Daily Reads

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas is here...

A lovely recording of The Carol of the Bells.  I found this last year, and I recommend the group highly. 

A slightly different take, combining Carol of the Bells with God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. And again, find and listen to everything by these guys that you can.

 And then for something very different.

And one last Maddy Prior, this time with the Carnival Band. I haven't watched the video, I just listen.

Monday, December 16, 2013

And in the formerly "Great" Britain....


Having actually read the article it isn't quite as bad as it sounds.  Maybe.

At least the Islamists are only protesting the sale of alcohol by other Muslims.  Of course we don't know if those drinking the alcohol are Muslim, which would seem to be a much worse crime by sharia standards.

But why the Brits put up with a small minority trying to take over their country I don't know.  Why TPTB think appeasing Muslims will save them, I don't know.  Or are they all secret Muslims?

At least some Islamic "scholars" and imams are coming out against the protest, though I find it hard to believe that all of them actually disagree with the protesters aims.  Taqiiyah (however you want to spell it) suggests that a good Muslim will lie if he or she thinks it will ultimately further the spread of Islam.  And pissing off the locals to the point where they are protesting, violently or not, against Islam isn't the best way to spread it.

How any woman can hold a sign saying that "Islam is the perfect system for all mankind" escapes me.  Unless they are actually using the PC feminists usage where mankind only refers to the male of the species.

And people over here (LGF, I'm looking at you) wonder why groups such as the English Defense League are gaining traction.  If I lived in Britain, I'd probably be joining them too. They may be a "hate group", whatever that means, but at least they don't want to see us all become subject to islam and sharia.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Question for the masses...

For all three (if that many) of my readers:  do teens and young adults get into 'cutting' on their own, or is it because they have it drilled into them that this is a sign of mental issues and that they shouldn't do it?

Not that it's an issue at the moment, thank god.  Younger daughter was in full meltdown mode last night; whether it's a cause or a symptom of the two weeks of nearly constant migraine, I don't know.  She was on my bed, crying hysterically, and snapping a rubber band on her wrist.  I asked if it hurt and she said it didn't really.  So I asked if it made her feel better, and her answer to that was "not really", and then she added, as matter-of-factly as one can when one is on a crying jag, "It's better than cutting, isn't it?"  Given that I had just voiced that exact same thought in the exact same words to myself less only a few seconds before brought me up a little short.

I'm sure that teenagers have had angst and other emotional issues for years, being human beings and all.  But when I was growing up and felt much the way she does right now, I would never have thought of doing something to physically hurt myself, but was that because I hadn't heard about it?

She already has an appointment with her psych tomorrow about the meds, which obviously need some adjusting, and I'm going to see about making an appointment with her talk therapist as soon as I finish writing this.  Child has a group session this evening but she doesn't want to go because the regular therapist is away this week and she doesn't like the replacement group leader.  On the other hand she was telling me that her only friends are from group, none from school (which isn't quite true), so maybe this morning she'll have changed her mind and decided to go so she can see them.

Probably just as well I'm unemployed at the moment.  Who ever suggested that moms should stay home when the kids are little and go back after they're in elementary school because they don't need us as much either didn't have children, or had incredibly, abnormally mature, well-adjusted ones.  Pretty much everyone I know agrees with me that as they hit high school, at least if they are girls, they need mom more, not less, than they did when they were in grade school.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Life in the multiverse

Within the last week I've watched or read two things discussing the idea of alternate universes, multiverses, whatever.  The first was over at AccordingToHoyt, where several of the commenters discussed their own experiences slipping back and forth, or at least that was how it seemed to them, as well as being the best explanation for how things ended up where you knew you hadn't left them.  You just slip over into the next universe where the you there had made that slight change.

Tonight on Netflix, I've been watching Prophets of Science Fiction, and more to the point the episode on Philip K. Dick.

This past weekend I was trying to find my fleece jacket.  I distinctly remember coming into the house and taking it off, because it was just a bit too cool outside for me to have left it in the car.  After both I and my husband spent five minutes scouring the downstairs for it, I gave up, went out to the car, and there it was on the passenger seat.

Now that could just be put down to bad memory.

But yesterday I went down to the basement to check the bubble on the boiler.  Whenever I go down to do that I always check the level in the fuel tank.  I rounded the corner to the boiler, looked over at the tank, and panicked because the bubble thingy wasn't there.  When I went over to the tank to check the damage and see if I could figure out how it had been knocked off I found it, a quarter of the way further down the tank, right next to the intake pipe.  You can't read it from any distance where it currently is, but I've always been able to see it from the other side of the boiler.  There are boxes making it hard to stand next to where it currently is, but I stood right next to it just a few weeks ago when I was confirming that the level was half-way down, as it appeared from across the room.

An alternate universe is the only logical explanation.

Bad news and its silver lining.

The bad news.  I got downsized on Thursday morning.  I've known that my job was not secure, but all the librarians in the new multihospital group figured we had a bit of time, and we were making our case for why they needed more than two or three librarians for 5 hospitals, three of them teaching.  But HR and the bean counters won the day.

From when HR showed up at my office to when I was being shivvied out the door was less than 10 minutes.  I had to make an appointment to come back later to clear my office out.  They wouldn't even let me sign out of the ILL module and forward on the requests I was working on.  Someone someplace else is going to be upset as these things sit in limbo for three working days.  The three other librarians who are being let go got 30 days notice and a severance package.  I'm getting a severance package too, but only two weeks pay in lieu of notice.  This is supposedly because the hospitals haven't completely merged yet, and I fall under different HR rules.  Which seems a bit odd, because the HR department has supposedly been consolidated.


I am sad that I don't have a job, and so far I've only found two or three jobs within commuting distance to apply for, and the others would all require relocating, probably without the family until at least this coming summer.

I am ecstatic that I no longer work for that company.

I'd noticed recently that when I took off the lanyard with my badge at the end of the day, it was like getting rid of a 10 pound weight. I've been unhappy there for a while, although with the reorganization, it was looking like I might actually get to do more and be more than a glorified file clerk.  To add insult to injury, the day after I was let go, on the radio and in the paper, I find out that I was middle or upper management.  Since my job may have required an MLS, but was classified as administrative and clerical support staff, I'm a little confused.  Did I get promoted after I was fired?

More importantly, can I put this on my resumé?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Further proof that we repeat history if we have not learned it.

“We are taxed in our bread and our wine, in our incomes and our investments, on our land and on our property not only for base creatures who do not deserve the name of men, but for foreign nations, complaisant nations who will bow to us and accept our largesse and promise us to assist in the keeping of the peace – these mendicant nations who will destroy us when we show a moment of weakness or our treasury is bare, and surely it is becoming bare! We are taxed to maintain legions on their soil, in the name of law and order and the Pax Romana, a document which will fall into dust when it pleases our allies and our vassals. We keep them in precarious balance only with our gold. Is the heartblood of our nation worth these? Were they bound to us with ties of love, they would not ask our gold. They take our very flesh, and they hate and despise us. And who shall say we are worthy of more? … When a government becomes powerful it is destructive, extravagant and violent; it is an usurer which takes bread from innocent mouths and deprives honorable men of their substance, for votes with which to perpetuate itself.” — Cicero

Someone put this up over at Hot Air, apologizing to veterans for American becoming so stupid.  

