plans to shut down in 11 minutes. Time for bed, anyway. Good night.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Made a dental appointment today for next week

and explained the situation with the broken partial. She said to bring it with me and they could see about repairing it. Let's hope that will work. I did forget to call the optometrist, though, so that's something for tomorrow.

Today went pretty well. I was busy but not overwhelmingly so. I dropped something over at YKWIA's and took a quick look at a problem on his computer, which I fixed, then headed home, opened the windows, and took a nap. I then got up and did some work on the house and watered the plants, which were a bit parched, and I fed the fish. Afterwards I ate a late dinner and did some stuff online. Now I'm debating on whether to go on to bed and try to get up early, or maybe do a little reading and listening to music. I got enough of a boost from the nap that I'm not quite sleepy yet. So I think I'll do the latter. I wish my phone still worked in my dock, as that made things easier. But I still have CDs to play in the little boom box next to the bed, and that works well for relaxing right before bed. Tomorrow I need to go by the pharmacy and the library. I have several items due.

Take care, and good night.

RIP Mick, a brave officer, who happened to be a dog

Wounded Portland police Officer Jeff Dorn says his K9 kept him alive: 'Mick saved my life'

Touching Surprise Procession for Fallen Hero K-9 Dog
"In this situation, the dog was doing its job. It was protecting our community. It's tragic that we lost the dog," said Portland Police Chief Mike Reese. "As far as a handler, my heart goes out to him and his family,” said Hall. “It’s almost like losing somebody close to you, like a family member almost; I mean they’re part of the family, they live with us."
Mick was found dead of a gunshot wound under a hedge after an intensive search by police, volunteers, and others. The German Shepherd had just completed training for K-9 duty in March.

This is so very disturbing...

Leaflet tells Jews to register in East Ukraine
World leaders and Jewish groups condemned a leaflet handed out in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk in which Jews were told to "register" with the pro-Russian militants who have taken over a government office in an attempt to make Ukraine part of Russia, according to Ukrainian and Israeli media.

Jews emerging from a synagogue say they were handed leaflets that ordered the city's Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee "or else have their citizenship revoked, face deportation and see their assets confiscated," reported Ynet News, Israel's largest news website, and Ukraine's Donbass news agency.

Secretary of State John Kerry said the language of the leaflets "is beyond unacceptable" and condemned whomever is responsible.

"In the year 2014, after all of the miles traveled and all of the journey of history, this is not just intolerable — it's grotesque," he said. "And any of the people who engage in these kinds of activities — from whatever party or whatever ideology or whatever place they crawl out of — there is no place for that."
It's scary that here at the time of Passover (Pesach), anti-Semites are rearing their ugly heads by trying to bully Jews in the Ukraine in a move reminiscent of 1930s Germany. Although the leader of the pro-Russian faction in Donetsk did say they were distributed under his organisation's name, he denied responsibility for them. But even if they were meant to scare the Jewish community and were not backed up with force, it is still disturbing. And if it is ever made policy, we could have a very serious situation on our hands. Anyone with an ounce of understanding of history should be concerned. As the anti-Semitic shootings in Kansas recently show, hatred for Jews is still quite alive and well here in the United States in 2014. For Eastern Europe, the history of anti-Semitism and pogroms is far longer. I hope nothing comes of the Ukrainian story, but I fear there will be more like this if the region destabilises. And may there be justice in the case in Kansas.

Thanks to my friend Jody for posting the Ukrainian story on Facebook.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tomorrow I need

to call my optometrist and order new contacts (my glasses are already ordered at the optician's) and then call my dentist and make an appointment for the restoration and crown on that troublesome molar, which the endodontist could not totally take care of. Apparently one channel is still calcified. She said if I ever had trouble with it, I would require some minor surgery. She wants to see me in a month, too. I also need to tell my dentist about the broken partial. We'll see what can be done about that. It is a temporary one, at least. And there is a warranty on the finished product of about six months, too. So hopefully it won't cost much more. I am reminded of the skeleton that Charlton Heston finds in the original Planet of the Apes, where the person had various aids to help his body's deficits, or the snake in The Seven Faces of Doctor Lao, who makes fun of the frailties of the human body. Between my eyes, my teeth, and my aches and pains, I'm feeling my age of late.

I just haven't felt myself lately. Partly it's my blood sugar, which has been higher since I changed from the Invokana to Byetta, and I haven't been eating particularly well the last couple of days, either. I'm going to try to be better on that. But even with just the medicine change, I'm suddenly up in the 300s in the morning, which is not good at all.

Tonight I went over to YKWIA's and watched 'The 100'. I hadn't seen it in a couple of weeks. It was a really good episode. I like the show quite well. It really keeps one's interest, going back and forth between the ark in space and the kids on earth who are the test subjects for whether mankind can survive in a post-nuclear world.

