Saturday, June 11, 2005

Danica Patrick on ESPN tonite

Another Indy car race tonite with Danica Patrick. ESPN at 7 eastern time. She's starting in the 3rd position, so she must have done well again in qualifying. History in the making - you might see her become the first woman to win an Indy car race!

Belmont Horse Racing
Post time at 5:38 Eastern for the final leg of the Triple Crown, although no horse won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, so no Triple Crown winner is possible, but Giacomo and Afleet Alex will duke it out once more and that's worth watching the race .

Friday, June 10, 2005

And we thought we had Health Care problems

An interesting article about problems surfacing in the Canadian Health Care system. Sounds like a crisis to me. If the Canadians aren't careful, they will end up with our health care system. I don't doubt that if they allow private medical care, that more doctors will move to the private system to make more money. And that will result in poorer people waiting even longer in line for surgeries and the wealthy getting better services. They do have a problem with the current system, however. Waiting a year for a hip replacement when you're going out of your mind, is not a pleasant contemplation. It will be interesting to see what happens there.

Need the Time?
Finding that system clock in the lower right corner of your screen to be boring? Well, even if you don't, you should nonetheless take a look at this ingenious web site .

Danger Will Robinson!

Saw this on a blog today and had to pass it along - too funny!

" "Dear Technical Support:Last year I upgraded from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0. I soon noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that took up a lot of space and valuable resources. In addition, Wife 1.0 installed itself into all other programs and now monitors all other system activity.Applications such as Poker Night 10.3, Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6. I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications. I'm thinking about going back to Girlfriend 7.0, but the uninstall doesn't work on Wife 1.0.
Please help, thanks
A Troubled User"


Dear Troubled User:

Many men upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0, thinking that it is just a Utilities and Entertainment program. Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and is designed by its Creator to run EVERYTHING!!! It is also impossible to delete Wife 1.0 and to return to Girlfriend 7.0. It is impossible to uninstall, or purge the program files from the system once installed.

You cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is designed to not allow this. Look in your Wife 1.0 manual under Warnings-Alimony-Child Support. I recommend that you keep Wife 1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application "Yes dear" to alleviate software augmentation. The best course of action is to enter the command C:\APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway. Wife 1.0 is a great program, but it tends to be very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5 and Do Bills 4.2. However, be very careful how you use these programs.Improper use will cause the system to launch the program Nag Nag 9.5.Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

WARNING!!! DO NOT, under any circumstances, install Secretary with Short Skirt 3.3. This application is not supported by Wife 1.0 and will cause irreversible damage to the operating system.

Good luck User."

Thursday, June 09, 2005


I've gotten into reading Medical blogs now, thanks to that Internet Public Library page on blogs the other day that I mentioned (they have driven me to ruin!). I find all medical stories fascinating - think that goes back to my days of reading Frank Slaughter, M.D. books as a kid. If you get the chance, pick one of those up - they make for great reading - you can often find them in 2nd hand book stores. Anyway, I digress from my mini-stroke heading (why my English teachers loved me in school). I was reading a family doctor's blog this morning called MedPundit and she was introducing a bit of reality into the scare issue that so many of us may face mini-strokes.

"But carpal tunnel syndrome can certainly cause numbness that lasts more than 5 or 10 minutes, and it also tends to be exacerbated by a sleeping hand's position. What's more, there are, by far, more people with carpal tunnel syndrome than with mini-strokes:

Neurologists estimate that there are up to 500,000 ministrokes annually in the U.S. That compares to 700,000 full-blown strokes a year, according to the American Stroke Association .

The prevalence of carpal tunnel syndrome, on the other hand, is 2.7% of the adult population - in other words, millions. The figures for degenerative disc disease are even higher.

My point isn't to minimize the significance of mini-strokes, but to temper the article's slant with a dose of reality. Not every case of numbness or dizziness warrants admission and work-up for an impending stroke. If your arm numbness gets worse when you move your neck or wrist or shoulder a certain way, then you likely have slept on it wrong.

Admitting every case of dizziness or limb numbness indiscriminately would dramatically increase the cost of healthcare. And it isn't at all clear that there would be much gained in lives saved or disabilities avoided.

Sounds like a tough call to me, as to which one you might actually be having. It's worth reading the scare issue link above as that does further explain some of the serious issues that you could be facing. Having degenerative disks at C6 and C7 myself, i recently went through a period of 3 days where I was having numbness in the fingers of my hand and in my feet, but at the same time, I was having pain in that area of my neck, so I chalked it up to the degenerative disks. If I'm wrong, you'll probably notice incoherent babbling (something like what I'm doing now), in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

A Good Feeling

Imagine my surprise this morning when I was going through some of my photos on my web site and came upon this comment. It was nice to see that in some very small way, I was helping somebody in a very dangerous part of the world.