I wonder, how much of our decline can be traced to the removal of the teaching of the classics in our public schools?

Remembrance Day

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Some news commentary

More about the bikers attacking the SUV driver in NY:

The biker who started the whole thing says he feels no responsibility because:
“I was looking over my shoulder to see where my friends were,” he told ABC News. “I wanted them to pull in front so I could follow them. I didn’t brake, but when I looked over my shoulder, my hand came off the throttle a little, but the driver didn’t slow down at all and bumped me.”

In other words, the eejit probably cut in front and didn't leave the driver any following room. I've had plenty of cars do that to me over the years; if you actually drive with a safe following distance lots of entitled $$%#s feel that they have the right to cut in front of you because there is more than one car length between you and the next car, even if you're doing 65. I don't know if there is any video of the actual accident (this being NY, who knows what sort of traffic cams are up, even on the highways), but if there is, it's a good chance that that biker is indeed the cause of the whole thing.

A school having to cancel a "Trayvon Martin" day: 

If they want to wear the hoodies to represent him and the kind of person he was, they should do it,” said parent Bruce Bergener.

So this parent *wants* his kids to emulate thug wanna-bes?  I'm glad neither of my kids attends schools where a significant number of students and their families think this is a good thing.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Quick thought

As ZeroCare gets closer and closer to implementation, we're seeing more and more of the bugs, which if you look at them closely are actually features.

One is that insurance, especially employer offered insurance must cover children up to the age of 26, an age at which my parents were, well, parents.


Employer offered insurance does not have to cover spouses.  I don't know if this means that no insurance offered, even on the exchanges has to offer family coverage, family meaning two parents plus children.

Is this part of the leftists goal of turning us into a little workers' paradise where everyone has two or three crappy part time jobs so we can afford the "free" stuff we're required to buy, while we ship our children off to crappy day care and crappy schools so that the state can turn them into more little worker drones?

It certainly is trying to spell the end of the one-income nuclear family.  Whether this is intentional, I'm sort of afraid to find out.

Pettiness. Sometimes we just need some.

Ok, I found this picture over at MOTUS's place.  It's from 2009, and at least in the last few years, for 9-11 ceremonies anyway, FLOTUS is wearing something a little more somber, but still nowhere near black.

I really fail to understand the high wide belt.  I don't think shes' wearing them as much now, thank God.  But all it does is make her look somewhat weeble-ish.  It emphasizes her smaller breasts and larger belly.  Some times and cultures have found large bellies and hips attractive, having to do with the fertility implications.  This culture is not one of them.  Some of us are just built that way, but careful clothing choice and tailoring can de-emphasize those traits.  This is not careful tailoring.  And who wears a black leather belt OVER a coat it was not designed for?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

And the idiocy and/or evil keep coming....

We've got il-'liberal' 'journalists' and 'bloggers' outing conservatives who dare to disagree with them, publishing their real names and contact info on the web, and then claiming that by daring to express an opinion on something, you should expect that sort of thing, shouldn't you.

I don't work real hard at concealing my private info, but then I do blog under a pseudonym too.  Do I really want someone who disagrees with my opinions on the Common Core (crap educational philosophy, "enshrining mediocrity") or the 2nd amendment (I have the right to defend myself, and criminals should have to worry about safety on the job), or the PPACA (designed to push us to 3rd world status medically and financially), or any other issue for that matter, to be plastering my face, my name, my contact info, and, even more inappropriately, my family's names, faces, and locations, all over the web, with implicit and sometimes explicit suggestions on what should happen to me and mine, because I had the temerity to not agree with my self-appointed "betters"?

Right now we've got some guy named Greg Flynn, whose associated with Moving North Carolina Forward, which tries to get Democrats elected, going after members of a group trying to abolish the Common Core standards.  This included publishing one bloggers name and info, claiming that it was out there already.  Except that aparently the videos and/or photos he's talking about don't have her name on them.  He figured it out somehow (he used to work for the state, perhaps he still knows some people?), and put the info out himself, which is totally the same thing according to him.  And for folks to object to this is bullying, although threatening people by his side, is just fun and games.


And then there's the whole story that's been going on for over a year now of Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, and Bill Schmalfeldt.

I've been following this over at The Other McCain, Allergic to Bull, and Hogewash, as well as the Patterico's Pontifications and PopeHat.  It's an amazing (*not* in a good way) story, and even more amazing is just how much these trolls have gotten away with (not that I want to be offensive to real trolls).  Kimberlin would seem to be a pathological liar, not surprising in someone who was convicted of perjury, and his current pastime seems to be conducting lawfare against any and all who dare to point out his past history, which involves conviction as the Speedway Bomber.  Apparently it's slander and libel to call him that.  And even mentioning him online can bring up charges that you are stalking and/or harrassing him.  Although there seems to be plenty of evidence that this is simply projection on his part, "accuse the accusers" being a staple of his repertoire.

And Bill?  Wow. That man is just plain bugnuts.  Batshit crazy.  Bonkers.  There really must be some mental illness there, or at least I hope so, because one hates to think that there are people who really enjoy being so evil.  And evil is indeed the best adjective for those two. At least if he's mentally ill, there's always a chance for healing.  If it's just evil, I'm afraid that he's likely past any chance of salvation.

I'm sure there's a long post about how the current cultural zeitgeist lends itself to people like this, but I don't have it in me now.  Maybe later after I've thought about it for a while....

Monday, September 16, 2013

Where to start... Idiots in New England

There has just been so much stupid out there lately, it's hard to decide.

There's the Middlebury 9-11 memorial desecration, all in the name of a non-existent Abenaki burial ground.  I've read the comments by the college student who was involved and her "indiginous person" friend for whom she supposedly helped commit the crime.

They qualify as two of the stupidest and most evil persons I've run into in quite a while.

First.  Neither can write a coherent English sentence.  The college student's parents need to demand a refund from every educational institution that self-centered little bitch has ever attended.  "Visibilize"?!?!  And she's wallowing in the joys of "settlers' guilt", whatever the hell that is.  I guess her family didn't live in the south, so she can't beat her breast over whether or not they owned slaves, so she's got to find another way to prove that she is more pious than us.

From the Middlebury student, Ms. Anna Shireman-Grabowski:

Today I, along with a group of non-Middlebury students, helped remove around 3,000 American flags from the grass by Mead Chapel. While I was not the only one engaged in this action and the decision was not solely mine, I am the one who will see you in the dining halls and in the classroom, and I want to take accountability for the hurt you may be feeling while clarifying the motivations for this action.
So she wants to take accountability, while spending the next page proving why what she did was right why she is better than those she upset.

My intention was not to cause pain but to visibilize the necessity of honoring all human life and to help a friend heal from the violence of genocide that she carries with her on a daily basis as an indigenous person. While the American flags on the Middlebury hillside symbolize to some the loss of innocent lives in New York, to others they represent centuries of bloody conquest and mass murder. As a settler on stolen land, I do not have the luxury of grieving without an eye to power.