But now I'm home, and I think I'm going to just turn in. I'm still working on waking up early enough to do something around the house. If not, I usually stay home on Thursday nights, so I can work on it then. Friday's 'Grimm'. Saturday I've got a project already lined up, but I won't be taking A to the grocery, as he'll be out of town. Sunday may be the game, so tomorrow I should try to do the game notes. Anyway, have a good night.

Well, drat

I broke my lower partial denture. I now have two halves. Fortunately these are temporary ones, but grrr. Tomorrow I go back to the endodontist to see if she can finish the root canal on my tooth with the calcified canals. Then I'll set up an appointment with my dentist. I have been having trouble with the lower ones and was going to ask them to assist them, but now I'll have to see what they will do.

A quick review of the Samsung Galaxy S5

Things I like about the S5 (some of the features are based on 4.4.2 Kit Kat software, which is what I have on it). My last phone was a Samsung Galaxy S3, so it's a comparison to that:
  1. Appearance: I like the dimpling on the back, which if out of case, makes it easier to hold. I got the white one, since I wasn't able to go over there on the first day due to the Chicago trip, and they just had white rather than black. But that's fine, I put them in cases anyway, and bought an Incipio lavender and grey case that works really well.
  2. Much faster processing power than my S3.
  3. The battery life. On an average day, my S3 was dead in the water without a boost by the end of the day. Today my S5 is greater than 50% without any charging and its almost midnight, and that's using a live wallpaper.
  4. Having a shortcut to the camera on the lockscreen (yes, even when locked with PIN or fingerpint), although sometimes it takes more than one swipe.
  5. The heart monitor/fitness application and ability to work with Samsung Fit (which I do not have, but can see how it would be a benefit for some).
  6. The ability to add home screens (up to 7) and organize applications into folders even in the applications area (not just the home screens).
  7. The camera is much better than my old S3.
  8. The phone is rated for water. It is less likely to die if dropped into something wet, etc.
  9. It comes with a quick charger that is two-pronged USB 3.0 but still takes a normal USB car charger or other charger, as the right half of the two prongs is the regular USB socket.
  10. It comes with a very sturdy pair of ear phones that have volume buttons and an on/off button on the for easy volume control. Unlike some that come with ear buds, these have equal length, rather than the ones that are shorter on one side (those drive me crazy).
Things I dislike about the S5:
  1. The cover over the USB charging port means it doesn't fit my dock anymore and the stupid thing will probably break at some point, as it's not very sturdy-looking, being kept on by a small rubber loop. Of course, this probably does have something to do with that waterproof rating.
  2. It's a little hard to find wallets or purses with phone pouches that will fit the phone with a case on, because of its size. With my Incipio case on, for example, the dimensions are 5 3/4" x 3 1/8" x 9/16" . I did have a Vera Bradley all-in-one crossbody, and it did fit in the pocket without a case on at all, but the idea of going out without a case really defeated the point of using it daily, so I sold the wallet to a co-worker whose iPhone (much smaller) fit with a case. I won't give up, though. In the meantime, I've ordered a little $10 case from Amazon that has credit card slots and a space for cash (not change) and a wristlet, where you can still access the camera, heart-rate monitor, and speaker. I've also ordered a fitness holder for putting on your arm while walking.
  3. The left-handed settings key being made a 'recent' key instead, like it was in Ice Cream Sandwich. I really wish Google would make up its mind over this. The settings key is frankly more useful. I've very rarely used the recent button in any iteration of Android I've had, and I've experienced Froyo, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and now Kit Kat.
Things I'm a bit indifferent on:
  1. Fingerprint scanning: It is a great idea, impressive when it works, and it does work, but sometimes it works better than others. Trying to unlock it outside in the snow was impossible this morning. Getting it at just the right angle seems key. Plus, if it doesn't work after so many tries, you don't go to your PIN if you have one set up, but rather a backup password which is longer and a mix of letters and numbers, and that takes longer in the long run to get into the phone.
  2. Samsung has replaced Google Now (which intuitively provides 'cards' related to your e-mails, shopping, searches, etc.) with 'My Magazine' to the left of the home screens, which is a Flipboard-like news magazine. Unfortunately, it is more annoying than useful. However, you can customise content within its settings and actually remove it from display (you do this by long-pressing on a homescreen blank area, go to Home screen settings from the bottom of the screen and uncheck the box under My Magazine that says 'View all My Magazine updates in one place on the home screen'. You can access Google Now by pressing on search field for Google, but you can't add a widget to the home screen for Google Now like we used to have.
  3. The inability to move applications to the SD card. I'm a bit indifferent on this because I wasn't doing it. I did a lot when I had Froyo, then Ice Cream Sandwich took the ability away except for very large applications. Then Jelly Bean restored the ability, but I used my SD card primarily for music, pictures, and documents, along with data from some applications. So I was able to just transfer my card without any issues.
Is it really worth the price of upgrading to a new phone? The jury's out on that. From an S4 to an S5, unless you really wanted to get the heart-rate monitor or something, probably not. From the S3, I think its performance and the fact that the S3 will not probably receive much in the way of new updates, it was worth it. It is much faster, has a much better battery, etc. You can get a battery cover that will allow for wireless charging (I'm not sure that's available for the S4). I just wish I could use my dock, which I use to play music at night and route it through my boom box by the bed, then wake up to alarms that are louder since it's got the boom box speakers to boost them. I did try with the little door pushed all the way back, and it did plug up, but it didn't charge or actually connect. So, no dock, and I don't see one listed for the S5 anywhere, probably because of that little annoying door.