I was just looking around the web about a year ago down on base when i came accross your galleries, i guess i must have spent an hour just looking at all the photos of southwest va . Now everytime i get homesick i just click on your website and get lost inside one of your photos for a while. Im on my second tour in Iraq and it seems ive been away from home too long and all the reasons i left those mountains have now become the reasons i want to return. Thank you for the great website. Sincerely, Cpl. Stan......., USMC

Audible and XM Satellite Radio to hook up

Most of you know that I push Audible as a great way to widen your horizons by reading books at times when you are unable to sit down and open a real book. Well, now they're going to partner up with XM radio and develop a portable device that will receive satellite signals from XM as well as books from Audible. So now you can have 150 channels of great radio as well as listen to your favorite books, newspapers,etc. If you're a commuter, you need to check this out. (coming in 2006) Audible stock is up some 12% in the premarket this morning on this news. (Incidentally, did you know that you can get Real Time stock quotes from Google? Just type in the stock symbol and directly under the chart, you will see the Real-Time quote - very nice). Give it a try - type in ADBL and see what you find.

Art Critics - Cruel?

Was reading Hoosier's blog this morning and got a hoot out of this link she posted on being an art critic. You may not find it funny, but my warped mind wraps around it easily. :) World's cruelest critic?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Help! I'm in the rowboat!

From Bob Hebert's column in the NY Times - Consider, for example, two separate eras in the lifetime of the baby-boom generation. For every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent of the population between 1950 and 1970, those in the top 0.01 percent earned an additional $162. That gap has since skyrocketed. For every additional dollar earned by the bottom 90 percent between 1990 and 2002, Mr. Johnston wrote, each taxpayer in that top bracket brought in an extra $18,000.

It's like chasing a speedboat with a rowboat.
Rowboat hell, i'm on a raft with no paddle!

Photo of the Day

Dame's Rocket
Taken in Troutdale, VA behind an old abandoned building. I was blown away by the huge profusion of Dame's Rocket (how's that for a name?). Thought this was a beautiful scene, but wished the wind wasn't blowing as hard as it was. That would have made it a bit easier to stop motion in the flowers. I shot at 1/500th, but should have shot at even a faster speed probably. You usually see large clumps of these growing along the roadsides, but I had never seen an entire hillside. Click on the picture for a full sized (and always better) view. Picture taken with Canon 20D and 18-55EF-S f/3.5-5.6 lens - exposed at 1/500th, F5.6, ISO 200 - 56mm film equivalent focal length.

Wayne Henderson Music Fest

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWayne Henderson's annual music festival is coming up soon - June 18th to be exact. For those of you who don't know, Wayne is a famous guitar maker and musician in the hills of SW Virginia. You can read more about his festival and about him by going to his web page .

This could be me

I got a chuckle out of Nick Bradbury's (the guy who authored Feed Demon , the RSS reader I use) blog this morning. I swear we must be related. Got quite a laugh out of his final paragraph.

My Annual Health Crisis

I think I'm on a health plan which dictates that every year I must suffer from a completely unexpected medical issue. Last year it was a neck injury which resulted in surgery; this year, it's sudden hearing loss (SHL) in my left ear.

It all started on my first flight to Denver to meet the folks at NewsGator. I had a really bad cold, and when the flight ended I noticed that my left ear felt "clogged." I figured it was just cold-related so I ignored it at first, but I started to get concerned when it didn't resolve itself over the next week.

My first doctor said it was caused by fluid in the ear, and prescribed something to help clear it up. But over the next few weeks it didn't get any better.

So last week I went to a specialist, and he discovered a pretty significant hearing loss in my left ear. I have trouble hearing higher frequencies, so it's kind of like my own personal Dolby noise reduction system. Apparently, SHL isn't uncommon, and many times the cause is viral.

Now I'm taking two different medicines, one of which makes me feel like I've drank three pots of coffee (great in the morning, not so great at night). The other is a drug commonly prescribed for herpes - a fact I wish I would've known before I picked up the prescription! My eyes bugged out when I saw the drug's description in the printout that accompanied it (hey, how many guys do you know who would want a herpes drug on their shelves?). Of course I immediately called my doctor, asking what the deal was and whether there was something he forgot to tell me, but he said not to worry - the drug had several other uses (whew).

Side note: don't you hate doctors who fail to tell you the side effects of the medicine they prescribe? One of the possible side effects of the first drug is that it "may cause vomiting that looks like coffee grounds." Wow. You'd think they'd write that in big letters on the side of the pill bottle ("Warning: this medicine may have some really disgusting side effects. Wear old clothes before taking this prescription.")

Anyway, now it's just a "wait and see" and hope that the medicine clears up the problem. In the meantime, it's not too bad having poor hearing in just one ear, but it is a little awkward. For example, whenever I talked with someone at Syndicate last month I'd have to turn my right ear towards them, which felt a little odd, like I was saying, "hello, do you like my right ear? isn't it the sexy one?" to complete strangers.

I joked with a friend of mine about how I keep falling apart despite the fact that I have a healthy lifestyle. We figure that by the time I'm 80, I'll basically be a brain in a jar with a wireless connection to my computer (what, you think I'm ever going to stop coding?). Hmmm...actually, some days I'm already like that, so perhaps old age will suit me just fine?