How do you grieve with or without an "eye to power"?  What the f--- is an "eye to power"?  And unless her "friend" was personally involved in a genocide, how and why does she need to heal from it?  Was her entire family wiped out by the evil white man, leaving her a grieving orphan?  If she's talking about ancestors centuries ago, get over it bitch.  Every single person on this planet is descended from both slaves and slave owners, and guess what?  We deal with it, mostly by ignoring it, because WE didn't do it.
Three thousand flags is a lot, but the campus is not big enough to hold a marker for every life sacrificed in the history of American conquest and colonialism.
I guess that in her view, you can only mourn your own dead, if you also mourn every one who every died, anywhere, any when, all at the same time.  But you can show respect for the dead of others, because that somehow proves how enlightened you are.  Or something.

The emails filling my inbox indicate that this was not a productive way to start a dialogue about American imperialism. Nor did I imagine that it would be. Please understand that I am grappling with my complicity in the overwhelming legacy of settler colonialism. Part of this process for me is honoring the feelings and wishes of people who find themselves on the other side of this history.
She's complaining that the result she expected, people sending her unhappy emails, is happening.  And that we're supposed to forgive her insulting every member of her college community, the local Indian tribe, and anyone who was affected by 9-11, because she can only feel special if she feels personal guilt for white folks moving to the US.  Right.  And desecrating a memorial is a way to honor the wishes of those "on the other side of history".  The folks who think she's a flaming moron.
I wish to further clarify that members of the local Abenaki community should in no way be implicated in today’s events. Nor can I pretend to speak to their feelings about flags, burial sites, or 9/11.
At least she admits she can't speak for them.  They speak for themselves very well, and as mentioned above, they think, much more politely than I am, that she is a flaming moron.

Today I chose to act in solidarity with my friend, an Indigenous woman and a citizen of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy who was appalled to see the burial grounds of another Indigenous nation desecrated by piercing the ground that their remains lay beneath. I understand that this action is confusing and painful for many in my community. I don’t pretend to know if every action I take is right or justified—this process is multi-layered and nuanced. I do know that colonialism has been—and continues to be—a real and destructive force in the world that we live in. And for me, to honor life is to support those who struggle against it.
As many others have pointed out, the only things "piercing" the ground that she seems to be upset about are the American flags.  Nothing about the buildings, or the fence posts, or the trees.  And how multi-layered and nuanced has anything to do with justification.

And as further proof of her inability write decent English, the last sentence if parsed the correctly, says that she can only honor life by supporting those struggling against life.
Please do not hesitate to email me or approach me if you wish to discuss this in person.
I suspect that by now she rather wishes she hadn't put this bit in.

My gut reaction to ready this self-centered little twit's non-apology, is a strong desire to find her, slap her silly, send her to her room without supper, and ground her for the next two years.

And then there is her "indiginous-person" friend, who is oh-so in touch with her heritage, but using an oh-so NOT indiginous name, Amanda Lickers.

She has even less ability to form a coherent sentence, simply stringing together the feminist, victimist, anti-white verbiage she learned from some progressive liberal teachers, in sentences which may make grammatical sense, occasionally, but never have actual meaning.

i am a young onkwehon:we, a woman, a member of the turtle clan and the onondowa’ga nation of the haudenosaunee confederacy. i have been doing my best to be true to the responsibilities i have inherited through the gift of life, and the relationships i must honour to my ancestors and all our relatives.
She must not consider acting like a mature adult as part of those responsibilities.

for over 500 years our people have been under attack. the theft of our territories, the devastation of our waters; the poisoning of our people through the poisoning of our lands; the theft of our people from our families; the rape of our children; the murder of our women; the sterilization of our communities; the abuse of our generations; the uprooting of our ancestors and the occupation of our sacred sites; the silencing of our songs; the erasure of our languages and memories of our traditions
I'm just going to ignore the execrable English grammar and punctuation (or lack of it).  Apparently white folk have been oppressing her people for 500 years.  Right.  Certainly for the first 150 or so of that time, motst of the oppression, rape, and murder, was being done by other "indigenous" peoples.  Though it seems odd that they'd rape the children and murder the women, isn't it usually the other way around?
i have had enough.
And so have we honey, enough of your "look at me" histrionics.
yesterday i went to occupied abenaki territory. i was invited to middlebury college to facilitate a workshop on settler responsibility and decolonization. i walked across this campus whose stone wall structures weigh heavy on the landscape. the history of eugenics, genocide and colonial violence permeate that space so fully like a ghost everywhere descending. it was my understanding that this site is occupying an abenaki burial ground; a sacred site.
An Abenaki burial ground that the Abenaki know nothing about.  And I can only assume that settler responsiblity means some form of financial reparations, and decolonization, means losing lands that have been in your family for years because an Indian might have walked over them four or five centuries ago. The next to last "sentence" in that paragraph isn't a sentence, unless she meant for a comma, and her feeling the "ghost descending" is shy she thought it must be a burial site.  She is such a special little snowflake that she can "feel" burial grounds, even when no one else knows about them!

walking through the campus i saw thousands of small american flags. tho my natural disdain for the occupying colonial state came to surface, in the quickest moment of decision making, in my heart, i understood that lands where our dead lay must not be desecrated.
It's not her tribe, she's admitted that.  And she apparently has no idea what true desecration is.
in my community, we do not pierce the earth. it disturbs the spirits there, it is important for me to respect their presence, their want for rest.
So she respects their presence by committing a felony and desecrating the memory of other dead.  Great move, Little Snowflake!
my heart swelled and i knew in my core that thousands of american flags should not penetrate the earth where my abenaki brothers and sisters sleep. we have all survived so much – and as a visitor on their territories i took action to respect them and began pulling up all of the flags.
Of course, according to the Abenaki, none of her brothers or sisters sleep there, but hey, it's the thought that counts, right?
i was with 4 non-natives who supported me in this action. there were so many flags staking the earth and their hands helped make this work faster. this act of support by my friends, as settlers, tho small was healing and inspiring. we put them away in black garbage bags and i was confronted by a nationalistic-settler, a young white boy who attends the college demanding i relinquish the flags to him. i held my ground and confiscated them. i did not want to cave to his support of the occupying, settler-colonial, imperalist state, and the endorsing of the genocide of indigenous peoples across the world.
So she's admitting to felony theft, as well as assault.  And how in the hell does she think that remembering the dead from a terrorist attack is endorsing genocide?  As I've said before, self-centered little bitch.  She should be glad I wasn't the one whose flags she was trying to steal.
it is the duty of the college of middlebury to consult with abenaki peoples and repatriate their grounds.yesterday i said no to settler occupation. i took those flags. it is a small reclamation and modest act of resistance.in the spirit of resilience, in the spirit of survivalamanda lickers 
So, the Abenaki have no problems with Middlebury College, but because some self-righteous little twit wants to feel special, everyone has to do as she says.

With a bit of luck, these two girls may grow up, but given that they have obviously spent their entire lives up to now being told how "special" and unique they are, and how the white people, and men are responsible for every ill that has ever happened to them, I somehow doubt it.

I feel a little better having got this off my chest, but still, this is what I want to do to both of them.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Found it! Probably the best of the 9-11 memorial videos.


I've been looking for this all morning, and finally found it.