Carriers vary in their offers, of course. I got mine down with 40% down and $15 a month, with no contract, and with T-Mobile's Jump, which not only insures the phone but which, once it's paid half off (which will be three months for me, since I went ahead and put so much down), I could technically upgrade to a new phone in three months. But I do like this one overall and will probably keep it for awhile, anyway. Anyway, I thought this might be useful for someone looking to upgrade. And that My Magazine tip doesn't appear on any of the forums I've found as of yet, but I came across it and thought I'd share. If you want to enable My Magazine after disabling it, just re-check that box.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Well, that was a four-hour 'nap'

but I feel much better. :) I guess I really was just that tired. I didn't really rest much this weekend after getting back from Chicago. I did sleep some last night but I needed more, I suppose. Plus, my blood sugar has been up since my medicine was changed. And I mean really up, like in the high 300s in the morning, so even by late in the day it's still high. It's been a struggle not falling asleep in the mornings, nevermind the afternoon and evenings. I'm going to try to change my eating some and see if I can bring it down.

Yet again I have fallen asleep when I have stuff to do. I'm a little bleary-eyed now, but If I get up early tomorrow morning, I might still be able to get some things done. I'm going to take some meds that should help and then go back to bed in a bit.

Feeling a little tired and blah

I've been fairly bouncy all day, and very chatty, but my oomph has faded away and I think it's time to try to recharge a little tonight. So I'm going to lie down for just a bit (really, I'll set a couple of alarms) and then get up and work on the house, since I didn't get it straightened up before my trip. I'll be sure to write later, too. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

I am a little put out with Mother Nature at the moment

And no, it's not the fact this weekend it was sunny and 80 degrees, but we're supposed to wake up tomorrow with possible snow and frost warnings. Rather, it's because the first lunar eclipse to be visible from this area in about two years is probably going to be a bust because of cloud cover. If you're in the Americas and the weather's clear, you should see the moon turn red about 2 am. But still, I'll set my alarm just in case. And you can watch online, but I'm sorry, it's just not the same. :(

Sunday, April 13, 2014

This weekend I:

  1. Upgraded my phone to a new Samsung Galaxy S5.
  2. Learned to use the new features and Kit Kat 4.4.2.
  3. Added my applications from Google Play and Amazon onto the new phone, put them in order, and created screens of widgets.
  4. Went to the library, picking up an interlibrary loan and hold, and giving back an ILL book and a DVD they'd sent me by mistake.
  5. Picked up a book I'd ordered for a friend from Barnes & Noble.
  6. Prepared my crossbody wallet for a co-worker who's interested in buying it, changing my cards, etc., over to a plain wallet. I've only had it for a short time, and it's a pretty Vera Bradley, but the new phone doesn't fit with its case, and probably not without it, either. The other one barely did, and it was two models back and smaller. If anyone knows one that would fit a Galaxy S5, let me know. This one had a wallet, the pocket for the phone, a wristlet, and strap across the body. I will miss it. It's great for not having to bring my whole purse with me to stores, etc., or wandering around work (my phone keeps track of my steps, and sadly, I don't always have pockets.
  7. Spent time over at my friends' house, where I (in no particular order):
    1. Watched The Bad Seed (again), bits and pieces of 'Law & Order', Take the Lead, 'The Astonishing X-Men', and some of an animated movie of Doctor Strange.
    2. Took a friend to the grocery.
    3. Hung sheers and drapes.
    4. Cleaned their house.
    5. Did my laundry.
    6. Ate carryout from Texas Roadhouse.
So it's been a fairly busy weekend, but fun, and it was nice to be back in beautiful Lexington with friends. Now I'm cooling off (hot again) and will probably turn in for bed. Good night.

I love this scene

from Take the Lead, starring Antonio Banderas, which I watched with YKWIA tonight. It was fun. Once again, he picked a good movie from the Netflix DVD library.

Friday, April 11, 2014


In Lexington, at home, in my own bed, in the right time zone. Still a little pumped from the trip. And hot. I was hot in Chicago, where it was sunny and 70 degrees, I was hot on the plane and used the fan. Now, even though it's only April, it was stuffy when I got home so I put on the air conditioner and am in front of a fan. And they tell me my hormones are normal and I'm not hitting menopause yet. Maybe it's all that insulation I have. Anyway, I'm glad I'm back. I really appreciate the beauty of Lexington and the Bluegrass now. And I missed knowing where on earth I was going, too. :) Now I'm listening to music (James Blunt). I accidentally checked my headphones, so I couldn't listen to my phone's music at the airport, at least without raising the ire of my fellow passengers. I think I'm going to put my feet up and if I fall on to sleep, so be it. I've been up for hours, I've done a lot of walking, and I'm tired.


Tonight my phone was really low on battery and I decided to charge it a bit before calling home, and then I fell asleep. Now it's one in the morning their time. Trust Lisa to sleep, but in my defense I'd been going non-stop for over eighteen hours.

I decided I didn't have enough time to do the Field Museum justice after taking the L and a bus here and eating breakfast, so I explored the campus here. But tonight we went out to Greektown and had real flaming cheese (3 foot high flames!) and I had great moussaka.

We got back 8 central time, I got comfy in the hotel room (it's a three star hotel, so not bad for business travel) and then just went plunk.

Tomorrow I have a meeting from 8:30-1 and then I'll try to have some fun.

Three things about Lexington I miss:

1) My friends, of course.
2) the fact that it's already greening up at home, but here it's mostly concrete and even the parks I have seen are still brown. I have not seen one flowering tree, just a few daffodils that haven't opened yet.
3) even sidewalks--a lot of that concrete is pocked, uneven, or downright crumbling. One of my colleagues almost fell. Some corners just crumble into the street. Maybe that's just the Medical District, but I doubt it. Anyway, with my history of klutziness, I am trying to be careful of the pavement and traffic.

Okay, back to bed. I want to take a relaxing bath tomorrow morning before the meeting. Good night.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

So, I'm in Chicago

I got in about 6:20 local time. Both YKWIA and a co-worker called me at 3 am and 4 am, respectively. Turns out I was awake, (I didn't sleep much or well), but it was really appreciated. I got to the airport right at 5 EDT. There was no trouble getting to the gate. I was buckled into my seat when they asked for volunteers to go to the back of the plane. We only had about thirty passengers on the small plane since it was so early, and they needed to distribute the weight. When I went to the new seat at the wing, which is single, sharing the aisle and window, I couldn't get that one buckled and had to ask for an extender, which made things more comfortable. Of course, it was the one she used to demonstrate the belt.

I had planned to hang around O'Hare for awhile and get something to eat and shop, but at the last minute I decided to check my bag, so I had to exit the secure area to pick it up. Then the board was saying the baggage claim was number three when in fact it was at nine. Next time I think I'll just take my bag with me and do what I did last time--carry it to the boarding and they just load it there. Saves money, too.

So I decided to buy a ticket for the L and rode over to the Racine stop, then took a bus a couple of blocks to the street where my hotel is. I went ahead and had them take my luggage after I pulled out the necessities. I exchanged my slip-on shoes for my walking ones and assembled my backpack purse with things like guide book, medicine, etc .

I did a preliminary check in (everything except getting the key). I was famished, so I ate at the hotel's breakfast buffet. I had a veggie egg white omelet, some oatmeal and berries, and part of a cinnamon Danish.

Then I decided that if I went to the Field Museum, I might get to sere some of it but only had a couple or so hours to enjoy it and would be worried about getting to the seminar on time. So I decided to explore the area, and found the UIC Student Center West with much less trouble than last time. So now I'm here, after visiting a lovely jewelry sale in the lobby. I found some nice shell or moonstone earrings, along with amethyst and rose quartz pendants.

So the question is whether I should hang out here for awhile or explore some more. I've already exceeded my normal daily steps by about 2,000. I am glad I have my inhaler with me, as there is a lot of car exhaust and other pollution here compared to Lexington.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Seven hours before liftoff and I have decided that

I will just have to live with being a slob, and the house will not be straightened up, and the best I can do is take the trash out so nothing goes sour and live with it. It took an hour and a half to pack. I am terrified that I will oversleep. I have set no less than eight alarms on three devices, plus arranged for a co-worker who is insomniac to call me in the wee hours of the morning if she happens to be up. I don't know what else I can do.