Even if you skipped all the stuff in the previous post, watch this.


Somehow I've always manage to ignore that this is now "Patriot Day".  I'm not saying this shouldn't have a 'day', but patriot seems to me to be the wrong name for a day memorializing 3000 civilians murdered for simply going to work.  "Patriot" seems to require a more specific work on the part of those remembered.

So I will continue to just think of this as 9/11, sort of like Pearl Harbor.  I can't use the place name, since it was multiple places.

I had started work at my new job earlier that year, and had signed up to take "Management of Aggressive Behaviour", a two day workshop/seminar on 9/11 and 9/13.  It was held in what was at that time the hospital auditorium, next to the waiting rooms for diagnostic imaging.  We started at 8am, and must have had our first break sometime around 9.  We ended up watching one of the TVs in the waiting area and I'm pretty sure about the break, because when we started watching only one building had been hit.

We continued with the class for the rest of the day, but took rather more breaks than they usually do, and were glued to the TVs during them.

The instructors told us that they had offered their classes to the airlines for years and never been taken up on them, because the airlines never felt the need to train their people to deal with folks with knives.

Here is last year's post.

I'm doing a bit of YouTube hunting, and have found several videos I'm putting here.  The comments are often disgusting, and interestingly enough, I'm allowed to upvote, but not down vote them.

This one is just footage of the events as they happened, from someone living near the Twin Towers.  Commentary, but amazingly no profanity.  They were obviously home with their child, since you can here childrens' TV music in the background of the initial footage.

Here's more footage, with much less nasty comments.

In spite of the clip's name, it doesn't have the actual falling man footage, but it still looks at the people rather than building.

Another video.

Let's not forget that it wasn't just New York.

More footage, paired with very appropriate music.

And to finish off, the story of Rick Rescorla, "the man who predicted 9-11". (http://www.blackfive.net/main/2013/09/the-last-known-sighting-of-an-american-hero.html has a good round up of info.)

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Change of Pace

I'm tired, short of breath (and the weather's not helping any), and retaining fluid like nobody's business, to the point where my toes hurt.

So, to take my mind off of it all, and so I don't look like I'm whining too much:

This is preferable to the headache I'm getting from the church around the corner having an end of summer/holiday weekend picnic and playing gospel music loud enough to give me a headache.  We don't have a noise ordinance in this town, sad to say.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I  found this gif over lunch on MetaPicture, and it describes how I've been feeling lately to a T.

I just hope I'm as cute while I pass out.  Somehow I doubt it.

The new school year. Sigh.

The new school year has begun, and both girls have had their first day.

Younger started on Monday, and by Wednesday she had already changed one class.  She really doesn't want to take French anymore, and the minor detail that the class is held in a small windowless room next to the band room, during band practice, might have had something to do with it.  I'm sure that my migraines would get worse.  She's got four years of high school including this year, and only needs two years of a language, so that's fine.  At least she seems to have a good history teacher (they put her in AP American History, and she's already decided that most of the class are idiots - she was the only one who could name even half the original 13 colonies.  Teacher: "can anyone else raise their hand?")

Elder started yesterday.  She's mostly doing the internet based courses, going to a session at the central office every day for two hours so that there's a tutor around to help with stuff she's not sure about.  But she is also going to the high school every other day in the morning for a chemistry course and chorus.  I do have to call guidance about the chemistry, because it's the chemistry for folks who just need another science course, and she's going to be bored to tears by it.

But I also have to call because today I got the robo-call from attendance to let me know that as of 9:30 this morning my child has been marked absent.  This is not surprising as my child is not supposed to be there today.  She doesn't want to sit in the library for six hours, and I somehow doubt they want her doing that either.  And I really, really, don't want to get these calls every other day for the entire school year.

But hey, four days into younger's school year, and she hasn't missed one yet.  If we can just continue like this so as not to repeat last year's disaster.....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Someone with sense!

OK, I'm not a great fan of MSN, but it's the opening IE page on my Asus laptop, and it at least gives me headlines.

And today at lunch I find this: "Tim Gunn says designers’ lack of interest in plus size clothing is 'repugnant'"

And he's right.  I know this as someone who even on the rare occasions in my life when I've not been fat has been a "plus-size" (though why a 12 is a plus?).  My younger daughter is also a plus size, what with dealing with adrenal issues.

The only place near where we live where you can routinely find nice clothes which look decent on a larger body is Lane Bryant.  Some of the other stores occasionally have nice stuff, but the word is "occasionally".

I'm sure that designers have taken in the attitude towards large folks that the rest off society has, that we're all lazy, self-indulgent, slobs.  But first off, a lot of us aren't.  My daughter really doesn't eat that much, and she was getting plump even when she was figure skating.  I packed on the weight last year after a round of cortisone, which left me starving and tired all the time.  Right now testing says my adrenals and my pancreas aren't working properly, and my thyroid may give lab results in the 'normal' range, but one side is, to quote my doctor "boggy", and the other has a large nodule that she can feel, so I'm going for an ultrasound and perhaps a biopsy tomorrow, depending on what the ultrasound shows.

Second, whether our fat is genetic, medical, or poor life-style choices, treating us like lazy criminals isn't exactly going to make us feel better enough about ourselves to start doing anything other than ingesting even more comfort food.

When you feel good about yourself, it's a lot easier to take care of yourself, and work on medical or life-style issues. So making it easy to find clothes that make us look pretty and/or professional will actually help us get healthier.

They should also remember that Liv Tyler was/is a plus-size model before she was Arwen.  And I don't think anyone would consider Arwen fat.

A good start. Now just sue the DA personally!

As a break from the "I feel like crap" type of posts, I ran across this article this morning.

Apparently in Florida, if you are acquitted, you can get the state to pay some of your legal costs, just not the lawyers' fees.  Personally, I think George should be suing the DA personally, as well as the her office collectively, for all costs, since there is no way this can NOT be considered malicious prosecution.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

More testing

The good news is that it looks like there is actually something .. wrong.. and it's NOT all in my head.

The bad news is that it looks like there is actually something wrong.

Not that we're sure exactly what yet.  I had a lot more labs drawn today, and I have an appointment with the naturopath on Monday to discuss the results and decide what direction we want to go.  I'm definitely anemic, though it's a little weird, which is why we're running a lot more lab tests, including looking at the size and shape of my red blood cells.  She asked me today if I had ever been tested for thalassemia, which I haven't, because I'm not of mediterranean extraction.  Though I have been tested for sickle cell, and I'm far, far more likely to have the former than the latter.  I figure the Navy didn't want to look discriminatory, so they tested every single pregnant woman for sickle cell.  That I'm whiter than white, and at the time was in my mid-30s and several months into my second pregnancy should have ruled it out without the blood work, but this is bureaucracy.

I was told that my cortisol levels were also low; I haven't seen the actual lab results, but since my am blood work showed a low/mid level, I'm guessing that it either dropped too much during the day, or just stayed where it was, and never increased when it was supposed to. There's all sorts of fun things that can cause that, so we'll just have to wait and see.

But at least someone believes me that I'm feeling like total crap, and that it's not just getting older and something I'll have to learn to ignore.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hmmm. A few more thoughts on shooting and the media.

This made me think of my previous post, and Tam's comment on it.

Do the "news" media report on police shootings the way they do, at least in part because this is how the entertainment portion of the media treats cops and shooting?  Or do the entertainers treat police shooting ability the way they do (unless the police man is the hero of the piece) because of how the "news" folks report it?  Or option number three, they both treat law enforcement's shooting the way they do because of the some ingrained, '60s leftist or related bias?

Because yes, the police (at least in some necks of the woods) aren't as well trained as we'd like, but still.  If I am ever, God forbid, in a position where the bad guy really, really, needs to be put out of commission NOW, I'd feel that my odds of surviving the situation are a lot better if the guys and/or gals trying to do the decommissioning are LEOs or military rather than poor Joe or Jane Schmoe who's never even held a gun before.

Note that I am presuming a situation where my options are only between the police or a complete firearms neophyte, as in the movie scenario.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Amusements for the day.

I spend way too much time on MetaPicture, and found this today:

 And realized that this would also fit the NYPD, at least based on the last few shootouts I've read about. Though to be fair they did hit the guy they were aiming at.  They just hit 9 innocent bystanders too.

Friday, July 19, 2013

If I have a clean bill of health, why do I feel so bad?

The results from the echo came back as stable also.

So I visited my GP on Wednesday morning to ask about other reasons for the chest discomfort and also the rather severe (for me) edema in my lower legs.  I'm retaining more fluid than I did during either pregnancy, and marks in my leg stay for a few minutes.

I was told that the edema wasn't severe, but was given a script for some lasix to take three times a week.  I'll take pictures of the pitting in the edema this evening before taking the pill tonight or tomorrow and see if it makes any difference.

However....  he didn't quite yell at me that as I got older I would have more weird little aches and twinges, and if they were benign, I would just have to learn to ignore them.

I pointed out that I had been ignoring the discomfort from the PVCs for five or six years now, and they had suddenly gotten much worse and stronger, and even if they were benign they were really bothering me.  I was told, in not quite these words, to just suck it up and shut up about it.

It's hard to ignore something that suddenly jumps on you as you're trying to fall asleep and feels like a cross between a heavy weight on the top of your breastbone and a very too-tight turtle neck, and which can last for several minutes.

I didn't bring up my concerns about hormone problems again, since last time I mentioned concerns about adrenals or pituitary I was told we didn't need to look for zebras.  That we've ruled out all the horses....  I've put on 40 pounds in the last year, 10 in the last month, my diet isn't any different or worse than before, I've got that horrible edema, and the beginnings of a weird hump of fat at the top of my spine.  For the last few weeks I have had trouble going to sleep, not because it's hot (which it is), but because I feel that something is lying on my throat making it hard to breath if I lie on my back, and that's how I normally fall asleep. The fat is also mostly around my waist and chin, instead of my hips and thighs where I've put it for the previous 35 years.

So I've called the local naturopathic practice and have an appointment in two weeks.  Bizarre creatures that they are, they are more worried about the patient's quality of life than just whether the lab numbers look good.  When I mentioned my concern about being told I'd just have to learn to ignore the discomfort of a benign arrhythmia the woman on the phone tsked, and "no, no, no!".

So. Let's hope I can stay awake and functional until the 5th. I'm tired of being so tired.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Testing Update

Well, my nuclear stress test is "stable".  A message was left on my voice mail, so I called them up to find out what exactly was meant by stable.  Basically, it means fine, and since I had one of these tests five or six years ago which this practice knew about, and presumably got and looked at, presumably there have been no changes.

I'm not sure whether this makes me happy or not.  It's not that I want something to be wrong, but most of the stuff that they find on stress test is fixable, and I'd really like to know why I'm tired and short-of-breath with chest pain and water retention.  So I'm going to have an echo next Monday, where they will be able to see if the valves are working right.  With my luck, they're fine too.  Which will leaving me feeling like crap with no reason for it.

Personally I think it's thyroid, or at least thyroid-related, but nowadays, physicians, including endocrinologists, almost always treat the numbers, not the patient, and tell you "You can't be hypothryoid, your numbers are within the normal range", ignoring the fact that just because a certain percentage of people who are supposedly healthy have numbers in a given range doesn't mean that that is the right range for you.

I think it's time to start seeing the local naturopath, in general they seem much more attuned to the patient rather than the lab values.

And if I ever start feeling better, I might be able to write some posts of interest to others than just me.  But I'm too tired.  I get home from work and fall asleep for 12 hours most nights lately, which isn't conducive to getting anything done, electronically or around the house.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Joys of Testing

I get to spend an exciting day tomorrow at the cardiologists' having a stress test and a nuclear stress test done.  Hopefully we'll figure out why my chest keeps hurting, I'm short of breath, exhausted all the time, and retaining tons of water (worse than either of my pregnancies, though I retained so little it wouldn't be hard to retain more).  At this point, I'd be happy for them to find something wrong, just so we know what's going on, and can maybe do something about it.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Wednesday, July 03, 2013


We have improved our credit score a fair bit since we bought the last car. We've even bought a house since then.

The car we want isn't that much more than the previous one cost us, we can finance for up to seven years rather than five, and hopefully at a rather lower interest rate.  Still, it's rather nerve wracking waiting to hear whether the financing has gone through.  I gave them the go-ahead to run it over an hour and a half ago.  I hope that's not too bad a sign....

Monday, July 01, 2013

It's dead, Jim.

I have tried, and maybe succeeded, in killing my car.

Today on the way into work it started making tick, tick noises, almost immediately followed by thwuk, thwuk, and then THWAK, THWAK.  I pulled over to the side of the road and called GEICOs roadside service number, which is in my contacts, though it's never been to the point where I felt it needed a speed dial.  An hour and a half later I was at the dealer's repair shop waiting for a ride into work.

It turns out I haven't had an oil change in 9 months. (!Ack! And I'm the one always nagging my husband to get his car done, because he works at Sears, and it's so hard for him to leave it at the in-house auto repair while he's there.)  In my defense things have been pretty crazy the last five months, and that wasn't high priority, especially as it's really inconvenient for me to get it serviced.  And as with many low priority things, when you leave them alone long enough, they turn around and bite you in the ass.  This particular ass-biting involves having destroyed the engine.

I'm waiting to hear from the repair shop with an estimate on how much a used engine is going to cost, parts, labour, and taxes.  If it's under $3K it will still probably be a good idea, since I doubt we'd get a car for under $300 a month in car payment, and with a new-to-us engine we should be able to nurse the Santa Fe along for at least another year.  It's only a 2003.


The only thing that makes me feel a little better about it, is that my mother did exactly the same thing to her first Camry.  So it's not like she can say anything.

Update 7/2:  It will cost between $4K and $5.5K to put a new-used engine with 100K miles on it, or a refurbished engine in the car.  And even in pristine condition, if we were buying it from a dealer it would only be worth about $5K anyway.  So today (Tuesday) I'm starting the car hunt.  At least our credit should be better (we have a house), dealers are starting the "Get rid of the 2013s!" sales push, and there's a chance we may still be able to get something as trade in for the Santa Fe.  If nothing else it should be worth something for parts.

Again, sigh.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


The one things that's gone reasonably right in the last few weeks.