One nice thing is that my CPAP humidifier comes off completely, halving the size. I'm carrying it in a very small bag, which includes my liquids, my medicines, my tablet, and Kindle. I'm not taking the laptop. I unfortunately could not fit the hose and face masque into the small bag, so it's in the rolling bag. Unless it's somehow too heavy, I should be able to not officially check that bag, but rather on a plane this small, they usually just tag it and put it in the back so as to free overhead compartment room.

I debated on saying anything about the timing of the trip, simply because it's an invitation for mayhem when you're away. Hopefully none of you who might be horribly drawn to crime are reading this and know where I live. I try not to be terribly specific. Someone might figure out the general location, but hopefully my specific apartment number isn't out there. But unless you plan on stealing books, there's not much of value in my house, really. :) Even the laptop is extremely basic.

Anyway, I'm charging up the electronics, I've packed and laid out my clothes for tomorrow. I'm going to wear my slip-on Birkenstocks through the airports but change to my regular walking shoes for sight-seeing. I tried to find a pair of pants that would have decent pockets in the front but still work for a business meeting, unlike my jeans, but alas, both Lane Bryant and Gabriel Brothers failed me. I called LB earlier and just asked, saving myself a trip to the mall. I went to Gabriel Brothers briefly to look, picking up a small umbrella, as there's about a 30-40% chance of rain tomorrow, and some underwear. On the way there was an accident involving a motorcycle. I don't think the cyclist was terribly hurt, as he was up and walking, but it tore his mirror off the cycle and I'm not sure what all else. I didn't actually see what caused him to wreck, just him falling, as I was several cars back, so I didn't wait for the police once he got up and got out of the street. But it was scary. I hope he's okay, although I suspect the bike is very much the worse for wear. But he didn't have a helmet on, so it could have been much worse. And I'm glad I wasn't involved. One, having been run over by a car, I try to avoid doing that to others. Two, the last thing I would need is a last-minute accident right before the trip. As you may remember, I was hit by a car last time I was supposed to go to Chicago.

So the only things left are to pull the CPAP back out, go to bed, get up early, take out the trash, and then get ready to head over to the airport. I should probably get some cash to tuck about my person, too, for the trip, while I'm still around an ATM that won't charge me. Good night.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Well, that's a relief

So, for some reason, I thought the Transportation Security Administration's 3-1-1 rule for liquids meant that the total liquid allowed was 3.4 oz, when it's individual bottles under that, with the quart-sized clear bag limiting the overall amount allowed per passenger. I was concerned because yesterday when I was at the optometrist's office, I asked for one of those little starter packs because they come with a travel-sized bottle, but the old ones were smaller than this one, which was 2 oz on its own. So I was trying to figure out what else I could take on my upcoming trip to Chicago. But I should be able to get that in the bag, along with the sample bodywash I have and some other necessities with no problem. And I don't have to include my injectable medicines, at least. So I'm good.
    Things to do before the trip:
  1. Clean house. I hate the idea of coming back to an unkempt house, and if (Gods forbid) anything happens, I'd hate for my friends and family to have to deal with my mess.
  2. Figure out if I'm going to take my laptop or not. I don't really need to. It's a short trip, after all. I have other ways to get online, too. If I take it, I have to use its case as the second carry-bag, put my CPAP in larger bag (it will fit in the tiny case that came with the set, but I can't have that and the laptop bag, unless I check the larger case). Also, I'd have to put the following in the bins to be screened separately from the luggage: shoes and any jacket, laptop, CPAP, and liquids. That's quite a bit of bringing forth items through security.
  3. Set a gazillion alarms the night before. I don't wake up easily like I used to. I have to get up by 3:30-4 am in order to get to the airport in time to go through security and be there for my flight, which is very early. The plan is to go to bed by 8 if possible, as I have a very busy couple of days once I wake up.
  4. Do a little laundry. Yeah, I meant to do that this weekend. Mainly I want to make sure I have a couple of decent outfits and enough underwear, etc., for them.
  5. Get all my printouts together. I have my confirmation to check in with, and definitely want a couple of copies of that, along with info on the sights and the actual meeting/seminar I'm going to.
  6. Relax. Preparation got me through last time really well. And last time I did the whole trip and only spent $20. This time I should actually be able to have some fun.
Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Looking forward to this...

Check out the all-American lunar eclipse on April 15!
Do you not really enjoy sleeping? Do you live in North and/or South America? Then check out the Moon on April 15 for some sweet lunar eclipse shenanigans!


Philadelphia plays Tetris on a 29-story skyscraper
Game designers played Tetris on the side of a 29-story skyscraper in Philadelphia on Saturday night.