Our feeble excuse for a front hedge has several berry canes in it, and starting last year we had some thorny things growing by the steps to the side porch.  The canes in the front had berries, but about the time they turned red they disappeared; presumably some birds liked them. This year we have more canes and a lot more berries and I thought to put bird netting over them.  Whatever the reason we currently have a lot of red berries and, at least the ones by the porch, are turning a lovely dark blackish purple.  So I guess they are actually blackberries, and the birds just liked them when they weren't quite ripe.  I'm not complaining.  They are very tasty.

The girls are getting sorted out.  Younger will be doing some summer school stuff, and while she will be repeating the year, she won't have to repeat 9th grade English and World History, which she found insanely boring the first time round, so a second would have been torture.  Elder has some stuff to do over the summer and I'm hoping that the carrots we've jointly picked for her to get after each 20 online units are done enough to submit will get her to actually work on them.

Me?  I'm just tired all the time, and then, when I get to bed, I mostly can't get to sleep, or at least not at a decent hour.  Friday I turned the light out at about 1:30, and was still awake at nearly 4.  It takes very little to get me winded, and something as simple as sitting still and eating or drinking something can get the heart arrhythmia going.  I did get some stuff done around the house and yard last Sunday, but I'd had two days off at that point, having had to take Friday off to keep an eye on elder child as she had had some anesthesia for an impacted tooth removal, and needed a responsible adult to keep an eye on her.  However, I don't get two days off between every day when stuff needs to get done, so almost nothing is getting done.  I am scheduled to have stress tests, regular and nuclear, done on the 8th, and I almost hope they do find something, because then we might be able to do something about it.  Or at least we'd know *why* I feel so useless.

And someone stole our lawnmower last week.  I admit that the shed doesn't lock, but the door does shut, and for heaven's sake, it's a 15 year old Craftsman 21".  If they've sold it I doubt they could get more than $50 for it, and probably less.  But that means all we've got is a slightly rusty hand mower, and I need to sharpen the blades.  It doesn't do well with grass longer than 4 inches either, and some of our stuff is worse than that.

I need a goat.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Over-reacting and Chocolate

Yesterday I saw this:

It actually makes me feel a little bit better.  Because if you think about it, there really is an abnormal amount of bullshit going around out there if you follow the news.

So when I add all the family issues (two kids with education/psych issues) to all the stuff that's going on out in the world, as well as the fact that I truly hate my job, yes, I'm tired all the time, and eating way too much chocolate and ice cream.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013


As in "The world is going to Hell in".

And I'm reaching a point where I don't care.

That's not quite right; I'm just too damn tired and depressed to care.

Which is how I imagine folks on the wrong side of the old Iron Curtain must have felt a lot of the time.

Our local SCA group had it's monthly meeting in our neck of the woods on Monday, and there was lots of talk of the events we'll be holding over the next 18 months.  And it all sounded really interesting. If I cared.

This is something that I've always greatly enjoyed, but we didn't have the time or the money for years after we moved back up to CT, and then we were also dealing with elementary age kids - too old to just haul places, but too young for them to enjoy themselves.  But now they are both in high school, they both think the group sounds interesting, and if I wanted to I could come up with some basic garb for the lot of us, as well as the funds for membership and attending a few events a year.

I realized Monday that I'm too tired.  Everything seems like it's going to be too much effort, and all I'm up for is curling up around the computer in the evening, playing logic puzzles on one side of the screen while watching old TV shows (currently working my way through Magnum, P.I.) on the other side.  And for that matter some evenings, I don't even have the energy for that.  At the same time, I can't fall asleep.  I didn't get the light out last night until nearly 1am, because I knew I wasn't going to be able to fall asleep, and when I did get the light out, I was still awake until nearly 3am. Except for a few peanut butter cups I had had no caffeine after about noon, so I can't blame it on that.  I'm scheduled for a stress test and nuclear stress test on July 7th, which will most likely come out completely normal.  So will the echo.  We'll be left with stress, anxiety, and maybe some good old depression to explain the heart arrhythmia, exhaustion, insomnia, shortness of breath, and nearly constant light headedness.

My attitude towards life right now could be because of my health, but then my health could very easily be being affected by reactions to the political and economic disasters that are going on around us and the financial worries that any one with half a brain is facing right now.

So I just keep going to the doctor so we can figure out what the problem is, maybe what's causing it, and hopefully how to treat it, while continuing to buy my weekly lottery tickets.  I figure I've got a better chance of winning the state lottery than I do of ever being in a financial position to retire based solely on work and savings.

And if that isn't a damning indictment of the current economy, nothing is.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to...

The title should be fair warning.

I'm tired.  I'm lightheaded. I'm short of breath.  My chest hurts. I have trouble sleeping, what with the overall sense of impending doom and existential angst.  I have no real appetite, but I'm eating a lot of chocolate and caffeine to try to stay awake. Therefore I'm putting on some more weight.

It's most likely anxiety, nothing that getting the girls' issues a little more settled, getting myself a new job or a winning lottery ticket, and some xanax wont take care of.

However, I did go to see the doctor this morning.  My EKG is fine, we'll see what the blood work says (probably anemic).  I also have a  cardiology consult, just in case.  I suspect at the end of everything they'll tell me I have anxiety, take some xanax, and did you know you're fat?  Duh.  I hate the new EMRs where even when the doctor doesn't talk to you about your weight, because he/she knows you aren't stupid, the little visit summary printout tells you to consult the "Healthy weight and you" handout.     Every. Damn. Visit.

Like that's going to help the anxiety.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Have we really put the "Demise of Democracy" off for another generation?

This morning on the way into work I was listening to our local talk radio station.  One of the local op-ed folks was on and talked about attending the Coast Guard Academy graduation on Wednesday.

The thrust of what he had to say was that with the various military academies turning out students like this, and that we still had such competition for the few places in those academies every year, he didn't think that we had to worry about losing our democracy, at least not in this generation. Of course he was also seriously misquoting Reagan, since it wasn't the demise of Democracy, but rather the demise of Freedom that is never more than a generation away.

I'm not sure that I agree with him.  Perhaps on his premise about the demise of Democracy, but then we all know that democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for lunch.  We have a lot of wolves out there eyeing the lambs hungrily.

But for the survival of Freedom?  Yes, we have a large number of young people who agree that is indeed the greatest nation on earth, and that we are the last shining beacon on the hill.  But are they really a large enough segment of the population, enough armed lambs,  to keep the socialist, "gimme", hordes of wolves at bay?  Given the massive number of scandals that have come to light in just the last few weeks, it's a pretty sure bet that the last election was, if not stolen, at least severely compromised, and I don't hear anyone worrying about that.  That that compromise was coming from career civil servants is something that should worry everyone, because administrations come and go, as do members of Congress, but the civil service lives forever.  Think "Yes Minister" from England.  The Minister may think he runs the place, but he doesn't.  And if we can't prevent an entrenched priviledged class of civil "servants" from becoming our masters, it doesn't matter who we elect, we won't be able to turn this juggernaut around.  As with the Red October, our ship of state steers like a pig, and it isn't unreasonable to fear that we may already be too late to stop her heading for the rocks.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hmmmm.... Should I be contacting a malpractice lawyer about now?

I think I've described some of my family's "Fun at the ER" from the other week - 3 trips in fivedays, and the first one was pointless.  That it is the ER at the hospital where I work just added insult to injury.

All told that visit was bad enough that the following Monday I contacted our "Patient Advocate" and gave her the whole story and was assured that she would be looking into it.  I hadn't heard back by this past Friday (10 days later) so I left her another message.

Monday I got a call from the nursing manager for the ER, and she'd really like to talk to me about my daughter's experience.  So she stopped by after lunch and we talked for about half an hour.  Basically, there are protocols for dealing with headache patients, and they involve placing them in quiet rooms.  Room 8A, a sort of anteroom to a double resus bay, is NOT a quiet room by definition.  So I've been assured that staff will be reminded that patient complaint is an important consideration when deciding which room to place them in.  I also got a lot of explanation of why the Dr in question might not have wanted to give Phenergan, nor start out with a head CT.  I agreed, but said my concern was that after three doses of the same medicine which just exacerbated her symptoms, perhaps changing medicine or starting some testing might have been reasonable, rather than just discharging us.

I got to talk to the chief ER physician yesterday.  Again, said I understood the concern with head CTs, and why they wouldn't have started out with one, given that there was a chance this headache was a reaction to a  new medication, and that there is a need to keep radiation exposure to a minimum especially with growing children.  Apparently the treating physician had thought we wanted to leave quickly.  I said well, given that we had been there six hours, and the only plan had been to keep repeating doses of medication which made things worse, leaving seemed a viable option.  What I really wanted was either some actual testing or a change in medication, and yes, Phenergan can have some unpleasant temporary side-effects (which is why it is given with Benedryl), but those side effects which only last a few minutes are preferable to a blinding headache which has lasted hours and looks to continue that way.  Also, seeing that neither Dilaudid nor Percocet had had any effect, I didn't understand why the only script we were given was for Vicodin.  Which unsurprisingly didn't help either.

So to recap, I've had two fairly high level managers spend half an hour each apologizing to me for how my daughter wasn't treated during an ER visit and promising further investigation.  Which to my suspicious little mind means that they are concerned that I could sue.  Given that there was no attempt to find out why the headache didn't respond to the medicine, and that there is a family history of brain aneurysms, if I didn't need to keep my job, I'd be tempted to find a lawyer and find out.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Computer Weirdness.

My computer has decided that one site, and one site only can not be read in Chrome on the Windows 8 side of the box.  Using IE on the Win 7 side is just fine.

I suspect you can see the problem.  For some reason every letter except for links is off by one from what it should be, and there are all these added exclamation marks.

I have no idea why Chrome should hate me today, and only this site (so far).

ETA: Crap.  It hates Coursera too.   
ETA: And now, after rebooting, everything seems to be back to normal. I wonder if it had something to do with loading a new set of printer drivers....

Friday, May 10, 2013

Silliness. Because the rest of the world is just too depressing right now.

As a cat owner(ownee?), this is just too true.

And this is just amusing.  I want a hedgehog.

On an amusing, but annoyed note, the local squirrel has decided that this year, as last, the flower boxes on the porch railings are there specifically for him to dig in.
I reset all the petunias and coxcombs, and then found the organic pest repellent I used last year with some success on the garden (it has to be resprayed every time it rains, and I forgot - the groundhog took full advantage, damn him), and poured some into each box.  It's an interesting mixture of garlic oil and dried animal blood, and we'll see if it scares squirrels off.  As it was, yesterday morning as I was about to open the door, there he was sitting at the top of the stairs eating a stale muffin and staring at me, bold as brass.  He only left when I opened the door.  I'd invest in a pellet gun for both him and the goundhog, neither being an endangered species, but we have neighbors quite close, and directly in the line of fire from the door to the deck.


Thursday, May 02, 2013

Repeat yesterday.

Except that this time we're in the other hospital's stand-alone ER/Urgent Care, and it's evening not morning. And it's a lot quieter back here than it was yesterday.  They don't have us in a tiny storage area in a room full of cardiac monitors going off full volume every few minutes.

The nurse seemed slightly surprised that they hadn't done a spinal tap at the other hospital since offspring's neck is sore and a little stiff along with the unrelenting headache.


I suppose that if it is meningitis at least they'll have a diagnosis and maybe figure out what they can give her for the headache.  Right now the best guess has been a reaction to the Wellbutrin she started on on Tuesday.  But you'd think that some form of narcotic would have helped.

Update:  It's been about two hours since that post, and we've been sent over to the main hospital.  They do think it's just a bad migraine, perhaps a cluster, and have given her some different meds, benedryl and reglan, and it seems to have stopped the headache within minutes.  Apparently dilaudid is not known as a good pain med for headaches.  I will have to politely complain to the first ED about that, since what we've been given here seems to be the norm at most other hospitals.

I would recommend not looking at this right before bed.

That thing on the bottom.....

I've seen critters in horror movies who were less scary and less living dead.  And those were truly scary movies with real special effects budgets.

And I can't stop looking at it.

If I wasn't coming out of a 3 ½ hour budget session after a 6 hour ER visit (where they sent us home with a child with a worse headache then when we arrived), I don't know if I'd be able to sleep tonight.  

I'm not sure I'll ever look at my little stuffed kangaroo-skin koala the same way ever again....

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Dealing with the hospital system. Sigh

Instead of spending an exciting morning at work scanning articles for ILL and searching databases for non-existent studies, I'm sitting in the ER with my younger daughter who has had a bad headache for 24 hours, not touched by NSAIDs, sumatriptan, or even much by narcotics.

For some reason the Convenient Care section for the folks who don't have heart attacks or missing limbs doesn't open until 11am now (it used to 9), and they've put a child with a bad migraine, made worse by noise, in what is essentially a storage corner of a two bed resus room.

At least the monitors have finally been turned off.

She was given some steroids and a shot of Dilaudid over half an hour ago, and she says it actually has gotten worse.  The nurse said that IM Dilaudid can make things worse for a few minutes, but by 20 minutes or so she should be feeling much better.

She's not.

At least she has a gurney to lie on.  I'm sitting on a chair scrounged up from someplace, using the foot of the gurney for the laptop, and trying very hard to be really, really, small so I don't get hit by gurneys coming in and out.

I'm not impressed, and starting to wonder if we wouldn't have been better off at the ER in the next town over.  On the other hand, at least once she's discharged, my husband can pick her up and I can clock in to work if there is enough time left.  In another 90 minutes there won't be much point.

Hopefully the nurse will be in soon with the discharge paperwork so we can tell her that the meds aren't working.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thank God other people listened so I didn't have to

I'm finally reading some of the reports by people who listened to the Ø press conference.  I agree with everyone who pointed out that it was interesting, but not in a good way, that the president knows all about the first openly gay pro-basketball player, but still seems to know nothing about the Kermit Gosnell trial, or even what is going on about Bengazi.

Should the media really be happy that the president cares more about American Idol type crap than the country's security?

But even worse is being told that Obamacare has already done marvelous things for my family.