The exhibition at Philly Tech Week‘s celebration of cool technology was one of a number of events that will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Tetris, which Alexey Pajitnov created in the former Soviet Union and Henk Rogers brought to the rest of the world. The spectacle was a great example of video game marketing at its finest, for the benefit not only of Tetris but the whole industry as gaming seeps deeper into popular culture.

Rogers, the managing director of The Tetris Company in Hawaii, was on hand to join the exhibition that Frank Lee, head of Drexel University’s Entrepreneurial Game Studio, put together. Lee created a working version of the famous block-puzzle game through a contraption that controls the lights of a 29-story building.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Fireworks are going off in my neighbourhood

I can only imagine what sort of celebration it is near the University of Kentucky, which just won their Final Four men's basketball game against Wisconsin down in Texas. So they'll play the University of Connecticut Monday. There are a lot of happy people here, I'm sure. Even I, who do not follow sports, turned on the last few minutes of the game, and it was a nail biter. Now it's time to turn that off and go back to game notes. Remember folks, celebrate with class. No couches need burn for your happiness. Good night.

Friday, April 04, 2014


Doctor Who: Which companion are you? I came out as Sarah Jane Smith, which is absolutely fine with me. She was the first companion I encountered and I adored her. Elisabeth Sladen was great as the character. She was somewhere in the back of my mind when I changed my name from Lisa (which is short for Elisabeth) to Elisabeth years ago. :)

An interesting idea

I would prefer that you be able to get up from the bottom without calling someone to operate the top controls, for more independence. Several people on Facebook thought that was to keep down kids and others from unnecessarily playing with the buttons, but hey, they could do that from the top, as shown later when the woman in the chair does it herself. But it looks great, and while there are moving parts to break down as opposed to a built-in ramp, it's actually easier to go up generally than when you have to push yourself or someone else pushes you up those. It's definitely worth a look:

Thanks to Deana for sharing it on Facebook.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Tonight I'm planning my trip to Chicago

that's coming up. I finally got my agenda for our meeting. We're having a seminar the first day which runs from 1:30-5:00 pm, and then the next day our business meeting runs from 8 am to about noon, with a boxed lunch thereafter. Now as you may remember, in 2012 I was planning on going and spending an extra day at my own expense to enjoy the sights, but got hit by a car and had to cancel the trip. This time I couldn't really manage the extra day, but it turns out in order to get the flight in and out of Lexington, I have to go up pretty early (leaving 6 am our time, arriving 6:20 Chicago time) the first day and late the second (leaving 6:50 pm Chicago time, getting to Lexington about 9 our time). This actually may give me time to do stuff. So I started looking at the various places I might want to go and I think what I'm going to try to do is go to the Field Museum the morning of the first day and then on the second day after our meeting, go to Hull-House Museum, which is really pretty close to my hotel and the meeting venue. The first appeals to my love of science, the second to my love of history and social science. So the plan is to hang around the airport for a bit the first day until closer to time when things open, then head to the hotel and have them hold my luggage (I checked, they'll do so for free), go to the Field Museum, then head back around noon and go to the seminar. That night I think there's a plan to go out to eat together. Then the next day I could go to our meeting, go to Hull-House, and then head to the airport. I may try to see the former librarian of our Chicago hospital while I'm there, too, maybe meet her for a meal. I probably need to be back to O'Hare about 4 or 4:30 pm, since the security is longer to get through there. This time I'll park in long-term parking at Bluegrass Airport rather than trying to take the LexTran Keeneland-Airport bus, as it doesn't run early or late enough for me. But the oeconomy parking is only $8 a day. So that's not bad. My hotel, airfare, meals, and transportation costs are taken care of related to the meeting--the first two prior to the meeting, the latter two reimbursed--so I just need to pay for the museums and cabfare to and from the Field Museum. That's not bad.

Boom! Flash!

We are experiencing our first real thunderstorm this season, with lots of rain coming down. Hopefully it won't be too serious, but frankly, I'm just glad it isn't snow (and that I'm inside able to listen to it in comfort). I thought at first that it was starting to hail, but I think it's just really big raindrops hitting the window and bricks.

A look at what healthcare reform really means--the good, the bad, the uncertain

In New Health Care Era, Blessings and Hurdles
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In a plain brown health clinic on a busy boulevard here, the growing pains of the Affordable Care Act are already being felt — almost too sharply for the harried staff trying to keep up with the flow of patients.

Tamekia Toure, 40, is typical of the clinic’s new patients, a single mother and recent arrival from Alabama with diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic pain and, for much of her adult life, no health insurance. For her, the new law is a godsend, providing Medicaid coverage that she would not have received before.