Our primary plan was dropped by my employer, so we're left with Tricare. (As far as I can tell, every single person who works where I do who has Tricare ended up dropping the employer provided Aetna plan this year, since the Cadillac(?) plan isn't financially worthwhile for us when it costs us twice as much, and still doesn't cover a lot of the things Tricare doesn't, and may be taxed at 40% next year anyway.)

I've had to fill out more stupid paperwork so that my doctors could show "meaningful use" of their EHRs.  And somehow meaningful use has my doctor asking all sorts of questions for government databases which I don't think the government has any right or need to know.  My ortho gives me nice printouts of what happened at the appointment, and every single one tells me that I need to look at the Healthy Weight and You guidelines.  I know I'm overweight, and they do, and they never mention it at the appointment, because except for my knees, none of my other health markers show any negatives due to my weight, but the damn form is required to have that on there because my weight and height aren't in preferred parameters.

On a side note, I'd really prefer if my physician could spend the majority of his or her time during my visit paying attention to me rather than a computer.  Supposedly once they get used to the program it will be easier, but I haven't noticed any improvement, even in the practices we use which have had EHRs the longest.

And every doctor asks the same questions, over and over, and over.  I had knee surgery a few weeks back, and had to fill out three different forms in two days, each of which asked me about previous surgeries and what meds I'm taking.  By the time I got to the last one, I just wrote, "see previous forms".  This is *all* in the hospital database by now, since that's where I've had every surgery in the last 13 years except for my cataracts.  Their system knows it, so why in hell do they have to ask me again, every single time?  Am I suddenly going to have had a new surgery five years ago between a surgery four years ago and today?  And the meds.  I've told the doctor, I've told the hospital, I've told the anesthetist, each on a separate form, but aren't they all supposed to be talking to each other so I don't have to do this anymore?

At least, for right now, I don't have to worry about trying to find a plan on the non-existent exchange, for only 9.5% of our family gross income.  I realized today that the feds don't take into account the cost of living differences between locations when they decided how much a family could afford to pay for insurance.  $75K for a family of four doesn't go anywhere near as far in CT as it would in OK, but each family is considered able to afford the same amount for health care.

I think that right now, to do my bit for improving my health, I am going to play some mindless computer games and try to lower my blood pressure without medication.

Children are a full time job, or, don't trust the schools

I had a very interesting and enlightening talk with our local director of pupil services, i.e., the nice woman in charge of getting kids set up for special ed and other services.

When I told her what had been going on with younger child at the magnet school in the next town she nearly blew a gasket, since apparently they should have called her to set up a PPT months ago, as soon as the absences began to get excessive, no matter the reason.  When I told her that the one interaction I had had with the social worker/school psych from the main high school (the magnet is attached to the regular high school and the students do their non-STEM classes there) was a very rude and threatening call where I was essentially told that if my child missed another day they would have to call the truancy officer and get the police involved she showed me the form, and said that since there hadn't been a PPT or any other attempts at the school level to deal with the problem, the truancy officer would just refuse to do anything.

So I've got copies of the form to request a PPT to discuss issues and decide what if any testing, services, and/or accommodations are needed, and I need to tell the school tomorrow that in future, at least for students from our town, they need to contact the Central Office directly, and start things much much earlier, before it begins to look like a child is going to have to repeat a year, never mind being so stressed that she is in a deep depression, as in deep enough that she is seeing a psychiatrist and is being put on meds.

These are the people towns hire to "advocate" for our children, but in so many cases they don't.  I think if they did their jobs, people would have a lot fewer issues with school budgets.

All I can add to this small rant is that if I, an intelligent person who has dealt with the schools and school boards in the past is having this much trouble, how do less savvy parents manage at all?

Adventures with the schools

Today is going to involve going into our Central Office to see about getting them to pay for elder child's neuropsychological testing, as well as getting them to test younger child for dyslexia.

I should point out that they are in 11th and 9th grades respectively.

The psychiatrist is still pissed that it's taken this long for the schools to do anything for elder child.  All we can think is that up until know she hasn't needed to study to do well on tests and she hasn't been disruptive.  I returned some books to her last school today, and told them that she had just been diagnosed as being Asperger's, and was told that it was quite obvious to them from the beginning of the year, but that they aren't allowed to say anything.  I understand the reasons behind the laws about this, but at the same time, if someone, anyone, had said something to us years ago (and I've had her Sunday School teacher from 12 years ago tell me that there were signs then!) we would have known to keep an eye out for issues.  I suppose if the school balks at the costs, I can point out that if they had done what they were supposed to do years ago, the accommodations probably would have cost them far more over the years.

And that gets us to our school budget...  They have been requesting 0% increases for the last three years, and this year are asking for a 1.4% increase, or a little over $1M.  But they've been able to pay two superintendent salaries as well as legal fees with no problems for the last year.  We also have an IB program in the high school which is seriously underutilized, and is costing us about $40K a year per student.  For the $400K a year we are spending we could send 20 kids to school full scholarship up to UConn, and probably twice that to the local community college.  I would argue that the town would get far more bang for it's buck if we did that than the IB program.

So when we get to voting on the school budget in a week or so during the annual RTM budget meeting, I know what I'll be recommending cutting....

Monday, April 29, 2013


Wow, a Tamalanche, over 350 views in just five hours on my little tiny blog!

Feel free to look around, comment, etc.  And come back, y'all!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The stupidity, it burns.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/26/colleges-husky-dog-logo-promotes-rape-says-student/ Old Logo  New Logo

I'd say that UConn owed this woman back her tuition, because they obviously haven't taught her any critical thinking skills.

The comments at Ann Althouse's blog are priceless, and pretty much spot on.

I'm definitely not a big college sports booster, I have no idea why Nike demanded the change as part of their sponsorship, and as a former Husky, I much prefer the old logo, but I fail to see how a picture of a nominally fierce animal promotes rape.  If this student thinks the sports culture on campus promotes violence against women, or at the very least doesn't condemn it, that's what she should be speaking out against.  UConn could be the Bunnies instead of the Huskies, and if the college community puts the athletes on pedestals and treats them as campus gods rather than students, they will still have the same feelings of "entitlement", logo notwithstanding.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Mangled metaphors....

I just got a robo-call from the town high school principal reminding us about parent teacher conferences on Thursday.  He started out by hoping we had had a restful spring break, and commented that the students and come back "bushy eyed" and ready to work.  I'm assuming he's mangling "bright eyed and bushy tailed", but the image that bushy eyed gives is not quite as reassuring.

Actually, the mental image is pretty odd and disturbing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Much better

Three days post-op and I can bend my knee almost as well as right before the surgery (which admittedly wasn't that great) and the knee is about the same size as before surgery (which was much larger than the other one, probably something to do with all the fluid build-up and the 2cm cyst behind the knee cap).  I haven't taken any pain meds other than ibuprofen in 24 hours, and I don't need the crutches at all.

This is *so* much better than the last time.  I can even do stairs, though it's not great, and down is still either one step at a time, or backwards.  I don't imagine that steps in the shuttle at work are ever going to be something good, but it does look like I'm going to be back as good as I ever was after the first surgery.  And that's an improvement over the last year.

And now for a shower this afternoon, since even the thought of trying to get into, nevermind out of, a bathtub makes me cringe.