Then there is Donna Morse, 61, a widowed dental hygienist and yoga buff who is long overdue for a mammogram and blood work. She lost her insurance last year because it did not meet the new law’s standards. Now she has a new plan with much higher premiums, and which few doctors and hospitals will accept. So she too, warily, has landed at the clinic, one of seven here called Family Health Centers.

David Elson, 60, who has been coming to Family Health Centers for several years now, is a self-employed businessman with a multitude of health problems and medical bills. Despite chronic ailments, he went without insurance for years before enrolling in a subsidized private plan. He has not paid the first month’s premium, and could well fall back into the ranks of the uninsured.

“If you don’t have it, you don’t have it,” he said of the money he owed his new insurer.

Wow. That's awful.

Grandmother wrongly declared dead, frozen alive in hospital freezer before struggling to escape
Maria de Jesus Arroyo was moved into a morgue freezer while she was still alive, court documents claim. She froze to death while trying to break free from her body bag. The family intends to sue.

Came across a couple of old photos tonight

I'm not sure when they were taken, maybe 10 years or so ago. One is of me at my old desk, before they moved two other departments into the library:

The other was during 1950's day at work, and I did what I could with what I had at the time (no poodle skirts in my closet, I'm afraid). I didn't have something from the 50s to highlight, but I found this journal, which was from the beginning of 1962 and shows a mushroom cloud and includes a look at the medical aspects of a nuclear attack. It was pretty interesting. And scary.

I would have scared you with the picture from that day where I was using the hula hoop, but it had patients in the background, so no posting of such a photo. Somewhere I have a print version where someone I knew edited out the background, put me hula-hooping in front of another background, and I used it as a holiday card that year. :)

On Twitter and Facebook, they have what they call Throwback Thursday, where you post old photos. So I thought I'd do that today. :) Happy Thursday.

Time to wrap up birthday number forty-seven

Today I:
  1. Got a card from my co-workers
  2. Got to celebrate at lunch with a cake a co-worker made with sugar-free and fat-free ingredients, so not so much guilt, plus there was plenty to share with YKWIA and A later
  3. Had a lovely home-cooked meal thanks to YKWIA. I made garlic mayonnaise (I'm better at an electric mixer than he is, apparently a skill I picked up in home oeconomics). We had borscht, asparagus with hardboiled eggs, and a salad of Boston lettuce, avocado, and goat cheese. Plus the cake and strawberries from work. :)
  4. Talked to my mom, who sent me a gift card to Amazon. One bit of bad news; my grandmother's 15-year-old dog, Bo, died the other day. He choked on a piece of food and even though my mom tried to give him rescue breaths, it didn't work. Poor Bo. He was a good dog, looking like a miniature corgi in black and tan.

  5. Got e-mails from my aunts and uncles wishing me a happy birthday.
  6. Laid out an outfit for tomorrow. With the exception of jeans day (Friday), I plan to wear a skirt or dress each day this week. I found a nice combination for tomorrow, I think.
Okay, going to bed now. I'm happily stuffed and sleepy.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It's hard to believe

that it has been 20 years. I hope there has been a lot of healing, but we should never forget those who have perished due to hate and realise that it can easily arise and turn into genocide, sometimes with the world looking away, and sometimes with the world looking right at it and doing nothing.

Revisiting the Rwandan Genocide: Origin Stories From The Associated Press
Photographer Jean-Marc Bouju was one of the first journalists to drive into Kigali, Rwanda twenty years ago this month, upon hearing of growing ethnic unrest in the area. It was unclear what was happening at the time, and there was no way of knowing that within the next 100 days, nearly one million people would be slaughtered with machetes and farm tools in what would become known as the Rwandan genocide.

Things seemed normal along the drive at first, Bouju recalls. But soon he began to encounter road blocks leading into the city, and he saw people separated into two lines: one passing through the station, the other leading behind it where, he describes, “you could hear the hacking sounds of machetes.” From there, it only became more horrifying.

It amazes me...

that when a disease that is so deadly strikes, there are still people who rush in to contain it and save lives if possible. Ebola is one of the deadliest diseases out there, and one of the scariest that I know of. If it spreads it could be horrific. Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) does a wonderful job caring for people across the world. It's one of my favourite charities. If you're looking to give, you might want to check them out.

Guinea: Mobilising against an unprecedented Ebola epidemic
To date, Guinean health authorities have recorded 122 suspected patients and 78 deaths. Other cases, suspected or diagnosed, were found in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

MSF continues to strengthen its teams on the ground in Guinea. By the end of the week, there will be around 60 international fieldworkers who have experience in working on haemorrhagic fever. The group will be divided between Conakry and the other locations in the south-east of the country.

Among the fieldworkers are doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, water and sanitation experts, as well as anthropologists. In addition, more than 40 tonnes of equipment has been flown into the country to enable MSF teams to curb the spread of the disease.

“MSF has intervened in almost all reported Ebola outbreaks in recent years, but these outbreaks much more geographically contained and involved more remote locations, as opposed to urban areas. The vast geographic spread of the Guinea outbreak is worrisome because it will greatly complicate the tasks of the organisations working to control the epidemic,” said Lugli.

This is the most aggressive and deadly known form of the virus. It kills more than nine out of 10 patients
An MSF page on Ebola
Ebola can be caught from both humans and animals. It is transmitted through close contact with blood, secretions, or other bodily fluids.

Healthcare workers have frequently been infected while treating Ebola patients. This has occurred through close contact without the use of gloves, masks or protective goggles.

In areas of Africa, infection has been documented through the handling of infected chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found dead or ill in the rainforest.

Burials where mourners have direct contact with the deceased can also transmit the virus, whereas transmission through infected semen can occur up to seven weeks after clinical recovery.

No specific treatment or vaccine is yet available for Ebola

Happy April!

It is 73 degrees, sunny, with a light wind. I have arrived home to sunlight streaming in the windows, which I have opened. I've also watered the plants (which will hopefully not turn over due to the wind--the sheers are going in pretty far and the wind chimes on the inside of my windows are chiming).

Today went pretty smoothly. Things were a little slow, but I had enough work to keep me busy, but still keeping ahead of things. It's Spring Break for our local school district, so some of the doctors are off this week, and the schedule isn't quite as heavy as usual. So it was a bit laid-back and pleasant at work.

I wore my new dress and got lots of compliments. I must confess, for someone who never really got the 'girl handbook', I do occasionally like dressing up in something pretty and feminine. I get compliments when I wear makeup, too, but that I only trot out for certain occasions or the rare moments when I really feel like wearing it. I usually just use a bit of moisturiser in the morning, and untinted at that, with occasional use of lip balm as needed. I don't do tanning or lying out in the sun; I'm too fair for it to really tan and too fair to risk skin cancer, as far as I'm concerned. I mean, my legs are lily white and while my face, neck, and arms get a bit ruddy in the summer just from light exposure to the sun, it's not worth it to me to try to tan. But as a result, I think I have better skin than people who do that, at least once they reach their mid-thirties and older. I just wish I were a little paler and could do something about the ruddiness. For example, something along what Felicia Day or Rose McGowan have in skin tone. But I've got a somewhat ruddy Irish complexion which looks worse when exposed to sun--my poor ancestors in Ireland and Britain were used to mainly rainy or overcast skies, I expect. I have one co-worker in particular who comments almost every day out of concern that my face is ruddy. I guess she's worried my blood pressure is high, or I don't look well. But my face really is just ruddy--sometimes worse than others. I once read about a teenage boy who had some condition that caused frequent blushing, who was so embarrassed about the constant comments that he killed himself, which was vary sad. I guess he was tired of having something he was embarrassed by consistently pointed out to him. I kind of understand. One of these days I really should tell her it bothers me when she tells me. I know she's just concerned. It doesn't help.

Still, it seems no matter what a person has, they're never satisfied. People with straight hair perm, people with curly hair straighten. They colour their hair, especially as they age to something fitting their ideal, even if it clashes with their skin. I always wanted red hair and green eyes. I have reddish highlights with brown hair (where there isn't a silver-grey, these days) and greenish-hazel-but-mostly-brown eyes. :) It's kind of a mossy brown, not the lovely green I thought was cool when I was young. And when I was a kid I really envied my black classmates, who could have their hair done in all sorts of elaborate braids with pretty bands. My hair would barely stay in a pony tail. I didn't figure out how to braid it (as in the 'Little House on the Prairie' style) until I was in junior high, and it's so baby fine it won't hold curl more than about 30 minutes, unless I sleep on rollers and put a lot of stuff in my hair, and then it's maybe an hour. But it goes both ways. A friend of mine has a little girl who has the lovely braids, but kept touching a little girl's hair in kindergarten because she was fascinated with it being blonde.

At least I'm not insecure about things like breasts and hips, etc., although, of course, I would like to be a more normal size, for health more than looks. But I spent a lot of time getting to this size because in my mind it would make me less attractive and invisible to people. Someone once tried to date me, and I gained 70 lbs after giving them the 'it's not you, it's me' speech. Yeah, I know, that's a bit psycho. But there you go. At least I know that's part of the problem. Fixing it is a bit of a problem for me, unfortunately.

Okay, I think I'm going to stretch out under the fan and listen to some music for awhile, then get back up and do some spring cleaning. Hope you have a good night if I don't write more. And here's to Spring finally springing!